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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's grace over the powers of darkness with which we may 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 the power of God’s true intimacy? Am I afraid of mankind?”
God always desires to awaken us to more of Him in an effort to lead us deeper into 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 know their power source. 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 gift of divine power (grace) fuels us so we can change an atmosphere and inspire and influence others. Grace is 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 to get God's perspective and solution on matters. There is no shame in feeling desperate for God. God created us to be dependent upon Him. He is with us, even if we don't feel His presence. It is from Him alone that we should draw our strength. His solutions are always better than ours. We just need to awaken to Him concerning them--receive a divine revelation. Remember, 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. You are being tested.
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…
This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, "Enduring Grace." All rights reserved. Copyright 2014.