FACING FEAR

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:7-8, NIV). They hid because they were afraid.

Life’s Most Common Fears:
• Fear of Loss
• Fear of Failure
• Fear of Rejection
• Fear of the Unknown

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).

Fear Is Placing Faith in the “What if’s”
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1

Why Do Your “What If’s” Matter?
Did you know?
1) What you fear reveals what you value the most.
2) What you fear reveals where you trust God the least.
3) Ask the Lord to reveal to you the areas in your where you are lacking trust:

Facing the “What If’s” Of Fear

1) Acknowledge your fear and choose to trust God.

“My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me.”
~Psalm 56:2-4 (NIV)

2) Seek God until He takes away your fears.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.”
~Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB).

John Wesley once said: “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over all the affairs of my life.”

One of God’s Promises to us:
“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.”
~Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

(Author Unknown)

Stand Still and Watch

by Kevin Litchfield

Lord impressed me to share 2 Chronicles 20 with you. King Jehoshaphat is facing an impossible challenge. As he prays, he says these words at the end of his prayer:

“We are powerless against this mighty army (your situation). We do not know what to do, but we are looking top you, Lord for help.

Later this was the Lords reply… DO NOT BE AFRAID! DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THIS MIGHTY ARMY (your challenge), FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S.

YOU WILL NOT EVEN NEED TO FIGHT. TAKE YOUR POSITIONS; THEN STAND STILL AND WATCH THE LORD’S VICTORY. HE IS WITH YOU.

Surrender ALL To Jesus

by Kevin Litchfield

Recently, Mark 8:34-37 jumped out at me: “Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how, self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself – your true self.” (The Message).

In my own life giving up control is so hard but there can be no peace and victory while I still try to control. Be encouraged to surrender control of your life Jesus.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”
(Romans 12:1-2).

Prayer of Surrender:
Dear Lord Jesus,
ALL I am,
ALL I have
ALL I’ll ever be and
ALL I’ll ever have
I Give To Thee.
Absolutely,
Conditionally,
No string attached.

Praying for Peace in the Midst of the Storms in Life

by Kevin Litchfield

When Peter walked on water walking toward Jesus, he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink into the frothy waves. Jesus took him by the hand and together they walked back to the boat, but note the storm was still raging perhaps even worse than before.

The only difference was Peter had was linked with Jesus, giving him a perspective that took his eyes off the storm and onto the hand of Jesus. Are you linked with Jesus? May this be your declaration: “I am yoked with Jesus.”

Jesus tells us, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30, KJV)

God Gives Grace to Withstand

by Kevin Litchfield

I have been reading Matt Chandlers new book, Joy in the Sorrow, and this quote jumped out at me: “One way or another, for better or worse, suffering plays a formative role in life. And so, when we experience loss, we can find an opportunity.

Suffering holds the potential to awaken us to life much larger than our own. Through suffering, God calls us out of our own lives and their dreams and hopes and concerns, to transcend earthly things and know Him.

When we walk through suffering, we can discover immeasurable amounts of grace to withstand all difficulties in life.

Matt Chandler’s writes, “Western culture says RUN FROM SUFFERING and some cultures say, RUN TO IT, but the Scriptures encourage US to walk with God in the midst of it… That may not sound like a balm to the soul; but it is, because only when we stand in that place that we can enjoy the truth that Jesus is with us and for us in our suffering and leading us through it.”

Who Am I?

by Kevin Litchfield

“Who am I that I should go to Pharoah?” Moses asked. “Nobody knows me. I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” God said to Moses what he has said to you and millions of other Moseses.

“I know all about that. It doesn’t really matter much. For I will be with you. Your guilt and your inadequacies are no longer the ultimate truth about you. You are what you are, but that’s not all that you are. You are what you are, but you are not yet what you will be. I will be with you” (John Ortberg).

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Saving Faith

by Kevin Litchfield

While reading John Ortberg’s book Eternity is Now in Session, I was struck by this quote: “If you’ve been around churches much, you know that ‘saving faith’ is a really important Bible idea. But many people in churches, whether they know it or not, define saving faith as the bare minimum I have to believe such that if I believe it, God has to let me into heaven when I die.

To have saving faith is not to believe the minimum amount so God has to let us in. To have saving faith is to believe what Jesus himself believed, to see what Jesus himself saw, so that you naturally do what Jesus himself will do.”

Ortberg writes, “Salvation isn’t about getting you to heaven; it’s about getting heaven into you.  It’s not about relocation; it’s about transformation.  It’s not about what God wants to do to you; it’s about what God wants to do in you.  It’s about allowing Jesus’s Kingdom life to permeate our little lives one moment, one choice at a time.”

Come to Jesus

by Kevin Litchfield

Matthew 11:28 says COME to ME, all you are WEARY and Carry HEAVY burdens, and I will give you REST. TAKE my yoke upon you.

What things are you yoking yourself to other than Jesus that is causing weariness and anxiety… pleasing people, legalism, ministry, family, job, etc. Choose today to Come to Jesus and take HIS yoke for HIS yoke is easy.

Begin to decree: “I am yoked with Jesus.”

Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The Space Between

by Kevin Litchfield

I have shared this quote from Jim Branch before, but I feel led to share it again. Jim talks about the time Peter walked on the water to meet Jesus. “There is one particular aspect of this story that has been a wonderful source of reflection for me lately. It involves that sacred space that Jesus invites Simon Peter to step into.

It is the space  between…

Between the boat and Jesus…
Between letting go and being taken hold of…
Between the old and the familiar and the new and unknown…
Between control and agenda and dependence and detachment.

It is the space that is both completely terrifying and unbelievably exciting.
It is the space before your answer has come or your problem has been fixed.
It is the space where you must trust the heart of God alone for your life.
It is the space of genuine transformation.”