Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus WPThis is a pivotal time. It is a transition time. A lot has happened in 2015. I am sure as you place a mental calendar in front of your mind’s eye you could tell me all kinds of things that happened in your life each month. Some good and some bad. Now we are in 2016. A new year.

This past year has been a journey for us all. For some the road has brought joy, for others pain. We look and see a broken world. As we gaze at all the craziness around us our hearts can feel uncertain. Fear of the unknown can set in. We can look at 2016 and feel anything but secure. We wonder if HOPE is losing. We have been talking about HOPE since the end of September. My heart was to get it in our spirit to the point no matter what we go through or what the future holds, we can face it with the Hope we have in God and His promises. As this new year begins, what do we do? We are to:

TURN OUR EYES UPON JESUS!

LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE

AND THE THINGS OF EARTH WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM

IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AND GRACE

The author of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Lilias Trotter, wrote:  It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him. – Lilias Trotter

We are embarking on a new year. Now is the time for New Beginnings. Now is the time to release all the bad that has happened in 2015 and let it go. Forgive who you need to forgive. Let go of events or circumstances that brought despair or destruction. Leave it in 2015. Leave it at Christ’s feet. Walk into 2016 strengthened by these things instead of allowing them to overtake you. This new year is a year of breakthrough and change. We are moving forward, holding God’s hand, and our heads up knowing we are not alone.

We serve a God of endings and beginnings. We cannot have a new beginning without something coming to an end. In this case, it’s 2015. Turning our eyes upon Jesus and looking into His wonderful face will protect our hearts from any despair or downheartedness. We need this! You and I need to protect our hearts from falling into any trap the enemy, satan, wants to use to bring disillusion and confusion.

Turning our eyes upon Jesus is a command in Scripture.

Hebrews 12:2a NKJV

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

Hebrews 12:2a Amplified Bible

[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity],

The Bible tells us to look and to fix our eyes on Jesus. Make this be your New Year’s resolution for 2016. No matter what, you keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many bills you have to pay; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter all the things that can go wrong; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter what tries to distract you; Keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many disappointments you may encounter; Keep your eyes on Jesus. Know that []a disappointment can sometimes be a divine appointment in disguise! 

Our prayer should be:

Lord, I keep my eyes on You! I know you are good to me. I know You are watching over me. You are working all things for my good this past year and the year to come. I let go of my desires, or what I think should happen, and focus on You and Your desires. I want what You want. I will do what You want me to do. I just know I need you desperately, always in my life. I soak in Your love. I soak in Your goodness. 2016 is going to be an amazing year because You have brought it to me! Thank you for Your peace and assurance that I am standing on solid ground when I keep my eyes on You!

Delayed Gratification

As we turn our eyes upon Jesus and stay focused, it keeps us on the right path. Being on the right path and walking forward in all that God brings us to do, we will receive a gratifying reward.

There is the principle of delayed gratification. We can see this principle at work in our own lives. There are times when we must give up the good to obtain the best.

•If one of our resolutions is to lose weight, we give up certain foods so that we might lose weight.

•Students give up a night out with friends to study for final exams.

•A young man gives up dinner and a movie because he is saving to buy a new car.

There is sacrifice involved. One pleasure is sacrificed so that a higher one might be achieved. It is amazing what we can sacrifice or give up if we really want something or really want to do something. There is a higher level of delayed gratification that involves enduring pain to receive a reward.

This is why athletes lift weights at 6:00 a.m., while their friends are still in bed. They give up sleep, in order to win a championship.

This is why aspiring pianists practice for hours when they might be watching TV or playing video games. They put in the hours in the hope that some day they may play for thousands.

In all these things there is a pain involved, but it is pain endured for the sake of the joy that comes when the goal is reached.

What has your year been like? God spoke to me that this past year we have endured. We have given up much. We have sacrificed much. We have been faithful at Hope Fellowship. The Lord impressed on my heart that 2016 will be the year of reward…. the gratification of the sacrifices we have made.

I want to share personally in my life some sacrifices to allow you to see possibly in your life something similar and to know that this delayed gratification of not seeing the results we want right away will be worth it all when God brings His rewards with Him!

Personally: My family and I are here every Sunday and Friday nights serving you. All the surgeries, and all the health issues I endured in 2015. All the tears shed in 2015 for the lost, broken, and for Hope Fellowship. All the hours spent counseling, encouraging others, and training my staff. All the time spent in prayer for Hope Fellowship and those who attend. All the sermons prepared, and worship sets planned and played. All the studying and preparing. All the graphic design and computer work… God is bringing a reward, gratification, and transition into the new He has waiting in my life!

Now turn that onto you. What have you sacrificed this past year? What have you gone through and still kept your faith. What did you obey day in and day out that God required? Obedience brings blessing! God is telling you today that YOU WILL have much reward for your efforts. He sees all and is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

Please don’t give up in doing good. We will receive a reward. People go to work to receive a reward in the form of a paycheck. There are so many examples of preparing and doing things, that in time, will produce something of value.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

That is why keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout the year keeps our focus where it should be. This helps us to keep on keeping on in spite of our circumstances. It reminds us that God is fighting for us and our situation is not going unnoticed. God sees our situation and He is MIGHTY to save! He is in the “saving business!” It is His speciality.

It is amazing the benefits we receive when we turn our eyes upon Jesus and keep our gaze there. Distractions grow strangely dim, they can’t help it. Nothing compares to the light, the powerful love God pours into us when our focus turns to Him.

So, keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t be distracted by the things of the world.

Keep running. Don’t look back. Fix your eyes on Jesus and run with all your might for the finish line. Rejoice in Who you are looking at.

T. E. Marsh wrote on the fullness that is in Christ Jesus.

This a paraphrase of what he wrote:

•In Christ there is full acceptance, therefore do not doubt Him.

•In Christ there is peace, therefore trust Him.

•In Christ there is life, therefore abide in Him.

•In Christ there is blessing, therefore delight in Him.

•In Christ there is light, therefore follow Him.

•In Christ there is power, therefore wait on Him.

•In Christ there is all truth, therefore learn from Him.

•In Christ there is grace, therefore receive from Him.

•In Christ there is joy, therefore rejoice in Him.

•In Christ there is unlimited wealth, therefore depend on Him.

•In Christ there is strength, therefore lean on Him.

This is Who you are looking at! All these attributes and so much more. This is real hope for the new year. Everything we need, we have in Christ.

He has all the hope, all the love, all the acceptance, all the grace, all the power, all the strength, all the wisdom, all the patience, all the guidance, all the encouragement, all the joy, all the endurance, all the gentleness, all the forgiveness, all the determination, all the strength, and all the blessing that we need.

The Lord Jesus has already run the race for you. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, and we will run well. Keep your eye on the prize, Jesus, in 2016 and beyond.

Today, if you haven’t placed your gaze upon Jesus, now is the time. Set yourself up to look in the right direction. There is no better place to stare at then in the light of His glory and grace!

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

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God is bigger than my Fears

God is bigger than my Fears

Do you have big problems? How big is your God? What is your view of God and how He can help you in your life? We can be surrounded by circumstances, fear, self-pity, relationship struggles, financial hardships, health issues, and so much more. When we look at the issues and worry and fret about them, they become bigger and God becomes smaller. How big is your God?

One can watch the news or read a news paper and see so much evil of people being brutally killed, we see terrible crimes, and horrible despicable things happening all over the world. Is God bigger then all of that?

This is the first of a new series, “God is BIGGER!” We need to remind ourselves of Who God is and what He is capable of doing. Our problems are no match for our powerful God!

There are many Bible stories of God showing how BIG He really is and what He did for the people who cried out to Him.

Daniel expressed how awesome God is with his words after God showed him the dream of the king and it’s interpretation.

Daniel 2:20 – 23 NKJV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king’s demand.

Wisdom and might are God’s. Times and seasons are His. God removes kings (leaders) and raises them up. God gives His wisdom and knowledge to those who are wise and seeking it. God reveals deep and secret things. God knows what is in the dark, and light dwells in Him. He answers those who call to Him.

Jesus moved with compassion and healed many and raised the dead.

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said,  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

“With God all things are possible!” Not just some things, but all things! What looks impossible to you is possible with God. Nothing can stump God or make Him wonder if He can fix it. He is the great physician. He is all knowing and all powerful.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

In the book of Job we read:

Job 26:5 – 14 TLB
The dead stand naked, trembling before God in the place where they go. God stretches out heaven over empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds are not split by the weight. He shrouds his throne with his clouds. He sets a boundary for the ocean, yes, and a boundary for the day and for the night. The pillars of heaven tremble at his rebuke. And by his power the sea grows calm; he is skilled at crushing its pride! The heavens are made beautiful by his Spirit; he pierces the swiftly gliding serpent. These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who then can withstand his thunder?

All people will have to stand before God and give an account of their lives. What will you say about yours to a God who “stretches out the heaven over the empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing? Who makes it rain, and who made the oceans and set their boundaries?”

If the God of heaven can do all that, He is BIG ENOUGH for any situation in your life. I love that God can do all of that and yet He created us and cares for us personally.

Now that we have painted a picture of how powerful God is, let’s look at what He can overcome in your life! In this series we will look at how God is bigger and more powerful to help bring breakthrough in many areas of your life if you will let Him. Let’s start today by looking at Fear.

GOD IS BIGGER THAN MY FEARS

Fear, we all have to deal with it, sometimes everyday, in our life. Fear can paralyze us if we allow it too. Fear does serve a useful purpose in that it is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But if we allow it to rule above our faith, and what God wants us to do for His Kingdom, the devil wins. Remember that the devil is full of fear.

I’ve heard the saying, “Fear is nothing more then faith in the devil.” Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever have faith in the devil! We are serving the enemy when we fear and pull away when God wants us to push forward and persevere and expect a breakthrough.

It’s amazing what we lose in life by listening to fear instead of listening to God. Choose to listen and obey God’s voice and not your fears. You will gain so much and stay on the right path.

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. ~ Joyce Meyer

Everyone struggles with fear! Fear is a spirit!

2 Timothy 1:7 NJKV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

FEAR is something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain whether the threat is real or imagined! (dictionary.com)

The word “fear” in this text is translated in the Greek as “timidity.” God doesn’t want us to be timid. We get timid and pull away instead of pressing forward and taking the land.

What fear can cause
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size and opinion of man.
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size of your problem.
Fear can cause us to lead people in the wrong direction.
Fear causes us to stay quiet when we should clearly speak up.
Fear causes us to be passive about an issue that The Lord has clearly brought to our attention.
Fear causes us to seek consensus rather than really seeking the voice of The Lord.
Fear causes us to not engage the broken, the hurting, the misfits and the neglected.
Fear causes us to refuse to embrace change. (Fear of the unknown)
Fear causes us to try and control things and take matters into our own hands rather than trusting The Lord and trusting others.
Fear causes us to conceal sin and shame in our lives when God’s Word is so clear that we should ask others for help.
Fear causes us to seek the easy decision, what’s comfortable rather than seeking the right one.
Fear makes us choose wrong choices.

So what do we do with our fear? I don’t know how you have dealt with fear in your past, but it is my heart to help you overcome any fear, and to realize God is bigger than anything that comes against you.

How to overcome fear

1. Overcome fear with faith.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

A.W. Tozer said, “Fear is of the flesh and panic is of the Devil.”

It seems when we entertain thoughts of fear, and allow it to settle in our spirit, panic will set in. Many people have had panic attacks in their life all due to fear. Most of the time the fear is something we think will happen and not a factual outcome.

The Bible says, that Satan is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He roars that he might make us afraid. The roar of a lion can actually paralyze its prey causing it to be its easy target. If Satan can create fear in us, we become an easier prey for him to destroy.

God offers us faith as Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Everyone is given the measure of faith as a born again Christian. You have faith, you don’t need to pray for it. I don’t need to pray for faith, I just need to use the faith that I have. The more I use the faith that I have, the stronger it will get. Faith can grow and the only way it grows is if you use it. Faith is a powerful force that resides on the inside of our spirit. When it is released tremendous things can happen.

We have to have faith to get up in the morning. We have to have faith to raise our children, or drive in traffic, or get married and stay married. So also we need faith to overcome our fears. Faith is a decision we make about where we are going to put our trust. Our trust has to be in God and His Word. He is for you and not against you. He has great plans for you. He brings opportunities for you to walk in and wants you to walk in them fearlessly.

There are times I feel anointed to preach the Word of God, then there are times. I may be fearful or don’t sense God’s anointing that I have to step……. into it by faith and God always meets me and helps me to get to where I need to be.

We can release our faith in three different ways: by praying, by saying, and by doing. Stop saying how you feel or think and start saying what God says about your situation. Allow your faith to arise in times of being afraid. The shield of faith is your best weapon to overcome the lies and roars of the enemy.

2. Confront your fear.

What we cannot perceive, predict, understand or explain, creates in us an unknown fear. That is why children are afraid of the dark and cautious of strangers over which they have no control. We need to learn how to confront our fears. Again, “Knowledge is power.” Once we understand what the core issue is, it decreases its hold on our life and the fear subsides.

Sometimes when we go through fearful experiences, we fail to analyze it. Understanding what was previously unknown can go a long way to dispelling fear. Understanding a problem is 90% of the solution.

Be determined to overcome and confront what is making you fearful. You can never overcome anything you don’t confront! We can fear our past, or fear of natural disasters, fear of relationships, or fear of a new job or opportunity. When we choose not to confront, the fear controls you and your decisions.

Confrontation is not usually pleasant or comfortable. Most people don’t want to confront issues in their life. They would rather live with it, allowing it to rule them, instead of overcoming and pressing forward with out the bondage of it all. But when someone has confronted issues in their life, and overcome them once and for all, they look back and ask themselves, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago.” You see now they are walking in freedom instead of the bondage the fear or their flesh had on them.

It is a night and day difference of being paralyzed by your issues and trying to live your life from day to day in struggle and misery, then to confront the issues and decide you want to change, (and be determined to change) and walking out the other side as an overcomer in liberty and power. It’s your choice: Fear and bondage vs. Freedom and power!

3. Be courageous.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but courage is actually forward motion in the presence of fear.

God wants us to be strong and courageous. He spoke this to Joshua many times before he crossed over the water to possess the promised land.

Joshua 1:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Joshua was just getting ready to face the giants in the land and to possess the promises God gave Moses forty years earlier. He needed courage to be encouraged to go even in the face of any fears he may have experienced.

Hebrews 13:6 Amplified Bible
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

What can man do to me? Our flesh screams daily for being comfortable. Our spirit should be tenacious to overcome our flesh and to press forward with the new God has waiting for us.

The Webster dictionary speaks of being encouraged as: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.” This is what we need to do for ourselves. We need to encourage ourself in the Lord. I have written on this in my article, “How To Encourage Yourself In The Lord.” It is the number one article on my Blog. Daily I have people reading that article and they found it by searching the internet on “How To Encourage Yourself.” Everyone of us need to be encouraged daily. If we lose our courage, we have lost the war.

Courageous is possessing or characterized by courage; brave (dictionary.com). We need to have brave hearts in this journey of life. Anyone can give up and retreat. It takes a courageous person to press on in the midst of fear or discouragement.

4. Ask for God’s peace to reign supreme.

John 14:27 Amplified Bible
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

God has given us His peace. It is one of the fruit of the the Spirit. We already have it. Allow it to grow in your life. “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”

There are times it comes right down to our choices. Do we choose to be fearful and intimidated, or do we choose to walk in God’s peace and assurance that He never leaves us and will take care of us. If he takes care of the sparrow, surely He watches over you and I!

Luke 12:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.”

God doesn’t want us to walk in intimidation. He wants us to walk in boldness and to have our spirits be at peace.

Philippians 4:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

5. Confront the devil and cast him out!

Never let fear fool you into thinking there is nothing you could do about it. Sometimes by the grace of God, with a little effort you can put an end to that danger. You must have an active engagement with the problem, or in other words take precautionary measure. If you fear that your children may catch polio, then get them vaccinated.

Don’t allow anything, or anybody to rob you of your God-given peace! The enemy can’t do anything to us, only if we let him. His biggest weapon he uses against us is our own mind and what we think. So he will fill your mind with doom and gloom. He will tell you that there is no hope. These are the times we confront the devil and cast him out, and shake him off! Amen!

In order to overcome fear brought about by Satan you must have a bold confrontation with him. Jesus did this many times when dealing with and casting out evil spirits.

Col. 2:15 Amplified Bible
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”

You must realize the fact that Satan is real, but a defeated foe. We will overcome when we take our authority in the name of Jesus. For greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

God is bigger than any fear you may face. Remind yourself of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” His spirit lives in us! God is big enough for anything you are going through.

You may be facing…
Fear of the unknown = God is bigger
Past hurts or failures = God is bigger
Self-pity = God is bigger
Relationships = God is bigger
Sin = God is bigger
Disease = God is bigger
doubts = God is bigger
Experiencing a storm – God is bigger

Be strong and courageous and get a glimpse of who God is in your life. He is Bigger than anything and everything you face!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Overcoming Door Phobia (Dealing With Fear)

Door Phobia (Overcoming Our Fears)Fear, we all have to deal with it, sometimes everyday, in our life. Fear can paralyze us if we allow it too. Fear does serve a useful purpose in that it is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But if we allow it to rule above our faith, and what God wants us to do for His Kingdom, the devil wins. Remember that the devil is full of fear.

I’ve heard the saying, “Fear is nothing more then faith in the devil.” Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever have faith in the devil! We are serving the enemy when we fear and pull away when God wants us to push forward and persevere and expect a breakthrough.

Everyone struggles with fear! Fear is a spirit!

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

The word “fear” in this text is translated in the Greek as “timidity.” God doesn’t want us to be timid. We get timid and pull away instead of pressing forward and taking the land.

Fears is something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain whether the threat is real or imagined!

What fear can cause

Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size and opinion of man.
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size of your problem.
Fear can cause us to lead people in the wrong direction.
Fear causes us to stay quiet when we should clearly speak up.
Fear causes us to be passive about an issue that The Lord has clearly brought to our attention.
Fear causes us to seek consensus rather than really seeking the voice of The Lord.
Fear causes us to not engage the broken, the hurting, the misfits and the neglected.
Fear causes us to refuse to embrace change. (Fear of the unknown)
Fear causes us to try and control things and take matters into our own hands rather than trusting The Lord and trusting others.
Fear causes us to conceal sin and shame in our lives when God’s Word is so clear that we should ask others for help.
Fear causes us to seek the easy decision, what’s comfortable rather than seeking the right one.
Fear makes us choose wrong choices.

This fear phobia is America’s number two-health problem. It makes us tense and can cause depression. Many diseases have their roots in fear and depression. According to medical experts, stress, induce by fear, can easily lead to peptic ulcers, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, indigestion, liver disorders, etc. Fear is the most destructive force in the world today. “Fear, worry and depression have killed more people than all the wars combined; have brought about more health problems than all the germs put together and have been responsible for more failures than those caused by economic imbalances.” (christian-faith.com)

So what do we do with our fear? I don’t know how you have dealt with fear in your past, but it is my heart to help you overcome any fear, especially if it is a phobia to walk through an open door of opportunity.

How to overcome fear

1. Overcome fear with faith.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

A.W. Tozer said, “Fear is of the flesh and panic is of the Devil.”

It seems when we entertain thoughts of fear, and allow it to settle in our spirit, panic will set in. Many people have had panic attacks in their life all due to fear. Most of the time the fear is something we think will happen and not a factual outcome.

Example:
These past few weeks have been pretty trying on me because of having a gallbladder attack and then having surgery to remove my gallbladder. I was taken to the ER twice during this process. On the second time I was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. It was after the surgery and my fear was that I might be having a heart attack or a blood clot. The more the pain increased, the more my fear grew, and the less able I was to breath. It zapped me of any strength and my teen daughters had to get me into my car and then drive me to the ER. Thank God someone was walking into the ER as my daughter drove up to the ER doors and they helped me get into a wheel chair and then into the ER. Now, you have to know something about my mother’s health history to really understand my fears. My mother had a stent put into her heart in November of 1995 and then a week later I had to drive her to the ER with shortness of breath and chest pains. She did have a blood clot and they had to do open heart surgery on her and she never came off the Heart and Lung machine and died. So my fear on this day I was taken to the ER was that I was going to die just like my Mother did almost twenty years previous. All the signs were there, and the more I was in ER over this the more my fears grew. I couldn’t make my breathing calm down and even after they gave me some pain medicine through the IV, I still felt the pain and my breathing was still poor. Friends came into my room and I really thought I was seeing them for the last time. My husband came in and I wept and could hardly breathe because my emotions were getting the better of me all because my symptoms were manifesting outwardly and it became fact to me. Ultimately they did some tests and I found out I had a hernia from the Gallbladder surgery and the hernia will bring on chest pains and shortness of breath.

All this said, I was thinking I was going to die because it had all the signs of what happened to my mother, but the factual outcome was that I had a hernia. Knowledge is power and it eased my mind after I was home and experienced these same symptoms again. I knew it was the hernia but to be truthful it really felt like a slight heart attack. My faith was low and fear was supreme in my thoughts. We act on our fears. There is no question about that. When I experience that pain again, I have to start talking to myself and telling myself that “I will live a long life!” That “God is not finished with me yet!” That “there is more work for me to do with my family and ministry.” I say even out loud that “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” and that “God is healing this hernia, and the Gallbladder surgery. This helps my faith to grow and fear leaves.

The Bible says, that Satan is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He roars that he might make us afraid. The roar of a lion can actually paralyze its prey causing it to be its easy target. If Satan can create fear in us, we become an easier prey for him to destroy.

God offers us faith as Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Everyone is given the measure of faith as a born again Christian. You have faith, you don’t need to pray for it. I don’t need to pray for faith, I just need to use the faith that I have. The more I use the faith that I have, the stronger it will get. Faith can grow and the only way it grows is if you use it. Faith is a powerful force that resides on the inside of our spirit. When it is released tremendous things can happen.

We have to have faith to get up in the morning. We have to have faith to raise our children, or drive in traffic, or get married and stay married. So also we need faith to overcome our fears. Faith is a decision we make about where we are going to put our trust. Our trust has to be in God and His Word. He is for you and not against you. He has great plans for you. He brings opportunities for you to walk in and wants you to walk in them fearlessly.

There are times I feel anointed to preach the Word of God, then there are times. I may be fearful or don’t sense God’s anointing that I have to step into it by faith and God always meets me and helps me to get to where I need to be.

We can release our faith in three different ways: by praying, by saying, and by doing. Stop saying how you feel or think and start saying what God says about your situation. Allow your faith to arise in times of being afraid. The shield of faith is your best weapon to overcome the lies and roars of the enemy.

2. Confront your fear.

What we cannot perceive, predict, understand or explain, creates in us an unknown fear. That is why children are afraid of the dark and cautious of strangers over which they have no control. We need to learn how to confront our fears. Again, “Knowledge is power.” Once we understand what the core issue is, it decreases its hold on our life and the fear subsides.

Sometimes when we go through fearful experiences, we fail to analyze it. Understanding what was previously unknown can go a long way to dispelling fear. Understanding a problem is 90% of the solution.

Be determined to overcome and confront what is making you fearful. You can never overcome anything you don’t confront! We can fear our past, or fear of natural disasters, fear of relationships, or fear of a new job or opportunity. When we choose not to confront, the fear controls you and your decisions.

Confrontation is not usually pleasant or comfortable. Most people don’t want to confront issues in their life. They would rather live with it, allowing it to rule them, instead of overcoming and pressing forward with out the bondage of it all. But when someone has confronted issues in their life, and overcome them once and for all, they look back and ask themselves, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago.” You see now they are walking in freedom instead of the bondage the fear or their flesh had on them.

It is a night and day difference of being paralyzed by your issues and trying to live your life from day to day in struggle and misery, then to confront the issues and decide you want to change, (and be determined to change) and walking out the other side as an overcomer in liberty and power. It’s your choice: Fear and bondage vs. Freedom and power!

3. Be courageous.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but courage is actually forward motion in the presence of fear.

God wants us to be strong and courageous. He spoke this to Joshua many times before he crossed over the water to possess the promised land.

Joshua 1:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Joshua was just getting ready to face the giants in the land and to possess the promises God gave Moses forty years earlier. He needed courage to be encouraged to go even in the face of any fears he may have experienced.

Hebrews 13:6 Amplified Bible
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

What can man do to me? Our flesh screams daily for being comfortable. Our spirit should be tenuous to overcome our flesh and to press forward with the new God has waiting for us.

The Webster dictionary speaks of being encouraged as: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.” This is what we need to do for ourselves. We need to encourage ourself in the Lord. I have written on this in my article, “How To Encourage Yourself In The Lord.” It is the number one article on my Blog. Daily I have people reading that article and they found it by searching the internet on “How To Encourage Yourself.” Everyone of us need to be encouraged daily. If we lose our courage, we have lost the war.

Courageous is “possessing or characterized by courage; brave” (dictionary.com). We need to have brave hearts in this journey of life. Anyone can give up and retreat. It takes a courageous person to press on in the midst of fear or discouragement.

4. Ask for God’s peace to reign supreme.

John 14:27 Amplified Bible
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

God has given us His peace. It is one of the fruit of the the Spirit. We already have it. Allow it to grow in your life. “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”

There are times it comes right down to our choices. Do we choose to be fearful and intimidated, or do we choose to walk in God’s peace and assurance that He never leaves us and will take care of us. If he takes care of the sparrow, surely He watches over you and I!

Luke 12:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.”

God doesn’t want us to walk in intimidation. He wants us to walk in boldness and to have our spirits be at peace.

Philippians 4:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

5. Confront the devil and cast him out!

Never let fear fool you into thinking there is nothing you could do about it. Sometimes by the grace of God, with a little effort you can put an end to that danger. You must have an active engagement with the problem, or in other words take precautionary measure. If you fear that your children may catch polio, then get them vaccinated.

Don’t allow anything, or anybody to rob you of your God-given peace! There is a gospel song that sings; “Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. In the name of Jesus, shake the devil off.” This is what we need to do when troubled by the enemy. He can’t do anything to us, only if we let him. His biggest weapon he uses against us is our own mind and what we think. So he will fill your mind with doom and gloom. He will tell you that there is no hope. These are the times we confront the devil and cast him out, and shake him off! Amen!

In order to overcome fear brought about by Satan you must have a bold confrontation with him. Jesus did this many times when dealing with and casting out evil spirits.

Col. 2:15 Amplified Bible
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”

You must realize the fact that Satan is real, but a defeated foe. We will overcome when we take our authority in the name of Jesus. For greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

You must read and know what the Bible teaches about Satan and his evil devices and also about the authority of the believer over Satan. Believers, united with the Lord Jesus Christ, have the same authority to claim and use which our Lord used against wicked spirits.

Some Devices the enemy uses:

a. He blinds us.

2 Corinthians 4:3 – 4 NKJV
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

The enemy wants to blind the unsaved and the saved from the Truth of God’s word and who He is.

b. Gets people hooked on the “Things in/of the world.”

1 John 2:15 – 17 NKJV
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

When it comes to the world we are tempted in three areas: The lust of the flesh, The lust of the eyes, and The Pride of Life. There are many examples in the Bible that show exactly this. Eve was tempted in Genesis 3:6 and it shows all three of these devices the enemy used on her:

Genesis 3:6 NKJV

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Eve saw that the fruit was good, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise,” this is the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Our flesh is constantly saying, “Feed me, give me what I want!” In this case, Eve looked and saw that the fruit was good and pleasant and desirable to the point of disobeying God and pursuing action to satisfy those thoughts. This is how the devil tempts us with the things of the world. Everyday those temptations are clamoring for our attention. Be determined to seek God over the matter and walk in the Spirit instead of satisfying the flesh.

Jesus is another example. In Matthew 4:1 – 11 we read how Jesus was “…led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” He had fasted for forty days and nights and was very hungry. His flesh longed for food and then the tempter came onto the scene. I believe this is in the Bible to show us how even Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted in all three areas the enemy uses but in this case, Jesus didn’t fall for his devices.

Today the devil uses these tactics through Immorality (lust of the flesh), materialism (lust of the eyes), and arrogance (pride of life) that’s why we need to be in the Word of God and in prayer to stay close to God. Even the strongest Christian can fall. Don’t be deceived into thinking you are strong and would never fall away. This is pride in itself. Always have a humble heart that wants to please God instead of your flesh!

Jesus came against these devices of the enemy but first he spent time in prayer and fasting. Shouldn’t we at least spend time in prayer and reading God’s word, and fasting if need be, to overcome these things in our own life. It is a fight for you soul. Who is going to win?

c. Persecute those who are trying to do right.

Wow, seems we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t, right? Wrong! We should count it all joy when we experience trials and persecution. We are a threat against the enemy! I would rather be a threat to the enemy then to be fearful and passive and live a mediocre life.

1 Peter 5:8 – 9 NKJV
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

We can defend against this by encouraging one another and building each other up. Don’t isolate yourself and think you will overcome, no that is a trap of the enemy too. Be determined to fellowship with other believers and go to church. Keep on keeping on and growing in Christ. Yield to God’s Holy Spirit and be willing to change. Don’t grow weary in doing good. Don’t give up!

d. Get believers to enjoy evil company.

1 Cor. 15:33 NKJV
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

There is one thing to try and win an unbeliever to Christ, and another to just hang around them and eventually enjoy doing what they do and becoming what they are. They will corrupt you. You will feel pressure to do what they are doing. It takes a strong fish to swim against the current. Take a look around you. Are most of your friends non-believers? Chances are you will follow and enjoy their company more then following Christ. Be aware of this device.

e. Discourage believers through unChristlike Christians.

Is there such a thing? Yes there is. Today we call them “worldly Christians.” These are those who believe in Christ but fail to follow after Him. They would rather take on the behavior of the world then to die to their flesh and live for Jesus.

You know you are a worldly Christian if you consistently miss several Sunday services on a given month. You are a worldly Christian if you swear a lot and take the Lord’s name in vain. You are a worldly Christian if you don’t want to come to church drunk. You are a worldly Christian when the world does contrary to the Word of God and it doesn’t bother you.

There is even another name for worldly Christians. They are called, “Backsliders.” If you have missed a few Sunday services and then attend one, then miss three and then attend one, and miss a month, and then attend one service, you are a backslider. I am sure I have offended many already by stating such. I really don’t care. Your comfort is not my priority. Your salvation is!

You see we deceive ourselves when we think we are okay and don’t have to read our Bible, pray, or attend church on a regular basis. God has placed these things in His Word to warn us for a reason. I know I will self-destruct if I rely on my own understanding and following the ways of the world. I will lead my self astray, but I will think I am totally okay and can handle it. Is that you? Have you said those words? If so, you can change and correct this immediately by making a decision in your heart to stay close to Jesus and hunger after Him. When we do, we will hunger to read His Word, we will hunger to pray and fellowship with God, we will hunger and desire to attend church on a more regular basis. We will hunger to live a life pleasing to God, Amen!

I have seen too many “worldly Christians” come and go from churches and lose out on the best God has for them, all because they have chosen poorly and chose the ways of the world and not the ways of God’s Kingdom.

Matthew 24:12 NKJV
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Has your love grown cold for God and His ways? Chances are you started to be influenced by the world. Don’t allow your love for God to grow cold. Nurture it daily. When worldly Christians or unChristlike Christians come up to an on fire Christian, they usually try and speak down about attending church, or give lame excuses why they weren’t at church. You might say, “Pastor Kris, aren’t you being a little to harsh? No! I have a passion to see you come back to the Lord. Don’t ever think you are immune from backsliding. We all can fall from being close to Jesus just by turning and walking down a wrong road. God is a gentleman and will give you free choice. He wants you to live for and serve Him out of love, not out of obligation. We stay close to God because we love Him and we realize staying close to Him eliminates most of our problems. We have trials, but at least they won’t be because of some stupid choice we did relying on our own understanding instead of leaning on and relying on God!

Why would I talk about backsliding and being a worldly Christian when I am talking about our fears and overcoming them? Far too often people will be fearful and think they cannot overcome and then turn slowly away from God and the things of God. Don’t let this be you! Be determined to be strong and courageous and face your fears. Often we have to do things afraid. It doesn’t mean we don’t have courage, quite the opposite, it means we do have courage in spite of our fears.

Do you think the children of Israel, when possessing the promise land with Joshua, had many fears even though there was a huge door of opportunity in front of them? Of course they did, but this time, compared to the first time with Moses, they had a leader who was obedient and listened to the Lord for every step they were to take.

I want to share with you that that is my heart: to be a leader who walks in obedience and listens to what the Lord tells me for every step. I may not be perfect, and you may not be either, but we are in this journey together overcoming our fears and possessing the land God directs us to!

From one courageous determined believer to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Door Phobia

Door PhobiaThis is the year of the Open Door. How exciting to know that we will come to open doors of opportunity in our life this year. God is moving and has a plan to use you in building His Kingdom on earth. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to advance. He wants a fire to burn in our bellies and a passion in our hearts to be closer to Him and to reach others for Christ.

Big opportunities will be placed before you. What will you do? We can look at these open doors and think, “This is too big for me to even think about doing.” or “I have never done this before, what do I think I am doing?” I understand because I have thought those thoughts many times even in these past few years.

Most of the time we don’t believe in ourselves in a Godly way. We are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Start believing God can use you in a mighty way and all hell better beware once a Saint knows who they are in Christ and how mighty their God is!

The enemy wants you to think less about yourself. He wants you to be filled with fear so that you will not accomplish what is set before you by God. The devil knows we are threats to his kingdom and by filling our minds and hearts with fear, which is one of his biggest weapons of attack, we won’t fulfill the assignment given by God.

1 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

This is what we need to remind ourselves when fear wells up in our hearts. God is not the author of fear, no, quit opposite. He is the author of power and love and a sound mind. You know it is the enemy when you get all worked up over it. This verse in 1 Timothy shows that God has given us power to overcome any fear! We don’t have to put up with it, but we can resist it.

When facing a door of opportunity fear can grip our hearts and doubts can set in our minds. In this world there are many fears or phobias. I searched on the internet and found this list from Wikipedia Phobia list that is really a small list compared to others, but it sure sums up crazy fears.

Here are just the phobias that start with the letter “A”

A

• Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning

• Achluophobia – fear of darkness

• Acrophobia – fear of heights

• Agoraphobia, agoraphobia without history of panic disorder – fear of places or events where escape is impossible or when help is unavailable. Fear of open spaces or of being in public places. Fear of leaving a safe place

• Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse

• Agrizoophobia – fear of wild animals

• Agyrophobia – fear of crossing the road

• Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)

• Ailurophobia – fear of cats

• Algophobia – fear of pain

• Amychophobia – fear of being scratched

• Androphobia – fear of men

• Anthophobia – fear of flowers

• Anthropophobia – fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia

• Aquaphobia – fear of water. Distinct from hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies

• Arachnophobia – fear of spiders

• Astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning

• Atychiphobia – fear of failure

• Autophobia – fear of being alone or isolated or of one’s self

• Automatonophobia – fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being

• Aviophobia, aviatophobia – fear of flying

These fears prevent people from riding in cars or planes, from having relationships, or even experiencing life to the fullest. All because of being afraid. Fears can be based on something real or they might be just blown up in our minds. Either way, it is vital to overcome them to walk through the open doors God will place before you.

Phobia:“a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.” (dictionary.com)

Do you have a Door phobia? Fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? Fear of people criticizing you? Fearful of the giants in the land? You are not alone. In Numbers chapter thirteen God told Moses to send out twelve spies to spy out the promise land. They went and in verse 23 they cut down a branch of just one cluster of grapes and had to carry it between two men on a pole. The land flowed with milk and honey. It was bountiful with blessing. They came back and reported to Moses what they found.

Numbers 13:25 – 27 NKJV

“And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.”

Then the the bad report came, and the “buts” came into their conversation… “But… there are giants in the land and the cities are fortified and very large; they started to tell of all the reasons why they couldn’t take the land. Then the “ites” were listed:  the descendants of Anak and the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites.

This is often how we deal with an open door opportunity. We say things like, “I can’t” or “But…” or “I know the Bible says, but….” Excuses never make you advance. Excuses are crutches that prevent your promotion. Excuses prevented the Israelites from obtaining the promise land right away. They leaned heavily on their “crutches” and played the “We are not able” card. They allowed their phobias to win and the door shut for them to walk in their promise land.

Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. They quieted the people and shared why they should take the land.

“Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30)

What a great report. It was a report full of faith!

They should have immediately went up to the battle and taken the land. What a pep talk! You and I are well able to take possession of the new open opportunity in front of us.

We are over-comers. We have God on our side, so who can be against us? No one!

Remember one of the keys to open doors is to be tenacious (Keys to Open Doors). Caleb was extremely tenacious. Caleb’s name means: “Forcible or to attack!” This was Caleb’s spirit. He knew who he was and who he represented. He knew the battle belonged to the Lord. He eagerly wanted to do his part and take the land that God was setting before them.

But… the rest of the spies, the naysayers, the excuse makers, the Door phobics said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we… the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature… we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:31 – 33)

Too often we think things to death and reason why we shouldn’t step out. We hide behind reason and facts instead of believing God is God and trusting Him at every step of walking into the open door. If it looks too hard or too tough we cringe or cower back in fear and throw excuses out to those who ask us why we are not doing what we said we felt God wanted us to do. Don’t let this be you! Have a different spirit like Joshua and Caleb.

Forty years later, after the phobic generation had passed away, Joshua and Caleb took what was rightfully theirs. It was out of their hand to go on their own. Maybe that is you. Maybe it was out of your hands to be able to walk through the open doors in your past, but now, things are different, things have changed, you are not the same person you use to be. You have allowed God to change you and rearrange your thinking. You see things through the eyes of faith and now believe God will give you the wings to go and fly through the open door of freedom, Amen!

Believe you can do what God has called you to do! He wouldn’t have called you, better yet, He wouldn’t have created you for the task if He knew you couldn’t succeed. That is not how God operates. He uses people to fulfill His purposes on earth. He used Esther to save the Jewish nation from being killed. He used Joseph to become second in command to bring food in a time of drought and starvation. God uses the Deborahs and the Joshuas, and the Elijahs, and the Marys (Jesus’ Mother) to bring salvation and hope into the world. Can God count on you too? Come on, step up to your open door, shed off any fears, and obtain the land!

Gideon is another example of someone who was very fearful but overcame his fears to do great and mighty things for God.

Judges 6:12 NKJV

“And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

The Angel of the LORD had an assignment to come and tell Gideon that he was a mighty man of valor and that God was with him. How awesome is that. What a powerful word! You would think Gideon’s response would be positive, but instead he said, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Gideon was looking at himself and what had happened in stead of God. I love the reply of the Angel, Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:14 NKJV)

God can do amazing things through you if you just say, “Here I am!” Some of you are so bored with your life. Start thinking amazing things. Dream dreams again. Resurrect the dreams God gave you. Don’t let them die. If God can do anything He can do it for you.

Gideon’s reply after the Angel said, “Go in this might of yours and you shall save Israel of the hand of the Midianites” was, “But…”

Judges 6:15 NKJV

“So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

He only saw himself through his own eyes and not what God saw him as. The messenger from God never harped on what Gideon thought he was, the messenger only proclaimed who he really was, A mighty man of valor!

We have to get our mind off of ourselves and what we think, and onto God and what He knows and tells us. We are mighty men and women of God created and positioned to do amazing things.

David, he found out what the uncircumcised philistines were saying and taunting the people of Israel. He was eager and able to take the giant. He quickly ran to the battle line and killed the Giant. He took back the land from the enemy and Israel prevailed!

Some of you have been promised big things, then you thought it to death. Fear and doubt set in your heart and you gave up or didn’t believe. We need to start agreeing with God and what He says we are. God would never put an open door in front of you knowing you couldn’t seize the opportunity. No, God places opportunity and open doors in front of us for us to walk through and take the land. He places us in places we never thought we would look at. Don’t allow your fears to prevent you from being what God created you to be.

1 Peter 5:9 Amplified Bible

“Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset — rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined]…”

When you start to feel fear, resist it immediately. Don’t dwell on it or reason with it. If you make the mistake of dwelling on your fears and start thinking about all the reasons why you can’t do what God is telling you to do, then it won’t be long before you develop a negative mindset that will keep you stuck where you are.

David knew he was to fight Goliath, a giant, and quickly moved to the battle. He didn’t take the time to think about it. He didn’t allow fear to grip his heart and talk himself out of it. He just did what he knew God wanted him to do. David said,

“What time I am afraid, I will…trust…in You” (Psalm 56:3)

We need to do as David said. When we start to feel concerned or phobic about something, roll it over to God and declare, “I will trust You Lord!”

So many people today are just sitting on the sidelines of life. They have tremendous potential on the inside, but they keep letting the enemy talk them out of doing what God wants them to do. Every time they get a vision and stand at the threshold of the open door, the enemy brings fear and they reason themselves out of pressing forward. Don’t let this be you. Instead, obey quickly. Resist fear and boldly embrace every blessing the Lord has in store for you!

We certainly don’t want to move in the flesh or out of God’s timing, but when God is moving, you can’t be afraid to move with Him. When God is moving, our job is to move with Him. Ever forward! Amen!

I am determined to take the land God brings me to. I have allowed my fears to hinder me long enough. Enough is enough! No place for mediocrity. No room for complacency. Only tenacious, bold, and committed in Jesus name!

Your tenacious sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

Sword of the Spirit

Sword of the SpiritWe are all in a constant battle. This battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness, against spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:10 – 18). 

It is Spiritual Warfare. You can’t punch the devil in the face. You can’t shoot him with a gun, or knock his teeth out. He is an evil spirit and you have to fight him in the spirit.

God has given us armor and weapons to fight. With weapons we go after the enemy, and with armor we are protected from the enemy. We need to know how to use our weapons and make sure we are wearing our armor on a regular basis.

Spiritual warfare for spiritual people. How many of you have had it with the enemy and you are ready to win the war? Maybe you have been living in offensive mode. It is time we live on the defense and pray for strategies against the devil through prayer to overcome and attack our enemy. Our biggest defense weapon we have is the Sword of the Spirit.

Eph. 6:17b Amplified Bible

“And take… the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” (furnished by the Spirit, Who inspired the writers of the Word of God.)

Sword of the Spirit

1.  Speak The Word With Power? 

2 Cor. 10:3 – 5 Amplified Bible

“For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”

“For the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.” This verse shows that strongholds start in our thought life. Use the Word and resist theories, imaginations, and reasonings.

The NKJV states that verse:

“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (II Corinthians 10:5 NKJV)”

We are to cast down any thought, argument or anything that tries to rise above who Christ is in your life! Using Your mouth as a weapon. Your words against the enemy are powerful because Jesus lives inside of each one of us. Jesus spoke with authority and power.

Luke 4:32 Amp

“And they were amazed at His teaching, for His word was with authority and ability and weight and power.”

The Word was in Jesus. He was the Word. He knew the authority He had and wasn’t afraid to use it. Far too often we as Christians are afraid to use our authority. We pull back when it comes to Spiritual warfare.

Listen, we have more power and authority in our little pinky then the devil thinks he has with all his legions of demons. We are the ones who give the enemy power and authority over us when we get fearful. Fear is a big factor in all of us. I know, because I struggle with it from time to time.

Don’t think of yourself as puny or unable to fight. We all can fight. We have to get the mindset that we are “In it to win it!” Retreat or giving up is not an option! Oh, the enemy speaks thoughts like, “You should just give up because you are not going to win.” We have to refuse to listen to his lies. It is a smoke screen. He is trying to give you all this drama of how things will unfold and he doesn’t even know because he is not God. He is not omnipresent. If he was, then he would be like God and he isn’t anything close to being like our Creator.

Wield your sword and speak God’s Word with power in you life. God’s word is powerful!

Hebrews 4:12  KJV

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The comparison of the Word of God to a sword is designed to show its power of penetrating the heart.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 AMP)

Ecc. 12:11 GNT

“The sayings of the wise are like the sharp sticks that shepherds use to guide sheep, and collected proverbs are as lasting as firmly driven nails. They have been given by God, the one Shepherd of us all.” 

Isaiah prophesied that God has called Jesus from the womb and that God has made Christ’s mouth like a sharp sword and a polished shaft.

Isaiah 49:1 – 2 GNT

“Listen to Me, distant nations, you people who live far away! Before I was born, the LORD chose Me and appointed Me to be his servant. He made my words as sharp as a sword. With his own hand he protected Me. He made Me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use.”

We can also see this in many other verses in Revelations.

Rev. 1:16 NKJV

“He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” 

Rev. 2:12 NKJV

“…These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.”

Rev. 2:16 NKJV

“Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

Rev. 19:15 NKJV

“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations…”

The idea is that of piercing, or penetrating; and the meaning here is, that the Word of God reaches the “heart” – the very center of action, and lays open the motives and feelings of the person.

It was common among the ancients to have a sword with two edges. The Roman sword was commonly made in this manner. The fact that it had two edges made it more easy to penetrate, as well as to cut with every way and direction.

Ever hear the saying, “Tongue lashing?” It expresses how the tongue can rebuke and hurt. The tongue is powerful. Who can tame the tongue? But in this case, the Sword of the Spirit is our tongue declaring the Word of God, which is empowered by the Holy Spirit, to cut like a two-edged sword to pierce deep and hard against the enemy.

2.  Fight against fear.

Fear is the devil’s biggest weapon he uses against us. If he can place fear in our hearts through thoughts in our mind, he knows it will paralyze us or even make us turn in retreat, or worse, give up all together.

Are you fearful? Are you afraid of failure? Afraid of what people think of you? Afraid of not measuring up? Afraid that you won’t have enough money to pay bills? Afraid of getting in trouble? We all have fears but we must remember fear ONLY comes from the devil.

2 Tim. 1:7 NKJV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

This verse tells us that fear is a spirit and that God doesn’t give this spirit of fear to us. What does God give to us? He gives power and love and a sound mind. These are all good things God gives us and much more. Fear can paralyze us if we let it.

Some fears or sources of our fear:

-Anxiety

-Burdens

-Heaviness

-Horror movies

-Superstition

-Irrational concerns

-Phobias

-Worry

Fear: “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid” (dictionary.com).

Courage: “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

Fear is eliminated when we wield our sword of the Spirit! Use your weapons against the enemy because those weapons are constantly available for our use daily.

Fear is often False Evidence Appearing Real. Sometimes it is Real evidence appearing real. Either way we can’t be shaken by our fears. We have a Mighty Warrior fighting for us in this battle. We will do our part and He will for sure do His. Our part is to stand firm in the face of our fears and press forward. Learn how to encourage yourself in God and conquer your fears. Sometimes we do things afraid, but in essence we are conquering our fears and overcoming them!

3. Weapons of our warfare.

Along with the Sword of the Spirit we have many more weapons we can use agains the enemy. I want to list them quickly and briefly talk about each one.

Some Weapons of our Warfare

Sword of the Spirit – Word of God (Luke 4:1 – 13)

Praise – Silences the enemy (Psalm 8:2)

Blood of Jesus (Rev. 12:3)

Prayer – to not pray is to surrender to satan (James 5:6)

Your Testimony (Rev. 12:13)

Power of the Holy Spirit expressed through His gifts (Eph. 5:18, 1 Cor. 12:8 – 10)

a. Discernment of gifts

b. Word of knowledge

c. Word of wisdom

d. Faith

e. Miracles

f. Healings

g. Tongues

7. The name of Jesus (John 14:13 – 14, 1 Cor. 6:11, Acts 4:30)

8. Fasting (Mark 9:28-29, Matthew 17: 21)

9. Walking in love (1 Cor. 13, Prov. 10:12, 17:9, 1 Peter 4:8)

10. Forgiveness (Matt. 6:14-15,  Matt. 18:18-35, Matt. 20:28,  Matt. 26:28,  John 20:23, Eph. 1:7,  Col. 1:14, 1 Peter 1:19-23, 1 John 1:9)

4. Arsenal or Ammo to use against the devil.

This is the fun part; sharing some powerful Scriptures that will help in overcoming the devil and living a victorious life! I will put them in categories to help you at a quick glance.

Authority over the Enemy:

Isaiah 54:17 NKJV

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me, Says the Lord.”

Isaiah 55:11 NKJV

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 59:19 NKJV

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

Matthew 10:8 NKJV

“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Matthew 16:19 NKJV

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Mark 6:7 NKJV

“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.”

Luke 10:19 NKJV

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Eph. 1:19 – 21 NKJV

“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

Eph. 6:10 – 18 (Armor of God)

Colossians 2:15 NKJV

“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Rev. 1:18 NKJV

“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

For Strength and declaration of victory:

1 Sam. 17:45 NKJV

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”

2 Sam. 22:33, 35,  and 40 NKJV

“God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose against me.”

2 Kings 6:16 – 17 NKJV

“So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Psalm 18:29 NKJV

“For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall.”

Psalm 149:6 – 9 NKJV

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints.”

Isaiah 41:15 NKJV

“Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff.”

Isaiah 50:7 NKJV

“For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”

Jeremiah 23:29 NKJV

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”

For those in Authority:

Psalm 37:23

Proverbs 21:1

1 Timothy 1:1, 2

For the nations:

Joshua 1:3

Psalms 2:8, 68:32 – 35, 108:1 – 5

Jeremiah 1:10, 15:19 – 21, 51:21

Daniel 12:3

Micah 4:13

For Guidance:

Psalms 34:19, 37:23 – 24, 123:1 – 2

Proverbs 3:5 – 6

Isaiah 30:21

2 Cor. 5:7

For Peace of mind:

Duet. 33:27

Psalm 31:24

Isaiah 26:3

John 14:27

1 Cor. 2:16b

2 Cor. 10:5

Eph. 2:14 – 15

Phil. 4:7 – 9

For protection:

Duet. 28:6 – 7

Isaiah 54:17

Psalm 5:11, 17:7 – 9, 91:1 – 7, 10

Proverbs 2:8

For restoration and security:

Joel 2:18 – 32

Psalms 31:8, 32:7

Proverbs 10:30, 12:3, 21,  18:10

For healing:

Exodus 15:26

Psalms 103:3

Proverbs 3:7 – 8, 4:20 – 22

Isaiah 53:5

Matthew 4:23, 9:28 – 29, 15:26 – 28

Luke 9:11

1 Peter 2:24

1 John 3:8

3 John 2

For dealing with an abusive husband:

Leviticus 26:3 – 13

Duet. 8:7 – 10

2 Chron. 15:7

Psalms 31:20 – 21, 32:7, 91, 144:11, 145:18

Ezekiel 28:24 – 26

For Sleeplessness:

Matthew 11:28 – 30

Job 11:18 – 19

Psalms 4:8, 127:2

Proverbs 3:24

Mark 4:37 – 39

For provision and finances:

Duet. 8:18

1 Kings 17:2 – 4, 8 – 9

2 Chron. 32:8

Prov. 3:2, 10:3, 11:23 and 25, 12:12, 13:21, 22, 25

Isaiah 54:5

Malachi 3:10 – 11

Matthew 6:25, 32

Luke 6:38

For a new job:

Deut. 28:3 – 14, 31:8

Joshua 1:3, 5 – 9

2 Chron. 15:7

Psalms 1:3

For weariness and depression:

Palms 28:7 – 9, 30:11 – 12, 42:5, 55:18

Isaiah 40:28 – 32, 41:10, 43:4, 18 – 19, 45:2 – 3

For children:

1 Kings 4:29

Psalms 127:3 – 5, 144:12

Isaiah 11:2, 43:5, 49:25, 54:13, 59:21

Jeremiah 29:11 – 14, 31:16 – 17

Daniel 1:9, 20

Eph. 1:17, 6:4

Phil. 4:19

Col. 1:9 – 12

James 1:2

For wayward family members:

Psalm 140:1 – 2, 4, 8

Isaiah 59:1

Jeremiah 33:26

2 Cor. 4:3 – 4

2 Tim. 2:25b – 26

To receive Jesus as Lord:

John 3:7 – 8, 16; 6:37, 10:10b, 14:6

Romans 3:23, 10:9 – 13

1 John 1:9

There are so many more scriptures for arsenal and weapons. One thing is for sure we, as the Army of God, are equipped, powerful, and well able to take the enemy because of Who we are in Christ.

Don’t be afraid to wield your sword. Be aggressive at the enemy. He is out to destroy you so don’t hesitate to use your weapons on him.

Your fellow comrade,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

2013 – A New Year For A New You (Part 2 – Obedience Brings Blessing)

2013 - A New Year For A New You (Part 2 - Obedience Brings Blessing)2013 is here! We have walked in it now for several days. There is an expectancy I sense within myself, and so many people I have met. 2013 will be a powerful, abundant year of blessings and breakthroughs. Do you believe it? I sure do.

What are you believing for this year? Allow your faith to arise in your spirit that God will do great things. He is for you! He is on your side!

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”

Ephesians 3:20 (Message)

“God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

There are no exceptions to this promise. God can and WILL do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think. Think BIG for this new year. When the dream is bigger then you are, or what you can accomplish, it makes you rely on God and follow His leading.

Let’s be those who dream for the glory of God! I love the Lord so much, and I have seen Him do impossible things that were bigger then my wildest dreams. You see it gives God all the glory when we dream bigger then ourselves. If we only dreamt what we could accomplish on our own, we get the glory because we have fulfilled it with our own strength. When we dream bigger then our abilities, power, or strength God is the only One who can make it happen and therefore He receives the glory when the dream is fulfilled, especially beyond our biggest dreams we have dreamt.

Obedience Brings Blessing

We are successful not because of anything we can do, but because of God’s ability. On our own, we will fail. Everyone of us have weaknesses but when you put God into the equation it always adds up to more! God wants us to succeed. He is for us.

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

“This Book of the Law shall not depart form your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

This verse shows that we will be successful when you do what the Bible says and obey what it teaches. It’s pretty simple. Actually is not a hardship. God has such basic things we need to follow in His Word for our safety and success.

Obedience use to be a hardship, a dread in my life. I remember when I was a little girl, when my Mom told me to clean my room, I did it with drudgery. I would always say to her; “It’s too hard of work!” I would put a hardship on my Mom just because of my attitude. I found a joy in making my Mom happy when I obeyed her quickly when she told me to do something. This is true with our relationship with God. Often we think it is “too hard of work” to obey the Word of God. Maybe we get rebellious and decide to do our own thing thinking; “Who can tell me what to do?” “I am my own person and I can do what I feel like doing!” Have you ever said or thought those words?

To obey is hard, but we have to obey so many people in our lives. We obey our bosses when they ask us to do something at work. We obey our spouse when they ask us to do something for them. We obey our parents, which there are many promised blessings in God’s Word when we do.

Obedience. Most of the time it is not fun. But I am here to tell you there is a joy in obedience we can have. This joy compels me to obey God all the time, not just when it is convenient, or when it feels good or doesn’t cost me anything. There is joy in obedience and God’s favor follows.

I had a dream the night before I was to write this message. In the dream I was in charge of a group of children. All the children obeyed me except one. He seemed to be disobedient to everything I asked the class to do. I would try everything I knew to get the child to obey and be a part of the class. Still, this child had it in his mind to ignore, or blatantly disregard the rules and choose to be stubborn and self-willed. It caused havoc in the class. Chaos would erupt just because of one child’s disobedience. I was at my wits end when I asked someone from his family for help and insight. They told me to just say, “Do I have to get your Daddy?” When this family member said this, the entire room I was in transformed into a beautiful room, kind of like a living room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was peace, all chaos was gone. I couldn’t wait to use this new secret on this challenging child. It worked! As soon as he started to act up, I said, “Do I have to get your Daddy?” and immediately he quieted down and listened and obeyed me. From then on the class was productive and in harmony.

This reminds me of our walk with Father God. There is a love that He gives which no one else can ever give, and in turn there is a respect we give Him because He is the ultimate authority and power in our life. Often we live our lives not believing or even ignoring our Father. It is easy because in today’s society there is so much disrespect for parents and for leaders, or presidents, or anyone who has authority over us. Let’s be a people who obey quickly. Let’s be people who realize how Holy God is. If you choose disobedience, it shows you do not have a close relationship with God. Obedience to God shows your love for Him. It shows humility. It speaks clearly that you are not your own, but God’s.

Truth about obedience:

  1. God loves you unconditionally. 

We all make mistakes. Truly the mistake you made is not the issue, as much as, your actions and steps before and after the mistake. God sees you. He sees what you are doing right now. He knows if you will obey Him or not. Still, He loves you with an everlasting love. There is nothing you can or can’t do that will take His love away from you. All that said, remember God will not destroy you if you disobey. He gives us chance after chance to start over.

Romans 8:38 – 39 (NKJV)

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The closer you get to God, the quicker you will obey. God will love us back to Himself. When we realize this, It makes for an easier comeback.

2.  When we obey we are blessed

First, and foremost, we make good decisions when we choose to follow God’s Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

Psalms 119:105 (NKJV)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Obeying God’s word will help shine light on the next step you should take. We can look to God’s Word for any situation we may be facing in life. God has the answers for us. Are you willing to look?

Second, when we obey God, our life has less trials then one who disobeys and continues to make poor decisions for their life.

Proverbs 4:18 – 19 (The Message)

“The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of the wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.”

I almost titled this message: “Right living = Right Results!” If we choose to live right, and follow God’s word, we will achieve right results in our life. Isn’t it awesome that God gave us His word to help bring right results and success in our lives? This makes me want to obey God even more. It shows His love for us.

Proverbs 3:35 (The Message)

“Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize.”

I don’t want anything except the very best from God. If my choices of obeying God brings good results, I will all the more obey Him.

3. When we obey God’s word we choose life!

Deuteronomy 30:19 – 20 (NKJV)

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may life; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We choose good health when we choose to obey God and His word. He is for us and His word has life. God will not lead us astray. No! God’s direction is always the right direction to take. We can trust God with our life. He created us in the first place. Surely the Creator knows what is best for His creation. He has given us a blueprint, a roadmap for our lives with His word if we choose to follow and obey it. We will live a prosperous, productive, successful life when we do.

4.  When we obey it shows we trust God.

What ever happens, whatever you face in 2013 say to yourself: “I trust You, Jesus!” Remind yourself of His power, glory, and love He has for you. This helps trust to build in your heart so you can stand on His principles and His word.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (The Message)

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

Our own understanding can deceive us at times. God sees all. Trusting our own understanding is like the blind leading the blind. We can’t see beyond where we are at, but God sees the past, present, and future. When we are trusting in our own intellect and knowledge there is no room for faith.

5.  To obey is better then sacrifice.

There is a story of obedience in the Bible that is so true today (Read 1 Samuel 15). Saul was anointed as King over Israel by Samuel. He was given a command to go and attack Amalek and utterly destroy all that they had. They were not to spare anyone or anything (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul went and attacked the Amalekites. He took their king, Agag, but destroyed all the people. Saul and the people also spared the best sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless was destroyed (1 Samuel 15:9). Then God spoke to Samuel that He regretted setting up Saul as king because he turned his back from following and obeying Him. Samuel grieved all night over this. He left in the morning to meet Saul and it was told him that “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed he set up a monument for himself” (1 Samuel 15:12). Saul sweet talked Samuel saying “Blessed are you of the LORD!” and lied and said he “performed the commandment of the LORD” (1 Samuel 15:13). Samuel asked what was this bleating of the sheep and lowing of the oxen he heard? Saul passed the blame onto the people and said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD you God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:15). Samuel told Saul to be quiet and told him what the LORD told him that when Saul was “little in his own eyes” or thought low of himself, God anointed him as king and was the head of Israel. Then the Lord sent him on a mission to go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they were consumed or exterminated. Why did you disobey and take the spoil and do evil in the sight of God (vs. 17)? Saul proceeded to change the command of the Lord and said He did obey God and brought back the king of the Amalekites, Agag, but utterly destroyed the people. Then he passed the blame onto the Israelites, who He was king over, and said they took the plunder the sheep, the oxen and the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal. Then Samuel replied:

1 Samuel 15:22 – 23 (NKJV)

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

Saul confessed he did sin and disobeyed the commandments of the LORD, and that he feared the people and obeyed them instead. But wanted Samuel to make it all right and sacrifice and worship together. Samuel refused because the LORD rejected him as king and walked away. Saul grabbed and ripped his robe and Samuel said, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28). Even after all this Saul still wanted Samuel to honor him in front of the people. This shows Saul was afraid of man more than God. He wanted man’s approval constantly and at a huge price – losing the kingdom and being king of Israel.

We can learn so much from this story. God wants to see obedience. There is a reason He asks, commands, and states what He wants us to do and how we are to live. God sees everything, we only see what is in front of our eyes.

We can do all these good works, but if we don’t obey God, we are wasting our time and energy. Obedience trumps works. You may say, “Isn’t that the same thing?” No, Works, or trying to be good, is not the same thing as obeying God’s word and following Him. We can still have our own agenda, or our own motives, which very possibly may be selfish. Works will not please God, and will not get you into heaven. Believing in Jesus and receiving Him into your heart is the only way to heaven. When we do this, we start to change from the inside out. Our heart learns and wants to please Him and then our actions will follow. It is not the other way around.

6.  Obey even when you are afraid.

Fear wants you to run and hide. It wants you to please man, or your flesh. God wants you to finish what you started. Our very obedience could be the catalyst to launch us into something new. It could be the very thing that is needed to obtain our promise land!

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

As we read about Saul and his fear of man and how he was seen by them, do you fall into that category? Saul was insecure with who he was. We know this because 1 Samuel 15:17 states: “So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?”

In Saul’s promotion, even when he saw himself as “less-then,” God promoted him to be king. Saul didn’t overcome his insecurities. They actually grew bigger because he was a people pleaser.

Fear of man will paralyze you from being who God created you to be. Fear of man brings bondage. You will never measure up to the expectations of others. It is a never ending battle. I know, as I was trapped in this snare for much of my earlier years. I always wanted people to approve of me. I would do anything to win the favor of others, when I should have been more concerned with God’s favor and walking in obedience to Him.

Fear of any kind is torment. Fear brings present torment concerning future situations that may never happen. God wants to free you from the inside out. Remember that perfect love cast out all fear (1 John 4:18). Love drives out fear. Love makes the insecure, secure.

Ephesians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)

“May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love.”

7.  When we obey we have joy!

There is joy in obedience. Why? Because it stems from your love for God. When we love somebody there is joy involved. Love is something you do. Obedience to God is our love in action.

Psalm 84:5 – 7 (TLB)

“Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow Your steps. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength.” 

Something happens to the heart of an obedient Christian. It finds a place of contentment and rest. It knows that all things are possible with God. It has stood the test after every trial and circumstance to see that their obedience to God is a safe place to live.

“When we choose the obedient life, we are permitting God to make our lives all He dreamed they would become. We no longer need to ask what God’s will is because we are continually living in His will. Our goal in life is obedience to Him in the midst of each situation.”

Hope MacDonald

Discovering the joy of obedience

I like that quote. It shows we don’t have to strive to know the perfect will of God. The only thing we need to do is live a life of obedience.

What happiness, what joy we can have in obeying God and His Word! There is blessings for those who obey God. 2013 will be a year of promised blessings and much abundance and advancement. Walk in obedience and do not fear for God is with you wherever you go!

From one obedient child to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

Peace Robbers (Part 2 of Pursue Peace)

It is hard to find peace in this chaotic world. So many things are pressing for our attention, time, and sanity. Once we have peace, we have to guard our peace at all cost. There are “Peace Robbers” out there that will steal our peace away from us if we let them.

This is a two part message. In part One; “Pursue Peace,” we found out how to get peace and now in part Two, we will see what robs our peace and how to protect it.

Peace Robbers

1.  Being Busy

Being busy is the biggest tool the enemy uses to rob us of our peace. Business makes you think you are doing good. Often being busy is where you wrap your identity in. Have you ever answered someone’s question; “How are you doing?” with “Keeping busy!” It is easy to fall into the trap of business. After all, we are usually productive and have good motives. Yet, being busy keeps us distracted from the true purpose for our life. God cannot bring you to your destiny if you are too busy with insignificant things, which you have chosen, to take up your time.

Not all the business is wrong or bad. We have to decipher between the pressing and the important. There is a difference. Most of the time the “pressing” wins out. We add so many extra things on our plate that we can’t even finish eating what was there before. Have you heard the expression: “Your eyes are bigger then your stomach?” This is a statement to show you want more then you can handle. Our stomach is only so big, but our eyes see more “good things” and grab it and place it on our plates thinking we can eat it all.

“Simple active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work can actually be the counterfeit of spiritual activity.”

Oswald Chambers

Utmost For His Highest

Being busy makes one look like they are accomplishing a lot, but in reality their spiritual life suffers. Even if what you are doing is for God, it is still “simple active work” compared to where your relationship is with God and cultivating that relationship. Spending time with Jesus, the Prince of Peace, allows us to be more like Him and His peace fills our hearts. It is imperative to grow in Christ. If we are too busy doing vague, thoughtless and foolish things, our relationship with God suffers.

Ephesians 5:14 – 17 (Amplified Bible)

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise [sensible, intelligent people]. Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”

Do you find yourself tired all the time and never seem to get enough sleep. If you have ruled out anything physically wrong with you, chances are it is because of being busy.  Seriously, if you can’t “Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10),” something is very wrong in your life.

You might be afraid to be still. Maybe there are issues in your heart you are afraid to look at or address. Maybe God is pricking your heart about something and if you slow down, you will have to look at them. Ask yourself; “Am I peaceful?” In other words, if these things are robbing you of your peace, then by all means address them and deal with them and stop ignoring the Elephant in your living room! You are waisting time by running into business to escape dealing with these tuff issues. You will be free and find your peace the moment you decide to stop running and start dealing. The enemy uses this weapon agains people every second of the day. The sad thing is people think they are “okay” or “have a handle on it” when in reality they are drowning in their business that will eventually kill them. Let go of being busy and grab ahold of God’s joyful peace.

If you are afraid of all your business being taken away, and it brings pain in your heart, this is a sign your identity is wrapped up in what you do, instead of who you are in Christ.   I know first hand how this feels. I always wanted to be busy in ministry. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving a church without another position lined up for me to walk in. The busier I was, the more important I was feeling. I didn’t realize I was placing what I did before my relationship with God. It became my idol. Yes, ministry became my idol. You see even the good can become bad if it is placed wrong on our priority list.

Remember that everything is the Lord’s. The earth, and all that is in it is the Lord’s (1 Corinthians 10:26). The heavens, and the earth were made by the Lord (Psalm 115:15). Who are we to get wrapped up in the things of this earth to the point it takes our peace away? It all belongs to the Lord. We are just passing through. We are renters and eventually we will be moving out and moving into our mansion in heaven when God calls us home. Hold on loosely to the things of this world.

Proverbs 11:28 (Message)

“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.” 

Being busy is a peace robber. Recognize it and make some changes in your life to let go of the things that really don’t matter, and to hold on to the truly important. Your family, friends, and even yourself, will be happy you did. Don’t settle for the “good” when you can have the best! It’s okay to say; “no” to protect your peace.

Proverbs 16:3 (Message)

“Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; GOD probes for what is good.”

2.  Walking in the flesh

a.  Emotions – Our emotions can rob us of our peace. We can get ourselves all worked up over something or someone to the point we have no peace. Constantly thinking about, or even obsessing about something is not healthy. Having healthy emotions should be our goal. Allowing God to help us manage our emotions and applying His wisdom to them, will help bring peace back in our life.

Proverbs 15:15 (Message)

“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.”

Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”

Jealousy is like a cancer. Thinking, dwelling, and wanting what someone else has is a sin. It will corrupt your life and rob you of any peace. Jealousy is the opposite and an antonym of contentment. Contentment brings peace. Jealousy brings stress and strife. When someone is jealous, soon their actions will show it and others will see it. How you talk, and interact with others will be affected too. This is letting our emotions runaway with how we feel. It is walking in the flesh. I like how the Message Bible states that verse.

Proverbs 14:30 (Message)

“A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.”

Emotions are fickle. They come and go and often we can’t rely on them. Emotions are not good or bad, they just are. That is why we need a proper perspective on them. God gave us our emotions to enjoy and experience life. Jesus showed and experienced human emotions by weeping when Lazarus died, or by getting angry when in the temple and people were using it for exchanging money and buying and selling things. So to say emotions are wrong or bad, is not truth. But to rely on and express negative emotions to the point of hurting or affecting others is a battle of self-control. It is what we do with our emotions that affect our peace.

Proverbs 14:29 (Message)

“Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.”

There are many emotions that rob us of our peace. The crime of uncontrolled anger vented towards someone or something is an instant peace robber. Believe it or not Self-pity is an emotion too and can rob us of our peace. Feeling sorry for yourself is trying to move forward by digging a whole underneath you. You will never go anywhere and end up in a big pit.

b.  Constantly being negative, critical or judgmental – Being critical often is an outward manifestation of an inward lack. We are feeling bad about ourselves or have low self-esteem and hate seeing others succeeding. Being judgmental is a sin. Pride is involved with judging others. Thinking you are better or could do better then they are doing.

It might just be that you don’t like a person and are critical of them and what they do or say. This peace robber happens all the time. The more you talk about another person, the more you condemn yourself. In reality we don’t see it that way, but we live in unrest and constant turmoil and don’t know why. When we judge others it will come back on us.

Matthew 7:1 – 5 (NLT)

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Being a critical, negative, judgmental person will isolate you from others because they won’t want to be with you. They are afraid they will be the next topic of your gossip. Keep a guard on your tongue, this will keep a guard on your peace. Stop seeing the negative in life and in others. Negative people never reach their full potential. Critical people never enjoy life. Judgmental people will be judged with the same measure of judgment they give out. All of these people are robbed of their peace.

3.  Expectations 

a.  Expectations we put on people – Putting high expectations on others is a bondage builder. It puts people in bondage. They will never measure up to your standards and will fail in your eyes often. Yes, it is good to want the best for others, but not at the expense of someone always trying to please you. The only expectation we should have is in God and what He will do.

Psalm 62:5 (NKJV)

“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

Notice this verse states; “For my expectation is from Him.” We long for God to move. We have expectancy and it actually comes from God to us. He wants us to put our expectations in Him alone.

Psalm 145:15 (Message)

“All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.”

Are your expectations on God or man? When high expectations are placed on people and they are not met, stress comes to all parties, including ourselves. We can expect our friends, or our spouse, or our family to meet our needs. When they don’t, we get frustrated with them. It is not their job to meet our needs. Let people be themselves. God is the one who is more then enough for what we need.

Let go of high expectations you place on others so they can have peace and you can too.

b.  Expectations we put on ourselves – This is not easy to stop doing. We all expect more out of ourselves then we do others, especially if we are perfectionists. A perfectionist always feels they are never good enough, or that they never measure up. Their self-esteem is very low and they always feel there is something wrong with them. How do I know this? Because I have walked in those shoes a good portion of my life.

A perfectionist seldom has peace. Why would they after placing too high of expectations on themselves. They make goals and once they obtain them, they either feel it wasn’t done right, or they could have done a better job. Often times they reach a goal and never enjoy the reward because they placed higher expectations on themselves. Higher and higher the measuring rod goes for them to reach and they never really reach it because they push it higher. Give yourself a break. No one can live like that. Not only is there no peace in their lives, but no peace in their family, work, and anything they are connected with.

Let go of to high expectations on yourself. Allow God’s peace to flood your heart that you are acceptable just the way you are. It is okay to be yourself and being yourself brings peace and freedom.

4.  Unhealthy Relationships

If you fight low self-esteem, being a perfectionist, or feelings of inadequacy, chances are you pick unhealthy relationships with people that are not good for you. If it is not wrong people, then your relationships are extremely tense because of putting too high of expectations or expecting others to fulfill your needs. Co-dependency or emotional dependency comes when you are looking to others to meet your needs in stead of God. We can even be co-dependent on our friends or spouse. If you are placing people higher then God and your relationship with Him, chances are you are emotionally or co-dependent on them. This subject could stand alone in a book, but we don’t have time here. Mainly, I wanted to get your attention that unhealthy relationships can rob us of our peace, our time, our relationship with Christ, and so much more.

Hanging around the wrong crowd automatically puts you in unhealthy relationships. Their morals and standards might not be Biblical. They might not have any morals at all. We become who we hang around, so choose your friends wisely. Don’t allow your peace to be stolen by making a bad choice in a relationship. Ask God if you are questioning if you have unhealthy relationships, He will show you.

5.  Fear

a.  Fear of the unknown – Always worrying about tomorrow, or what is going to happen will put you in bondage and take away your peace. Remember the Prince of Peace holds your tomorrows. He knows what tomorrow will bring so it makes sense to rely on God every day. The good thing is that if you are a believer, we can rejoice that God is by our side. He is the One who fights our battles when we lean on Him. Remember that God loves you unconditionally. His love is perfect.

Perfect love cast out all fear, and this is the love God has for you.

1 John 4:18 (GW)

“No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.”

If you live your life in fear of the unknown you will never have peace in your life.

b.  Fear of man – Always fearing what people think or what they are going to do is bondage. It prevents you from being free to live your life. You will never please everybody. I have come to this harsh reality. For years I tried to make people happy. I was a Worship Pastor for many years and tried to do the songs or hymns everybody wanted, but I still heard complaints. I finally got to the point I would pick songs that the Holy Spirit told me to bring into the congregation. Then, when someone had an issue with a song, I just told them to take it up with the Holy Spirit. Soon, people stopped gripping about what kind of worship I would lead.

I also was afraid of what people thought of me. I could never be “myself” thinking people wouldn’t like me. But trying to be someone I wasn’t put me in turmoil. Christ died for our freedom, this includes being free to be ourselves. There will always be people who will disagree with you and think bad thoughts about you. Like me, you need to get over yourself and over this issue. It will rob you of your peace and put you in a trap your entire life. Then you will look back on your life and wished you lived differently. Now is the time to recognize you have the fear of man and what they think, and to release it to God and allow Him to heal you of any insecurities and events in your past, so you can truly live your life to the fullest being free to be yourself.

c.  Fear of failure – Always being afraid of making a mistake is torment. No one is perfect, even a perfectionist. Failure is only failure if you stop and give up. How many Inventors, Scientists, Entertainers, Public Figures, and more, who kept going even after failing time after time, till one day they found the answer? There are many. Don’t give up, you could be one step from your breakthrough. Don’t be afraid to fail. Just get back up and dust yourself off, and try again.

There is a story about a man who was walking across the street and tripped and fell down. The next day one of his friends walked by and saw him. They asked, “Are you okay?”  He said, “I tripped and fell down yesterday.” His friend asked, “Are you hurt?” “Do you have any broken bones or internal injuries that prevents you from getting up?” The man said, “No.” “You don’t understand, I fell down and I can’t get up.”

This would never happen in real life. If you tripped and fell on the ground, you would quickly get back up and look back to see what made you trip and fall. Far too often people fail and think they can’t go on. Even before they attempt to do something new, they give up because they don’t want to fail. They are afraid they will look bad in front of people. This will rob you of your daily peace. “If only’s,” and “should of’s” will haunt you for the rest of your life. Let’s be a people who are not afraid to try something new. The worse thing that can happen is it didn’t work for that attempt. Tomorrow is a new day, and with God on your side, all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26 (ESV)

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

6.  Self acceptance

a.  How do you see yourself? – I have notice often that most people really don’t like themselves. If we don’t get along with ourselves, we won’t get along with other people. When we reject ourselves, it may seem to us that others reject us as well. Relationships are a large part of our lives. How we feel about ourselves is a determining factor in our success in life and in relationships.

Our self-image is the inner picture we carry of ourselves. If what we see is not healthy and does not line up with Scripture, we will suffer from fear, insecurity and various types of misconceptions about ourselves.

People who are insecure about themselves suffer in their mind and emotions, as well as in their social and spiritual lives. I know as I have talked to many and have seen what their insecurities have done in their life. Also, I know as I myself have suffered in this area. Studying the Word of God and receiving His unconditional love and acceptance will bring healing to our life.

b.  God approves of you – God never intended for us to feel bad about ourselves. He wants us to know ourselves well and have self-acceptance. God approves of you, shouldn’t you approve of yourself?

Jeremiah 1:5 (Amplified)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you [as My chosen instrument]…”

Proverbs 23:7

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

What do you think about yourself? Where ever you go, there you are. You can leave the presence of friends, family, co-workers, but you can never leave yourself. When you go to bed, there you are with yourself. When you wake up in the morning, guess who is right there? You are! Do you like yourself? Start today accepting yourself. You cannot get away from who you are. If you struggle in liking yourself, ask God for help, after all He created you.

Genesis 1:31

“And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, and a sixth day.”

Rejecting ourselves does not change us, it actually multiplies our problems. Acceptance causes us to face reality and then begin to deal with it. We cannot deal with anything as long as we are refusing to accept it or denying its reality.

Webster’s II New College Dictionary defines accept in part as: 1. To receive (something offered), esp. willingly. 2.  To admit to a group or place. 3.  a. To consider as usual, proper, or right. b. To consider as true.

Notice from this definition that acceptance involves the will. If we apply this definition to self-acceptance, we see that we can choose or not choose to accept our self. God is offering us the opportunity to accept our self as we are, but we have a free will and can refuse to do so if we so choose. We also see from this definition that when something is accepted, it is viewed as usual, proper or right.

People who reject themselves do so because they cannot see themselves as proper or right. They only see their flaws and weaknesses, not their beauty and strength. This is an unbalanced attitude, one that was probably instilled by authority figures in the past who majored on what was weak and wrong rather than on what was strong and right.

The word acceptance from the same dictionary is defined in part as “approval” and “agreement.” If we are having problems accepting ourselves as we are, we need to get into agreement with God that what He created is good – and that includes us.

Amos 3:3

“Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?

To walk with God, we must agree with God. He says He loves us and accepts us; therefore, if we agree with Him, we can no longer hate and reject ourselves. Self-Acceptance will bring peace, self-rejection will rob your peace from you.

7.  Not giving God Control

Many people struggle with this issue. They fight over having control of their life. Trying to make things happen or not happen in their own strength, and then get frustrated when things don’t go the way they want them too.

Not giving God control is a peace robber. If you have asked Jesus in your heart as Lord and Savior, that means you have made Him Lord of your life. Being Lord, means He has full reign in all areas.

Written from my journal July 12th, 2012: “There is a place in my love walk with God, a deep desire to please Him in every area of my life. I have to be pro-active and guard it. This love I have for God compels me to give you control. You see everything and know all. There is nothing I can hide from you, nor do I even want to. Having an open relationship for you to show me areas I need to lay down or change is what this Christian walk is all about. Why would I ever want to hide or prevent you to have total freedom in my life? This relationship is not like any other earthly one. My relationship with You is so precious and tender and stable. The fact that you would never leave me no matter what I do is truth that this relationship transcends all other relationships. I never want to allow my flesh or self-will to hurt my relationship with you, my loving God. I want to get to the point it grieves my spirit if ever I demand my way by not giving control.”

Giving God control doesn’t mean He will change you into something you don’t want to be, or do something you don’t want to do. Giving God control is saying, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Self-will is a peace robber when it comes to giving God control. It is not worth the struggle. To be truthful, the moment you give God control, you will find peace. You will say to yourself, “Why didn’t I do that a long time ago?”

Guarding your peace at all cost is vital to your Christian walk, and a healthy lifestyle. Don’t allow these []“Peace Robbers” to take away your peace. Be vigilant. Be alert! Be pro-active in who you are. Yielding to God’s correction and love is the only way for a peaceful life.

From one Peace Keeper to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com