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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who Do You Fear Today?

Proverbs 9:10
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom"

Sorry I have not posted a blog in a while I was on a trip for work. All is well here. I leave for Andrea's memorial in NC tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing all those who helped us so much in our time of need. So many people to thank. It will be good to go to a place with good memories of Andrea and our life but then again I know it will be hard.
Today was a hard day. For some reason I went through Andrea's clothes and I had another "grief Attack." I laid on a pile of her clothes knowing she was not coming back. I found the nightly she wore on our honeymoon, she still put it on every year...and it still fit! I missed her.
Anyway this is an old journal entry I never posted. I'm not sure why. But I will share it today. I have to ask myself this same question today, Jan 17th 2008. Who do I fear? Now knowing Andrea as passed and this journal was written at a time I had hope. Hope God would heal Andrea; hope that this day would not come. I was hesitant to share this entry since it was written 2 years ago. I was not sure how it would come across, knowing the outcome. Do people look at me as a failure? Am I an idiot? Some fool no proven before so many? I have not reread this entry, but I know however I felt, whatever hope I had was not misplaced or false. How this turned out does not define the God I serve. I love Him as much today as I did when I wrote this journal. I hurt but I love Him, for He first loved me. I think I wrote this while we were in Wichita Falls visiting Andrea's family. I got up early and was on the back porch reading and writing. Anyway here it is:
I am not an expert on scripture and these thoughts are just that, my thoughts. Written July 2 2005 three days before Andrea started chemo for metastatic cancer
I have to share with you the most incredible morning. It is now 9:30 and I have been praying and reading and God has spoken as clearly as I have ever heard Him. I asked for forgiveness for not having this focus in my prayer life before. I hope it offers you encouragement about Andrea, and also in your own walk with the Lord as you serve Him. I have been reading Acts, to remember the miracles of God. Andrea just woke up and I read her what I had written. The words were not my own. When I wrote this is was in bits, I would write and think I was done close my bible and then I would here God speak to me and thoughts, would flow into my mind and I would open my bible and journal and write it down. This happened about four times. Here is what God spoke to me. Reading Saul's Conversion: Acts Ch 9 - Ch 10. The impossible to man is nothing to God. I imagine that even with all the Apostles saw and experienced, Christ, the Pentecost, all of Jesus' miracles they may have said Saul's conversion was impossible. If they were sitting and thinking who can we pick to be an Apostle to the Gentiles , how many would have said Saul? Could their minds even have thought for a moment that the lead persecutor of the church would be the one? He was their number one enemy, threat to their life, the bounty hunter of the early church. Who would have even dared to think much less say Saul names as a possibility? I'm sure when they prayed they did much like we do. We present God with the solution, or maybe a list of options that we see as the logical answers and we ask God to guide us to one of the choices. How often do we have a problem that we open ourselves up to any solution God may have for us? I think that can be scary for us. It leaves the possibility we would be given a solution we don't want to do. Would the early church wanted to entertain the option of Saul? I think not. Of any list they may draw up he was not the last he was not even in consideration. He was the last choice of the people who did not make the list.

So why would God choose such an unlikely person to spread the gospel to the Gentiles? I think from God's view Saul is the perfect choice to take the Gospel to the world. God proves Himself when He takes what is impossible to man and accomplishes His work. What other explanation was there for Saul’s change.

1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Why did Saul become Paul?

First, the impossible to man brings glory to God, it leaves only God as the author. The impossible draws people to look and hear. The result was Acts 9:21-22 All who heard were amazed. Proving that Jesus is the Christ.
People see God in the impossible. Our nature is to explain every thing away, and when there is no explanation then we are left with only one answer, God. And that is what God wants. He wants us to stop trying to give His glory to man. In the impossible man is not a possibility. And that is God's canvas His paints on. In doing so we as believers are lifted up and those who don't believe see God. God took the chief persecutor of the church who role was to stop the spread of the church and converted him into His chief witness to the gentiles. The result was Acts 9:31 The church had peace and was edified, and walking in fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied.

God took what man feared and turned our focus on Himself. The church had feared Saul, now they feared God. God’s display of power in the impossible, Saul’s conversion was humanly impossible, put the fear on God’s power not on a human threat to the church. If god has the power to change Saul, and use Saul as a mighty preacher of the gospel, what couldn’t He do? Have you ever experienced something like this in your life? Your initial response may be joy in answered prayer then you are suddenly hit with the thought that God, the creator of all things had just orchestrated an event in your life. The next response is humility and understanding of the power of the one we sometimes take for granted. We can tend to lessen God, to where we make Him our equal. Then suddenly we get a glimpse of His power and we understand fear of the Lord. God removes our fear of the world, He replaces it with a fear of Himself by showing nothing of this world has power over His will. Then He provides a comforter to help us in this life.

My Prayer - God I pray you will remove this threat to Andrea’s body. It is now humanly impossible to do, revel your power. Give us the strength to fear you and not cancer.
My Thought - Jesus’ proclaimed to be the Son of God. Satan attacked Him with temptation and his ultimate weapon, death. Satan fishes with temptation he hopes we take the bait, and then he plays us. Because like bait when you fish Satan's temptation has no power it is just there trying to et us to take it. There is no effect unless we bite. A hook with a worm is not a threat to a fish unless the fish eats it. Satan does not have the power to put the hook in our mouth and set it. He only entices us by placing desires before us in hopes we will bite. Christ did not bite. However He did give Himself over to death. How Satan must have rejoiced thinking he had won. How devastating it was to man to see Jesus, who proclaimed to be God cut down, powerless and nailed to a cross. Who was in control now? The Apostles fled, Peter denied, Satan even enticed Jesus’ own to betray him with the bait of money. How much more impossible could it have been for the Apostles? Jesus performed many miracles, even raising the dead, but the dead raising the dead had to be beyond their understanding. Do we limit God by thinking He is bound by the laws of this world? Does the creation dictate to the creator?
Out of the impossible God shows His power. Jesus appearing to the saints left no doubt who has the power. Satan’s moment of victory was exposed for what it was, bait. And bait only has power if we believe it to be real and bite. Don’t be fooled by Stan’s illusions. God has never, and will never relinquish control over all he has created.
Fear god not his world or Satan. Fear the Lord because He has all the power. It is only by His mercy that we live we have life itself. Satan has no lasting power. Satan’s power is on loan from God and one day God will take it back and redeem this world and his followers. Satan’s authority is limited and he only has so long to fish. He knows his hour is coming. He frantically fishes and rejoices when he catches us. And what we thought was satisfying, what looked so enticing turns out to be bait and bring only pain and suffering. Remember the best bait looks like the real thing. Beware. Satan cannot separate a believer from God; Death’s sting is an illusion/bait. Satan uses it to instill fear, doubt in God’s power. How can God be God? How can God be all powerful if there is death and suffering? Those are bait, illusions Satan uses to cloud our vision of God. It makes us fear Satan not the Lord. Only he who has the power and authority needs to be feared. Only one is in control and one is pretending. Satan may have some power and some authority but he is not the ultimate power and ultimate authority. Satan knows this; he knew it when Jesus was on the cross. He tries to catch who he can with his bait, his illusion of power and authority. You must fear God, because He has all authority. He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Expose Satan for what he is a subject of the living God.

The bible tells us who is in control, who has the power. Our lives, our answered prayers, creation, fellow believers, changed lives all show us who is in control. Who has the power? It is only when we take our eyes and our hearts off God and the truths He has shown that we fear this world, we fall into despair and hopelessness. Fear God. You will find comfort because the one who has the power loves you. When we fear this world and Satan we do not have comfort because the one you fear does not love you! How scary to be under the authority of one who wants your destruction. But when we fear the Lord, our creator, who loves us we find comfort. One fear brings hopelessness one brings comfort. How much more could God love you and me then by giving us His Son? Giving His Son over to Satan to suffer what we deserve, what Satan wants to do to us? Why did He do this? Because He loves you and I and He demonstrated that He has all the power, the last word, and Stan does not deserve our fear. Fear God who has all power! Peace and comfort come from knowing the one you fear loves you and wants the best for you. When the one who has all authority over you loves you, fear of Him brings peace not despair.
Who do you fear today?
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

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