The Power of One

One…such a little number. Some say it’s the loneliest number. I say it’s an impactful number. There is power in one. In speaking to one person. In pouring into one life. In praying for one. One life represents many lives because one person touches so many other people. One person has a mother and a father. Possibly siblings, probably aunts and uncles. One has grandparents. One person has coworkers, a boss and friends.

In John 4:1-42 we find the story of the woman at the well. Here Jesus has a conversation with a woman, not crowds, just one woman. A woman with questionable character and a shady past. Yet none of this made a difference to Jesus. He did not come to judge her but to show her that He is the anticipated deliverer and King of the Jews. The woman ended up telling people in the town about Jesus. They ran out to meet Him and many got saved. What started with a conversation with one woman ended up with the salvation of many.

I believe the Lord rejoices to see us speak to even one person about Him. The Lord cares about every person, every heart. It may be difficult as we go through the mundane routines of life. Daily we live a Christ-centered life in front of our coworkers. We do our best to raise our kids in the ways of the Lord. We continually pray for that one person. Yet with all these examples we may see nothing that tells us we’re impacting anyone. I encourage you to continue…continue being that light, continue praying, continue doing all God has called you to do. That is one seed reaching into one heart. That one moment reaches into eternity and forever changes one life who in turn plants a seed…and the circle continues.

In Zechariah 4:10 it says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin” The Lord doesn’t want anyone to be lost but wants everyone to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9) Much rejoicing is done over one lost person who turns to Jesus.

You never know how much impact you may make. If God sends you to just one person, GO! Never underestimate the power of one.

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Winter Care

2012_02_24_15_01Winter is my least favorite season. The days can get long and dreary. The cold air can sting the skin and those winter winds have a bite to it. I try to hide inside in my nice temperature controlled environment.

Apparently my skin doesn’t like the cold either. It gets so dry it cracks and bleeds if I don’t catch it quickly. Other times it’s annoyingly itchy. My son has a kind of eczema that appears in the winter. It makes his hands and feet leathery if he doesn’t take special care of them. Knowing this I was willing to try a bottle of body wash I saw at the grocery store that said “Winter Care”. We certainly can use a little extra TLC during the winter months.

Recently I was reflecting on the ups and downs of last year. I’m so thankful for the fun times and memories that have been made. On the other hand, there have been some relational issues that have left me scratching my head, unsure of how to mentally process it all. Situations that have made me feel as if I’m in winter with the cold harsh winds blowing against me, stinging my skin and making me start to feel numb. I became apprehensive about wanting to extend the hand of friendship to anyone.

The Lord has been so gentle with me as He has lead me through the pain, anger and tears. He has brought healing through different avenues. It’s been a season of pruning, molding and reshaping. All the while remembering to stay open to the Lord and not shut down to Him. He is the One who can, and is, healing my heart. He is the only One who can fully restore me. I’ve been humbled by my brokenness and even that I bring to the Lord.

One day my eyes caught a glimpse of those words on my bottle of body wash. Winter Care. Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord has been doing for me. Caring for me in my winter. That’s what He’s does for each one of us.

In our winter season, when life has treated us cold, the Lord adds His special care to keep our hearts from getting callused and leathery. He adds insulation of fat to animals, takes the weighty burden of leaves off the trees and will care for us as well. He hasn’t forgotten us in winter…though it may feel that way. Often the Lord doesn’t warm up the winter season for us by taking away our problems but He instead promises to walk with us through our heartaches. He steps into the cold with us. Walks with us. Blankets us with the warmth of His love and comfort. We bring Him glory as we go through it and our roots and relationship with Him deepen.

It’s easy to want to hide after cold winters have stung your heart. To stay control-tony-evanswhere it’s warm and where you have control of your surroundings. There is little we have control of though. If we try to stay in that bubble we will become isolated and ineffective. We must venture out to do what God has called us to. We need to trust God with our broken hearts and not let the coldness of life stop us from living or from loving others. Be warmed by the fires of God’s grace. Let His love lift you up and out of this cold. Take heart and know winter won’t last forever. Spring will come. Enjoy the peace and rest the Lord gives in this season.

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A Christmas Prayer

Do you collect anything? I used to collect Cherished Teddies. They are made by the same company that makes Precious Moments. They have the same idea as Precious Moments, except they are teddy bears instead of children. I was quite an avid collector. The bears were displayed everywhere in the small home I lived in. I had a collectors book listing all the figurines I had. I was careful to keep their boxes and name tags together along with any papers they came with. I even earned special points and was able to cash them in for members only pieces. Of course that was B.C. – before children.

I’ve gotten rid of most of them since then. There are a few favorites that have ventured the last couple decades with me. One of them being Liberty, a teddy bear figurine that looks like the Statue of Liberty. I’m not sure if she appealed to the patriotic side of me but for some reason I’ve always loved this one. She sits on my kitchen window sill right by our sink. Her flame was broken off a few years ago. All that was left was a chip of a flame. Thankfully I saved the rest of it so it could be repaired. A few days ago my husband glued the flame back on for me. I was so happy she was fixed. Then yesterday I accidentally knocked her down. Not only did her p1040058flame break clean off this time but part of her crown broke too. I was so bummed but I’m confident my husband can fix her as good as new again.

As I thought about my Liberty bear I was reminded that through Christ the Lord has clothed us in a beautiful robe of freedom. We are free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 6:18, 8:2) It rules over us no more. When we are saved we are made co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17) We are now His children. His sons and daughters. Princes and princesses. The crown represents a physical reminder that we are His. He puts the fire of the Holy Spirit in us and tells us to hold the light out for all the world to see. That we may be a beacon lighting the way for others to freedom.

As daily life comes and goes and the storms of life strike, our flame can fizzle to a flicker. Just like my little bear whose flame was broke off with only a chip remaining.

Distractions come and we forget to fan into flame our love for the Lord, our passion for His Word and our zeal to do what He’s called us to do. Busyness and the worries of life are two of the most common distractions for us. (Mark 4:19)

One of things that wears my flame down is a struggle I’ve had for years but only recently admitted to. That’s my battle with depression. In the past it has been much worse but slowly I see healing and restoration. Yet I still struggle from time to time. It has been suspected that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Winters can be hard on me. I notice it especially when I go awhile without being around others. As a stay-at-home mom it’s easy for me to do without realizing it. I’m not a fan of the cold and would rather stay inside til it warms up but I can’t realistically do that in a climate where the temperature may not reach 40 for three months. I have to force myself to go outside. This isolation causes me to get blue because we need other people in our lives. The battle takes its toll on me causing my flame to not shine as brightly.

149-4Yet, just like that bear I’ve always been clothed in robes of freedom and crowned with victory. I need to fan into flame my fire. (II Timothy 1:6) Just about the time we rekindle our fire our prowling enemy knocks us down again, not only knocking out our fire but trying to take our crown too. Oh, the devil can’t take our standing with Christ but he’ll sure try to make you think you are unworthy, unloved and anything less than who God says you are. That’s why we need to know our true identity in Christ. We need to know what the Word says about us. Don’t forget that you are wearing a crown because you belong to the Lord. The devil can’t take our standing as a child of God but he’ll try to make you doubt who you are.

It’s ironic to think that it’s easy to lose our focus on Christ at Christmas time. There are so many distractions, from preparations and programs to food and gifts to cleaning the house and how we are going to handle those awkward relationships. Yet I am guilty of letting those things distract me. I have full confidence, however, that the Lord can restore what’s been broken. Help us fan into flame our fire and shine for Him.

Would you pray this prayer with me?

Oh Lord – Help me focus on You. Keep me in wonder and awe at what a miracle Your birth is. Help me never lose that childlike wonder that You came as a helpless infant for me. What an amazing God You are to willingly step out of Your glorious kingdom into our dark world to save us all. What kind of love is this that You should love us so much to live among us, as one of us, so that one day we could be with You for all eternity. What can I say but thank you.

Fan into flame my fire and passion for You again. Help me never forget I am your daughter. I am yours and I am free. Free from sin, death and fear. You have set me free. Help me to shine Your light, especially in this Christmas season.

In Jesus Name – Amen

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Do you see what I see?

p1030900For Christmas this year I made each of my children a gift. For my teenage daughter I made a gift inspired by something I saw at my church’s fall women’s retreat.

At retreat there was a room you could go into with different tables set up. Each station had a way for you to go deeper with the Lord. At one of these stations you were to think of a lie you’ve been believing about yourself. Then you would write it on a small piece of paper and nail it to a cross. The other end of the table had a full length mirror. You were to take a marker and write on the mirror a truth of how God sees you – which would be the opposite of the lie you just nailed to the cross. In this way we were nailing lies we’ve come to believe to the cross and renewing our minds with God’s truth about us.

God used this exercise as a powerful tool for me. By the time I had got to the stations most of the women at retreat had already gone through. The mirror was full of revelations of how God sees these beautiful ladies. Soimg_20160910_134600 much more than the messages we hear about ourselves from T.V., magazines, and a gamut of other places. These women were beginning to see themselves as their Heavenly Father sees them.

I also noticed the things they wrote are things I struggle with too. All to often I feel alone in my challenges of life but we really are very alike. Each with her own story and perspective but our struggles are often the same. No wonder the enemy wants to keeps us isolated on our own island. When we do that we can’t encourage or sharpen each other.

The mirror made such an impact on me. I couldn’t get it off my mind. “Wouldn’t that be great,” I thought to myself, “if we would see these revelations of how the Lord sees us on a daily basis and have scripture to back them up.” That way when the enemy comes at us trying to chain us down with labels that aren’t true or with the past, that we’ve been redeemed from, the words of God will flow from our lips and our hearts would stay secure in our identity in Christ.

I began to think about my daughters and how my prayer for them is to have these truths in their foundation at a young age. What a shame that so many women wait so many years before discovering these truths. I was one of them. I want more for my girls. Though I know they will still have struggles to face my prayer is they can do so with a more solid foundation.

That’s when I saw it in my mind. I saw a mirror with my daughter’s name at the top. Around the rest of the frame were words of how God sees her. Along with it I would give a piece of paper with verses that match the words on the mirror. For example, one of the words is loved with Jeremiah 31:3 for a matching scripture. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

In this way every time my daughter sees herself in the mirror, instead of hearing some ugly lie about herself she will see these truths framing her. Speaking words of life over her. Speaking truth to her. She can recall the verses and know these are much more than words on a mirror. They are the very truths of God.

Begin your own journey of discovery of who God says you are. Ask Him how He sees you. Listen for His voice and write down what He says. Memorize the verses He shows you and hold them close to your heart. I pray you see what God sees in you. May any lies you’ve believed melt away as God’s words fill your heart.

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Labels

I’ve grown to love the ladies at my weekly bible study. For Christmas I wanted to get them something. It had to be something I could do on a budget though. I decided to give homemade sweet treats. But what would I put them in? Then I remembered all the glass jars I’ve been saving thinking someday they would come in handy. Today was that day.

p1030938There was an assortment of jars that had been used for different things. All of them still had their labels but I wanted clear, clean glass jars. So I filled up my kitchen sink with water and put a few jars in to soak. After letting the jars sit overnight, I pulled them out one by one. I cleaned the inside and took off the label on the outside. Most of them came off pretty well but there was always some sticky, leftover residue. That is when my task became a bit more tedious. I was expecting it so I was up for the challenge. With warm water and just the right tools, I would scrap off every bit of glue that so desperately wanted to stay on. After the jar was free of residue I would give it one more cleaning inside and out then dry it off. Now the jar was ready to be filled with inviting mouthwatering goodies. As a final touch I dressed them up with a ribbon. After finding the perfect gift bag they were ready to be sent out as gifts.

This was my process with each of the jars. It took some time to get them all done. I didn’t rush it though. I knew it would be worth doing a good job. As I stood by my kitchen sink scrapping away the gunk from the label that stubbornly refused to let go, it dawned on me that I am just like one of these jars. Life slaps labels on me telling others what I’m made of. Some labels try to define me or give adjectives to describe me. There are colors and patterns on the labels to get the world to experience what they think I’m about. Yet these labels, unlike jar labels, were not given to me by my Creator. They were set in place by my past, other people, or lies I’ve come to believe. Most of these “labels” are negative and not what the Lord sees in me.

The Lord is going through the same process with me that I was going through with the jars.He has selected me for a purpose. He sees the label on me but also knows what I will become. He takes me as I am and is pleased to have me soak in His presence. The label comes off fairly easy once I’ve been soaking in His presence. It’s there, in His presence, I begin to know who I truly am. Yet, there is that bit of label gunk that still clings to me. The Lord is not surprised and fully ready to complete the job He’s started in me (Phil.1:6). Firmly, yet lovingly, He scraps away all the residue that is trying to disqualify me from my purpose. Filling me with truth, the lies I’vegoldgift come to believe fall off. Before long I am clean and ready to be filled with God’s goodness. He helps me discover the gifts and abilities He’s put in me.

In reality this process often takes years and the Lord doesn’t wait til we are picture perfect before filling us. Praise God! He works through us even while He’s working on us. I must be patient with myself and with God.

What labels are you believing about yourself? How did it get there and what does God say about it? Soak in the Lord’s presence and let Him clean off any gunk that is trying to stick to you.

Creator of the Universe

p1030903A few weeks ago my daughter was learning about the solar system in Science. To me learning about planets was fascinating. As I taught her the characteristics of each planet my mind was filled with awe and wonder towards our Creator.

The crazy high winds on other planets and Venus’ sulfuric acid clouds amazed me. The time it takes for each planet to orbit and rotate were so out-of-the-box from what I’m used to, it took me a bit to wrap my brain around it. The variation of size of the planets and the great distance between each planet reminded me how big  God is.

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This is a science activity we did to understand the distance between the planets.between each planet reminded me how big our God is.

All of these others planets were amazing but then came Earth, the only planet sustainable for life. Earth, how amazing she is. So much variety on Earth from tropical rain forests to deserts, mountaintops to the deep sea, grasslands to canyons and chilly poles and all the plant and animal life each of these places represent. Earth is the only planet with an abundance of water, temperatures that won’t freeze us or burn us up, the correct tilt for the seasons and an atmosphere with the perfect mixture of gases for us to breathe. God so loves the Earth and everything in it He gave us an ozone layer to protect us.

These may not sound bone chilling to you but when you dig in and look at all God protects us from, how He made the solar system and how He specially designed the Earth to sustain life, it is truly amazing. Truly awe inspiring. Only an amazing Creator can construct something like this. It wasn’t by chance this all happened. The galaxy shows the diversity of our Creator. So complex yet so orderly. It shows how much He loves us and how He paid special attention to this third planet from the sun. He is for life! He is for us!

After reading about the planets I felt so loved by God. So protected by Him. My heart swelled with joy and peace. No matter how small our problems on Earth, God cares. No matter how big our troubles seem to us, nothing is to big for God. I can truly bring anything to our Heavenly Father. He is absolutely amazing!

Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? Psalm 71:19

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Homeschooling through the stress

nov-treeI don’t know about you other homeschooling mamas but this mama is getting tired, and quite frankly, a bit stressed. I’m realizing our halfway point for school is drawing ever closer and I’m looking at the books to see if the bookmarks are at the halfway point…Nope! Yikes!! STRESS!!! …Breathe mama, breathe. It’s going to be okay. Really! It is.

I’m a check-it-off my list type of person. Stay on schedule. Stay on target. I hate feeling behind. Homeschooling has certainly taught me to go with the flow much better because, let’s face it, things don’t always go the way we plan. I’ve learned to be flexible but I’ve also learned that in order to get done what needs to get done we have to say no to many things. I have to stay disciplined and committed to what is truly important. Discipline can be exhausting though. I feel as if I have to hold it all together because I am holding everyone else together. Being a mom and homeschooling my kids is an important job. One that is an honor to be doing but let’s be honest, sometimes, I just need to let go.

Just relax.

Just breathe…

Stop. Remain quiet and breathe.

About a year ago I had a dream I was pilot of a large luxury spacecraft taking people on a long journey. I could feel the weight of the task I had to carry on my shoulders. The people aboard were family and friends I loved. This was a big responsibility but an honorable one.

There was a war going on in space. The battle was taxing. There was space debris to maneuver through. It was a hard journey and it was my job to make sure everyone made it to their destination safely.

That’s exactly how my life feels. Being a wife and mother is an important and honorable job. One I’m so thankful I get the privilege of doing. The Lord has entrusted my husband and I with the lives of our children and we will do our best to guide and direct them in the ways of the Lord. To instill in them a solid foundation. We are truly in a battle, a spiritual war.

There’s so much to teach the kids that I just get overwhelmed at times. That’s when I need check and see if I’ve been relying on God’s strength or trying to do it on my own. I start out on God’s strength but somewhere a shift happens and I start using my own strength instead. That’s a sure recipe for getting tired fast. I must rely on God’s strength. I must rely on Him to be the air under my wings that carries me through. When I lean on Him I can soar to new heights.

There also needs to be times of rest. Times of refreshing. Times where I do nothing but soak in His unfailing love and rest in the confidence that God’s got this. He is faithful and He is kind and I can trust Him.

I’ve heard that November and February are the months that are the toughest for homeschoolers. I can certainly see truth in that. So if you’re like me and have been feeling overwhelmed, relax. Take a day off if you need to. Take a week off if you need to. It’s not about how much we can cram into our kids. We need to be sure to preserve the parent child relationship and our sanity. Do your best and let God do the rest.

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

Feeling Blessed

p1030826There is a big world out there. There are many different cultures, languages, food, clothes, religions, governments and ways of life. I want my children to catch a glimpse of this bigger world we live in. I want my children to understand God loves every people, tribe and nation. He not only loves every one of them but wants them to live in the victory Christ gave us at the cross. I want them to see there are differences but there are also similarities of all peoples around the world. I want to equip my children to be world changers.

This year I decided to fill a shoebox with my kids for Operation Christmas Child. I took the kids to the OCC website and showed them all about this ministry. I’ve participated in filling shoeboxes before when I was in MOPS but have never done it on my own. It’s been a great experience so far. It’s a great way for the kids to get involved in helping someone in another country. (If you are interested it’s not to late for you to fill a shoebox. Collection week is the week of Nov. 14-21. You can go to www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ for more information.)

I’ve also been reading my kids a book called “Adventures in Other Lands” p1030832for Bible class. It has short stories about children who live in faraway lands whose lives were touched by a missionary. It’s put out by A Beka Books and is supposed to be used as part of their reading program. I am using a different reading program for my kids but wanted to read this book to open their eyes to other places around the world. Boy has it ever! It has also effected me.

I feel so blessed to live in the United States. Sure we have issues that need to be dealt with, but I am so thankful for the freedoms we have. Freedom to worship the way we think is right. Freedom to homeschool. Freedom to write this blog. Freedom to vote. Freedom to live and work where we want. Freedom to own things. May we never take our freedoms for granted but use them to glorify the Lord.

I’m not a materialistic person but I am thankful for the material possessions we have. I am also not a rich person but here in the U.S. we are blessed with so much. I am so thankful for our home, for our appliances and electricity, for clean water. I’m thankful that my kids have toys, blankets, school books, and school and art supplies. In this country we are blessed to have access to so many wonderful Christian resources. I’m thankful to have clothes and food and that if we are in need of these things there are places we can go to for help. I’m thankful for internet access. The list could go on and on.

Reading these stories to my children was a great reminder for me to stop worrying about the things we are in need of and be thankful for what we do have. A reminder that God is bigger than any problem I have. His faithfulness reaches to the ends of the Earth. He will never forget us. He will never leave us. His love is everlasting.

Just when I was beginning to worry about money, the Lord gave me these stories as a gentle reminder to be thankful. My hope is this can remind you to be thankful too.

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

Psalm 103:2

A Picture of Trust

pic-of-trust10302016As a newborn my daughter didn’t like to wake up for her feedings. She would be content to sleep all day. I had to wake her so she would eat. Which was not easy. I would pick her up so she was facing me. I would talk to her, blow on her face or make weird sounds in attempts to wake her. She would continue to sleep with her little arms flopped out to the sides. She looked so peaceful, as though she didn’t have a care in the world. A perfect picture of contentment and trust.

I would like to be like that with my Heavenly Father. Trusting Him so much that I could rest all my cares into His hands. Trusting completely the One who is holding me. So much that all my fears, all my worries just melt away. And here, completely surrendered to the One that holds me, all I feel is peace. Perfect peace that is not contingent upon what is going on around me. Peace that is not based on the amount of money in my bank account or on any situation that may be on the horizon. But trusting that the One who holds me loves me more than I can fathom and has my best interest at heart.

…Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, will not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

I do no need to be shaken when the world around me rises up in upheavals that come from a broken world. I do not need to be anxious about what politician stands in what office because Jesus is King of all and He is still in control. I do not need to be concerned when I am short on food, money or time. Heaven never experiences famine. My Father not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills but he can multiply my food and have it brought to me by ravens if He wants. I do not need to worry about relationships that are difficult but I need to trust the Lord and lay it all at His feet. I don’t have the answer to all these situations or life’s difficulties but I know that the Lord does and I know He told me not to worry or be anxious about anything. He told me to trust Him and not to fear. So before I let anxiousness steal one more good night’s rest from me, I will choose to be like that little child that rests in hands of the One who loves her so much.

Be still and know that I am God…

Psalm 46:10

Our Lessons on Fear in a Nutshell

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a homeschooling mom of four kids between kindergarten and 8th grade. I really enjoy teaching my kids. It’s challenging some days but anything worth doing will have it’s challenges. My favorite class is Bible class. Since I enjoy writing, I often write our Bible curriculum. For several weeks now I’ve been teaching the kids about fear. I thought it was a timely topic. We set out to answer questions such as: What kinds of fears are there? What should we fear and what should we not fear? Where does fear come from? How do people in the Bible deal with fear? What does God have to say about fear? I wanted to share with you a summary of what we discussed. Feel free to discuss these things with your children, grandchildren or students.

Fear is defined in Webster’s II Dictionary as 1 Alarm caused by expectation or realization of danger 2 Reverence: awe 3 A state of dread or apprehension. Since the most common use of the word fear falls under definition three, that’s where we spent much of our time. There are so many different kinds of fear.

Fear of man is when you’re worried about what people may do to you or think of you. The danger here is when you go to great lengths to continue to look good to people. Even if it means you have to lie, be deceptive or disobey the Lord. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.” Some great examples of this in the Bible are found in I Samuel 15:1-35, Mark 11:27-32, and Luke 20:19.

Fear of harm We all have a natural instinct to move when a ball is flying towards us or run when something jumps out at us. Fleeing from danger can be a good thing. On the other hand a person can become overly worried about getting hurt or sick. God gave us a mind to help us stay safe. We should use wisdom in how we live by eating healthy, following what the Lord says, not fretting over things and trusting God. This will give us health and keep us from situations that could harm us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We also don’t have to fear sickness or injury because God has power over sickness (and injury). “But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:5

No matter what we face in life God will be with us. He will walk with us and give us strength to get through hard times. He will never leave us. So we don’t have to be afraid. Nothing is bigger than God. No illness, no injury, no situation is to hard for the Lord.

Fear of evil I will fear no evil… Evil, when you hear that word you probably get a feeling or picture. So what do you think of when you hear the word evil? The Dictionary defines evil as something morally wrong or bad, something that causes harm or injury. In other words it’s knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do wrong.

Our enemy, the devil, is full of evil. Satan’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) However, God’s Word teaches that we do not need to fear Satan or any evil.

…the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” I John 4:4 Jesus lived His life free from sin. He walked in perfect victory. He had power over sickness, sin, even the wind and the waves obeyed Him. He had the power to multiply food just by speaking and death could not overcome Him. He had power over all of this. The same Spirit that lived in Him and did all those things lives in those of us who have made Jesus Lord of our lives. So if you have made Jesus Lord of your life that same Spirit lives in you. That same power lives in you. Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy…”

We do not need to be overcome by evil. We stay away from evil not because we are afraid but because we love God and know it doesn’t please Him to do evil things. We should “hate evil and cling to what is good.” (Rom. 12:9)

Effects of fear Fear is not from God. It’s a tool the enemy uses. He knows he can get us to slow down or stop through fear. Fear works against a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The Lord gives us peace. When our minds are fixed on the Lord we will have peace and be able to think things through. We will have confidence, not in ourselves but in the fact that God loves us and is taking care of us. Fear will keep you from what God has for you. It makes you unfruitful and keeps you from moving forward. God desires more for us, SO much more! “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba Father.” Romans 8:15

Fear of God The fears mentioned earlier have to do with dread or apprehension but fear of the Lord has to do with awe and reverence which proverbs-9-10is the 2nd definition in the dictionary. The fear of the Lord is a great respect for God that includes us doing what He wants us to. We do this because we love Him and are thankful for all He’s done for us. It’s a natural part of following Jesus. When we fear the Lord we will delight in what He delights in and the things that make Him sad will make us sad too.

All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Proverbs 8:13a

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. Proverbs14:27

Overcoming fear We don’t have to stay a slave to fear. Because of what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection. We don’t have to let fear control us or cower away from what the Lord calls us to do. God has given us weapons in this battle. The Lord has given us wisdom to know when something is not good and to walk away. First Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Stay away from evil.” That’s pretty clear instruction.

The Word of God, the Bible, is a wonderful tool the Lord has given to us. In it we will find direction, promises, truth, and strength. There are more verses about fear in the Word than I can put in these lessons. Get to know the Bible. See what God is speaking to you. Memorize Scripture. At just the right time the Holy Spirit will remind you of what God’s Word says when you need it. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword…”

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that we are in a battle but we are not fighting people. We are fighting powers of darkness. But we don’t need to worry because God gave us weapons to fight with. In fact, He gave us His very own armor. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil.” Jesus taught that God has given us authority over the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19, Mark 16:17-18, Luke 9:1, John 14:12) We need to learn how to use the armor and authority God has given us.

The last tool the Lord has given us to overcoming fear is a powerful one – trust. We can put our trust in God. We can trust that God is in control. We can trust that He will supply our needs. We can trust He will protect us from all that we fear. We can trust that He will do what He promises. We can trust Him to never leave us, that He will strengthen us and He will carry us through. We can trust Him no matter what the circumstances because He has proven Himself to be faithful. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

As we rest in Him all our fears will melt away. Get in His presence, focus on Him and trust Him. I closed by reading them Psalm 91.

There you go, that’s the summary. The original lessons took us seven or eight days and had questions at the end of each lesson. Then we looked at some Bible stories to see how people reacted when fear was starring them in the face. I should point out that I do Bible class with all four children at the same time. Some of this was a little over my kindergartner’s head but I was surprised how many times he came up with the right answers. One thing I’ve learned about teaching the kids is you never know when they may be getting it better than you think. If nothing else I believe seeds get planted in their hearts and I know the Lord will be faithful to complete that work.