WHEN A CHRIST FOLLOWER IS AFRAID
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Last week, I ran a “DEAR CHRIST FOLLOWER” Series on my various social media platforms, and I focused on some of the challenges that keep Christ Followers lame and tame, unable to boldly forge ahead into the passionate pursuit of God’s presence and purpose. One of those challenges is fear that leads to discouragement, and just this past week, I experienced a dose of this. I looked at the work the Lord has placed in my hands to do, I looked at His call to intimacy with Him, and I felt overwhelmed! The enormity of it all… not to mention the realities of the times we live in… my heart sank within me. How in the world am I going to do this? How am I going to be tunnel-visioned in my walk with God and pursue intimacy with the Lord and “Narrow-Gateway-Living” when I am so busy, and life’s demands on my every waking moment are only growing? How am I going to boldly work the works He has called me to do, when I myself am in need of some tweaking and pruning, and the world around me is reaching for such different priorities to what God wants me to be about?
I would like to share with you what the Spirit of God spoke to my heart, in response to what I was feeling, and how He counselled and ministered to me, when I hit this bump of despair. In many ways, this is a continuation of Last week’s Truth Turn Up, titled “The Follower’s Battle” by Funmi Amosun. Now, if you recall, Funmi Amosun admonished us that when fear and insecurity creep up and threaten to paralyse us, we should turn to the TRUTH, that is the Word of God. So, this is what I did. I shared what I was experiencing with a dear, trusted friend, who prayed with me and encouraged me, and then I went ahead and cried out to the Lord for help. And God being the faithful and totally “in touch” God that He is, He responded with a few Bible passages that I will share with you shortly. They spoke life to me and I pray that they will speak life to you as well. But in summary, here is what the Lord said to me:
- I am your only Audience. You have an AUDIENCE OF ONE. Focus on pleasing Me. What pleases Me? Saving souls. Delivering people from the many distractions and confusions this world has to offer. Introducing them to My Truth. The Truth. Displaying My unconditional and patient love to them. So you focus on that! Tune out the static. Turn on the truth. Focus on living for what pleases Me.
- Do not be afraid of people. Do not be afraid of the problem I sent you to solve. Do not be afraid of the landscape I have called you to work in. Fear will not only paralyse you, it will also drive you back to your place and time of slavery, confusion and bondage, and if you allow it, it can cut you off from God’s purpose and presence altogether. I am with you. That means YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND MORE. I AM YOUR SILVER-BULLET. YOUR TRUMP CARD. YOUR ACE TUCKED WITHIN YOUR SLEEVE! So do not be afraid of what you see when you look around you.
- Be strong. Be courageous. Yes, it’s true, the work I have given to you requires you to be strong and courageous. And yes, if you are going to respond to My call to you to come up higher and walk closer with Me, following in My footsteps, indeed it will require you to be strong and very courageous. But the strength and courage does not come from you, so you do not have to conjure it up from within yourself. You just have to LEAN INTO ME. I am your strength and your courage. Be strong and very courageous. You do that by leaning into Me.
- Pursue My ways and My Word. Find out what I am about, and when you discover it, fill your life with it. If you do this, your way will prosper. You will succeed in your pursuit of My presence, and in the work I have placed in your hands to do. So be all about knowing what I am about; align yourself to it, and by doing this, you will find confidence, because you will be squarely within My will. And when you are in My will, FEAR IS DEFEATED.
…and then I went ahead and cried out to the Lord for help. And God being the faithful and totally “in touch” God that He is, He responded…
Here are the Bible Passages that the Lord led me to read:
Joshua 1:6-9 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Numbers 14:8-9 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
1 Corinthians 10:31-33 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
Make a list of 5 things in your life that you take seriously. Please be as real as can be on this one. Is your growth in Jesus one of those things that you take seriously?
Let us Pray:
Thank You Lord! How great Your love is, that You would go to such an extent to speak into my heart and calm my fears! How reliable and dependable You are, Lord! How very relevant Your Word is to Me, Lord Jesus. This week, I choose to believe THE TRUTH, that You are my NUMBER 1 AUDIENCE. You are the strength and courage of my life. Why should I fear? Why should I be downcast? As I follow You, I put ALL MY EGGS IN ONE BASKET – THE GOD BASKET! I have no plan B. All my hope is in You, Jesus! I pray in Your name. Amen.
Let’s share a last word:
What more can I say? The Lord is so real and He takes us very seriously. And we get to enjoy this benefit even more, when we take Him seriously as well by passionately and intentionally pursuing Him and what He is about. Do you take the Lord seriously? Do you take your walk with God seriously? Make a list of 5 things in your life that you take seriously. Please be as real as can be on this one. Is your growth in Jesus one of those things that you take seriously? If not, please feel free to reach out to me to chat about what might be holding you back and how you can work towards letting go of it and reaching for “that God-life” in its fullness.