Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fear not, I am with you

Fear has gripped mankind like a mass epidemic. Failures of the past, problems today and the uncertainties of the future, all bring fears inside us.
One man’s fear may not be another mans’; meaning, the fear of one who has fallen into a furnace of fire is blazing fire and the fear of one who has fallen into a lion’s den are lions. Perhaps one who has fallen into the fiery furnace may not understand the difficulties of the one fallen into the lion’s den. He may thus say,” That’s nothing so painful, look at my condition.” Like wood is heavy for the elephant to carry, so is a grain of rice for the ant.
People near and dear to you may not understand the fear or problems that are troubling you. They may ridicule you, but remember Jesus loves you and He wants to deliver you from the fears and worries that are destroying your life today.
Many of the prominent characters in the Word of God, the Holy Bible had fears in their hearts because of the problematic circumstances in their lives. Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua and Gideon in the Old Testament and Joseph, Mary, Peter, Paul and John in the New Testament were fearful because of certain difficulties that they faced. Though the circumstances bringing fear in each of their lives were very different, God’s promise to all were the same-“Fear Not, I am with you.”
Is there fear in your heart today? Are you troubled because of trying situations in your life?
God’s promise to you is the same, as it was to them- -“Fear Not, I am with you.”
Because Jesus loves each one of us, He wants to give us the peace that passeth all understanding. He wants to comfort us in our painful circumstances. He says,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(John14:27)
When I was a child, I was very fearful of the night times and darkness. Till around 16 years of age I suffered greatly because of this. I had to have someone in my room as the night approached. After the lights were switched off, great fear came upon me and I could not sleep properly. I felt like something would come out of the darkness and attack me. Often I would just look into the darkness and lie awake all night. For almost 10 years, the devil tormented me in this way. My Lord and Savior Jesus miraculously delivered me from this satanic torment when I was 16 years old. Praise the Lord.

I believe that if I had sufficient knowledge of and faith in the Word of God then ,I would not have had to wait so long a time for my deliverance. In Psalms 91,verses 5 and 6 we read,
“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

But do you know for whom God has given this wonderful promise?
In the same Psalm, we read from verse 1 onwards,
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”(Psalms 91:1-4)

To have continual protection from God from the wiles of satan, you must continually dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in His shadow. Are you living like that?
You may ask, what do I mean by saying,
“Continually dwelling in the shelter of the Most High and resting in His shadow?”
“How will such a person be living?”
Well, in brief, such a person will have accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, will have taken water baptism by immersion after accepting Jesus, is filled with the Holy Spirit, is worshipping God in spirit and in truth, is regularly reading, meditating and living the Word of God, is not unequally yoked with unbelievers, is partaking of the holy communion and praying and fasting regularly to conquer his fleshly and worldly desires.
Are you living like this?
If not, you need to take a new decision in your life this day itself.

A youth once consulted a spiritist fortune teller (a medium) to know his future. The lady told him that in 6 months time, he will make a great fortune by gambling and in 1 years time his money will have multiplied several times and he will build for himself a palatial house. But she also told him that after 2 years, he will die suddenly as a result of an accident. The youth was overjoyed at the sudden prospect of growing rich and he occupied himself with playing cards and gambling in a big way. In 6 months time, he was a rich man. In another 6 months his wealth grew to such an extent that he built himself a palatial house. It was then that he suddenly remembered the third thing that the spiritist had told him i.e. he will die after another year of building the house.
Fear gripped him soon and his mind was filled with thoughts of death always. He couldn’t eat or sleep well because of his fears. His mind was tormented continually with thoughts of accidents. Just after 5 months of building his house, suddenly one day he passed away from this world because of a severe heart attack.

In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, in the book of Leviticus, Chapter 19 and verse 31, the Bible says,
“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”
In Chapter 20 and verses 6 & 7,the Bible says,
"I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”
Some people can predict your future with the power of the devil. But according to the Word of God, going to such people to know your future is a sin. God hates such things as is written in the verses above. You may come to know certain things about your future through such people, but if you receive a prophecy of death, you may not be able to free yourself from that bondage. Several people are gripped with fear after visiting spiritists and often this can lead to premature death, like it happened in the case of the youth described above.
If you have visited such people to know your future, do repent of that sin to God immediately before you proceed with your reading.
Servants of the true God (Jesus) can prophecy about your future by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. That is compatible with the Word of God (1 Corinthians Chapter 14).
In the Old Testament of the Holy bible, in the book of Daniel, we read of the Hebrew youths Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who defied the kings’ order of worshipping his idol and thus were thrown into the fiery furnace bound with ropes. But King Nebuchadnezzar who ordered that they be thrown into the fiery furnace was astonished at what he saw after they were thrown in. We read in Daniel 3:24, 25,
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king."
He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
Did you notice? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fire were walking around in the fire with Jesus unbound and unharmed. They were already unbound while walking in the fire.
The prophet Isaiah writes God’s words to us,
“In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.”(Isaiah 54:14)
Are you being hindered by satan in the work that you are doing for God? Do not fear, it will not last for long. If you are living in submission to God, with faith you can subdue your enemy and carry on with the great commission that God has given you. God will remove every obstacle satan has placed in your path. Remember his promise;
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”(Matthew 16:1
James Salter, a missionary to Congo in Africa, encountered cannibals when he first went there for gospel work. They used to shoot at him and his co-workers with bow and arrows. When they traveled on bicycles through the forests, the cannibals ran after them shouting,” White meat, White meat.”Travelling through dangerous forests, he suffered from many sicknesses, some of which almost killed him, but God delivered him miraculously from all of them. God performed great healings through James Salter in the forests of Congo and many of the cannibals were saved and healed. For years, he and his friends labored for God in the forests and established 28 churches. Now there are no cannibals in those forests. Praise the Lord.
When the apostle Paul traveled to Rome, the ship that he was sailing in was struck by a hurricane wind “the northeaster”; when everyone thought that the ship and all in it would be destroyed by the hurricane, God told his servant Paul,
“Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.”(Acts 27:24)
God’s love for us is great. He knows our sorrows, our pains, our worries and our fears.David,the king of Israel has sung like this,
“Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.”(Psalms 20:6)
How wonderful this statement is. David had many enemies. Goliath, Saul, the Philistines and even his own son Absalom. Even though all of them fought against him, they did not prevail against him. God gave David grace to defeat all his enemies.
In Psalms 34 and verse 4 we read,
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Are you afraid that that sorcery, witchcraft or black magic done against you by others will destroy your life? Perhaps you are afraid that curses uttered against you by people will destroy you. The Word of God says,
“There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, `See what God has done!”(Numbers 23:23)
Be hopeful. God will fight for you against your enemy satan. He will be a shield and buckler for you. He will save you from the wiles of the wicked one.
Jesus protects and delivers his children wonderfully, covering us with His blood, by sending angels and with a wall of fire.
If you are being tormented by thoughts of fear from the enemy, Jesus has this to say to you,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."(Deuteronomy 31:6)
God knows all about the fears in our minds. He is able enough to deliver us from all these fears.
He says, “Fear not, I am with you.”

You can pray this prayer if fear of any kind has gripped your life.

Dear Father in Heaven,
“I praise and glorify you for your promises and assuring verses that say,” Fear not.”
Kindly deliver me from this fear (tell God your fear) that is troubling me today.
I believe that if your Son Jesus sets me free, I will be free indeed.
Deliver me from this fear O Lord, by the blood of Jesus and by your Word.
Fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit, O Lord.
In Jesus Name I pray,

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