You’re being held!

imagesThe walls are closing in, the questions are raging, the anxiety mounts, and the fear paralyses. The storm is raging and we are seeking God to calm it. As I journey this wonderful adventure of life, filled with mountains and valleys, I am amazed by the revelation I receive of who God is. God desires to reveal His nature to His children, God longs for relationship, and He seeks to grow character in your life – storms are painful, they are confusing and they don’t make sense, yet in the storm God reveals Himself. As we are in the midst of our own storm, sometimes we try to hold onto the boat, and sometimes we try to hold on to God in a hope to steady our footing, but what we have to learn to do is rest in the knowledge that even in the storm, we are the ones being held by God, in His glorious hands. We don’t have to hold onto Him because He is holding onto us. God is holding onto you right now in the pain, in the confusion and in the fear. Often atheists think that Christians created God to gain comfort, but we were created by God for His pleasure, you need to acknowledge that God delights in you, even when you doubt and when you are hurt – God loves you beyond measure. I loved the words from the Casting Crowns song, “Just be Held”;

If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still

If your eyes are on the cross you know that I have and that I always will.

Keep your eyes firmly fixed on God. As I was feeling confused I was calling out to God, and as I did this I was looking up to the heavens thinking God was up there. I felt Jesus gently pull my face down and tell me to look in His eyes because He was right in front of me. God is not far away, even when you feel far away from Him. When you can’t sleep at night He is sitting on your bed. When you tremble in fear He is holding you, and when you’re on the mountain top He is there with you.

As I was talking to God one day I felt in my spirit that He was holding my right hand – immediately I doubted this and said to God, “is that real Lord or did I just make it up?” As I moved on and looked at some scriptures God put this verse in my path;

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.

Wow – God just answered my question – a phrase that before would have never made me think twice all of a sudden rocked my world! God is holding your right hand, in a loving and tender way He is leading you – He is leading you through your storm, through your questions, through your sin and through your fear. He will never leave you or forsake you – that is not a verse that should merely comfort you, it is a fact you need to accept! As we stand on shaky ground we can be assured that God is standing strong, He is not shaking and He is not worried – He is perfectly in control.

As we all face the battle in our minds I encourage you to listen to an awesome preach by Bill Johnson, The War in your Head, that you can get when you download (for free) the Bethel TV app!

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Faith can move a mountain

As Christians we are all fighting the flesh and we all have different mountains that we have to climb and different situations that we must claim victory over in Jesus name.   I wonder have you ever been like me and wished for a different mountain? Each mountain is so individual and whilst it may have the same title, for example greed – the contents of that mountain can be so vastly different from one person to another. These mountains can be debilitating, frustrating, heart-breaking and terrifying. Lust, jealously, sexual perversions, a desire to steal, a lack in confidence, grief, alcohol, drugs, sex, the future and so much more. My mountain is fear – fear which creates anxiety and the anxiety can be pretty much about anything. I don’t know how often your mountain takes hold of you, sometimes my mountain doesn’t seem so big and at others times it can be so humongous that it has debilitating effects.

I have often longed for a different struggle, but then I realised that each individual struggle for each person is just as painful, debilitating and difficult – your mountain may not arise the panic in you that mine does in me, but I am sure its own effects are very unpleasant.

I can only reflect on the mountain I face and hope that in some way the truths I am learning are universal for all mountains. Whatever our mountain, fear can play a huge role in it; fear that we will face the mountain and that we won’t be able to overcome it or win victory over it. First of all whatever you’re facing, no matter how big it is, God is bigger and stronger than its hold is on you.

Fear is: Fake Evidence Appearing Real – that is truth and what I have realised is, that in order for us to dispel the lies and fear of our mountain, we have to smother ourselves in truth. We have to ask the Holy Spirit to minister truth to us. As I had been walking through a season of fear and anxiety, a wonderful person said to me that our mountains can seem like huge werewolves, ready to devour us with sharp teeth and foaming mouths – this is what the enemy wants us to think but let’s remember that he is the master of deception – and so when we walk up to those werewolves we will see that it was only their shadow that was big and instead they are tiny puppies! This reminded me of the classic solved mystery in Scooby Doo! We can be so overawed by our fear that we run away from it instead of facing it for the lie and deception that it is.

Fear is debilitating, it renders us useless! When I was having an irrational day with my anxiety, I saw a lot of need in the world around me and the huge vastness of the need overwhelmed me and it made me feel fear. That fear made me the most useless person, I couldn’t face the need therefore I wasn’t letting God use me in the way He so desired. Fear paralyses us, as we allow the enemies lies to wash over us.

As I write this I am in no way saying this is easy, this is a hard journey but it is one that has victory at the end of it. My fears at times, include God, my fears can allow doubts to slip in and I can start fearing all the things I don’t understand about God and life, to the point that it sends me into a panic attack. For many years I suffered in silence I endured panic attacks as a young girl and told no one – I was ashamed and I was so worried that if I told my friends and family about my fears that they would become afraid and if they became afraid, there was no hope. The shame made my fear appear much bigger then it was and in not telling anyone the foothold that the devil had, it became bigger and bigger and I was believing his lies. I would encourage you not to keep your mountain a secret but to find someone you trust and confide in them.

Over the years my response has been to talk around the situation with God (after I felt better of course) but because my fear was so unpredictable and could have been provoked by reading something in the bible that I didn’t understand, instead of running to God in my time of need I ran away from Him. You may have experienced this through guilt, or shame and because of what you’ve done you run away from God instead of running to Him. The truth is the only way that the “mountain that’s in front of you will be tossed into the midst sea” (Bethel) is if you run to God.

This is something that I am starting to learn, that in my fear I need to run to God, that’s my prayer to Him that I will have the strength to run to Him and that in His arms I will feel safety, no shame, and that His truth will minister to my weary heart and He will make me strong again.

Don’t run away from God, don’t think that He is annoyed with you because you keep slipping up when it comes to your mountain. God is our wonderful counsellor, and you can talk to a counsellor about ANYTHING, God doesn’t get bashful or shy and He doesn’t get irritated or annoyed. He loves you more that you could ever imagine and His desire for you is that you will live in freedom and truth. When we live in freedom and truth we become effective for God – but know that in God’s grace He uses us even when we feel useless.

God won’t let you down, He may not give you the answer you want and He may not use the magic wand that we all wish He would, but He knows exactly what is best for you! He is our perfect Father and if you ask Him for bread, He won’t give you a stone and if you ask Him for a fish, He won’t give you a scorpion (Luke 11:11)! God wants the weary to come to Him, all those who are weary and burdened and He will give you rest (Matthew 11:28) – I don’t know about you but when the mountain is huge for me, I become weary and burdened – run to your father, your friend, your wonderful counsellor and mighty God, He longs to help you, He longs to continue the renewing of your mind, He longs to restore you.

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will NEVER let the righteous stumble. Ps55:22

Actively do Philippians 4:5-7

Meditate on Is 41:10 &13 & 1 Peter 5:7

I pray and believe that, with God, you will have victory over your mountain!