How to move from faithless to fearless in the Lord

Elijah was fearless in front of King Ahab in 1 Kings. In the beginning, Elijah had no fear. King Ahab was an evil king, worshipping Baal.

Elijah went in front of him and commanded no rain. During this time, God provided for Elijah in the miraculous. God sent ravens to feed Elijah and then when the brooks dried up, God led him to a widow to provide for him. Elijah then goes out and kills the false prophets in great numbers.

Elijah is given some supernatural strength from God to outrun Ahab’s chariot. So far this sounds like a story of victory, and it is. But on the same day Elijah won the battle, he ran for his life. He allowed Jezebel’s words and reputation to intimidate him.

“Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kin. 19:2-4).

He wanted the Lord to take his life, (vs. 4). He was intimidated and fearful of Jezebel. Here God had provided for him over and over again, but he allowed Jezebel’s words to intimidate him.

God wants us to be full of faith not fear. We too could be compared to Elijah. There are days we are filled with faith and feel as though we can conquer our mountains and then there are days we are plagued with fear and run from our problems instead of confronting them with faith. We too like Elijah don’t always look back and remember what God did for us in the past and how He protected us, cared for us and provided for us.

We were not created to be faithless; we were created to be fearless. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love,” (1 John 4:18).

When we know the love of the Father we can be fearless, because then we are perfected in His love. The Father loves us. He loves you and He loves me. That is reason enough to have faith.

We are going to have challenges and obstacles placed in front of us, similar to what Elijah experienced. It is what we do in those times of confrontation and situations that will determine if we will be fearless or faithless. We must always remember, God is on our side and, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

I remember one time I was at Garden of the Gods and God led me to run up one of the rock formations. It wouldn’t seem like a big challenge to most, but to me it was. It was out of my comfort zone. I would run up and take a break in increments to stop and absorb what our Heavenly Father had for me.

I remember arriving at the point in which He finally told me to stop. I encountered Him and had a vision, it truly was supernatural. As I ran back down to my husband, I said to him, “I feel alive, I feel so alive, I feel free. Something was broken off of me!” I was so full of joy and happiness and I felt so alive because I was not faithless, I was fearless.

God presented me with something He wanted me to do and I was fearless in doing it. As a result, it filled me with faith and made me fearless and brought forth freedom.

God is going to put things in our path to build our faith. He is going to give us assignments to root the fear out of our lives. How do we accomplish the assignments? By embracing what He asks of us.

As we embrace them we will move through them more easily, instead of resisting what He asks of us. We will accomplish the task and in return it will create us to be fearless people, not faithless people.

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How to love someone who irritates you

What is love, and how do we truly exhibit love?

I think we all go on these love craves during which we desire to show God’s love as much as we can. We have an encounter with love and want to pour out love every second we get and then we then don’t pour out His love as well as we should.

I believe God’s love becomes a fad like a W.W.J.D. bracelet. They were a hot item for a while and probably made the creator a lot of money. They then, however, wore out naturally and spiritually.

Aren’t we supposed to be all about God’s love? The first place we can start being about God’s love is in the home. How can we show God’s love in the world if we are not showing it in our own home? What does this mean? It means spending time with your loved ones.

In the day and age of modern technology, we can be in a room together with one another, but are we with each other? No. We have our laptops on, phones within reach and a movie or video game on the TV screen. How is this showing love?

What about getting irritated with our family members? Should we snap, get angry, have sharp tones and comments and get irritated with what another person said or did? Is that truly showing God’s love? I think that is where the W.W.J.D. bracelets come in. How would Jesus react to another family member? The answer is with love.

We need to learn how to extend and be love to those people who sometimes “drive us nuts,” to those “we can’t stand to be around” and to those who”drain us emotionally.” But why do we even feel that way about “those people?”

I was talking to the Lord recently about whom the world would label “high maintenance people to whom we need to extend a little extra grace.” I mean the people who don’t seem to want to do anything for themselves or who ask you to pray for them all the time. How many times do you want to shout back at them: “Pray for yourself! You have two lips and a tongue!”

In all seriousness, why do we get irritated with them? Because we do not love enough and because we do not love as Jesus loves.

When will we get back to the place of compassion and love; of pouring ourselves out on people and truly serving them and being a channel of love? When will we do it right? When will we love like Jesus loved? When will we be a stream of constant love?

You know why those people do the things they do to us; because they need love. They are hurting, lonely, rejected, insecure, inferior and they need love. They need someone to pour into them. They need someone to invest in them and to say, “You know what, you are valued and loved, and you are important to me.” They should be important to you because they are God’s children. Aren’t you supposed to love as He loves?

I challenge you to be love. You know who that person is who maybe you would rather have not bug you so much. Perhaps you would be happy if they were not in your life. I want you to love them abundantly. I want you to make them your love assignment. Be nice to them. Go out of your way to love on them and pray for them. Pray that God would give them a love encounter and that they would receive the love of God that comes through other people in their lives.

Make it a practice and a way of living to outlove the other person. Think about how much you are loved. I want you to pour that much love out, that you outlove the person next to you, who loved on you. Yes, a love mission. Learn to outlove the next person. Learn to be love; and when you think you accomplished your mission, when you think you have achieved love, ask the Lord to help you love even more, because it’s all about L-O-V-E!

HOW DOES THE CHURCH STAY UNIFIED AMONG DIFFERENT BELIEFS NOW THAT THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON HOMOSEXUAL UNION HAS BECOME LAW?

Now that the Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual unions has become law how do we the church stay unified?  With a variety of beliefs among pastors, churches, denominations and religions it makes sense that the enemy would enjoy using this to cause further division among the Christian community.  How do we the church stay unified during these times?

How do we unite and be love?  There are so many opinions and conversations floating out on social media, in the breakroom at work and in the lobby at churches, that we need to make sure we are staying united in Christ. Christ is love. Christ loves the sinner, but dislikes the sin they are participating in. We need to make sure Holy righteous anger is what is protruding forth and not offense, bitterness or dissension. The enemy would love to use this in order to divide us.

Let’s come together and pray for what has manifested. Let’s pray conviction on those leading these lifestyles and most of all let’s be love to everyone, homosexuals and fellow Christians with different beliefs than our own. God said, the greatest of these is love and love your neighbor as yourself. So do my favorite saying and be part of the love movement, be love.

Check yourself and make sure you are not gossiping or slandering against an individual or pastor who believes differently than you.  If you can’t say something positive, than perhaps stay silent.  The best we can do it forgive, to pray for conviction and to pray the ruling somehow gets overturned.  Meanwhile, we must keep unity among fellow Christians, our families, communities and our churches.  God is the great judge, allow Him to judge.

Follow the following tips in the days ahead to be love and keep yourself from sin.

  1. Be love, unconditional love.
  2. Keep your tongue and lips from speaking deceit and bitterness.
  3. Forgive those involved in the sin, in the court process and decision.
  4. Speak the truth, don’t compromise, and don’t hold back your beliefs.
  5. Read your Bible so you know and can share the truth when confronted with conversations in the days ahead.

God loves us despite our sin and we must love others.  It is important to keep ourselves from sin and to always in every moment be love.

Lay respect aside and be love

Love doesn’t manifest in us as it should, because we feel we are due respect. We aren’t owed anything. Jesus didn’t go around demanding respect. It is pride that brings forth the attitude that we are owed respect. Think about it…why do we have dissension and offense in the church? Because people (both leaders and members) feel they are owed something. We are to be love and give love, with humility, not with a debt that needs to be paid.

In the New Testament Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:34 MEV).  Jesus commands us to love one another.  How does love manifest in you and through you?  Love should manifest through the fruits of the Spirit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law,” (Gal. 5:22-23 MEV).

If we are demanding respect and behaving as we are better than the person next to us, then how are we manifesting love?  Love manifests through putting other people ahead of ourselves and making them feel like they are the most important person in the world.  Every person alive is created in the image of God.  We should be treating each person as special as God would treat them.  God loves each human and values their life.  He cares about their opinions, feelings, and the things that are affecting them.  If we desire to be the kind of love that Jesus was shouldn’t we think of everyone as equally if not more important than ourselves? But too often we think of ourselves too highly and that is where pride, offense, dissension and disunity affect our churches, communities, homes and workplaces.

What if we looked at the grocery store clerk as a child of God instead of someone who needs to hurry up and check out our purchases?  What about the waiter in the restaurant?  Demands are put on them to make sure our order is hot, right and doesn’t take too long to cook.  What about when the food order doesn’t turn out like it should?  Do we yell, get upset or rude, or do we represent the God of love and have understanding that they didn’t cook the order and it wasn’t their fault?  Instead of looking at them as a son of God people usually reduce their tip because their meal isn’t what they hoped for.  Did you ever think of representing the Kingdom properly when something didn’t turn out your way and bless the waiter anyways?  Think about how that would impact them with God’s love.  They might say something like, “Oh wow!  I was in a bad mood, I ordered wrong, the kitchen messed up their order and they gave me the same amount of tip.”  That might really impact the waiter and make him think, “Why did they do that?”

We go through life feeling we are owed something, whether it is respect, fast and perfect service or a place and position of prominence.  Do we always give those things?  Of course, we don’t!  We aren’t perfect in all we do.  We aren’t always respectful and allowing loving thoughts to come out of our mouth, holding our tongue and being love to the person.  We don’t always elevate other people ahead of ourselves and give them a position of prominence.

When we feel we are owed respect it causes dissension and disunity within the church.  The complaint I hear more than anything else is, “My pastor didn’t respect my anointing,” “He didn’t let me minister or release that prophetic word,” or “He didn’t implement my idea.”  What are those statements filled with?  They are filled with I and self, self-exaltation and pride.  Statements such as these are filled with exalt me and give me a position of visibility, so people can see what you are doing.  These are not humble statements.  Statements of humility don’t care if you are recognized.  True humility will extend love and not self.

As we go forward in ministry and in the commission God has given all of us individually we need to self-examine and destroy the feelings within us that desire this respect so badly.  We should be kind, nice and exude the fruits of the spirit.  But when we feel we are owed something or someone disrespects us we need to ask ourselves why we feel that way to begin with.  After all the Bible says, “Create in me a clean heart.” (Ps. 51:10) Let’s look inward, before outward.

Making all things new!

I make all things new.  Why does worry plague you?  False happenings ~ vain imaginations, consuming your mind?  Whatever happens, I make all things new.  Your mind is plagued with concern for things that have not yet happened.  You worry about things you cannot fix.  You live as lost instead of found in Me, where there is no concern.  When you are truly found in Me, living in a place of peace and love, you will not be in concern and fear, because you will know I have all things in the palm of My hand. Do you not trust?  If I take care of the sparrows how much more will I take care of You?  Care not.  Fret not.  Be encouraged I am here!

You want to be a lover of My presence, but how can you when you are not in My presence absorbing the rest and peace you need to walk this walk I have destined for you?  Stay determined.  Determined to set up to accomplish what I have chosen for you.  A destiny worth living, worth accomplishing.  We have much to accomplish together, but if your mind is filled with other needless concerns, how can you let me in to talk to you?

Give your concerns to me.  Make your petitions known to Me and then leave them there.  No more sorrows, vain imaginations and mind binding spirits.  Pour out your love to Me and as you do, trust will overfill that place of concern.  My perfect trust will be implanted in the silence of the night, in the stillness of your soul.

More peace and happiness will come your way.  I have made you for such a time as this.  Create in yourself a clean heart of rest, of my perfect will and it will renew your soul.  Trust Me little one who is giant in My Kingdom.  Trust Me, Your Father for the perfects plans and purposes for your life.

Prophetic Word for 2015!

There is a spiritual shift in the atmosphere.  God is getting ready to release destinies.  This is a year of IMPACT, EXPANSION AND GREATER.  He is going to propel you forward into your destiny; this is the year of launch. There is a spiritual shift taking place.  Things that were once hindered and delayed will no longer be dormant from your assignment.  God is getting ready to release new assignments of ministry for you this year.  Those new assignments begin with removing the things from your flesh that don’t belong.

This will be a year of crucifying the flesh, a year of no flesh, a year that you allow the Holy Spirit to remove from your flesh what doesn’t belong.  A year of impact, expansion and greater begins with the Holy Spirit impacting you with fresh ideas, new revelation and imparting and activating in you what was there from long ago, but never released.  Timothy says to stir up the gifts.  The gifts have been there.   The impartation the Holy Spirit gave you a long time ago needs to be released, must be released.

God is getting ready to do mighty things on your behalf and on behalf of the body of Christ.  He is getting ready to release some things that have been held up and delayed in the spiritual realm.  Things you have been waiting for will no longer be delayed.  He is removing distractions from your path.  Distractions in your life and distractions in your assignment.  God has a new assignment for many of you.  An assignment of peace, and no more wavering in your faith.  However, it begins with you.  It begins with you releasing your flesh, your wants and your desires for His desires.

God is getting ready to expand your territory, your sphere of influence, but that too first comes with an internal purging of the uncleanliness and things that are not according to His plan.  He wants you to seek Him for this purging and cleansing, to get rid of the flesh, anything that is unproductive and unfruitful.  He is calling us to sacrifice our flesh and surrender to Him those things we hold dear so we can be used effectively for His glory.

The Lord is coming in.  Greater measures are coming our way.  Greater influx of revelation of His scriptures.  He desires those who seek an earnest pursuit of Him.  When we earnestly pursue Him we will seek His treasuries and He will release the greater in our lives.  Expansion is coming our way.  God is getting ready to release.  He is getting ready to release the prophetic in greater measures.  His desire is for us to be releasing the prophetic, equipping people to be prophetic and pursuing the prophetic.

People have run from the prophetic, because the prophetic has been distorted and misused.  God wants us to bring balance back into the prophetic, to train people and release the prophetic.  God is looking for a prophetic movement.  He wants us to equip our youth to be prophetic, to have prophetic encounters.  He wants our churches to be open to a prophetic move from God.  He wants the prophetic released.  I hear the Lord say, “This is to be a year of prophetic movement, impartation, activation and release.”  He wants us to teach people about the prophetic, release the prophetic and move in the prophetic.

He desires more for us.  He longs to give us more as we continue forward into this year.  This is going to be a year of prophetic expansion, a year of releasing destinies, and a year of greater revelation.  Are you ready to seek an earnest pursuit of Him and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with your flesh so you can walk into the destiny He has prepared for you?

-Kathy DeGraw, founder of DeGraw Ministries  www.degrawministries.org

Looking inside ourselves to be healed by church hurts

You are not entitled to anything.  We live in a society where as we give, we are taught we should receive.  We live in a place where people believe if they give something to you, you should give something to them.  We have this, “You owe me,” mentality which is totally wrong.

The Bible instructs us to give and to do it joyfully.  In order to live biblically and be love we need to give with no expectations in return.  However, even Christians can’t do that.  The amount of unfairness and offense plaguing Christians is astounding.  I cannot believe how many Christians don’t see within themselves, to self-evaluate and to discover the offense and unfairness they are taking into their souls.

One of the most common statements I hear from Christians is that pastors don’t give them an opportunity to minister in their church.  The people are offended and feel rejected because the pastor of their latest church didn’t embrace their idea that they thought was awesome.  They get offended and leave that church to go to another one and have it happen all over again.

The common theme is that the pastors didn’t appreciate my anointing or that they were jealous of my anointing.  Jealous of an anointing?  Who are we to elevate ourselves so high to think someone would be jealous of our anointing.  We are to be humble.  If we were truly walking in humility than another person being jealous of our anointing would not even enter our minds.  We are here to serve, not to think we are better than the next person.

What I want to convey to these people who think their pastor has been unfair, threatened, or rejected them is how are you going to give an account before God?  What are you going to say to God?  Well God I left that church before it was time because the pastor was threatened, in competition or jealous of my anointing?  Really can you stand before God and consciously say that.  Aren’t all men created equal and in the image of God in the Bible?

You need to get past yourself!  You need to see the common denominator…YOU!!!  That’s right

Y-O-U!!!  You have a wrong perception of yourself.  You know maybe that pastor didn’t give you a fair chance.  Your responsibility is to love them anyways.  Your responsibility is to forgive.  Your responsibility is to be obedient to God.  That is your responsibility and the sooner you learn that, perhaps the sooner God will give you the position you desire.

When a person is repeatedly offended in a church they need to look inside themselves to discover what they are doing to create that offense.  Are they opening their mouth too much?  Are they being prideful and bragging it’s all about me.  Even our body language and lack of conversation can convey much.

The reality is we need to get past ourselves and serve as Jesus served with no expectations of anything in return.  As a body of Christ we don’t know how to do that, because when pride binds you, you can’t see your own faults.  Pride says, “I have no pride.”  It does not allow us to be aware of what is so deeply hidden inside.

Moving forward the reality is, we are not “all that.” Until we discover who we are in Christ and whose we are, we are going to falter.  Allow me to help you know who you are in Christ.  If this blog is helpful please email admin@degrawministries.org and ask for our “Who Am I in Christ” booklet.  It will be sent free of charge, please include your address.  If you are in need of deliverance from past church hurts, please contact our ministry by filling out a prayer session application at www.degrawministries.org and we would be glad to assist you through those hurts on the way to victory.

Please follow us on Facebook at Kathy DeGraw, Author or DeGraw Ministries Healing and Deliverance.