On Friday 27th March 2020 our office shut its doors like many many others as a precaution against the spread of the Coronavirus that cause the disease covid-19. Many Many things to write about this whole experience, but I embarked on an experiment to live stream the week’s devotions, themed on “fear” for my team mates. Some were able to join, others were not. I was asked if I could share the text from the devotions. This is 2 of 4 originally shared on Tuesday 31st March 2020.
Good Morning – Day 2 of working from home – how did you all get on? We were generally civil, maybe not the most productive day ever yesterday, BUT we were able to figure some things out and start to get settled into this new way of doing things. Yesterday we talked about fear and how our faith in God can overcome that fear. Were you able to find some Bible passages to help bring truth in light of your fears? If you missed yesterday’s video, you can view it again in the community group. Or you can go to this link and find the text.
Here is the big take away from yesterday:
Faith is the birthing point of hope and hope is the opposite of fear. The greater our understanding of who God is, the greater our faith. The greater our faith, the greater our hope. The greater our hope, the less our fear. An increase in faith means a decrease in fear. Our fears can be countered with Biblical truth.
I want to dig into a related topic today – Lies. Satan is the master of lies and he likes to plant lies in our lives and in our hearts that prevent us from believing the truth. If we are prevented from believing the truth, we can easily be overcome by fear. Irrational fear is often the result of us believing a lie. Sometimes lies come in the form of half truths which can make them hard to identify. Believing Satan’s lies is something we all used to do while we were sinners, before we came to Christ. When we came to faith as a Christian, we made the decision to trust God, to seek his forgiveness for the wrongs we have done and we chose to turn away from our old selves and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is the start of our journey. Only the first step. The ongoing journey, the ongoing transformation is described in Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. By changing the way you think, by changing what you believe. Often people are prompted to change something because of how they feel. Fear is a feeling, and an emotion. It might be something that prompts us to change. Yesterday we talked about identifying a fear and finding some scripture to help bring us hope. We were actually renewing our minds, we were changing the way we thought about the situation, we changed what we believed and it resulted in a reduction of the feeling of fear. The process of renewing your mind is actually used by professional counsellors and psychologists all over the world. Sometimes they call it cognitive behaviour therapy. They want people to change how they behave by changing how they think, the word cognitive is about what happens in your brain, where your mind is. Let me describe the process.
We want to change how we feel But feelings are actually generated by our behaviour Our behaviour is the result of how we think How we think is dictated by what we believe
To change how we feel we actually need to go far back in that process and change what we believe. If we change what we believe, it will change how we think, it will change how we behave and it will change how we feel. We counter the feeling that is fear by changing what we believe.
So let’s go back to the issues of lies. Lies are things we believe, that can get a foothold in us and our thinking changes for the worse as a result. Fear can sometimes be traced back to believing a lie. As humans we believe a lot of lies, about ourselves especially. I’m not good enough, I can’t do it, I’m not important, I don’t have any value. Every single one of Satan’s lies can be countered by biblical truth. By immersing ourselves in scripture and by deciding to believe what scripture says rather than what Satan’s lie says, we are in the process of renewing our minds like in Romans 12. Scripture has LOADS to say about who we are.
Some of my favourites are:
John 1:12, I am God’s Child.
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Here are a bunch more.
So today’s exercise – grab your paper and pen, is to ask God to reveal to you by his Spirit, a lie that you believe about yourself. Then, do some research and ask a friend for help if you want and find some scriptures that remind you of who you are in Christ, that counter the lie. Have a think and pray about that as I sing a song that brings these topics together, fear, lies and truth. (Here is a YouTube link to a far better version! https://) When I sang it, I skipped the first bridge that you can hear on the YouTube version.
No Longer Slaves
You unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song Of deliverance, from my enemies, Till all my fears are gone
I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God From my mothers womb, You have chosen me, Love has called my name, I’ve been born again, into a family, Your blood flows through my veins I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God
You split the sea So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me And I will stand and sing
I am the child of God