Check out the new podcast video with special guest Nate Ward, where we are discussing boldness in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Originally aired live on Facebook on 7/31/21. We hope you find this message encouraging and it stirs something inside of you to want to be bold for Christ.
Are you a people pleaser? Do you often put your own wants, beliefs, and needs to the side to keep peace among friends, family, or co-workers? Maybe you feel your worth comes from what others think, say, or feel about you. Who do you live your life striving to please- God or others?
I am a people pleaser. I know this is not what God has called me to be and I am working hard on learning to stand up for myself and God.
For many years I was living my life under the control of my father. Day after day I willfully gave him all the power over my life. Allowing him to control every decision I made- from when I do yard work to how I raised my child.
It was totally unhealthy!
The worst part was it went on for many years and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I was 30 years old when God showed me CLEARLY what He was doing in my life.
I was going through a period of trials and heartache lasting about four years that finally ended when I became FULLY obedient to God. When crying out to Him about the situations going on at the time God asked me, “Are you going to serve Gary your earthly father, or Me, God THE father? You can’t do both!”
I wept. I knew EXACTLY what God was saying to me.
There were countless times that I did the opposite of what God was telling me to do to please my father and avoid any verbal abuse, physical abuse, or confrontation of any kind.
I longed for my father to be loving, positively involved, and simply proud of who I was- not who he wanted me to be.
The mentioning of God would make his skin crawl. Unfortunately, my father had many demons that he carried throughout his life starting in his own childhood. This made it very difficult when trying to serve God- yet please him.
God wants us to be fully obedient to Him- He doesn’t want sacrifice’s or partial obedience- He wants us ALL IN. I would pray and ask for direction and wisdom- God would show me something and tell me to take action- then I would try to compromise with Him to be obedient yet not upset anyone else.
We can NOT only do a small part of what God tells us to do. When we know He is leading us we have to be bold in Him. Stepping out and standing up in love and not compromising our own morals or relationship with God so others won’t be upset.
Living in a compromised peace is not what God wants for us. We are not to me conformed to this world but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind through Jesus.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.Romans 12:2 NKJV
The world is becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in but we need to be sure we are making our own decisions and not allowing others to influence them. The Bible tells us to stand FIRM on His word and put on the whole armor of God. Our only responsibility is do what God wants us to do.
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.Ephesians 6:11 NKJV
When we spend time studying God’s word and seeking Him- He lights a fire within our heart that can not be put out. You should know however, when you are on fire for God, people in the world will reject you- BUT He has overcome the world and we should not fear.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 NKJV
We are not created to blend in with the world. In fact, it is quite the opposite- we are created to standout- to be bold and courageous- and to lean NOT on our own understanding.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
And lean not on your own understanding;
God promises if we stand firm in our faith-seek Him above all else- and love with all our heart, mind, and soul- than we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding.
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 NKJV
God is with you wherever you go! We do not have to live a life in compromised peace. It is time to stand-up, stand-out, and stand-frim on the truth.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9 NKJV
Fear not, for I am with you;Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Thank you for this beautiful day and for offering us peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, the world can be such a sinful and misleading representation of You and our destiny, help us to have discernment and knowledge. Let us not lean on our own understanding but trust in You with all our hearts. It is election day Lord, and the stress and tension is very tight. I pray each person would be lead by Your Holy Spirit and remember regardless of the outcome, You are still in control.
Lord I pray that each of us would have the courage to stand strong on Your word and stand up for what is right and true in You. Lord, help us to remember that we are all children of God and You want the world to choose love over hate- peace over strife, and truth over deceit.
Guide our steps and show us the way as we move forward through the election process. I pray Your will be done and the hearts of people all over the world would be open to see You.
Lord I pray for both candidates that each would hold themselves with grace and dignity. That you would protect each of them and their families. Lord I pray people would find love in their hearts and choose to support and uplift regardless of the outcome. I pray for the safety of America, guidance moving forward, and that love would fill the hearts of Your people all across the world. In Jesus mighty name I pray.
Always stand up for what is right and good, even if you feel like you stand alone! Now is the time for people all around the world to be taking a stand. Too many people live their life ‘on the fence’ so to speak. Trying to float through life in a neutral- uncontroversial way- being easily swayed back and forth between two opinion’s: truth and deception.
On one side of the fence: the world- on the other- God’s kingdom.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.1 John 5:19 NKJV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.1 John 2:15-16 NKJV
God’s kingdom representing truth, love, patience, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, self-control, etc. The world’s side represents the skewed views of truth and morality- confusing what is right and wrong and misleading people down a destructive path. It is full of deceit, violence, hatred, strife, pride, greed, anger, etc.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV
During a time where emotions are high and our nation is divided more than ever- we need to be the light in an otherwise dark world.
The biggest problem non-believers have with Christians is they say we are hypocrites.
This is because we aren’t deciding where we stand and choosing to take the stand regardless of what others think or feel. We are saying one thing and doing the opposite. When they look at us on the outside and see we are no different than others in the world, we are hurting the image of God.
This doesn’t mean we have to walk through life being over the top religious. God calls us to be who we are- in Him. Remember, it’s about the relationship with God not organized religion. However, we also can’t go through life ‘willy-nilly’ doing whatever we like without any regard of the consequences to our actions.
Often times we are the only example some non-believers ever see of God- we are to be living in God’s kingdom at all times. Once we have made the choice to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior- we are in God and His holy spirit dwells within us. We are new creatures and the world should be able to see there is a difference in us. We are no longer of this world.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
There are many controversial subjects going on around the world today, in which the media and government have tried to skew as acceptable and right. Things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible as wrong, unrighteous, and some even as an abomination to Him.
We need to remember that the truth is in Him. God is truth. We do not follow the beliefs of the government or anyone else for that matter- except God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.John 14:6 NKJV
The whole justice and moral measurement system originated from the Bible and what God has laid out as right and wrong. It seems as if the world has forgotten about God and our moral compass. Now the world is running on personal feelings- which is causing the nation to fall deeper into sin and further away from God.
I have found myself treading lightly around some of today’s controversial topics- in order to ensure I didn’t offend anyone. However, I don’t believe this is what God wants from us.
The more I studied and prayed for our nation the more I realized how God had to be feeling when He sees our nation falling into the traps of Satan and quickly self-destructing.
We have to be very careful as to what we grasp on to as truth and allow into our life and to guide our moral compass.
I believe that God is telling us today to PICK A SIDE!
It’s time to get off the fence and take a stand for what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord. In a time like this- we are the voice for God. We can not stand by and allow the world to fall at the hands of deceit.
If we know something is wrong- yet the world is telling us that it’s okay and acceptable-we must remember we are NOT of this world. We are set apart and made new in His image.
This does not mean we have to be rude or make a big scene when in a situation that is clearly against what the Bible says and what God approves of. But we also do not have to participate or entertain the idea(s) that is of a sinful nature.
As Christians we are the example of what God does for a person’s life and how living with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, truly sets us apart from the world. If those around us can’t see a difference in us- we are doing the Holy Spirit a huge injustice.
We stand up for our kids when we feel like the school teacher has done them wrong
We stand up for friends and family when others speak against them
We stand up for the injustice in the wake of police brutality
We stand up against anyone or anything that threatens our well being
But, why do we not stand up for God and His truth?
TODAY IS THE DAY TO STAND UP!
Well what if I offend someone?, you may be thinking. Well, that’s just too bad. As long as you are taking a stand from a place of love, peace, and God’s defense- speaking with respect and gentleness- You have no reason to fear any thing. God is with you.
Besides, do you not think God is offended by our lack of standing up for what’s right- offended by the behavior and actions of those who are misconstruing the truth. I am sure He is- But He is a forgiving and merciful God if we repent from our sinful ways.
I ask you today, is there something that comes to mind that you have been on the fence about? Something you know is wrong- but you have been justifying why you are not taking a stand and picking a side about it?
Are you standing in a lukewarm position- neither hot or cold in your relationship with God?
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.1 Kings 18:21 NKJV
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.Matthew 12:30 NKJV
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouthRevelation 3:15-16 NKJV
In the above scriptures you can see we are better off to be hot or cold but not lukewarm. This is why I am urging you all today to take a stand- get off the fence- and defend what we know is proven to be good and right with God.
Thank you for being a merciful and forgiving a God. A God that is never changing- always near- and loves abundantly. Lord, we thank you for this message to take a stand. I confess and ask You to forgive me for straddling the fence in particular areas of my life. I pray that you would open the eyes of each person’s heart- let them see You- Your truth- and feel Your presence among them. I pray that You would expose to each of us any area of our life that we are straddling the fence on- give us the wisdom and clarity to take a stand in and for God’s Kingdom. Lord I pray that You would fill each of us with confidence and boldness in the Holy Spirit. Draw near to each one of us- give us discernment to know what is truth and what is deceit from the world. I pray through the help of the Holy Spirit I am able to be a light for You- a beacon of hope and truth in the dark world around us. I pray that we would learn to stand up and step out in faith- knowing we are not of this world in Jesus mighty name I pray.