Take a Bite out of Fear and Enjoy the Gift Within
Over the past few months, we have experienced new normal(s) in our lives; places of worship and employment are aggressively advancing their systems and technologies to meet the needs of this present day – the 21st century. We are slowly learning to live in a place of confinement, for many of us, we are in solitary confinement; alone, lonely, afraid, sleepless nights and in a depressed state of mind. We have become socially disconnected and isolated! People have given up community and social distancing is now our new norm. No longer are we socially bonding but find ourselves in social isolation even attending church on social media.. we find ourselves being current and active members of “Bedside Baptist Church” fellowshipping on the world wide web.
What if the doors of the church never open again? Are we ready to be the church?
While we are locked in, let’s seek God’s face to stir up, wake up, disturb and activate the gift of the Holy Spirit within us. Paul’s words to Timothy encourage us, to ‘stir up the gift’ of ministry that God has given us. “That’s why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire—the special endowment] which is in you through the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]”.2 Timothy 1:6-7
Thank God we are still connected to Christ Jesus by Faith. We are in relationship with Christ, so we must find our calling….”God, what are you equipping me to do during this time of social & emotional distancing?” Our emotions are running high, trying to figure out what in the world is going on, we must be intentional about what God is saying to us in this season. During this time of quarantine, the Holy Spirit is equipping us for His service with His power, might, dominion, character, leadership, compassion and care. God wants us to activate the gift that is within us. God is heightening our awareness of our inner selves….the gifts that are lying dormant within. God is saying “stir up that gift that is within you” I am with you always, I won’t leave you or forsake you!” Hebrews 13:5 “I am here to help you, guide you, direct you and empower you”. “So lean on Me!”
Have you ever felt like the enemy is working overtime to cripple your minds with fear, doubt and discouragement?
Well, we do know the enemy’s resume….”he has come to kill our dreams, steal our joy and destroy our relationships and reliance on God.” John 10:10a. The enemy is really after our Faith, and that’s the reason we must take authority and dominion over fear and other hindering spirits and replace it with Faith. That’s what Apostle Paul was encouraging his son in the ministry, Timothy and each of us, to stir up the gift of Ministry that God has given us, “inner fire” in us. “Do not fear!” “Do not lose heart!” Truth be told, our nation is fighting an emotional, spiritual and intangible demon which has left some of financially and psychologically disabled and partially depleted. Currently, we find ourselves physically fighting for our lives daily because of our vulnerabilities and fear. There is a growing and invisible enemy in our midst and attacking our bodies, which antibiotics cannot cure. Therefore, our total reliance and dependence must be on Jehovah Rapha, our Healer, to do His mighty work in and through us.
How do we walk by faith and not by sight during these unprecedented times?
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ESV), Paul reminds us, "So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight." We must be of good courage, even though we cannot physically see God, we must trust Him when we cannot trace Him. Our desire is to please God and Him alone – we all have a judgment to face – we have to be responsible for our actions and deeds. There is a reverential fear that we have within us that says, “God, I will serve You every day as if it is my last day”. There are eternal rewards that God promises us if “we walk by faith and not by sight” because we want to be in the number, when the Saints go marching in.
Is fear crippling us, causing us to lose heart and give up on the gifts God blessed us with?
I am reminded of Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” He wanted Timothy to search within for the gracious gift of God – that inner fire – and act on it without fear. Use the power of love and a sound mind to fan the flames of your “inner you” and believe God for His abundance to fill your life. “God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we ask or think of Him.”Eph 3:20. We stand confidently on these words of God’s Promise in our ministry, “Trust God With Your Everything!” If we believe it, we will achieve it!”
So my friends, your minds may be cluttered with worry, fear, anxiety….let’s take a bite out of them all and “be alert and of a sober mind” 1 Peter 5:8, focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, Lord of our lives, fill our minds with His Word and walk in it daily. “Walk in God’s Ability and our inability to fight the “enemy within” with His Word. “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Zachariah 4:6
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
My prayer is that God will help and guide us as we fill our minds with His Word and His love, so we can find our inner fire and strength to carry it out! Our hearts belong to You, Lord, so we give ourselves completely to You, so You can use us for Kingdom building.
With God’s Everlasting Love,
Jean M. Brown
Associate Minister – “The Healing Place”
Director of Women’s Ministries