The Sum of All Fears
I like to
take a lot
of photos and to post some
of the photos that I have taken to illustrate the articles that I
however, I didn't have a single personal photo of a
I found several on the web of interest and was tempted steal and use
but knew that would be wrong. I prayerfully decided to draw
By the grace of God and somewhat to my surprise, the above drawing
as a better, more ominous, and more awesome illustration for
article than any photos that I found.
The Fear Of Being Unprepared
If we are have a fear of being unprepared, we either freeze in our tacks, work until we are wiped out, or try to escape. This fear causes us to focus on our inability to stand in the day of trouble. It causes us to panic and to flee when we should face the trials in our lives. This fear of being unprepared causes us to fall into additional sins by attempting to take short cuts that we should not take. Saul said that he forced himself to offer a sacrifice when the enemy came against him, although Samuel had told him to wait until he arrived. This fear eats away at our time and energy. It causes us to worry like Martha when Jesus came to her and Mary's house. It causes us to lose our vision and get side tracked to the familiar. When Peter became disappointed, said that he was going fishing.
One way to overcome the fear of being unprepared is simply to be prepared! O.K. How does one become prepared? Jesus is a good example of being prepared.
1. Jesus not only studied the Scriptures (Old Testament) as a boy, but it is assumed that he also studied to become a Rabbi.At the age of twelve we find that Jesus knew well the Scriptures. "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 246-:47). We find that Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a religious doctor, called Jesus a rabbi. "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him" (John 3:1-2). Jesus also often raised the question, "What does the Scriptures say?" Furthermore, look at the way he spoke to the devil. "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4). To be prepared for the storms that come, we must daily spend time in the Word.2. Jesus prayed for and received the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit.Before Jesus was confronted with the temptations on the mountain, he prayed for and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21-22). Although we don't have a written record of the words of Jesus' prayer, we do have a record of the Father's response. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, Paul writes, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). To be prepared for the storms that come we must be baptized in and filled continually with the Holy Spirit.3. He spent a great deal of his time in prayer and fasting.Again, when Jesus faced the devil he spent forty days in prayer and fasting. Why? It was not so he would be so weak and hungry when the devil came to tempt him, but he would be strong enough to resist the temptations that came. "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred" (Matthew 4:2). Jesus prepared himself for the day with prayer. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1:35). When a man brought his son to Jesus, because the disciples could not heal him, Jesus said, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:21). Of course Jesus was prepared to heal the man's son and did so.4. He did nothing except what he saw the father do.Jesus didn't rush into anything, but asked the Father what to do. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19). "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). Jesus said without him we can do nothing. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). We can be prepared if we practicing seeking what God wants us to do as we face the storms of life. David was able to face the giant, Goliath, because he had previously depended upon God when facing the lion and the bear. "And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God" (I Samuel 17:34-36).5. He only spoke what the Father told him to speak.When the storms come, we are tempted to say things that we later regret; however, Jesus only said what he heard the Father say. "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak" (John 12:49). Later Jesus said, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me" (John 17:8). We are to follow the example of Jesus. "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say" (Luke 12:11-12). "Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" (Luke 21:14-15).
I had a dream about being part of a new large church assembly. There was preaching and singing ... it seemed good. However, the wall was open so that you could see outside the building behind the platform, especially on the left side. It seemed that the building was incomplete or under construction.
While I was looking outside, I noticed a large dangerous storm gathering and coming toward where we were in the building. As it approached, I could see a tornado coming. I may have shouted about a tornado is coming ... I am not sure about that, but everyone noticed the storm and began to run out of the back of the building to get out of the path of the approaching storm. However, strangely enough I took my time in gathering some weights (for exercise) at my feet and headed toward an older and much smaller structure to my front left. It seemed that this older structure's floor was a couple of feet lower than the surface of the ground. I laid down inside this older building in the protection of the side of the lower wall while the storm passed over.
After the storm was over, I got up to look around. I don't know what happened to the church building or the people that left out the back; however, there was considerable storm damage in the area.
When I awakened, I prayed and I believe that God spoke to me about "What To When The Storms Come".
Weather men warn us to find a low place when we are in the path of a tornado so that the storm will pass over our heads. In the spiritual realm, storms of life will come. Jesus said that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). Sometime we open the door to the enemy, but other times we come under attack without giving the enemy an invitation. So what should we do when the storm comes? We are to get down low ... we are to humble ourselves.
*** God's lesson here is that when the storm comes ... that we are to humble ourselves, pray and be obedient, and He will lift us up.
"When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person" (Job 22:29).Examples of humbling:
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).
"Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend" (Proverbs 6:3).
"By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life" (Proverbs 22:4).
"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit" (Proverbs 29:23).
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29).
"He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree" (Luke 1:52).
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3).
"Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?" (Isaiah 58:5).
"Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:9-10).
Princes of Israel = "Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak" (II Chronicles 12:6-7).
Jehoshaphat = "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD" (II Chronicles 20:3-4).
Hezekiah = "Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah" (II Chronicles 32:26).
Manasseh = "And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God" (II Chronicles 33:12-13).
David = "But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom" (Psalms 35:13).
Jesus = "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8). "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded" (John 13:4-5). Jesus humbled himself and became a servant to his disciples.