Perfect Love Casts Out ALL Fear

These past few weeks God has been talking to me about fear, love and identity; as Christians we are not meant to have any fear and fear only comes because we do not know our identity in Christ since  we were saved. As my husband so aptly put it; a person’s identity is moulded completely on the worst image or the biggest sin that person believes about themself.  Note that this is a belief system built up in the mind, thus the importance of renewing the mind with the truth. The reality is that once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our old self dies immediately; it is forever gone; God never brings up your past again because as far as He is concerned it is washed away by the blood of Jesus and it no longer exists, only Jesus within you now exists. Our identity is now moulded by Christ. (wait for the blog post on this one)

This all came about as I decided that this year will be the year of facing my fears – unfortunately I didn’t know my true identity so I had fears. One of them was waves – you know; the ones in the ocean. They freaked me out; my sister will testify to numerous times of being clung to and pulled under the waves by me. So, I decided that I was going to do surfing lessons. My husband laughed when I told him, he looked at me and asked; “You do know there are BIG waves?” Duh, of course I knew. I told a few people about my impending surfing lesson and most of the responses were the same; “You need to take authority over that fear.”, “You need to bind and break the spirit of fear and trauma” so on so forth, everything was about attacking the enemy back and fighting principalities and powers. This didn’t feel right to me, the enemy is defeated, every time I turn to fight the enemy my eyes are taken off God, this wasn’t the way I wanted to overcome that fear so I asked God for help and in my spirit I kept getting that perfect love casts out all fear. So I asked God to make me love surfing, I asked Him to make me love the ocean that He created and to really make me love the waves.

The day finally arrived and I found that nervousness was replaced by excitement as I stood on the beach with my surf board; I expected the lesson to take a while on the beach before we got into the water but after five minutes of teaching we were sent into the water and guess what - I loved it! I loved the entire lesson! The next day was exactly the same, I loved it! The love I felt didn’t mean that nothing came against me – I was whacked on the back of the head by a fibreglass board, I got dumped, I had water go up my nose, I fell and scraped my butt, I got hit in the chest by my board and I had blisters on my feet but not once did any of these events bring fear or stop me from being in the water and amongst those big waves– I still loved being out there. Surfing will not be my sport – quite frankly I suck at it but I’m so glad that I did it and found a love for God’s creation.

Another thing I was fearful of was talking to strangers! I’ve always been the quiet one, I’ll sit and watch everyone and I’ll only really talk to people if I have to, I’m extremely shy. Again, I asked God for a love of people and these past two weeks I have gone out and started talking to strangers – about little things and sometimes about big things. You know what I learnt – it’s not that hard to talk and listen. I was under so much pressure from previous teachings on how you should evangelise, and when I did role playing scenarios during training sessions on evangelism correction always came because somehow I didn’t do it right or I forgot to say something and this brought feelings of unworthiness; that I could not be a preacher of the Good News because somehow I’d mess it up. I kept saying to the Lord that the Bible makes it sound so easy so why is it so hard to step out and touch people. He just said it’s because the church has made rules and formulas and doctrines out of how it should be done instead of just following two commandments – Love God and love your neighbour. Once you start loving people it becomes easy to share the Gospel. It’s called Kingdom Living but that is an entire blog post on its own.

Amidst all this I had two more fears to deal with – what other people think of me and safety for me and my family.

Our neighbourhood has been under attack by both some young youth terrorizing the area and by thieves breaking into homes, cars and stealing motorbikes. One night someone banged on the window right next to my head, it scared me so much and set off that fear receptor, then we had someone jump the fence and then our dear neighbours got broken into. So every single bump or noise in the night had me up and on the defence. My daughter’s fan fell over one night and I started shouting as if my life was in severe danger because I had thought someone broke in. The afternoon after the neighbours were broken into I was pacing my kitchen coming up with plans and strategies for prayer walks, fighting the enemy off etc – yep I went straight back to what I shouldn’t have done – fight the enemy and take my eyes off God.

My ever so patient husband just sat at the table and gave his head a little shake (geez, did that infuriate me) but after a couple of deep breaths I silently asked God what He wanted me to do – He said pray a blessing over the thieves! People only steal because they believe they need something they don’t have. They too need to be loved. God asked if I trusted Him enough to keep my family safe? Do I believe His Word that nothing will harm us or do I go into panic mode? Psalm 23 says that yes, we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death but we won’t fear any evil, because God Himself is with us, right beside us, protecting and caring for us until we come out the other side. His protection is sure. Logically, if someone were to break in and steal our goods everything could be replaced, we don’t even have much but it can all be replaced. If we are killed (not that I’m wanting this) we all know where we are going, so really what is there to fear?

Isaiah 54:17 says no weapon formed against you or your children will prosper. That includes sickness, disease, physical harm, rejection or any other plot of the enemy. Once I decided to take God at His word that we will be alright the noises got amplified but I dismissed them and carried on as if nothing was happening. There are still noises but now they are few and far between. God’s given us an idea on how to impact the youth in our area and we are excited to start doing it – I know opposition will come but I’m clinging onto Mark 5:36 “Fear not, only believe.” And knowing that God’s love never fails and His perfect love will transform lives.

Lastly, I’ve always been concerned about what others think of me and these past few months I have had the worst things spoken about me from people who don’t even know me, that was hard to take but a lot easier to deal with than when I decided to stop allowing other people’s expectations of me control me. I’ve pulled out of many things I have been expected to do and I’m now doing what God is telling me to do. People are disappointed in me and feel as if I’ve let them down but hey they need to take that up with God. I’m finally excited again about following Jesus, I am now feeling  like I felt when I first came to the Lord three years ago – all I had to do was let go of the law, step down from man created positions and expectations and step into God’s grace and the plans that He has for me.

Are you currently struggling with fear? Has God helped you overcome fear? I’d love to hear your testimonies :)

February 11, 2014 VIEW POST
February 11, 2014 VIEW POST
January 29, 2014 VIEW POST

Year in Review and Welcome 2014

Another year has passed and 2014 has sneakily caught up on me – I must be getting old because the time is just flying by. 2013 brought lots of tears of joy and some of sadness; it has been a blessed year albeit a stressful one at times. I married the most awesome man I have ever met – it was definitely a God setup and although the first six weeks were the toughest; with our first disagreements bringing some heated arguments and trips to the parents for advice, learning to live together and trying to remember not to be a nagging wife (I know there are a few Proverb scriptures about them but seriously why does the toilet seat have to be left up and the clothes left on the floor next to the wash basket??), bringing a seven year old into the mix who at first was a little terror and played me ever so cunningly, I am happy to inform you we have come together and formed a close-knit, happy and content family.

It was great to have my whole family from South Africa come over to visit us – it was their first time to Australia and I pray that there will be many more trips for all of us to keep seeing each other. Giving up work and some of my longest and loyal clients was a hard decision to trust God on and although things haven’t worked out the way I wanted them to God knew best and I was able to devote my time and energy to keeping our family schedule running with my husband’s shift changes and be there for Miss 7 when we had to deal with quite a few disturbing issues at her school and then to be at the right place and time for her to get into a new school without being waitlisted.  So this year will definitely be bringing some new and exciting adventures for her to which I want to be wholly available to support her through, therefore I’ll only be taking on limited amounts of work at the start of the year.

In reflection of the past year the hardest adjustment for me was learning that being married into a pastor’s family is not the easiest transition. My in-laws are the best, they are genuinely kind hearted and jovial people, the amount of crap (sorry for being crude but there is no ample way of putting it) they have to deal with so diligently and gracefully has been a great inspiration to me. They’ve had to deal with a lot of tiring and hurtful comments and being under attack both openly and spiritually by having me as a daughter-in-law. To me it seemed as if I was attacked for being too nice and then attacked for not being nice enough, and oh the judgement I received for not doing something or doing too much of something and then being labelled as evil and demonised by people I hadn’t even spoken to or rarely seen in church was very disheartening. I did laugh at the times people ignored me until they knew I was married to the pastor’s son, then all of a sudden I was the bees knees (If you can’t laugh then you’ll definitely have to cry, I prefer to laugh). I’ve yet to learn not to let people’s opinions of me hurt me and I am determined to respond in love to them – “walk in love and grace” is a mantra I have to keep repeating to myself.

Well, for 2014 I have decided to just be a God-pleaser, He’s the only one who will not be disappointed and thankfully His grace will be sufficient for me for when I do make mistakes. This year is definitely going to be the year of spending quality time with my family, performing more random acts of kindness, volunteering and fulfilling the great commission of healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding the poor, cleansing the leper and preaching the gospel into all the nations. This is the day the Lord has made and I place my hand into His powerful hand and walk forward with a steadfast trust.

May 2014 be your best year yet, filled with much love, grace, joy, peace and excellent health! My you know that Christ within you is the true hope of glory!

January 1, 2014 VIEW POST
You know that person that really irritates you, that just has a problem with you for no reason? Pray for them. Its amazing how you change towards them and will be less easily offended…its easy to pray for our besties, lest also pray our enemies and people that dont like us so much #pray #prayerchangesthings #breakthrough #breakfree #deliverance #womanofgod #womanofprayer #womenofGod #womenofprayer #Jesus4life #teamJesus #devotional #christian #Christ #scripture #love #ladies #fellas #wordoftheday #encourage#instadaily#instamood #blessings #textcutie
November 12, 2013 VIEW POST

Hello! I saw your poem post while I was searching through the Christian Living tag. I'm a poet, and if you still need help with your writing, shoot me a line! I'd be happy to help!

alwaysbe-lilith

November 12, 2013 VIEW POST

Judgement

Judgement is one of those ambiguous words that is often misunderstood in the church; most people find it confusing as the Bible says that we are to judge (1 Corin 2:15) and not to judge (Mat 7:1). There are so many teachings these days about judging in the courts of heaven and how we as Christians need to judge more but on the contrary bandwagon there are teachings saying that we are not to judge others at all.

There are two types of judgement – one that brings condemnation and one that brings proper discrimination. We can simplify it even further by using the words “criticize” for unsuitable judgements and “discernment” for recommended judgement. Obviously discernment is what we want to operate out of but unfortunately we fall quite easily into the criticizing category. There are so many scriptures about judging that it would take a whole lesson to sift through the various components, the part I want to discuss today is; what do you do when judgement in the form of criticism comes against you?

This is a lesson I’m going through at the moment; you see for three years I have been a practising and spirit-filled Christian, I attended Bible studies, prayer nights, prayer walks, conferences, teaching schools etc but in the past seven months I have realised how religious I have become, I have done all of this out of an expectation and teachings that this is what Christians have to do but God is showing me otherwise. I had a great chat with a friend of mine the other night who is going through a similar testing and she aptly put it as such; “For years I have been taught that this book is orange but God is telling me it is purple. I want to believe it is purple but I have the members of the church shouting at me, saying it is orange and that I’m being deceived!” So what do we do?

For me I’m doing what God tells me to do and I’m so grateful that God gave me the husband I have as he is in full support of the changes and learning lessons we’re going through. From Day 1 we agreed that we would follow five simple rules:

1)      Love God with all of our being

2)      Love the one in front of us (thanks Heidi Baker)

3)      Do what God tells us to do

4)      Sow into people’s lives (not just financially)

5)      Heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, cleanse the leper

In following these rules we have not attended quite a few church sessions, I have not been to any mid-week meetings and I only go to see ministering speakers if God tells me to. As you can guess I have come under criticism and am often fronted with questions and statements like; “Where were you on Sunday?”, “Are you backsliding?”, “I suppose it’s just where you are at!” oh and my favourite one, “The pastor expects you to be at church as you are a leader!” (The pastor hasn’t even mentioned anything to me about this)

A part of me wants to rise up and lash out (that’s not the nice part) and the other part of me is saddened and hurt by the responses (self-pity can sometimes come in) and yes then there is the prideful part of me that thinks we have done more in the last 7 months of ministering to people and leading people to God than the whole church has done in the last year (I know, it’s not a nice part either) But thank the Lord for discernment as I know that these feelings are like poison and not from God and so I can repent and I ask for wisdom in dealing with these situations as Christ exampled for us. It also goes to show that I am human, instead of letting these feelings fester (I tend to be a “bottle up” type of person) I let God know how I am feeling and I’m choosing to trust He will lead me down the right path He has planned for me.

I’m also grateful that God has given me friends who are experiencing the same lesson so we can support each other, I’m grateful for the smiles and thank you’s people have given me when I have helped them, I’m glad for the pick me ups when I receive emails and text messages from people I know and from strangers living oversees who say that my words of encouragement and prayers have been answered.  I now cling to 1 Sam 16:7b “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” and I follow my gut feelings, if my actions lead me to help, love, heal and share then I know that the fruit will speak for itself and that I will have a deeper fellowship with both God and fellow believers and soon-to-be believers. I know God is looking at my heart and sometimes my heart wants to please man but I want it to please God first and foremost.

It’s not easy doing what God tells you to do when it seems foolish to others or when others think that you are being rebellious, so I propose a truce and let’s come to an agreement – don’t make comments on my whereabouts and behaviour unless God tells you to and let’s learn to support each other with encouragement and love whether we agree on the process of action taken or not. Let’s allow God to change and stir things up – let’s open our homes to feed the hungry, let’s give hugs to those who are hurting, let’s pray for one another and yes, if it means missing a couple of church sessions because God tells us to go visit someone or invite someone around for lunch then let’s just do it!

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By cooldesign, published on 02 September 2013
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November 12, 2013 VIEW POST