Being Courageous in Todays World

The disciples after Jesus death, lived and cowered in fear, until he rose again the third day and they were fill with His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Then they became courageous powerhouses for the kingdom of God in reaching the lost for Jesus, willing to give up their lives to spread the gospel. We have that same Spirit living within our hearts that lived within the hearts of those disciples and we have the very same God, so why do we cower in fear refusing to take a stand for God and His word. The answer is we need to have an Intimate walk with Christ in order to have PASSION in serving him with all our heart, mind and strength.

As Casting Crowns sing, “we were made to be courageous, we were made to lead the way, we could be the generation that finally breaks the chains, we were made to be courageous.”

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7.
To live in fear is to live every waking moment with dread and constant anxiety over what may not even happen at all. To live by our emotions is very dangerous because feelings fluctuate they are unsteady not to be trusted in basing your every day decisions on. The byproduct of living by your feelings is to inherit the qualities that follow it, like worry, fretting, anxiety, discouragement, depression and fear.

Gods word says the just shall live by faith. As creator of all living things I believe he would know what is best for us. In John chapter 10 Jesus states,” I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The way to an abundant life is also stated, ” The righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Think about this with me for a moment to live by faith is to inherit its qualities like confidence, boldness, steadiness, encouragement, strength, and self-confidence. How many times has fear stop you from accomplishing a certain thing that later you regretted not doing it? Fear hinders you from being all you can be for Jesus Christ. Hinders you from having life more abundantly. Faith in God will erase all fear. So let God take hold of you in all His love and the power of His word to stand strong in the fight against sin, hypocrisy and weak knee Christians.

Personal note:
I have experienced many fears in the past several years since all my securities were in people and not in God were by my own misguided decisions caused my loved ones to be taken away from me which helped me to see myself and God in a real way. God had turned my sinful behavior and bad choices which separated me from those I loved and hurt into my eventual good. Why you may ask would God do anything for my good since my own sin caused my own pain, suffering, and being ostracized by those who were close to me. The reason? I fell at the feet of God’s mercy, God had to get me at the end of myself before he could mold me and shape me according to His will and purpose. I lived a life of hypocrisy until I came to the end of myself at the foot of the cross and looked up to Jesus pleading to have mercy on one who had previously frustrated the grace of God. God in his love towards me was patient working within me till the time of my full deliverance. By the power of God He has caused me to stand in truth and in righteousness by the faith I had in him to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” Ephesians 3: 20. He did for me more than I could ever imagine possible. For years in my struggle against the sins that so easily beset me I said unto God that if He could deliver me completely I would become a walking miracle. The past four years that miracle has become a reality in my life. Now I say to you do not let sin hinder, do not let fear hinder you from becoming all that you can be in Christ and to your family. Isaiah 55:1 “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Come to Jesus who will freely give to your soul what it has long been searching and craving for.

Intimacy With Christ,

~ Richard W. Wafford

I Need a Change, I’m Ready To Fly, and I’m Forming a New Past

My New Past

A dear friend of mine Debra Powers gave this profound truth, “Remember you are forming the past today. You can’t change the past you already have had. God isn’t backtracking. Stick with me on this thought. The best way to change your past is living in truth today. By that I mean. Today you are forming the “new past” you will have. Embrace where you are, who you are and who God is molding you to be. Let God give you a sound mind vs. a spirit of fear so that you can start changing the past you are going to have.”

Song written by Deibler and Jeromy called Ready To Fly sung by FFH has a lot of insight, keys if you will to what we can do with our past. As my friend Debra states above you can’t change your past, however, we can start forming our new past today which is an extremely insightful thought. The song states “I’ve been grounded far to long” how many times as our past hindered our present blinded us to sound thinking, sound choices and wise decisions. If we surrender our all to God he will take us to the place where the song says, “I’m ready to see the open wide Ready to sing a different song” why, because we‘ve been hinder far too long. That is why upon our new birth in Romans 12:2 “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Our minds due to being born into sin are corrupt our thinking faulty therefore needs renewed, our lies to be replaced by the real truth to life itself written by the author of truth the creator of human life, Jesus the Son of the Living God. John 14: 6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It will take a different mindset to think on things eternal to forming my new past in the present. We get too much involved and upset in the things that do not matter in the eternal view. How many times have we got into fights and arguments with trivial matters are that only temporal and in actuality now really worth fighting or arguing over when you stop and think of eternity. Is it really worth winning when your lose a relationship or that intimacy that was once there is lost due to a fight that was trivial to begin with?

PERSONAL NOTE:

I have all my life allowed my past to hinder my present thereby affecting my future. By this I am referring to how I perceived my treatment as a child while growing up, I felt like I was the black sheep of my family. I perceived in my mind at a young immature age that my older brother was the cream of the crop and I was the crap left over. This perception whether true or not left me feeling worthless, unloved, and not good enough in their eyes. This false mindset affected my every present my every waking moment therefore the present decisions that I made affected my future. My schoolwork? Selecting college? My vocation? Why, press on to become something better or why reach out to greatness when you perceived yourself to be worthless and not worth the effort. If my false perception of the people I trusted the most believed I was worthless then it must be so. My born-again experience began at the age of fourteen in 1975 while my eternal view had changed sadly the view-point of myself did not, I still had a low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts. In 1997 my view-point of God had changed drastically from a marriage counselor who told me that God loved me unconditionally and you know what? I believed him and saw in God’s word that he did indeed love me with no strings attached contrary to those who claimed that they did.

Again in 2008 I saw in God’s word a simple truth to some but was so profound to me that the just are saved by faith. I ruminated for 3 months Romans 9: 16 it does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. then I sat down and read the entire book of Romans the truth hit me like it did with Martin Luther we are justified by faith.

Romans 4:1-6 (NIV)            Abraham Justified by Faith

4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh,discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%204:1-6&version=NIV)

Abraham was justified not by works or else he could boast to everyone, he was justified by his faith in God and it was credited to him as righteousness. To the one who does not work but trusts in God our faith, my faith was and is credited as righteousness.

My mindset had changed from lies to the actual truth. I not only didn’t have to perform for my parent’s approval but I didn’t have to lobby for God’s approval. I saw a whole new me just like the song says, “I’ve been grounded far to long” and “I’m ready to see the open wide Ready to sing a different song.” I was excited about life now I no longer wanted to die and get to heaven as soon as possible but the truth that Paul stated, “to live is Christ but to die is gain”, I can actually grasp the concept. My past forgiven, my excess baggage dealt with along with forgiving everyone who has ever hurt me or wounded my spirit. I now walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus, I became dead in sin and towards sin to walk in the pathway of the Spirit. God is my fortress and strength a very present help in times of trouble, a healer to all my pains, and taking this poor caterpillar and creating a beautiful butterfly to soar into the heavens no longer crawling on the ground of a pathetic life allowing my pains and sufferings to govern my future decisions. I live in Christ alone…..PRAISE HIS NAME.