"Don't be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself" (Phil. 1:28, NIV).
Before getting up to minister recently, my wife sensed that I was battling intimidation. She leaned over to me and whispered, "Your new name is 'Confidence"! Immediately, a lion roared inside me, and an alarm went off in hell. I rose up to minister, and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah took over the meeting. The Lord is renaming you today also. Your new name is "Confidence"!
I have found a key that unlocks the cage of that lion who lives inside of us as believers. "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb.12:1, KJV).
"Laying aside" is a powerful command that changes our perspective. When you lay something aside it is still there, but you don't focus on it, for the next verse says, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Now when intimidation attacks me, I have learned to lay it aside and do what God has called me to do.
The devil works overtime to steal our confidence to do the work of the Lord. But we are not alone. The Lord allows our insecurities and fears to be exposed to deal with the root of them. So be encouraged and don't stop. When you feel insecure or fearful, lay it aside, and get up and let the lion roar. God is faithful. "Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:24, MEV).
I received an email recently from a dear sister who plays the piano for masses. She was fighting insecurity about performing perfectly at a special upcoming ceremony. I sensed the Lord giving me this word for her, "Lay aside your fear. Jesus will play the piano." Hours later, she sent me this response:
"PRAISE REPORT! I just finished a run through the music and Jesus did indeed play the piano! I had to keep reminding myself that He was doing it and I didn't need to stick my nose in. When I first saw my friend Rachel, she asked me if I was ready. Very unlike me, I answered, 'Yes!' PTL."
The Root of All Fears
Most of our insecurity and fears are surface symptoms with a deep root. The Lord deals with our weaknesses to make us strong. I have battled insecurity and fear most of my life. It started the moment my head hit the road so hard that it caused a bone growth on my forehead. The bike wreck happened when I was 5. The trauma of what followed with surgery and doctor check-ups for most of my younger years opened the door to a giant fear, a door that never got shut until recently.
I spoke at a conference recently in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I was checking out hotel prices. They were so high I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night. I kept looking around for a reasonable priced one. I found it. 'The Cemetery Inn" near the battlefields. Arriving home after that weekend, greeting my wife, she said, "So-and-so called, and he wants you to call him about those two cemetery plots he offered you a long time ago." I couldn't help but think.
I just came from The Cemetery Inn, and now someone is offering me two cemetery plots at half price. The half price concerned me too. I said, "Lord, I don't like the timing of this. I just came from ministering for You all weekend. What is going on?" Two days later, I was to meet the brother at the cemetery memorial park to sign the transfer papers. After I arrived, I got tired of waiting in the office for him, so I went outside.
When I walked outside, all I could see were grave markers. As an eerie feeling came over me, the Lord spoke, "Son, this is the root of all your fears your whole life: Every doctor visit and the fear of every report of your physical exams. You are afraid to die. You battled it since the moment your head hit the road when you were 5 years old. When you were 7 with a brain tumor, death hounded you again. Then 14 years ago, with a blood clot in the artery of your heart with a 50-50 chance of survival, it stampeded you again. Three days later with a heart catheterization, your heart stopped on that table, and they jumped it back to beat again. Have you noticed by now I have never let you die? I still hold the keys to hell, death and the grave."
He continued, "What do you think about the Scripture that says, 'To be absent from the body is to be present with Me?' No pain, no doctors, no devil. Fully alive in My unspeakable presence forever and ever? What are your thoughts on this?"
For a moment, I was speechless. He was right. I just faced my worst fear that had made me vulnerable to an endless list of others. And I failed to compare it to eternity. That day, I found peace in a cemetery. As I left those grave markers, He spoke again, "By the way son, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in you. Go live. Go live. Don't be afraid of living. Enjoy every minute of it."
What's your fear? Losing a loved one, a job or your reputation? Maybe you are afraid to die and afraid to live. Drag your fears to Jesus today. Let His peace envelop you and His perfect love cast out all fear. Tell Him you are in this for the long haul no matter what.
God's Crazy Love Does It
In my worship time recently, I heard the Lord whisper, "I'm crazy about you, Bill. I'm absolutely crazy about you." I said, "What? Lord, why would You be crazy about me? I fall so short of Your glory." He said, "I know, but you trust Me. You still trust Me to do what you cannot do. That thrills Me. That's what makes Me crazy about you."
How about you? Do you know that you can thrill Him? Trust Him today, and you will experience His crazy love for you and His peace that surpasses all understanding. 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.' The Lord would rather have us trust Him than figure Him out.
Let these words redeem our time on earth:/ I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time/ It's good to be alive. —"It's Good to Be Alive," Jason Gray
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. Subscribe to his prophetic emails at: billyountweekly.com/billyount. Visit Bill's website atbillyount.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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