Crushing Fear: Your Stories

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Last week I preached a message at my church titled, #FightFear from Psalm 91. I transcribed my notes into an article published on Crosswalk. It resonated with more than 3200 people who liked the article on Facebook.

Over the coming weeks I will be continuing the discussion on how to crush fear with the Word of God. Before we do, I am keen to hear how the article and/or preaching has impacted you.

Some commented that my article didn’t give and appropriate view of reality. I did not discuss what to do when tragedy happens, as it does. As far as I know, when bad things happen, you go to the Word. You keep confessing. You keep believing. You keep going. There is enough bad talk in the world. We need more good and more Word.

So I’ll go first. This is what crushing fear looked like in my life. How I practised what I preached.

3:20am: My son was coughing. He sounded like a freight train. He has been hospitalised before. Usually I worry. I envisage returning to hospital. I think of him attached to respirators. I suspect the worst, tossing and turning in anxiety.

But not tonight. I chose not to fear. I was tempted by my old habit, but didn’t go there. As negative thoughts flooded in, I prayed in the Spirit. I sang to myself, “By His stripes we are healed… In Jesus name.” I pictured my hand reaching into his bedroom, commanding his lungs to relax and for the spasm to cease.

4:00am: (Or there abouts) I fall asleep. Not fitful, not restless. Peaceful sleep, knowing my son is resting in the arms of his Saviour. He is calm and no longer coughing. Healing has come. Fear crushed.

What is your story? How have you crushed fear? I can’t wait to hear your heart.

Go. Write.

Always Abundant Harvests

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Genesis 27:28 From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine.

My prayer is God will always give you abundant harvests.

Always. Abundant. Harvests.

Meditate on those words.

Always. Not sometimes, sporadic, or infrequent. Not when you have believed hard enough, or accomplished your quota of admirable deeds. Not on account of your own merit. But because of His grace. Because He is good. All the time. God always gives. Never stops.

Abundant. Lush. Thriving. Fruitful. Plenty. Health. Success. Prosperity. God created life to be lived in abundance. It was never meant to be spoilt by toil or stress. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Christ restores abundant life to you.

Harvests. Often our focus is on seed. God’s priority is harvest. He wants to get more to you. Not for your own benefit, but always for others. Blessed to be a blessing.

Receive this promise. Praise Him for abundant harvests from the Lord, now and always.

Disciple Me

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Sustainability, mentoring, and collaboration are buzzwords in current leadership trends. We glean wisdom from the secular world, but there is an age old current that should be first priority in the life of a Christian leader.

Discipleship.

Jesus’ goal was making disciples. It was the command he presented to the world at his departure.

Christians are not instructed to become a mentor or build with sustainability and collaboration. We are to be Jesus’ followers and make disciples. There is a difference. Paradigms and methodologies are helpful, but never lose sight of the primary goal. Discipleship is our mandate. It will produce longer lasting results, besides.

Be a Disciple

1 Kings 17 introduces us to Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God. Whatever Elijah said, came to pass. He was the real deal.

Before he was prophet, Elijah was disciple of the Most High. He was hidden by the Brook Kerith, alone with God and the ravens. There, Elijah discovered the art of abiding. He learnt to trust God, and listen to his voice.

First and foremost, we are disciples of Jesus Christ. We abide in him, and hear his voice.

From time to time in our Christian walk God gives us Brook Kerith experiences. Periods of awakening and enlightenment, where God personally ministers to us. Intervals of deeper reflection and revelation. Where we, like Mary, sit at Jesus’ feet. They build and equip us for things to come.

If this is your season, make communing with him your focus. Appreciate time with him. Soak in his love.

Those times in life are precious. But they are not reality. Elijah did not get fed by ravens forever. He had to go back to dealing with real life. Elijah was ministered to for a deeper purpose.

When reality hit, it was Elijah’s time to discipline others. Even if they were unlikely candidates.

Continue reading on Crosswalk.

Bloom: For the Passengers of MH17 #FMF

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I have not taken part in Five Minute Friday for a while. Normally I only post twice each week. But due to recent happenings I felt to post again today. Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday and the inspiration BLOOM.

There is a field in Turkey blooming with poppies. Gallipoli. Where thousands of Australian men lost their lives in World War I.

As I woke today, I learned Australians flying in a plane across Ukrainian airspace lost their lives. A couple flying home from a holiday in Europe. A twenty-seven year old student. Their lives to bloom no more.

Sadness. Shock. Disappointment. What can I do?

Bloom.

Like the poppies swaying in the wind along the Gallipoli beach, I must bloom. Terror will not win. Fear will not overcome. I will bloom. For those whose lives have been senselessly snuffed out. I will bloom.

We will remember. We will bloom.