Know Fear – No Fear

 

Brave Courage Overcoming Fear Bravery Vs AfraidI certainly know what it’s like to bear fearful. I’m not always brave and fearless. I’m learning every day though that when I know the Lord, fear is pushed out. I recently had a conversation with a fellow Christ follower who said that fear and faith can’t dwell in the same heart. I think at times it’s a fast exchange between fear and faith in my heart. I don’t like being fearful at all. In fact, I hate being fearful. I want to feel confident and strong in the face of fear and that describes me often.

The sons of Korah penned some great Psalms about Who He is and who I’m not. Check this out…

 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.’

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11 NIV)

When I take a moment to let it settle into my heart, just how strong and powerful God is, fear is out the door. The enemy reminds me of my weakness and the Lord provides me with great strength. The enemy uses fear to make me feel weak. The Lord reminds me that He is strong in my weakness. With Him in my heart, I have nothing and no one to fear. His Presence changes the game of life completely. I look at life totally different now because of Him. He helps me see adversity before it comes. He prepares me to be strong even when my enemies seem to be bringing a “beat down”. He protects me. He provides for me. He settles my soul. He pushes my fears aside and helps my faith in Him to grow and expand.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Contend Close By

Hope Words in Sky Faith Belief Inspire AspirationsI have never considered myself much of a fighter. I have learned that I will fight when pushed into a place where that is my only option. There are some people who choosing to fight is their first option. Some people even pick a fight with people who were on their side or in nearly the same position.  I like it best when others fight alongside of me on my behalf. Their presence on my behalf is strong and powerful.

This past week I witnessed a group of people who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death with their pastor. A local pastor’s wife died of cancer a few months ago and the city did a special plaque in remembrance of her service and impact on our community, our schools and our churches. It was a beautiful declaration and tribute. What struck me as I witnessed this event was the number of families who came just because they are contending on behalf of their pastor – they have his back as he grieves. I found myself giving thanks for those families who were there because they feel the loss and they want to be someone their dear pastor can lean upon.

King David was very transparent in the Psalms. If he was struggling, he penned it. If he was celebrating, he shared that too. He asked the Lord to contend on his behalf. Check this out…

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.

    Do not be far from me, Lord.

23 Awake, and rise to my defense!

    Contend for me, my God and Lord.

24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;

    do not let them gloat over me.

26 May all who gloat over my distress

    be put to shame and confusion;

may all who exalt themselves over me

    be clothed with shame and disgrace.

27 May those who delight in my vindication

    shout for joy and gladness;

may they always say, ‘The Lord be exalted,

    who delights in the well-being of his servant.’

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,

    your praises all day long. (Psalm 35:22-24,26-28 NIV)

I need the Lord to contend for me daily. I need Him to contend for me against me – sometimes. I need Him to contend for me against those who want to harm me. I need Him to contend for me again the enemy – satan. I am not afraid when the Lord contends close by on my behalf. His Presence is a “game changer” for sure. I can lift my head and face anything or anyone knowing the Lord is contending close by on my behalf.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Solid Trust

Trust with blue markerThere are so many things that distract me from following the Lord fully. Over the years, my finances have been big – until something even bigger comes along like a threat to my family or the health of one of my kids. I find that those times require even more trust as fear has entered the equation. Fear is a formidable foe to trust. Fear can paralyze. Fear can suck all my joy away. Fear seems to penetrate the strongest wall of trust. When fear grips me, I’m learning that I must hit my knees before the Lord and give it to Him.

King David had a deep walk with God and he learned to trust deeply even in the midst of fear. Check this out…

1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.

    How great is his joy in the victories you give!

2 You have granted him his heart’s desire

    and have not withheld the request of his lips.

3 You came to greet him with rich blessings

    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him –

    length of days, for ever and ever.

5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;

    you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.

6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings

    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the Lord;

    through the unfailing love of the Most High

    he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:1-7 NIV)

I want to keep growing my trust in the Lord. Spending time in His Word each day certainly helps build my trust in Him. As I look at King David’s journey it wasn’t without failure and struggle, but trust in God pulled him through some scary times.

I think there are different degrees of fear. When I’m fearful of something that can take my life or the life of one of my family – that is a painful fear. When the fear is of something that is temporary or brief – it’s not nearly as bad. I don’t like fear at all, but sometimes fear makes me sharper and stronger because it drives me to trust the Lord. I’m learning that I can lean into Him and on Him for the simple things as well as the complex situations. He is my Rock, my foundation upon which my trust is built. He has never let me go and He has never let me down. I will trust Him in the face of any fear.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Helpless & Needy

 

Child in medicine maskI’ve been around people who are needy or clingy. There are those who are always in a bad place – I think if they won the lottery, they’d still be clingy and needy. There are also those who’ve been dealt a tough “hand” in life. They have needs and they need someone to help them desperately. My heart goes out to the person who’s lost their spouse or their child – their world just got flipped on its end.  They are certainly people in our culture who abuse others and the system by always appearing helpless & needy. It’s difficult to know if someone is using people by claiming to be helpless and needy.

As I describe a helpless and needy person in my world, I realize that I’m helpless and needy before the Lord every day.  David penned the words well about just how hard life is and how much we need the Lord. Check this out…

5 ‘Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,

    I will now arise,’ says the Lord.

    ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’

6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,

    like silver purified in a crucible,

    like gold refined seven times.

7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe

    and will protect us forever from the wicked,

8 who freely strut about

    when what is vile is honored by the human race. (Psalm 12:5-8 NIV)

I will put my simple trust and hope in the Lord to direct my path. I don’t always know what to do when someone speaks untruths about me and tries to harm me. I need wisdom and discernment from the Lord to be my protection. I seek Him and His way for my every move. The Lord does His best work in me and through me when I’m helpless and needy. I recognize His Power and His Presence and He shows up strong.

This morning is no different than any other morning – I need the Lord to direct my path today as I navigate different challenges in my day. I standing strong upon His Word that He will protect me, direct me and provide for my every step. I can’t imagine trying to do life without Him – I am that helpless and needy for Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Strength

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthI have seen people lift things with their arms and legs that seem impossible. I used to lift weights and work out very regularly, but it’s hard to tell now. I work out now by riding a bicycle or walking. I certainly would benefit to fitting more exercise into my schedule. We now have fitness apps on our watches and fitness trackers to help encourage exercise. I got a chuckle out of the “breathe” feature & the “stand” feature on the apple watch.

While physical strength is very important, inner strength is quite powerful too. I’ve seen people who face impossible odds have a great attitude and show great inner strength in the middle of adversity. I’ve noticed the tremendous inner strength of Job. This man had suffered tremendous loss and was suffering intensely, but he refused to curse God. Check this out…

8 The upright are appalled at this;

    the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.

9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,

    and those with clean hands will grow stronger. (Job 17:8-9 NIV)

I am profoundly concerned about the election process that I’ve witnessed here in the US the past year and a half. Our country is a sharply divided people. There were two very different ideologies to choose from in the Presidential race. I’m like most people in the country who weren’t sure we had the best candidates to choose from. I had decided that however the vote went, that God would still be in His rightful place as leader of my heart. This simple passage in Job reminded me to hold on for sure. I am praying for healing in our country as this will go down in history as one of the most vicious campaigns. I am praying for peace. I am praying for wisdom and discernment. I am praying that love settle over us once again.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bravery

 

Courage Vs. Fear Bowling Ball Strike Pins BraveryI would consider myself brave for the most part. I’m not super scared of the dark, although I can be startled by something I didn’t expect to see or hear in the dark. When I think of bravery, I think of much more than simply not being scared. I think of our military men and women who are fighting an enemy that they often can’t see or haven’t met to protect our freedom. I also think of our firefighters and law enforcement who stand up to incredible odds to protect the citizens of our great country. Bravery is also the person facing death from cancer or some other debilitating disease and keeping their head up as they try to finish well. I would like to consider myself brave, but I also know that there’s a part of me that gets scared to death. I’m still learning to trust the Lord with my fears and failures.

The army of Jerusalem took on the Ammonites and the Philistines quite often. Evidently, Goliath came from a family of giants. Check this out…

5 In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.

6 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

8 These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men. (1 Chronicles 20:5-8 NIV)

 

I’ve figured out that if I’m brave, it’s because of the Power of God living in me. I can honestly face anything that comes my way. Please note that I didn’t say I want bad stuff to come my way. I didn’t say I wouldn’t be afraid if something big and bad threatened me, or someone I love. I’m learning that Lord can calm my fear with His Presence.

I love this song by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music called: You Make Me Brave.

I’m taking on today with His Presence in me as I face any giants that come my way. I have no intentions of being paralyzed by fear because His Presence in me changes everything about my perspective.

Pressing On!

Dwayne