What a turn of events we're watching in history right now. There's nothing quite like it. As I've pondered about what's going on behind it all, I am continually reminded by God to keep my focus on Him and all that is good.
Philippians 4:8-9 (emphasis mine), "So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always. Follow the example of all that we [the apostles] have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things."
Of course, we can't turn a blind eye to all that's taking place in this hour, nor should we do nothing, but as we consider what wisdom is, our focus must remain on what is good. Only then are we able to be a part of what will advance the narrative toward a positive resolution and God's will being done on the earth. We need to carry the Father's heart now more than ever!
In the meantime, we must address the spirit of fear that's running rampant! A few days ago, the Lord gave me five dreams on the subject. In one of the dreams, the Lord spoke to me through the Holy Spirit and said, "Did you know that the antidote for the spirit of fear is the fear of the Lord?"
The Spirit of Fear vs. the Spirit of the Lord
The suicides, the deaths from the coronavirus, the loss of life and ruined businesses from riots, etc. have only helped to promote the spirit of fear and death that was already in the world. It's time to change the narrative, and it starts with us. The Lord wants to bring down that age-old stronghold. It's time to put fear behind us by exchanging it for the fear of Lord!
What is the fear of the Lord?
Exodus 20:20, "And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before you, that ye sin not."
So here we see that Moses uses the word "fear" twice in one sentence, but the two words have extremely different meanings. It's made obvious just by the pure ridiculousness of saying on the one hand, "Do not fear," and in the same breath "fear."
So then, what is Moses saying and why contradict himself that way? The key is in found in the translation of the word "fear."
The first fear means "terrified," or torment, but the second fear, the fear of the Lord, has a totally different meaning. For Father God has no intention of bringing us back into bondage after He has paid so much to bring us out.
Yes, there is a portion of "fear" in the fear of the Lord that can cause us to tremble, but it's only because of His holiness. And in that instance, we become like the cherubim before His throne, covering our eyes because of the greatness of His glory and the grandeur and majesty we find in His presence. We find ourselves crying out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!" So yes, there is a place in fearing God where we tremble. We tremble in awe at His presence.
Normally, when we think of the word "fear," we associate it with the "spirit of fear" and with torment or dread. But judgment, for the Believer, has been taken far from us. Our judgment was paid for by the life-blood of Jesus, our Savior. So then, what is the fear of the Lord all about? For we are ones that abide in His love, for God is love, and..."Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love's perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached love's perfection" (1 John 4:18).
To fear the Lord is not to fear punishment, but to have an intimate knowledge of who He is and His attributes. It's to live in holy intimacy with Him, to know Him, yield our hearts to Him, worship Him, and to bow down before Him because of His utter goodness and greatness.
If you're like me, the first Scripture that comes to mind concerning the fear of the Lord is Proverbs 9:10 (emphasis mine): "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom [or godly knowledge]..." (Photo via Public Domain Pictures)
This is not the wisdom of the world, for this knowledge, or wisdom, comes by knowing God – knowing who He is. It's time to take hold of God!
In the Passion Translation, Proverbs 1:7 reads, "How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom? We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in obedient devotion to God..."
Here's the footnote in the Passion Translation for this verse:
"There is much more to the 'fear of the Lord' than the English concept. It also implies submission, awe, worship, and reverence. The Hebrew word used here for 'fear' is found fourteen times in Proverbs. And the number fourteen represents spiritual perfection. The number fourteen is mentioned three times in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt.¬†1:1-17). It is also the number for Passover. You will pass from darkness to wisdom’s light by the 'fear' of the Lord."
The fear of the Lord is equal to living in obedient devotion to God. When we embrace this, we are the inheritors of the abundant life we hear about. And when we do this, life will begin to permeate everything we think, do and say. It's esteeming all that He esteems and recognizing, as evil, all that He calls evil. Fearing God is yielding our lives to love Him in all of His facets.
Not only do we live in obedient devotion, but we do it with delight! Psalm 40:8, "I delight to fulfill your will, my God, for your living words are written upon the pages of my heart."
Proverbs 19:23, "When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here's what you'll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction!"
The Fear of the Lord as an Antidote for All Other Fears
Fearing God is not another requirement. It's what you do when you understand who He is and how much He loves you. It's then that you begin to understand His amazing greatness, and His overwhelming grace and mercy begin to overshadow anything the enemy would try to intimidate you with. So, "fear not"!
Did you know that the phrase "fear not" is the most repeated command in the Bible? In fact, they say that there are 365 "fear nots" in the Word. That's one "fear not" for every day of the year!
Isaiah 41:10, "Never yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from Me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with My strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with My victorious right hand."
The Five Pillars of Fearlessness and the Five Reasons You Should not Fear
(I've changed the pronouns below to make this more personal.)
1. "He is with you."
Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear, for I am with you..."
2. "He is YOUR God."
Isaiah 41:10, "...Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God..."
3. "He will strengthen you."
Psalm 73:26 (emphasis mine), "...When you trust in Him, you have a strong and glorious presence protecting and anointing you. Forever He's all you need!"
4. "He will help you."
Psalm 46:1 (emphasis mine), "He's a proven help in time of trouble – more than enough and always available whenever you need Him. So you will never have to fear..."
5. "He will uphold you with His righteous right hand."
Psalm 89:21, "His hand will sustain you; surely His arm will strengthen you."
Finally, here are the five dreams I mentioned at the beginning:
1. The devil was trying to frighten someone, but I knew that there was no reason for them to fear, because he has already been defeated! This is my reason for giving you this prophetic word at this time. (Photo via Pexels)
Psalm 23:4 (emphasis mine), "...Fear will never conquer you, for the Lord already has..."
I declare it over you right now! Now you speak it over yourself!
1 John 4:4 (emphasis mine), "Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them [the flesh, the world and the devil], for the One who is living in you [the triune God] is far greater than the one who is in the world."
2. I was in the middle of a battle and I heard the Lord cry out, "Have no fear!"
We have definitely been thrown into a battle that we never asked for. It's time to decide which mountains are worth dying for. Choose your battles wisely and refuse to be drawn into something that's not what the Lord is calling you to. And if it is something the Lord, our Wisdom, is calling you to, then remember that there's no reason to fear for He is with you!
3. I saw someone who was sinking into depression and if I hadn't rescued them, they would have given up and given in to depression or suicide.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). Yes, you are! Ask God, Our Wisdom, what you can do to help someone.
4. I saw a car whose brakes went out while going down a steep hill, and the person in the car was terrified as they didn't know how to stop it. All of a sudden, I was transported into the car with the driver. I began throwing out baggage to make the car lighter so that it would be able to stop. (In reality, we know that throwing bags out of a car to make it lighter would normally not make any difference in getting a car to stop; though it might help to keep a boat from sinking. But this was the dream and anything can happen in a dream.)
There are some of you that have family members, friends or co-workers in your life who are feeling like they've messed up their lives beyond the point of return. And you will be Jesus to them, taking and throwing out their heavy burdens (their baggage) for them in prayer, lightening their load and leading them to the Savior. Right now, more than ever, people need the Good News!
5. I was remembering God's goodness and ordered fear to be canceled. This was when the Holy Spirit said, "Did you know that the antidote for the spirit of fear is the fear of the Lord?"
I declare over you once again Psalm 23:4, "Fear will never conquer you for He already has!"
Psalm 25:14, "The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him..."
It's time for the struggle to end. It's time to embrace the confidence and joy found in knowing and getting to know God better! This is true wisdom. Trade in your fear for the fear of the Lord and take shelter in His love!
I know about your hard times and I'm moved deeply by that which troubles you in your home, at your work, with your family, with your health. I am moved by the feelings of your heart, and I will never fail you. It's time for you to run into Me. I have a place here at My fellowship table waiting for you. And even though your enemies may be raging around you, I have a feast waiting right here for you. Come into Me and enjoy!
I am inviting you to step into My presence, the place of peace, the place of victory. Fear cannot overtake you here. Instead, you will dine on the luscious fruits of victory that I have purchased for you, and the fruit of satisfying grace and mercy will be your portion. For I have a mercy that sustains you even when you stumble, for I will uphold you every step of your journey.
Fear not, for I know the path forward. I will never abandon you or leave you, but I will support you and hold you up with My righteous right hand! For I am yours and you are Mine!
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Stairway Ministries | The Passion Translation
Brian and Candice Simmons¬†have been married for 43 years.¬†With their three children, they spent nearly eight years in the tropical rain forest of the Darien Province of Panama as a church planter, translator, and consultant. Now, nearly everyone in the village follows the Lamb of God.¬†After their missionary career they came to New England, and were involved with starting Gateway Christian Fellowship, which they pastored for 18 years. After turning the church over to a wonderful leadership team, they began to travel full-time speaking, teaching, and helping churches and leaders to grow in Christ. They've had the joy of traveling to over 30 nations, sharing the message of God's greatness and His end time glory that will be revealed through His people. Brian is also the lead translator for The Passion Translation Project which will result in a new, dynamic version of the Bible for this generation. Brian and Candice have three children, six grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
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