by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of May 4, 2014
“The fear of The Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of The Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous." -Psalm 19:9
Living & Walking…
When we live by God’s word, we are strong in Him. As we live in His truth, depend upon Him, acknowledge He is our source, our all in all to be salt and light in a dark world, we reverence Him and live by His power.
Walking out God’s holiness in our everyday lives is a testament of God’s power (grace) and love and of our level of trust in Him. We are to treasure His holiness in our hearts like a wellspring, not lock it away from others out of fear of being mocked or ridiculed or just feeling different from the crowd.
God’s gifts are for our sustenance. And they are invitations for others to be sustained too.
Reacting to the world instead of responding from holiness is a choice of ungodly fear over faith. That fear is an idol that lies to us, suggesting it’s not safe to choose God over the powers of darkness with which we have grown ambivalent and too familiar. We must get God’s truth in our hearts and minds in order to rise up enough in our spirit to throw off the mixture of lies and fears that hinder us.
So when we hide (treasure) the preciousness of Jesus and The Holy Spirit and The Fruit of The Spirit in our hearts and do not allow them to exude out of us, we lockdown God’s intimacy through us. At some point, we have to ask ourselves, “Am I afraid of God’s true intimacy?”
God always desires to awaken us to more of Him in an effort to bring us up to another level of holiness and to reach others in love. We are to pour and receive more. Don’t let ungodly fear stop God’s presence short in your life. Get to the root and repent and forgive.
We never have to be afraid of the enemy’s condemnations because God is our faithful vindicator, and He will not allow us to go through a difficult experience if He didn’t purpose it for our equipping. He is always sovereign. God is stronger than any stronghold of darkness. And you can trust Him at His Word to show up on your behalf.
Whether we struggle at work or at home or in any other arena, at some point, we must choose to stand upon the rock of God’s assurance and trust His faithfulness of His word over any ungodly fears the enemy has proposed to us as our reality. We need the mind and heart of Christ in order to trump darkness and thrive. Don’t be hindered into a stronghold of conforming to the world around you (Romans 12:2).
Strong leaders in The Lord forge through. They do not rely on what limited knowledge and strategies they know from their past. They don’t rely on their talents that will empower the ungodliness of works of the flesh—the sin that exhausts and says “no” in the face of God’s greater grace. The strongest leaders do not choose self-reliance over God-reliance. They seek God and submit to His ways.
Locked Defense vs. Hidden Offense…
When we lock up our hearts on the defense, trying to duck and dodge arrows from the world instead of courageously sharing what has been hidden in our hearts, led by wisdom, we opt, by default, to allow the existing dark power source to continue in people’s lives. We hinder the fuel within us that is our intimacy with God, and we negate our witness of light in a dark world. Our seed sowing halts, and we shortchange our blessings. God can send someone else, but what about us?
The enemy wants us bound up in ungodly fear so God’s light will be diminished through us and we hinder our own blessings. Our (reverential) fear of God needs to be reset to greater than our fear of man.
God has called us into His sanctification, His holiness to empower us to be salt and light and to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. This includes our families and our workplaces. We must choose to take the courage Jesus died to give us and to live it out daily with wisdom, no matter what ungodly circumstances the enemy magnifies.
God’s gifts of divine power fuel us so they can change an atmosphere and inspire and influence others. They are our resting place, our assurance.
Press for Holiness…
When we feel pressured, it’s easy for us to rely on our own understanding for a quick solution instead of pressing into God out of our desperation. There is no shame in being desperate for God. God created us to be dependent upon Him. It is from Him alone that we should draw our strength. His solutions are always better than ours. And the purpose of our hardships is to provoke us to reach up for Him. Don’t let the pride of self-reliance be your downfall.
God’s word is to be hidden (treasured) in our hearts, and His light is to be shared (Psalm 119:11, John 12:46, Matt. 5:14).
If you find yourself reserving Jesus for another time and place, locking Him away in a heart of ungodly fear…
· Ask The Holy Spirit, your Helper, what issue is at the root of hindering your witness to the world. Was there a time or actions of tyranny in your life that you felt you had no control to overcome?
· Confess and repent of having participated in this root issue (sin).
· Forgive others who may have provoked you into this sin—parents, authority figures, etc.
· Forgive yourself for having participated in the sin.
· Receive the forgiveness Jesus died to give you. (Yes, He paid this sin debt for you at the cross. So believe and receive it by faith.)
· Renounce and rebuke the hindering spirits to God’s truth.
· Affirm God as Lord of your life.
· Ask Jesus to help you receive the healing and redemption He died to give you.
· Choose to live in the light and leading of The Holy Spirit in the midst of all your circumstances.
· Invite The Holy Spirit to take the reigns of your life in every circumstance.
· Step out from ungodly fear into faith and trust and obey God, no matter what fear the enemy tries to remind you of or oppose you with going forward.
· Be consistent in your walk holy, and be quick to repent when necessary.
· Praise God…a lot. Thank Him for His truth that sets you free.
· Become more familiar with God’s ways than the enemy’s. You do this by remaining in His word, yielding to His Word, asking The Holy Spirit to help you, and following His lead.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's latest book, "Enduring Grace," to be released soon.