Tag Archives: fear

The Cost of Fear

He will not leave you

To our beloved readers:  I write this article as one who has struggled for years with fear.  Bit by bit I have overcome some of my “illegal” fears, but my struggle continues.  I write this article to myself as well as to all of you.  Let us keep our focus on the prize before us.

Fear is one of the emotions that YHVH gave to us for a specific purpose.  We are to fear only YHVH knowing that He is much greater than us and more powerful.   However, many of us fear much more than the awesome might of YHVH.  We humans have many different types of fear.    Yet Scripture tells us repeatedly not to be afraid.

In Exodus 1:19-45 and Numbers  13-14, we read that the Israelites refused to go into the Promised Land because of their fear of the giant people living there.  As they focused on the problem it seemed to magnify, distracting them so that they forgot the signs and wonders that YHVH had already performed to release them from slavery in Egypt.  As a result of yielding to their fear, the Israelites paid a heavy price.  They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation of adults died out.  They not only forfeited a much easier life in a land of abundance, but they failed to assume their divine assignment from YHVH.  Instead of carrying out their mission, they spent the rest of their lives wandering around aimlessly.  YHVH simply waited until a new generation was raised up to replace those who had yielded to fear.

What can we learn from the Israelites? In Exodus 19 and 20, we see that YHVH wants to meet with the people.  The manifestations of His presence (fire, smoke, lightening and thunder and so on) made the people afraid.  We are to have great awe and respect for the Ancient of Days, but we are not to be afraid to speak to Him and hear His voice.  Now, we do not hear YHVH’s voice thundering, but instead we listen for a still small voice inside of us.  YHVH has made it more comfortable for us to hear Him.  In the Exodus account, barriers were erected around the mountain in order to separate YHVH from the fallen, sinful humans, but Yeshua has removed those barriers for us.  The veil in the Temple has been torn and we are free to have a close personal relationship with our Father and His Son.  Do we fear having an intimate relationship with our Father or with Yeshua?  If so, what price are we paying for our fear?  What are we losing?

Our Father spoke His commandments to the Israelites, but they were too afraid to continue hearing from Him.  So He wrote out His commands on tablets of stone.  After Yeshua returned to His Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to write His law on our hearts.  The Holy Spirit not only has put the law on our hearts but works through us so that we can carry out YHVH’s commands.  Do we fear having the Holy Spirit operate in us and through us?

Just as YHVH delivered the Israelites from bondage, He desires to set us free from our bondage to sin and to demons.  Many of us deny that we can be in bondage to demons when we are already born again.  Others of us are afraid of the spiritual realm and the idea of demons, so we stay in denial and try to ignore them.  Just as termites in your house will not go away if you simply ignore them, neither will demons depart from you because you deny their existence or their presence.  Do we fear seeking deliverance from  demons who hold us in bondage and torment us?  Do we fear the spiritual realm?   As the Israelites were commanded to purge leaven from their midst during Unleavened Bread, we are expected to permanently purge sin and demonic influence from our midst.  How does our bondage hinder us from completing our mission on earth and enjoying life in abundance (John 10:10)?

When the Israelites began to fear the giants in Canaan, they abandoned the only fear they were supposed to have, fear of YHVH.  Their fear of the giants became so great that they disobeyed the only One who is to be feared.  Is it the same with us?  Do we fear that which challenges us to the point that we forget to fear YHVH and thus fail in our divine assignments? Will we fail in our mission because our fear is misplaced?  What blessings and joys are we forfeiting because we give in to forbidden fears?

 

Repairing Reflections

weapons-of-our-warfareThere is great temptation these days to succumb to fear and anxiety.  Yet, Scripture tells us repeatedly not to fear.   Isaiah 35:4,  John 14:27, Joshua 1:9 and Matthew 6:34, are just a handful of examples of YHVH’s teaching on fear. We know that YHVH does not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7).  So when trouble seems to loom ahead or is already in our midst, how do we combat those anxious thoughts and feelings that arise?

Our tendency is to tackle the job in the physical realm.  This is a mistake.  Even though our problems are in the physical realm, their source is from the spiritual realm.  The following analogy may help to better illustrate.   Athletes regularly review videos of past games in order to discover what works well and what skills or strategies still need to be honed.  Even though the video reflects what happened during the game, the problems cannot be fixed by editing the video.  Our physical realm is a video or mirror image of what is happening behind the scenes, that is the spiritual realm (Heb 8:5, 1 Cor 13:12).  In order to make effective changes in the physical realm, we have to address the issues in the spiritual realm.

For decades, perhaps centuries, many people have tried to solve the Middle East crisis on the physical level.  There have been numerous treaties, division of land, wars, and discussions.  None of these attempts has been able to resolve the conflicts.  YHVH shows us how He handles the situation.  Prime candidates for terror are experiencing life-changing dreams or visions of Yeshua.  Once these individuals discover Yeshua, their lives are transformed.  Instead of attacking their enemies, they are praying for the salvation and welfare of their enemies!  YHVH is battling in the spiritual realm to resolve terrorism and His work produces everlasting results.

Yeshua came to the earth the first time and demonstrated by signs and wonders in the physical realm that He is the Messiah.  His followers were disappointed and even disillusioned to discover that He did not mean to physically attack the Romans, the physical enemies of that time.   Instead, Yeshua attacked a much more dangerous enemy in the spiritual realm and wrought for all humans a much greater triumph with eternal implications.

Many of Yeshua’s followers today realize that the true battleground is in the spiritual realm and are now publicly engaged in intercession , worship, repentance and reconciliation with others.  In July, evangelical Christians gathered around the Washington Monument to seek YHVH’s help in breaking racism.* Breaking Christian News recently reported that 1,000  “Native American Indian tribes from the United States and Canada collectively forgave the U.S. government for breaking treaties with their ancestors during a public ceremony on the National Mall.”**  There is great power in forgiving others and releasing them from debt.  “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matt 6:12).

A number of us have experienced the power of forgiveness on a more personal level.  We have discovered that when we truly forgive individuals who have hurt us, amazing things happen.  People who were estranged from us contact us seeking reconciliation.  All we did was take our case to YHVH and tell Him that we forgave and released the person(s) from any debt owed to us.  We did not disclose to anyone, not even the individuals we forgave, that we had taken such a step.  Within a short time the physical realm reflected changes made in the spiritual realm.

When Yeshua returns, His job will be to complete the reconciliation and restoration that we have been addressing (Acts 3:21 NLT).   Our adversary and any one cooperating with him want us to be divided and at odds with each other (John 10:10).  Yeshua said that we would be known by our love for one another.  We certainly want Yeshua to recognize us as His own when He returns. Judging or arguing with others stems from fear.  Yeshua said that He would only recognize those who were reaching out in love to others.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 3:43-44).   Does Yeshua recognize you as one of His sheep?

*   Rees, Steve.  ‘God break racism!’ Evangelicals on D.C. Mall pray for hope and reconciliation, The   Washington Post, July 16, 2016

** Zauzmer, Julie, An Kirkland and Michelle Boorstein.  “Must Read!  Native Americans are ‘Spiritual Sleeping Giants Awakened’ after Incredible Prophetic Act in Washington:  “May Go Down as One of the Most Important Days in American History,” Breaking Christian News,  Oct. 27, 2016, http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=19576

 

Healing Our Souls

the-righteous-personYHVH tells us in His Word that He is our Healer (Ex 15:26, Ps 103:1-5; Is 53:4-5).  We know through the sacrifice of Yeshua we can be set free from sin.   And that would have been enough, but Dayenu!  We have a God who always does more.  He heals our bodies and souls completely!  Today, let us focus on healing for our soul wounds.

We all have them.  Some are just under the surface and others are buried deep within us.  It is nearly impossible to reside in this fallen world and remain unscathed.  However, it is up to us whether or not we will remain injured and broken.  It is possible for YHVH to heal  all our soul wounds if we are willing to cooperate with Him. This is often easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

What are soul wounds?  Our souls are made up of mind, will, and emotions.  Many types of wrongs can damage to our souls.  In many societies, we feel pressured to bury emotional  pain and proceed as if nothing happened.  Over time, some hurts get buried deep for so long that we seem to forget about them.  Isn’t it best to forget and move on?  It is best to forgive and move on, but it is also necessary to take the time to work on healing the soul wounds that often remain.  We must not confuse forgiving others with healing the wounds they have inflicted.  The two are separate although closely connected.

Just as untended flesh wounds get worse and cause complications, so do untended soul wounds fester within us.  Fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, rejection, pain, or guilt must be dealt with properly.  Holding onto such burdens slows us down and weakens our relationships with YHVH and others.  We build walls or strongholds to “protect” ourselves from being hurt again.  However, the strongholds do not guarantee that we will be safe from future harm;  they actually imprison us, making us more vulnerable to our enemies.

YHVH is aware of all our injuries and promises in His word to restore us to perfect wholeness (shalom).  Let us examine some of YHVH’s promises.

Fear, anxietyPeace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27).

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Rom 7:15-16)

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7).

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb 13:6)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is 41:10).

Anger, bitterness, resentment:  [YHVH] will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Ex. 14:14)

In your anger do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil a foothold.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  (Eph 4: 26-27, 31)

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you (Prov 20:22).

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:9-11).

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Pet 5:10).

Loss, mourning, rejection: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken (Ps. 34:17-20)

 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Ps. 147:3).

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, (Ps. 20:11)

Sin, guiltTherefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 51:10).

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Heb 8:12)

But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:9-11)

How can we cooperate with YHVH to make ourselves whole again?  First, we need to examine ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to bring soul wounds to our attention.  Next, we take our wounds and lay them at the feet of Yeshua.  Then, we ask YHVH to heal our wounds according to His promises.  We meditate on His promises until they become not mere words, but reality for us.  Healing of soul wounds can lead to physical healing.

Only when we are made whole do we reach the full potential YHVH has planned for us.  During these ten days of awe, let us seek YHVH’s help in examining and healing our souls.

Our Strength in Battle

be strong

“…Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

This verse from Joshua along with Deuteronomy 20:1-4 are well-known battle verses, meant to encourage troops before they head off into conflict. However, what about the daily battles we face, which are not usually against flesh and blood but rather against spiritual enemies and people who are influenced by spiritual forces (demons) from the kingdom of darkness?

Psalm 144:1 contains an even stronger verse relating to preparation for battle: – “Blessed be the Lord [YHVH] my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle—“. When we look further down in this passage, though, we see that David is talking about spiritual warfare as much as physical combat. In Verses 7-8 he says: “Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks lying words, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” We see from these verses that David is not getting training in face-to-face physical combat techniques so much as he is learning to trust YHVH his Rock in all situations, knowing that Yehovah will be fighting alongside him and rescuing him from the enemy’s attacks.

Where then do David and other warriors get their courage and strength? Looking back at the Joshua 1 passage once again, we see that Joshua is told to be strong and courageous, but not because of his own prowess or battle-worn experience. He is told that Yehovah will be with him in the battles, and because of that he does not need to fear. In 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 King Hezekiah says: “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord [YHVH] our God, to help us and to fight our battles…” Verse 8 clearly states that their army is greater than the army of Assyria, but not because of physical numbers. Rather, their strength and numbers are bolstered by having God Himself with them. In fact, God is not only with them, but He is fighting the battles for them!

If we need YHVH to be with us when we fight the physical and spiritual battles of life, then how do we ensure that YHVH is with us? The answer is in a single word, trust. It sounds simple, but it requires us to trust YHVH with our life, which is not simple. We learn this deep level of trust day-by-day by experiencing YHVH’s Hand of victory throughout the trials and conflicts of our lives. One of the clearest testimonies to trusting YHVH is in 2 Chronicles 14:11 when Asa cried out to YHVH and said, “LORD [YHVH], it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let people prevail against You!”

Another example of this type of unquestioning trust is in Exodus 33:15-16 when Moses says to YHVH: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us?” In this statement to YHVH, Moses is saying that he knows they will not be successful if YHVH does not go with them, and the Israelites will not have the testimony that they cannot succeed without YHVH.

So, where did these leaders find the strength to go out before their enemies, knowing their armies were physically inferior and that they did not have the courage and strength in themselves to be victorious? They found their strength in YHVH. There are many verses in the Torah, Psalms and Prophets that talk about people putting all their trust in YHVH’s strength. In fact they say that YHVH is their strength (Ex 15:2, Ps 18:2; 19:4; 118:14, Isa 12:2, etc.). I believe David sums this up in Psalm 27:1: “…The LORD [YHVH] is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1) Even Sh’aul came to this conclusion in all his struggles when YHVH said to him: “…‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness’.” (2 Cor 12:9)

I aspire to have this kind of trust, where I have no anxiety or fear when I am going through the severe trials of life; only believing that YHVH will get me through those trials and that He will give me the victory over whatever enemy I am facing, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. My desire is that you will also learn to have this type of unwavering trust in YHVH, the Creator of the universe, and in His Son, Yeshua our Redeemer.

Authentic Preparation

be anxious for nothing

If you are alive and conscious on this planet, you have to work hard to avoid the glaring headlines that accost us each day.  Wars and rumors of wars, severe weather and other natural disasters, famine, persecution, terrorism, and the list goes on.  For many countries, the danger is not merely headlines, but everyday harsh reality.  How do people stand strong at such times?  Those of us in the United States are challenged to comprehend such evils.  In my own life, I have endured poverty, abuse, injustice and oppression, but my trials were trifling compared to the suffering that many people are enduring today.  Sometimes my trials made me fearful and anxious, but at other times, my character and perseverance were strengthened, especially when I learned to trust Yeshua.

What is going on in the world?  Natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and forest fires, to name a few,  have killed thousands and left countless others homeless.  Economies and governments are faltering and even collapsing.  Terrorists are seeking out and gaining strong footholds in many countries.  Genocide is becoming more rampant as terrorist and extremist groups take control, torturing and murdering countless people as hundreds of thousands flee in desperation.*

What do we do?  How do we prepare ourselves for what may befall us?  Many have taken to storing and hoarding gold, food, weapons.  Others are formulating emergency plans of survival and/or escape.  Escape to where?  What is a safe place?  Will it be safe tomorrow?  No matter how diligent and excellent our planning, how can we possibly be prepared for every possible disaster?  Consider Yeshua‘s parable of the man who built extra buildings to store his excess (Luke 12:13-21).  Yeshua warns us that to build up earthly treasures does not make us rich towards YHVH.  Contrast this with the young fellow who selflessly shared his loaves and fishes.  He was perhaps facing immediate starvation, not some future unforeseen disaster, yet he shared the little he had and was richly rewarded (John 6:1-14).

Our culture values self-sufficiency, so it is not intuitive for us to prepare ourselves as Scripture teaches us.  Yeshua tells us not to be anxious for physical provisions and security (Luke 12:22-32).  We are to build up treasures, but they are spiritual, not physical, treasures.   Also, it is natural in our flesh to fight for protection and survival, but there is a greater survival at stake and we must learn to value it above our fleshly well-being.   Yeshua teaches us that we are not to rely on weapons (Matt 26:51-52).

These are difficult lessons that take much prayer and effort.  Peter and I have struggled over the years and continue to struggle to take on the mind of Yeshua and not allow our flesh to dictate our attitudes and actions.   We are learning to let go of our earthly treasures, for they are not our security.  YHVH is our provider (Ps 104:27-28).  We are realizing that our true battles are not physical, but spiritual (Eph 6:12) and that YHVH is our only true refuge (Ps 46-:1-3).   Our severest trials are ahead of us.  Yet, we are discovering that if we can be faithful in little matters or trials, we will be more fully prepared as the severity of our trials increases (Luke 16:10).

All of us face trials of some sort at the present.  How are we reacting?  Are we fearful and anxious, perhaps indulging in self-pity?  Or are we learning to let go and trust our Father?  How are we preparing ourselves for the severe trials that seem inevitable?  Are we strengthening our relationship with our Father and Yeshua?  Are we yielding ourselves ever more to the gifts and empowerment of the Holy Spirit?  We have plenty of opportunities to practice as we support our brothers and sisters who are currently facing severe trials.  We can begin to share not only our surplus, but even our loaves and fishes.  When others treat us hatefully, we can respond with love.  We can stop accusing errant leaders and pray for them instead.  When the severe trials come, then we will not falter or collapse, but we will be strong and able to continue the work our Master has assigned to us, even to the end (Luke 12:35-40).

*A  list of the top 50 countries that are under severe trial can be found at https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/.  Please pray for them.

Restoring the House

harmony in the body

In last week’s article, we examined the importance of embracing all the truth that YHVH has revealed. Our failure to receive the truth and employ the gifts Elohim provides has caused division and dissension within the Body of Messiah. Our assignment from YHVH is to build up His Body (Matt. 28:16-20) and prepare ourselves to live in His kingdom (Eph 4:13-15). It is time that we re-consider the gifts and tools that are missing in our lives.

For example, some followers of Yeshua say that speaking in tongues is from the devil. Are they saying that YHVH used a sign from the devil to demonstrate that His Holy Spirit had fallen on the followers of Yeshua? (Acts 2:4, 1 Cor 14:2) Speaking in tongues serves as evidence that we have received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-47, 1 Cor 14:22). Actually, praying in tongues is a very powerful tool to strengthen the user (Jude 20). We can pray in tongues when we aren’t sure how to pray in our native language (Rom 8:26). We can us tongues to intercede powerfully on behalf of our brothers and sisters (Eph 6:18).

From the very beginning, there has been misunderstanding and misuse of the gift of speaking in tongues. Hasatan wasted no time in working through people’s pride and immaturity to discredit this gift. When we refuse the gift of speaking in tongues or abandon its use, we lose many opportunities to strengthen ourselves and to assist our brothers and sisters in Yeshua.

Healing the sick is suspect among many believers in Yeshua. Yeshua clearly stated that His followers would lay hands on people and they would get well (Luke 10:9). Sometimes we pray for the sick and they don’t recover, so we give up. Does that mean that healing is not for today? Consider Yeshua’s followers who were unable to expel a demon. Yeshua rebuked them for their lack of faith and then proceeded to expel the demon Himself (Matt 17:14-20). The laying on of hands for healing others is part of our commission from Yeshua (Luke 10:9).

The gift of prophecy is also misunderstood by many. Some people believe that because the Bible is now complete and nothing new is being added, that prophecy has ceased. However, the prophets spoke their messages to the intended audience. At some point, they also recorded the message in writing, but first it was spoken and sometimes demonstrated to enhance understanding (Jer 1:17, 2:2; Hos 1:2) Fortunetelling is hasatan’s counterfeit for prophecy. Prophecy is relaying a message from YHVH at His command to individuals or groups of people, sometimes to a whole nation.  We are expected to prophecy as the Holy Spirit leads (1 Cor 14:39).

For everything that comes from YHVH, hasatan has created a counterfeit to try to discredit YHVH and to cause confusion among humans. We must be discerning at all times and we cannot do this without direct assistance from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit and we need to be open to His direction at all times. Whatever we truly hear from the Holy Spirit will always line up directly with Scripture. YHVH does not contradict Himself.

Perhaps the most misunderstood and least used gift is deliverance. Hasatan has done an excellent job at persuading us to avoid deliverance because it has such a negative impact on his work. Thus, many people in our culture do not even acknowledge that there are demons. Others believe that demons can only affect non-believers. In addition, there has been and still is unnecessary drama in deliverance sessions. If we ask the Holy Spirit to take charge and follow His guidance, deliverance can be accomplished in a calm and orderly manner.

Most people react with outrage when confronted with the possibility that they may be in bondage to demons, saying something like “I’m a nice person.” That is probably true, but can you picture demons reporting back to their leader with the excuse that “we just couldn’t do it because he is such a nice person? In the physical realm, we can be assaulted or kidnapped by others despite the nature of our character.

Hasatan is well aware of his final outcome since it has already been recorded by YHVH in Scripture (John 12:31, Rev 12:9). The best he can hope for is to take down as many humans as he can while he has the opportunity (2 Cor 4:4).   He is delighted when humans, who were created in YHVH’s image, do anything to mar that image. Hasatan has no pity or compassion, but is the father of lies (John 8:44) who seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). So you are a nice person? Fine, hasatan will take care of that. In fact, he has been seeking opportunities to snag you from the time you arrive on earth.

Can believers be in bondage to demons? Yes! Right after YHVH revealed the Messiah to Peter, hasatan worked through Peter to try to dissuade Yeshua from His mission (Matt 16). Even though Peter spoke the words, Yeshua confronted hasatan.  Consider also the Corinthians, who were born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, yet were still heavily influenced by demons and subject to sin (1 Cor 3, 5). Over the centuries, many denominations and congregations have suffered from the scandalous behavior of their members, sometimes even their leaders.

Lack of trust in YHVH is our biggest barrier to accepting the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lack of trust stems from our two worst enemies: fear and doubt. Trust is built as we get to know YHVH personally and interact with Him. As we learn to trust Him in small things, we can move on to bigger things.

Hasatan knows the power of YHVH’s weapons and tools. He knows one sure way to thwart YHVH’s plan is to persuade us to relinquish our weapons. If hasatan can convince us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not from YHVH, but from hasatan, then we will avoid them and think we are doing a very good thing. If he can persuade us to fear or mistrust the most powerful weapons, we won’t be able to use them against him. We will not be effective in building up YHVH’s kingdom. Instead, we will be assisting hasatan in building up his kingdom.

We tend to conform to and become like the god we serve (Ps 115:8). Division, chaos, dissension, mistrust, accusations, self-righteousness are from hasatan. Unity, order, harmony, trust, acceptance and true righteousness are from YHVH. So a Body of Messiah that is riddled with division, confusion, and self-righteous accusations is serving whom? Let us serve YHVH and restore the house that YHVH built by using the gifts and tools He gave to us.

Hidden Strength

I have said these things (John 16 33)

Yeshua warned that we would face persecution and tribulation because of our relationship with Him. As I ponder having to suffer or die for my faith, I feel weak and afraid. Will I be able to endure to the end?

I think about Simon Peter and his struggles (Mark 14:66-72). His love for Yeshua was genuine and strong. Yet, at his first test of loyalty, Peter succumbed to fear and denied Yeshua as strongly as he had earlier declared his willingness to die for his faith.

When all was said and done and Peter was not arrested, he agonized over his disloyalty and his weakness. Perhaps it tormented him day and night. Yet, Peter learned a valuable lesson, one that we must all learn. He could not be brave on his own.

When the resurrected Yeshua visited His apostles, how hard it must have been for Peter to face Him, to look Him in the eye. Yeshua addressed this matter with love. He did not tell Peter that his cowardly act was alright. Instead, Yeshua gave Peter an opportunity to declare his love and commitment the same number of times that he had formerly denied even knowing Yeshua.

Yeshua understands our weakness. That is why He promised to send the Holy Spirit to us (Luke 24:49). What a difference it made to Peter after the Holy Spirit came upon him at Shavuot (Pentecost). Peter was no longer cowering, but now boldly proclaimed his faith to the multitudes. It is the same for us. We must welcome any and all assistance of the Holy Spirit in order to do what is required of us.

We can be sure that when we face trials and persecution, the Holy Spirit is with us (1 Pet 4:14). The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:12) and strengthens us (Rom. 5:3-5). All that we need to perform any task YHVH assigns to us will be supplied by the Holy Spirit.

We will never have to face persecution alone. It will not be our strength that will overcomes, just as it is not our righteousness that reconciles us to our Father. YHVH is so good that He supplies all that we need and if we just use what He offers, we have the dignity and gratification of having accomplished great things. It is much like a child who proudly performs a task while the parent gently guides the child’s little hands. If we welcome the help of the Holy Spirit, our Father will guide us even in times of trial.