Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Tim. 1:6-7
Doris experienced a feeling of intimidation as she was about to vocalize her thoughts in response to a question asked during a women’s meeting at her church. This fear paralyzed her, kept her silent, and made her anxious. She just shook her head no and sensed relief when the coordinator went to the next person. The defeat and discouragement she went through afterwards prolonged her ordeal, and she sought the Lord for freedom until she finally experienced it.
We don’t always recognize intimidation quickly enough to stand against it. As we notice it, we must quickly resist it by turning our focus to the Lord and submit to His ability. The moment we do that, we come against its effects.
When the Holy Spirit leads us, we can trust He will empower us. The Spirit of fear does not come from God. The Spirit that comes from Him is power, love, and a sound mind. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We do not have a spirit of fear… and we never have to receive one. We overcome intimidation and move with holy boldness, from glory to glory!
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
Like Jesus, we take the time in prayer to seek the Lord. Our pursuit makes room for more of Him. When we make room for God, everything around us moves accordingly. Some people move away while others become close. Unhealthy habits break and healthy ones form. Those close to us wonder if our pursuit is just a temporary phase or if there is more to it. Separation can be challenging, and only the closeness we find with the Lord helps us through it.
We might get too comfortable in the room we made for the Lord through various spiritual disciplines, like worship, prayer, and reading of the Word. Letting go of the familiar can only be done as we reach for the unknown by faith. We hunger for more. There is more of His abundant life in our lives. Our hearts are being filled with more of His love. More of His wisdom in our minds. When we make room for more of God, we find more of Him in every area of our lives.
Making more room for the Lord is not something we do until a certain point and then stop, but it is an ongoing process. Whatever part of the process we are in today, we can trust that there is no “small” change in God. The small room we make allows for the much more of God to manifest. Room for more of Christ, from glory to glory.
His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’ – John 2:5
Obedience to impossibilities gives room for the supernatural of God. His miracles. His glory. We see so many examples of it in the Bible, for instance: Moses parting the red sea; Joshua tearing down the wall of Jericho; Gideon conquering an army of thousands with only 300 men; David winning the battle against the giant. We add ourselves to this list and proclaim no to the question: Is anything too hard for God?
It is difficult to obey God when we do not see the entire picture. Whatever He asks of us often cannot be done in the natural. Thoughts of inadequacy, insecurity, and inferiority battle our step of faith. The more impossible it sounds, the more the battle rages. It takes great faith to obey His Word and do so quickly, no questions asked. It’s as we trust Him and who He is, more than ourselves, that we step forth, yielding to His presence and power.
Steps of obedience to whatever He says to do require character transformation. This applies to our actions and our behaviors. He leads us to much more than we can see and exceeds our expectations. We obey the Word of God as we submit to it, speak it forth, and stand on it. Our yes to the Lord strengthens our no to the things of the flesh. Yes, Lord, to whatever your will is, from glory to glory!
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. – Ps. 34:1 NKJV
In our lives, we go through joyful or sorrowful situations, struggles or rest, breakups or reconciliations, worries or peace. Our response comes with shouts of hallelujahs or shouts of despair. As we walk with the Lord, our shouts of despair become shouts of hallelujah. Instead of being intermittent, our praise turns out to be continual amid any circumstances!
As we praise God for who He is, our trust in Him increases and our praises rise amid our afflictions. This kind of praise pulls out the roots of fear, tears down walls and makes our enemies flee. The enemy’s lie is that our trials are here to stay and because he knows the power of a lie, he believes he can steal our hallelujahs. He cannot! Hallelujahs are a manifestation of our faith in the greater one, Jesus our Lord. At all times.
When circumstances contradict our faith in the reality of Christ, we don’t just continue to praise God; we do it even more! We keep our eyes stayed on Him and keep seeking His presence amid the presence of evil. We keep expressing our love to Him. It’s because of all the blessings that He has given us that our praises go up, from glory to glory!
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. – Col. 1:13-14 NKJV
The temptation to focus on the works of darkness makes us walk by sight, and not by faith. Its goal is for us to dwell on the darkness, analyze and talk about it constantly, until we lose all hope and are bound by fear. Even though the darkness seems to increase, we can trust the glory of the God is increasing much more.
When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, all He is and has done, we do not abide in darkness. God has rescued us from the power, the authority, of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. Evil works can seem overwhelming, but they have no authority in our lives. We are no longer under the dominion of darkness but of our King, Jesus.
Knowing our authority in Christ Jesus enables us to exercise it against the power of the prince of darkness, satan. The darkness cannot dispel the light. The light dispels the darkness. God and satan are not on an even level. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent; satan is not. Jesus won the victory on the cross and we, in His name, enforce it and reflect the light of the Lord, from glory to glory!
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 KJV
When we go through trying times, circumstances try to disconnect us from abiding in the vine. Our position in Christ is a position of trust, safety, and peace. As soon as we sense an inner turmoil, we must connect with the Lord through prayer and worship. Even when all we can do is call upon His name, it helps us disengage from whatever is trying to bring us down.
Even when we realize our behavior falls short, we can approach the Lord and go to His throne of grace. Humbly, we admit and confess our faults and request His touch. We accept His forgiveness, forgive others, ourselves, and even God. When we feel depleted and wearied, we hang in there, in the vine, and let His life flow in and through us, with thanksgiving.
Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. We abide in the vine through our communion with Him. A branch alone cannot carry life. It draws its life from the vine, remaining in constant contact with its life source. As we do, we can rest in any situation, bear more fruit, and glorify Him. Apart from Him, we can do nothing, but because we are a part of Him, we can do all things, from glory to glory!