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Overcoming fears to become part of Gods exciting plan

August 5, 2013 Leave a comment

This might be rushed, we are on holiday and I am in the library in Grange over Sands. I pray you will be blessed somehow though!

I really felt encouraged by the first two lines of Isaiah 51:16 recently . .all of the chapter in fact. I guess I had been feeling fearful about what the Lord might ask/was asking me to do. Some times, I have been feeling excited too. It’s strange when you are contemplating leading services or preaching or whatever . .and you start looking at other people and thinking, wow! I could never do that . .it’s just the voice of fear of course. Maybe we hear a story of someone witnessing at work and we think, I could never do that! And so on . . so how do we overcome this fear?

Three ways to overcome fear;

1. God will give us the words to say
2. God will protect us while we are in action ‘doing the doing’
3.We are part of bringing about amazing transformation in people’s lives!

And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ” Isaiah 51:16

So these first two lines are very encouraging, firstly God, through His Holy Spirit will give the words to say and secondly, whilst you are speaking out those words, He will protect you! Or to widen it, God will give the where with all to do the thing he asking of you and also protection whilst you are doing it. And what is amazing is that we are called to be partners working with God to bring about His transforming plan . .

Just to develop why this verse can apply to us:In Matthew Henry’s commentary it says this refers to Isaiah the prophet, ie that God has put his words in his mouth and that He has covered him with the shadow of His hand, ie protection. It also says this looks forward to Christ. And we see how Jesus said only what His Father said and we see God’s divine protection, Jesus walking through the crowds when they intended throwing him off a cliff, for example. And I would suggest this applies to us because we are called to be imitators of Christ and deeper than that to be Jesus to people, so let’s have a look at these two aspects . .

The protection aspect first

‘I have covered you with the shadow of My hand’

Just like Jesus and Isaiah, we can expect that, whilst we are rightly orientated toward our Father, seeking to do what’s on His heart, he will protect us. The chapter talks about how great and awesome God is and this is the very same person that is protecting us and we should not be afraid of mere man, ie other people

Three practical suggestions if you are facing fears,
1. Ponder how big God is and how able he is to help you
2. A prayer to repeat to yourself, ‘Jesus perfect love for me casts out fear’ based on 1 John 4:18
3. Read Psalm 121 and replace the ‘you’ with me, ‘your’ with my, etc, to personalize it
.
12“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?

‘And I have put My Words in your mouth’
The Holy Spirit will come upon you as soon as you open your mouth and start to speak Luke 12:12 Or to widen it out, as soon as you step out to do that thing, the Lord will give you what you need to do it

Finally overcome your fear by thinking on just how exciting it is to partner with God! The verse below is not just talking about heaven, it starts now!

11So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away

The Lord bless you this week

Andy

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We step forward, He steps in


How many of us know that if we are messed up or feeling weak and scared, that qualifies us for doing something for God?

Doing it scared . .
Well first of all there is no shame in feeling weak and nervous about doing something, Paul even says he took pleasure in his weaknesses!
‘… For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ Corinthians 12:9-10
Of course we mustn’t stay in that place just holding onto that as an excuse. It’s as we step forward, ‘doing it scared’, that God steps in with his strength.

‘The only way to overcome your weakness is to rely on God’s strength. To do that, you have to stop focusing on your weaknesses. You cannot look at everything you are not. You must look at everything God is. Focus on His strength and all He is willing to do for you.
The weaknesses of the world are not your inheritance. Jesus did not come to earth, die on the cross, and rise again on the third day for you to be weak and defeated. He went through all that to give you an inheritance, authority in this life and His strength to rule over your circumstances.
In any area where you stumble, God is ready and willing to provide you with His strength. So the next time you find yourself confronted by your weakness, remember and declare that where you are weak, He is strong!’ Joyce Meyer

We do our bit, God does His (giant enormous big) bit
About three years ago I began chatting to two ladies on the train to work. We got quite friendly talking about work and this and that. On occasion I did talk to them about my faith, sharing stories, I think. Anyway, I really built myself up and asked them both to come to the alpha course at church . . they both politely said no. 😦  About 18 months ago, one lady took semi retirement and the other lady left work to have a baby, so I didn’t see them anymore. Just a couple of weeks ago, the lady (with the baby) popped up in church, very enthusiastic and promising to come again! So how did that happen? Well I did my bit and honestly I thought I’d been a total failure, however, God did his work! After not seeing the lady for a couple of weeks I said to my wife that maybe I should pop round to her house and she was like, ‘No, No, God has shown you what he is doing, at least for now, let Him carry on doing it!’ 🙂

God works in our messiness
Also even in our ‘messed upness’, God does his work. On first appearances the Samaritan woman Jesus speaks to at the well, seems the opposite of anyone very spiritual  . .she’s had five husbands and is living with someone who is not her husband . .yet she says that when the Messiah comes he will tell us everything. So the least likely person in the village, the least respectable, the ignored and immoral person, actually had something in her heart and despite seeming like the most messed up person, Jesus chose her to tell all the village about him! And he chooses you and me! In our messy, busy lives God chooses us to bring His love to people!

God not only brings strength to help us, also beauty and delightfulness in the, ‘doing’, as we look to Him. His ‘favor’, makes what we do amazing, in a way we could never expect!

‘And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.’ Psalm 90:17 (AMP)

As we think about these things let’s make the verse above into our own prayer

I pray you are encouraged this week

Thanks for reading

Andy