Tag Archives: fear

A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast

29 Sep

I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:3

Daniel made the decision to fast because he had a vision about “a Great War”. This wasn’t an ordinary battle, it was spiritual warfare.

When trouble arises, the believer does not fight in the ordinary way. Yes, we get upset, we may even begin to worry, but we don’t lose control. We remember who is in control: God the Creator of Heaven and earth. (Genesis 1)

Many prefer to focus on diet when studying Chapter 1 of Daniel, however, the entire context should be examined because each time he fasted, there was trouble.

In addition to our opening scripture, Daniel had also fasted the first time he arrived in Babylon. He and many others were just captured and brought into a foreign country whose inhabitants did not fear God.

When told that he had to eat from the king’s table, (see Daniel 1:5), Daniel refused. One can only imagine the thoughts that crossed his mind: “Was the food on that table sacrificed to other gods?” Or, “I was just captured and taken from my homeland, how could I sit and feast?”

There is a time to eat and be merry and a time to pray and fast, and we are living in such a time. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

How are we spending our time today? Are we seeking God? Do we have a deep sadness over what is happening in our world? (See Ezekiel 9:4)

We are living in a period where evil is called good and good is called evil, (see Isaiah 5:20). Children are continuing to be abused; people are hurting each other; Christians are persecuted and the list can continue. When we hurt people, we are really hurting Jesus. (See Acts 9:4)

So let’s examine ourselves and be mindful of the times in which we are living. Let’s not be caught by surprise because end-time events may not unfold in the way we anticipated. Fast and pray.

Following our Conscience

23 Sep

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

God is the one that has been taking care of us all these years. He is the one who supplies all our needs. (Philippians 4:19).

Therefore, if we’re being told, “If you don’t receive such and such, you won’t be able to work or participate in society”, shouldn’t there be an alarm sounding off in our heads? The alarm should remind us that we depend on God and God alone.

All through the years, God has used many ways to take care of our needs. These ways were obvious to us. They came through our jobs, subsidies, friends, families, etcétéra. We didn’t feel forced or felt the need to compromise and our conscience was never bothered.

But now, something is different. Before we had a choice. We ate food and took meds without knowing every ingredient that was found in them. We could’ve said ‘no’ or ‘yes’.

In the summer of 2021, I was placed on the list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. One day, I got a call from a doctor regarding another list. He said that he must be transparent and proceeded to inform me about kidneys from donors who had certain treatable infections. The doctor said, “in the 80s we would never offer such kidneys to our patients, but now we do because it has been proven that they can be treated successfully, and we have since done many of these types of transplants”.

I prayed about it, consulted with my husband, who was skeptical as I was, and I also spoke with other doctors. Finally, after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to trust God and go on that special list. Although I was told the waiting period was 10-12 years, I was called in about a month later for my transplant.

I am proud of how far we have come in medicine. I admire the dedication and ethics of my doctors. I appreciate the transparency and honesty that most exhibit. I went into the hospital and received exceptional service. All the nurses and doctors felt like family. They were kind and answered all my questions. I felt at home.

My conscience never bothered me. I felt comfortable and strongly believed that God was walking with me all through the process.

However, regarding the current push and coercion to receive a certain treatment, I’m not so sure. I have doubts. I don’t know enough about it and although I have a choice, it comes with a price: do it and you can participate in my society, or don’t and you will be excluded.

I asked my nurse if she knew the longterm risks of the treatment on people with kidney transplants, and she folded her arms and said, No.

For me, this situation is more complicated than getting a compromised kidney.

In Luke 18:8b, Jesus asks if He will find faith when He returns to this earth. Faith is depending fully on Him, it’s you alone with God. It is following one’s own conscience and trusting Him no matter what. It is not trusting in an income, a doctor or pharmacy, or a third-party handout when faced with persecution. More importantly, it is a personal decision with consequences.

I want to reiterate that we always have a choice no matter what. Will we choose the right master? Will we hold onto our faith until Jesus arrives? Or will fear and little faith cause us to compromise on what we believe?

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ (Matthew 4:8-10)

Depending solely on God

4 Sep

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Most of us have some kind of security. We’re either working, receiving help from the government or family and friends. But imagine not having any kind of support at all. How would we handle this?

Years ago I read a book about a pastor who felt moved to go into the ministry of casting out demons. He wasn’t supported by any large church organization, he had no income. My admiration about his story wasn’t so much about the ministry, but about how God used people to supply his needs.

If his girls needed clothes, a basket of clothing would be found on the front porch; food came from those he helped. Sometimes his family would have to wait and hold on to their faith. I remember thinking, “I’d love to experience living like that. Fully dependent on God!”

The bible says there will come a time when we will have to solely depend on our God. But if we want to eat and support our families with no hassle, we’ll have to compromise on what we believe.

Though many are right now adamant that they will never yield to such pressure, time will show it is easier said than done.

This reminds me of the apostle Peter. He told Jesus he would never ever deny Him. In fact, he said he would die if necessary, but we know the story; he caved out of fear of imprisonment and possible death.

I am not saying that our present situation is that dreaded time, however, many feel forced to do something they don’t feel entirely comfortable about. Is it okay to compromise? Is it worth being let go of a job? This is up to each of us.

All I know is that the time is coming when the only One we will have to depend on is our Creator. Just like Elijah, we will have to trust God for everything.

When we are at our weakest with no power of our own, will we be brave and trust God, or will we give in? When we have nothing, will we lean on His strength or on others?

But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:33

We are individuals, born with one power and that is choice. I want to emphasize that no matter the consequences we are faced with, we can always exercise that choice. It’s up to us.

Do not sell your birthright 2 – Deception

27 Aug

21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him.24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” Genesis 27:21-24

In order to deceive his own father, Jacob had to do two things: lie and disguise himself. His father was almost blind, so he was not able to recognize the error.

Yet, there was a discrepancy. The voice was not that of Esau, it was clearly Jacob’s. But because of the hairy arms and the smell of Esau’s robes, Isaac decided to believe. He had reasonable doubt that he was being deceived, but he chose to ignore it. I personally wonder if the smell of that stew won him over.

It is hard to believe that the people who claim to love you and have your best interest at heart would ever want to hurt you. Yet, to deceive involves lies and disguise.

14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:14,15)

Let us not be deceived. If something does not add up to you, consider that a doubt. Think. Reason. Now is the time to make sure that your choices are yours. Don’t do anything out of fear or because everyone else is doing it.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Afraid?

5 Jan

Of what? Vaccines? COVID-19? Military occupation? 5G? Listen. There’s only One to fear.

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Luke 12:5

If we are not spiritual thinkers, the above verse would have no meaning. This is because most of us only care about life in the body. We are afraid of dying because we have no hope. Everything that’s happening right now is causing us to panic. But I want to remind you that there’s just one way to deal with all of this mess: Get closer to your Creator.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8

Do not be anxious, pray, ask, be grateful and receive peace from God through Christ. Meditate on this and remember who is really in control. It may seem that we are on the losing side; it may seem that we are heading towards disaster, but remember, it was through suffering and death that Jesus gave us life.
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:7-10

You may be okay during this time and even declare yourself a good person, but don’t ignore the state of the world around you. We are living in very dark times. Be aware, but keep the faith. Pray for believers who are suffering around the world. Stay sober.

Light shines brightest in the dark. If there ever was a time to shine, it is now. Speak hope, pray for opportunities to share the gospel, and finally, do not be afraid.