It was fear! In a conversation last week, after my mind and words went in the same negative direction for the third time, Pastor Jack Hayford identified it, and asked what was causing the reaction. I was surprised at his question, but quickly realized he was very wise in asking. It was unjustified fear manifesting about a specific issue, fear of the unlikely consequences of a hypothetical situation regarding a decision not even made! So though it did not make sense logically, there it was, fear, and it was finding root in my heart and spirit. How the enemy loves to plant and use fear against us.
Fear is often behind discussions or reactions, especially in what we see in the media today about the economy. As I reflected more about this, I realized that in the past few weeks I've been witnessing a lot of fear: Fear of loss of future, finances or relationships. The environment we live in can quickly and subtly open one's heart to fear. And we have an active enemy all too eager to run in and generate worry, kill faith, and exchange faith and love for anything we'll accept.
In the last couple of days, my devotions have taken me through these wonderful words in Luke 12:6-7, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
I quickly found myself praying, for myself and you:
- Come Holy Spirit and show me areas, large or small, where I have allowed fear to take root and exchange faith for fear.
- Continue to use people willing to speak truth in love which will cast fear out of my life, helping me to see those sometimes-hidden areas in which faith has been derailed.
- Help me to respond in faith and knowledge of who He is, His care for me, and my value in Him.
This week, may you and I walk through His "open doors" (Rev. 3:8) that no one can shut! I pray that without fear hindering, these wonderful doors of ministry will lead to greater harvest, fruitfulness and fulfillment. At the central offices this week, in the midst of a slowdown, Johnell Loop and our awesome FMI team are advancing in faith, training 35 awesome new missionaries to go to the field! Thank you Lord, for reminding me, that you are my "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore [your Foursquare family] will not fear, though the earth give way..." (Psalm 46:1-2a).
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." -1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
By: Jonathan Hall, director of missions