‘You don’t listen to the news?’ The look on his face was somewhat incredulous. Regarding the television set being installed in my office my guest had remarked that it would help me keep abreast of news from around the world. I had laughed and replied that I rarely ever listen to the news. The television was more to ensure I had fresh Word being poured into me as I worked during the day. Indeed, my television at home is near permanently tuned to either Daystar or TBN. Every once in a really long while, I tune in to some news channel or the other to listen in for a few minutes, and unfailingly in those few minutes, my heart is sure to sink from the onslaught of gory headlines. I do flip through the papers more regularly, with ‘flip’ being the operating word, lol.
About five years ago, I made a deliberate decision to distance myself from the steady flow of the enemies ‘testimonials’ (in my view) that spill forth in a steady stream all day long on our news channels. I mean, why is good news no news, I ask? In years past, I used to be glued to news channels but had found myself inadvertently walking in literal fear of just about everything. When you listen to a constant stream of violence – killings, rapes, bombings, abductions, pedophilia, etc it begins to seep into your psyche slowly and surely, and rather unconsciously fear begins to intensify its grip on your heart. You begin to lose trust in the goodness of people, and without being conscious of it; your thinking becomes skewed around negativity. Perhaps this is not so for everyone, but it had become so much so for me until I made a conscious pact with myself not to allow it any more.
Sis, the world I live in does not look anything like what is projected in the news. Does yours? My world is full of love and laughter. Its full of family and friends. With all our shortcomings and idiosyncrasies yes, my world is full of good people who just want to make a difference. It is full of the grace of God and clear manifestations of His love for His children. My world is not free of problems, certainly not! Neither is my world unmindful of security challenges and the reality of pure wickedness being manifested on the earth. But my world is in God’s hands; its in the assurance of His protection; in the conviction that regardless of what may come my way, His plans for me are good and He will have His way in my life. I recognize this and I have chosen to walk in it. I pray you do too. The Lord said we should decree a thing and it shall be established. I have decreed that His goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. This is my daily mantra and the Lord is confirming His Word and faithfulness in my world.
The Word of God tells us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. This reads to me also that as a man thinks his world should be, so is it. My life is at peace because I know how the story ends and I choose to focus on this. I know that it will appear for a season as if the enemy is gaining ground. But I know God ordained it so, and that God already has the victory. We will all die one day, this is fact of life. I know also that none of us has any idea the ‘how’ of our dying. People will die in their youth, some in their old age; people will die in their sleep, others out of sickness or disease. People will die in accidents, some will unfortunately commit suicide, and yet others will be murdered. Morbid thoughts, yes; but these are the realities of our fleshly houses – one way or the other, death will come. Our spirits however live forever and this is my constant reminder to myself and to you sis. Shake off the fear and embrace the glory that awaits you as a bonafide child of the living God, in covenant relationship with Him, with the Holy Spirit, and with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not by any means advocating not watching the news. No sis, that’s not my message for today. My message is that in the middle of the many disheartening and discouraging reports that you hear, see and maybe get to experience day in and day out; don’t lose focus! Don’t let fear overtake you. Don’t lose your confidence in the One Who is greater than every evil in the land. God admonishes us to be more afraid of spiritual death that will lead to an eternal separation from Him, than we are of the death of our fleshly houses. I say all the time that while I certainly do not want to go to hell, with its fiery furnaces and worms that eat you and yet you never die; what petrifies me to the core is the thought of not being in the presence of the Lord. To miss out on sharing in His majesty, His glory, His love, His joy, and the fullness of being in His presence, would be the single greatest ever tragedy – eternally so. If you need to fear anything at all sis, please fear this and in that fear, lets you and I walk even more closely with the Lord, shall we? Let us surrender our all to Him and trust Him to walk us into His everlasting arms.
Fear not! God speaks this simple phrase 365 times in the Bible – that’s one ‘Fear not’ per day of our human calendar year. Does this not tell you how omnipotent God is? Ever before the calendar was invented, He knew man would design it around 365 days, and He made provision of one ‘Fear not’ for you and I for each day. Thank You Father! Why is this do you think sis? Simply put, the enemy is described as a roaring lion; he is roaming the earth to and fro looking for whom to devour. The enemy is not going to allow you stay in a place of fearlessness that easily, sis. The enemy understands very clearly that in the place of peace, in the place of utter trust in God, he is powerless over you. Every day therefore, he is looking for new ways to get you to question God’s supremacy in your life, to question God’s ability to prevent and/or see you through difficulties and pains that he can foment in your life. You need to affirm the “Fear not’ mandate from God each and every day of your life sis. This is the only way you can keep the right focus for victory over the devil.
Last night as we sat around the dinner table, my daughter mentioned that they had a lock-down drill in school. Each of the children began to share their experiences regarding the drill. They had been advised by the school management that regular lock-down drills would now be added to the fire drills they would usually have. We discussed how sad it was that lock-down drills were now a standard part of school life for children in the US, UK and several countries around the world, and sadder still for us that schools in our country are now forced to begin to prepare for the possibilities of shootings or other attacks. Slowly and surely, the children began to speak about some horrific incident or the other that they had heard about. First it was about school shootings overseas, and then their conversations filtered down to incidents around us. Some child was kidnapped from school and killed; some pair of twins died in a bizarre accident as they left school; someone else drowned on a school trip; some mother was shot to death trying to defend her children from an armed robbery attack. It just went on and on, one dreary tale after the other.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me and showed me that there was a spirit of terror contending for the hearts of each of us at the table, adults and children alike, and He was not about to allow us into that place of bondage. In the middle of my niece’s sentence, I said ‘Let us pray”. I allowed the Holy Spirit lead me in prayer against fear, terror and dread. As I prayed, the Lord spoke peace into each and every one of us. He assured us of His mercy and protection, reminding us that He is always more than able, that He is our protector, our shield and buckler. He reminded us of His Word in Psalm 91 that only with our ears shall we hear of evil, but it shall not come near us. The Lord poured Scripture after Scripture from my lips as we prayed, and when we finally said ‘Amen’ the atmosphere around the table had clearly changed. The foreboding lifted and the calm in our spirits was so palpable, we could almost feel the Lord’s assuring arms around us all.
This is what I leave you with today, sis. Is there fear ruling in any area of your life? Are you afraid of death? Are you afraid for your children? Are you afraid for your marriage? Is there any form of terror in your heart? In any area of your life that fear is holding you bound, get on your knees and lift it up to the Lord. Ask the Lord to wash you in His peace, sis. You cannot fight fear in your own strength. It is a demon spirit and a stronghold on assignment to steal your eternal destiny. Search the Scriptures and soak yourself in God’s many assurances concerning His children. Declare openly to the enemy that no matter what he brings your way, your eternal salvation is assured in Jesus Christ. Remind him that even if he kills your body, he has no power over your spirit. Your life is hid in Christ Jesus sis. Walk in that assurance, sis!
Daily declare, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not fear. What can man do to me? Though the storms may rage, my God is more than able to deliver me. Whatever else life brings my way I will stand in victory on the last day by the power of the God Who is all powerful and Who is in me. Lord I give you my every fear today. In your strength, for I have none of my own, I declare that fear shall not have dominion over me. I will walk in peace today Lord, for You are my peace. Lord, I choose to keep my eyes on You and on the glory that awaits me in the end when you welcome me into heaven. I stand in confidence today Lord, that it is well with me; that indeed Your goodness and mercy do follow me; and so shall it be all the days of my life. Thank You father for Your peace and for Your victory, in Jesus mighty name, Amen’.
Fear not sis, The Lord will help you, as assuredly as He is helping me.
Be blessed sis…. For you surely are!