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Open or close the door? (a Timeless Truths blog post)

door

Have you ever heard the words, “Close that door, you weren’t brought up in a barn you know!” If so, most likely it was from a parent wanting to keep the heat in during the dead of winter to save on heating costs. (Actually, that is a good practice … after all, who wants to pay more than necessary for fuel to heat their home?) In the summer, when someone is in a room that’s stuffy, the words you’re more likely to hear are, “Open that door and let the fresh air in!” So, depending upon the circumstances, sometimes it’s good for the door to be open and sometimes it’s good for it to be closed. Spiritually speaking, when God offers us an “open door” that we need to make a decision as to whether or not to “walk” through it, we have the option of either exercising faith or entertaining doubt. If we truly feel like we are being led by the Holy Spirit to go forward into the plans God has for us, hopefully we will choose to keep the door open rather than close it through unbelief. The choice is ours … are we going to open or close the door of our faith? We may feel nervous … we may feel scared … we may even feel fear trying to grip at us when we’re in the process of making a decision of what to do next in the choices we need to make in our lives (even when we believe we’re doing the right thing by going forward through an open door the Lord provides for us). Feelings, however, cannot be trusted. They change depending upon what we are thinking about the most. If we are entertaining doubt, for example, we will be feeling that doubt and we will be feeling that nervousness more so than if we are exercising faith and trust and hope (which would lead to us feeling more confident, more optimistic, and more positive about the situation or circumstance). 2 Timothy 1:7 (ICB) tell us, “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” So, the timeless truth for today is this: In order for us to walk in victory over fear, we need to truly believe that fear is not from God, but, rather, from the enemy (Satan). Therefore, we should choose to confidently walk through the open doors God has for us as He leads and guides us in our journey of life … trusting that He will be with us every step of the way. To build up our faith even more we can keep in mind the words of Joshua 1:9 (ICB) that says, “Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

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Safe (a Timeless Truths blog post)

mask3

Fear is becoming more and more widespread as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Everywhere you turn, it seems, someone or something is trying to influence you to fear. Safety has become our #1 concern. What can we do to protect ourselves? What can we do to be safe? The answers are varied … wearing masks, washing our hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces … the list could go on and on. In this day and age, it’s important to know how to be safe … not just physically, but mentally as well. Our minds can play tricks with us … fear of the unknown can cause our mental state to spiral out of control … and fear of other people’s opinions can be just as damaging. When we let others opinions of us dictate how we live our lives we are, in reality, giving in to fear … we are, in reality, allowing it to be a “snare” that ends up controlling us. Proverbs 29:25 (NIV) says, “ Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” This means if someone gives you a hard time for obeying what the Lord has put on your heart to do, you will need to exercise faith and humbly trust that the Lord knows what’s best for you, personally … even if it means you’re “different” than those around you. For example, say you’re in your living room watching a church service live stream on YouTube and the worship team is singing and you feel the urge to raise your hands in praise to the Lord … right there in your living room with your husband or wife who is not a Christian in the adjacent room where they can see you and you know they may not “approve” of your behavior … right at that moment, you have a choice to make … are you going to allow that other person (as much as you love them) to be a “snare” to you … are you going to allow the fear of their opinion control your actions? Or are you going to humbly trust that you will be “safe” as you trust the Lord that everything really will be okay as you go ahead and raise your hands in praise to Him … trusting that, perhaps, your unsaved spouse may just be watching you to see how serious you really are about your faith and about expressing your love and praise to God … no matter who is watching. Perhaps, as you take that step of faith, they may even choose to come into the room and see what all the fuss is about … and they may even get encouraged to begin their own relationship with the Lord that night as well … and all it may have taken was for you to not allow fear to win. I could give many more examples, but you get the idea. When you allow God to direct your path (rather than people’s opinions) you will always be kept safe spiritually. But what if I still feel afraid you may ask? Well, 1 John 4:18 (NIV) is your solution. It says, “ … perfect love drives out fear …” When you stay close to God, you stay close to His love … and His love will drive out any fear you may feel as you trust in Him and keep your eyes on Him rather than on other people’s (real or imagined) opinions of you. Psalm 25:3 (NIV) gives even further encouragement as it declares, “No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame.” So, today, don’t allow fear of man to be a snare, instead, trust in the Lord and you will be kept safe.

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