Finding Your Confidence in God in a Culture of Fear

Here is the podcast link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/936544/episodes/9566812

Here is the link to the show if you want to listen to others: https://tuneinwithmeredith.buzzsprout.com

Here is the text if you’d rather read:

Hello my friends! Welcome to the Tune in with Meredith Podcast! 

So, I want to talk to you today about where you are putting your confidence. Where are you putting your trust and who you are putting your trust in?

There is a culture of fear circulating in our world and its not good.

The spirit of fear is alive and there is only one place that comes from – the enemy. 

I’ve told you this multiple times and I will keep telling you – all of this madness we are seeing isn’t a battle between us, it’s a spiritual battle. That means we have to fight it in the spirit realm – with Scripture, with prayer, with fellow believers and with the armor of God. If you are not in the Word reading it for yourself, walking with others who are following Christ and putting on your armor every day – you are going to be owned by this spirit of fear. 

What’s scary is this spirit of fear isn’t just happening in individuals. It’s happening in families. Division is occurring between people who have the same blood just because they believe something different. Thanksgiving is next week. Many of you will be around that family and you need to be armored up because the enemy will try to make you feel insecure or angry or cause even more division and I want you to know WHO and WHOSE you are before he gets to do that.

So, let’s pray. Father God, I pray whoever needs these words may receive them and become stronger as they trust in you. In Jesus Name. Amen

Earlier this week, I was studying the Word and John 17:33, from the Passion Translation came up, 

“And Everything I’ve taught you is so that peace which is in me will be in you and will give you GREAT CONFIDENCE as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you MUST BE COURAGEOUS, for I HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD.”

So if we are IN Christ we have the peace IN us that WILL give us CONFIDENCE IN HIM as we rest in Him. I’m not talking about taking a nap in him. I’m talking about trusting, resting, having confidence that he will take care of us. 

So many people seem to be forgetting the second part of this verse – that we DO live in an unbelieving world so it shouldn’t surprise us when we see so much of it but have courage in the FACE of it and remember WHO WINS!!! “I have conquered the world,” it says!

If you are a believer walking in the Spirit of God, let me just remind you of Romans 8:14-15, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you LIVE IN FEAR AGAIN; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship! And by him we cry, ‘Abba’, Father.” 

You are a child of God my friend if you have the Spirit of God in you! No need to believe that spirit of fear!

If you don’t yet believe or you are letting the fear win, Isaiah 40:28-29,

“Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

So you feel weak and weary as you face the thins of this world. You wonder, “Is this ever going to stop? Is the devil going to win?” NO!!! God wins! Not only that, when you feel weak right now and unaware of how to navigate this culture of fear, he will give you strength and increase your power!

I can tell you this because I have seen him do it over and over again in my life. Just this week, in fact and I was thanking God for carrying me through a time of weakness in His strength. Mike was up north with his mom from like Friday to yesterday and when he got home yesterday, I literally just kept walking around saying, “Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus.” I know this is minimal and many of you go through worse things and longer separation from your spouse and I hope you are resting in the Lord. But I can say that I honestly feel like I just ran a marathon. But He got me through it and I can REST in Him. I can have CONFIDENCE that if he can do it in little seasons like that, he can do it again. 

DON’T FEED THE FEAR. FEED YOUR FAITH. Don’t let fear be in the drivers seat. Let the Lord be in that rightful position. Don’t put your confidence in experts or politicians or tv talking heads. Put it in the Lord.

There definitely seems to be this “OBEY” message coming from political leadership and it’s a little scary and the Bible does tell us in, 

Romans 13:1-2, “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.”

But here’s the thing we all know – quite a few people want to take God out of the nation because it’s “offensive” to some people. If they are trying to take God out of government, we don’t just say, “okay”. We have to fight because it is God we serve above all else. We cannot be putting politicians above God.

Deuteronomy 13:4 NIV says, “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. Obey the LORD, serve him and hold fast to Him.”

The other week, I went with a few friends to see the Christian music artist couple, Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes. I wrote down this quote she said: 

“Right know you can see the people who built their house on sinking ground and those who build their house on a firm foundation. Our confidence is built on Jesus.”

She was referring to Matthew 7:24-27, 

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

So, are you putting your house on a solid rock – in your faith in Christ and trust in HIM? Are you getting in the Word and becoming part of a church family? or are you putting your confidence in what you hear on the news? You have to check yourself!!!

If you are stuck in that spirit of fear, it’s because you are letting the enemy win. I don’t care what specific issue you are afraid about, if it’s causing you to fear others – it’s the enemy digging in his feet. You tell him where to go and who you serve. Remember, 

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and a SOUND MIND.”

A SOUND mind – SPIRIT OF FEAR is NOT OF GOD!!

1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV says, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace..”

John 10:10 says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

God is a God of order and PEACE. The enemy would love more than anything to STEAL your peace. Don’t let him!!

You know I’ve been thinking about sheep a lot lately. I keep seeing images on social media referring to follow the masses and you’ll be like sheep led to the slaughter. Now, I don’t know about sheep. But it’s true, they aren’t the smartest creatures. Encyclopedia Brittanica says, “They are basically timid animals who tend to graze in flocks and are almost totally lacking in protection from predators.” Huh, Interesting, right? 

Yeah, so I think there are two kinds of sheep. The ones who are like this, just not thinking for themselves, doing what everyone else does and vulnerable to predators. Then there are those sheep who KNOW WHO THEIR SHEPHERD IS. You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. We don’t just go with the masses. 

John 10:5 says, “But they will never follow a stranger; in fat, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice”But what does Jesus say in verse 14-15?

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

Verse 27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater THAN ALL; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hands. I and the Father are one.” 

NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF HIS HAND.

If you know this, you believe what Psalm 23:1-3 says,

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his names sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will FEAR NO EVEIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME.

We do not have to FEAR EVIL When our CONFIDENCE IS IN THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN TRULY COMFORT US. We all know the valley is dark, but it will never be so dark the Lord won’t be there with us – if OUR CONFIDENCE IS IN HIM. 

So – When you celebrate Thanksgiving next week – REST in this. When you have a family member that judges you for your beliefs, or doesn’t want to be with you because of this – you let them do what they have to do and you REBUKE the spirit of fear that wants to divide you. Remember where your CONFIDENCE lies and don’t let the enemy take that away from you. I know it LOOKS like it’s your loved one but it’s the enemy working, and I promise it’s not just happening in your family. It’s happening sadly, all over the place. Remember, Ephesians 6:12, 

“For our struggle is NOT AGAINST flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the POWERS OF THIS DARK WORLD and AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS.”

Do not let the enemy make you believe this is a fight of the flesh. This is a fight of the spirit. If it hurts, feel it and bring it to Jesus. If it makes you angry, be angry and bring it to Jesus. Trust that he will carry you through and pray that he will remove that spirit of fear IN your and in your loved ones. 

He thinks he’s winning. He thinks he’s creating this spirit of division in our country – but he will not win. And just remember – you have tools for battle. Go study and review the armor of God in Ephesians 6 before you go into this holiday. Sit down with the Lord and bring it all to Him. Put your Confidence in Him to carry you through this holiday and through the world. Also remember, fear is a feeling. Feelings don’t have to run the show. Bring those feelings to the Lord and let him bring you power over that fear. Find your confidence in HIM. 

Philippians 1:6 says, “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Not one of us knows the day that Jesus Christ is coming. So the best thing we can do is get in the Word and be prepared. We can also pray. I’m not just saying pray for the food at the table. I’m saying, be thankful FIRST in your prayers for all the gifts God has given you DESPITE what’s going on in the world. Thank Him for his presence, his guidance and his saving power and rejoice!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

I love what Christine Caine says in her Unshakeable devotion today, “Thankfulness is a gift he gives you that changes your heart, gives you strength and keeps you moving forward.

So, give thanks.

Focus on the one who LOVES you. 

Rebuke the enemy’s lies.

Turn to the Word and get on your knees if you have to, whatever you have to do to put your CONFIDENCE back in the Lord.

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