Can I begin by asking you a question? Are you willing to come explore with me for a little while? Because here is where I would like us to journey together today …
“Can fear actually change the course of our destiny?”
Think about it … if we lived our lives “fearless,” … and yet in the fear of the L-RD … how different would our lives be?
What do I mean?
Well … let’s consider this: There is Godly fear which comes out of a place of knowing the Father and loving Him in such a way that we long to be and stay in right relationship with Him according to who He is and His Kingdom principals, held safe within His Kingdom boundaries for our lives as believers. We do this as we draw close to Him with hearts that yearn to know Him more and learn what His Kingdom looks like through the Truths found in His instruction (Torah). And just a little added 'food for thought' ... This Kingdom has a King who is returning for His Kingdom people. So … if we miss the Kingdom because it doesn’t fit in with our own views, are we also in danger of missing the King who will be standing in full view for all to see when He returns for His own?
The opposite of course, is ungodly fear which can take root in our lives through many different circumstances, but it can actually cause us to fear man and other things in our lives over and above our fear of the Lord … I would suggest that it can even hinder our walk with The Father to such an extent that it can potentially change the course of our G-D given destiny. What do I mean? Consider for a moment, Adam and Eve ... it goes right back to the very beginning in the garden. It was G-D's plan for Adam and Eve to live life in the beautiful garden He provided for them, that they would remain in unbroken relationship with Him, walking and talking in the cool of the day. Through fear caused by the serpent in his "did G-D really say?" both Adam and Eve had to leave the garden and walk a different path than the one G-D had originally designed for them. Thankfully, there is a way back to the Father, a plan of redemption that has been made through the blood shed at Calvary through the sacrificial Lamb who is Yeshua HaMashiach. The question, however remains, ...
"How different would our lives look not only to ourselves but to those around us if fear did not control what we say or do, how we act or think?"
G-d has designed for us to be loved and affirmed, nurtured and cared for in His love with Godly parenting which reflects back to us the Father heart of G-D; in that we will grow into mature and secure adults who can then pass those blessings down to the next generations.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
As parents we are not perfect, nor have any of us had perfect parenting. Life holds many challenges, different for each of us, but I am sure that everyone of us has experienced rejection and fear at some time in our lives. In circumstances where rejection and fear have had the opportunity to take deep root from a very young age, the fear of man and the fear of rejection can become such a stronghold in our lives that the enemy can take advantage and send us down paths that were not necessarily G-D’s best for us; He can, however, use all things and turn them around for good in ways we cannot even imagine. Without even realising, the fear of man can become so engrained within us, almost like threads that have been woven and spun into our DNA—so much a part of us that we no longer recognise it for what it is or how it affects our everyday life. The thing is ... that was not G-D's original plan for us as His children, for in this place we can lose touch with our True identity which He gives to each and every one of us … instead of walking in the unique and wonderful way He created us to walk, we find ourselves walking out of the wounded places in our heart, a moulded image through which we attempt to worship Him ... it brings to mind the golden calf. In this place, we find that we have become the very thing we have strived the hardest to avoid … a slave to fear. In this place there is a continual striving to be good enough, to do more, to be more, to be perfect, a continual need to prove ourselves to others through what we are doing instead of finding peace in knowing we are simply enough by just who we are … HIS!!! I proclaim the name of the L-RD who came to set the captives free and to open the prison to those who are bound … He is able to show us where, how and why fear has taken root in our hearts and if we let Him into those places, we can be set free. He is more than able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think; how often do we read in the scriptures … “fear not.” My heart's cry is "NO LONGER SLAVES!" NO MORE SLAVERY!" My heart cries "FREEDOM! FREEDOM TO HIS CAPTIVE PEOPLE ... that we would be able to sing from our hearts ... "I'm no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of G-d!"
This week's Torah Portion:
We read in this week’s parsha about the 12 scouts and the report of giants in the land. We see in Numbers 13 that G-D very clearly promises the land of Canaan to the sons of Israel. For 40 days they scout out the land … the number 40 being significant as representing a time of testing, of preparation and leadership, and the harbinger of something new. As we read on in that chapter, we see that in spite of the goodness they saw in the land, and the promise that HaShem had given them, they focused on the giants that they saw with their eyes. Except for Caleb who quietened the people and proclaimed they were able to take the land, the fear of man overcame those who went with him and they gave the people a bad report. This very thing actually stopped them from entering into the destiny G-D had planned for them … they did not enter the Promised Land. I find it interesting to read in verse 33, “we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” It caused me to think … I wonder how we see ourselves? Do we see ourselves through His eyes of Truth and who He says we are, or do we see ourselves through the eyes of what others say we are … or perhaps through the way life’s circumstances has shaped us in such a way that we have put unrealistic expectations on our lives and who we think we should be, what we should look like, etc. Have we swallowed the lies of the enemy through past experience or life’s hardships? If we see ourselves as worthless because that is how we have been made to feel or have been treated in such a way that we have taken in that lie, the enemy will do his best to make that lie concrete in our hearts so that we will miss the plans and purposes HaShem has for us. G-D very clearly tells us that we are made in His image ... that what He has made is VERY good; do we truly believe what He says or do we listen to the whisper of the enemy that says, "Did G-d really say?" If we will see ourselves like grasshoppers … so we will be to others.
God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives individually, but importantly as a corporate body; there is so much more in store than we sometimes allow ourselves to believe … GOD IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN WHAT WE CAN COMPREHEND! We can make Him small in the same way the children of Israel did that day they proclaimed the giants were too much for Him ... again, I reiterate that because of this, they did not enter the land that was originally promised to them.
So … what do you think? Can fear change the course of our destiny?
We could look at other biblical accounts of where the fear of man has entered the hearts of God’s people … we could go on about the many ways fear can hinder our walk with The Father, but I think we get the gist: the children of Israel when being pursued by the Egyptian army behind them while staring at the Red Sea before them! What about when Abraham tells that Sarah is his sister … “because of the fear of being killed.” I have recently been lead to look at the life of David beginning with the ‘fall’ of Saul as king; in 1 Samuel 15, Saul was ordered by The L-RD to destroy the Amalekites. We read that he did not obey the command of the L-RD and in verse 24 we read the words of Saul to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” The L-RD tore the kingdom of Israel from Saul that day ... 1 Samuel 15:28
But I proclaim the Good News!
If we will let Him in to those areas where fear controls our hearts and the decisions we make, He can turn our lives around in ways that we never saw coming. And can I encourage us in whatever He has whispered to our hearts ... the "land" He has promised to us ... When He whispers a promise to us, it can sometimes be just as easy for us to forget all He has done for us previously—just like the scouts— and we can forget that He is greater than ANY of the circumstances and giants that we see right before our natural eyes! We can become so focused on the giants instead of the goodness of the land and the promise of G-D … or we could say, the Goodness of G-D and His promise of land! In effect, those scouts were saying, “God is not big enough to handle this … it is too big not only for us, but for God Himself!” How easy it can be for us to find our hearts whispering similar words without even realising that is what we are actually saying with our heart attitudes. My heart’s cry is that we will know that we know … when G-D makes a promise … HE MEANS EVERY WORD! AND HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES! No matter how many skeptics raise their eyebrow … and trust me, the enemy loves to send them… no matter how much insecurity rises up within our own hearts or even in the hearts of those closest to us … no matter how much the circumstances in the natural look impossible … may we rise with the faith He has given us to proclaim … “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH HIM!” And if He has brought us to it, He will bring us through it … no matter what! May we hold on to the promises He has given to us in His precious word … and hold fast to these truths:
“We are loved, we are cherished, we are more than conquerors, we are winners, we are chosen, we are precious, we are valued, we are worthy, and we ALL have wonderful G-D given gifts and talents, contributions to make to the world around us!
The greatest gift of all time is the One who holds time in His very hands … the One who is outside of time and offers us all eternity with Him as we look to Him to lead the way in how to live our lives … that He would help us to be fearless for the days that are ahead ... time is short...
“Abba Father, please show us where fear hinders our walk with You … those places where the enemy has gained access through our fear; where he would seek to steal and divide the land of our hearts ... even stop us from entering the land You have promised, whatever that looks like and means for each of us as your precious children. Help us to work in cooperation with You and in partnership with those You have placed alongside us, as we continue to give You permission and invite You to root out and pull down all those places within us that would produce bad fruit; that we would be like trees planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall also not wither; and whatever we do shall prosper … all for Your glory and for Your name's sake ... You are forever good and Your plans for us are good and for our good even when they don't always feel good. Amen and Amen.”
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