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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

They had prepared their slings and arrows fashioned from their outrageous fortune and had used them with intentional force.  It was premeditated.  It was a set move.  It was nasty. Sometimes in life we feel like we are set up to fail, that no matter how much we stand up for what we believe, we end up sitting right back down.  There is a paradox in fighting for justice, what is right and true, and then, turning the other cheek, as Jesus did.

stickstone

Persecution takes many forms, usually its the subtle acts orchestrated by the enemy, often through people, places and events that are designed to throw you off track, get under your skin, and make you feel angry and then revengeful.  How we deal with these irritations is important.  Sometimes we need to speak up and sometimes silence is the best offensive weapon. How often though do we race ahead without acknowledging that the battle belongs to the Lord.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. ~Exodus 14:14

I have often been persecuted and insulted for my faith.  Mainly the subtle stuff – the blank looks, the whispers, people apologizing for swearing in front of me (what’s with that?) and the scattering of people when I walk in the room.  All this is good.  Really.  It means that people maybe just recognize something in me that looks a bit like Jesus.  This is what I’m aiming for and it helps me to know that I’m on the right track.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. ~ Matthew 5:11

What I do know is this.  We are blessed when we are persecuted – it means that we are on the right track.  We are blessed because we serve a very big God.  We are loved by God and that is all that matters.  Persecution does not define us – it just points to the road we are walking, the narrow road. Other people’s harsh words are really just sticks and stones. God’s word on us is final and defines us.

So what about you my friend?  Have you been persecuted lately?  Here’s a harder question. Are you someone who is persecuting someone else, but you would never admit to it? If you are, what will you do? Maybe sometime this week, here or somewhere share your story, it may just help someone recognize that they are blessed and that they are on the right road.  Perhaps you could pray for those who you know that are on this journey.

Definition

I am not defined
By what you think of me
My reputation matters not
As it flows out with the sea

The content of my character
Is chiselled by the sea
As the Master works his plan
And his purpose just for me

I am not defined
By what emotions capture me
This is just the way I feel
And not my reality

Your words hold no power
No judgement over me
I break the chains of bondage
As Jesus set me free

So say and think what you like
Your storm in your cup of tea
Your hollow judgement
Holds no verdict over me

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A Break for Freedom

Fear.  For me this word is both difficult to write and look at. It is only recently that I’ve been able to name it.  Fear is not actually what it’s called.  It more the fear of fear.  I know this because occasionally I go there and visit this house. It’s like a house that is overgrown with vines that twist and curl.  A house that has no windows and doors.

Amy Grant described this house in her song Come Into My World off her latest album. She also describes the meaning behind the song (see YouTube clip at the end of this post). 

What I do know now, is that I am only a visitor and I don’t live at this house, or in the neighbourhood anymore.  It may look the same, and the feelings of  fear are just the same.  The difference is that I choose to visit and then I choose to leave.  Why can I leave? It’s because I know someone who is much stronger than my fears, and he protects me and he sends his angels to walk with me. I also have developed a great support network. Why do I keep visiting?  That’s the question I’m working on.

So where do you live?  Are you a visitor or a lodger?  If you can’t relate to any of this consider yourself blessed. If you live here, be brave (you already are), seek the counsel of friends and wise people. They will know what to do and they will be able to help you. 

Remember there is always hope, this is what you must find and hold on to. Here’s a clue about hope. Hope often takes the form of light. Turn your face to it and let your shadows fall behind you.

A Break for Freedom

In the cell block of my mind
My thoughts lie captive still,
They circle inside the prison cell
Like they have lost their will.

The walls close in, it’s hard to breath
My palms they drip with sweat,
Oh how I wish time would fly ahead
But still it hasn’t yet.

I’ve placed my fears in a big box
And sent it to the one who cares,
But I keep worrying then back
And in my heart I feel such fear.

Some days I wish I had no thoughts
Or feelings of such fear,
But that is the way I am made
So I’ll write about them here.

I pray right now, release my thoughts
Direct them far from me
Heal and transform my mind
And let my heart be free.

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Once upon a time I worked as an auditor in the education sector.  It was my job to audit training organisations against the standards set by government.  I used to ask people to provide evidence.  They would usually respond with, ‘Don’t you trust me, all the paperwork is in order’.  My reply to them was always the same, “In God we trust, everyone else has to bring evidence”. 

That was about as funny as it got working as an auditor for the government.  In most cases if the client couldn’t provide evidence, then there was something out-of-order or missing.

It got me thinking.  If God was to give us an audit of how much we put our faith and trust in him, how much evidence could we provide?  Really? If I had to go to court and was on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?  God’s message is simple.  Two words, trust and obedience.  As the old hymn goes:

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
~ John H. Sammis, 1846-1919,  Daniel B. Towner, 1850-1919

So what about you?  Where are you at with trusting God?  What areas do you need to entrust to God?  How much evidence is on your  ‘trust and obey’ file? Here’s some words on trust, fear and obedience:

In God We Trust

Trust in me
I will be your guide
Along the winding road of life

Trust in me
Feel your fears
Then give them to me in a box

Trust in me
I have your box
No you can’t have it back

Trust in me
Just be obedient
You are part of a bigger plan

Trust in me
Seek not to understand
Choose me, trust my way
I will direct your steps

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