“Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry” (Job 11:13-18 CEV).
The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (NCV).
How do you learn to live in God’s love so that you can live free of fear?
Every day, you have to surrender your heart to God.
When you wake up each morning, before your feet hit the floor, you have to say, “God, before I even start this day, I surrender my emotions to you. I want you to be Lord of my feelings. I want you to control my mind and my emotions. I surrender my heart to you. I want you to fill me with your love.”
Job 11:13-18 says, “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry” (CEV).
We find three commands and eight promises in that verse. God says if you do this, then he’ll do that. Every promise has a premise.
First, he gives you the commands: Surrender your heart to God every day. Turn to him in prayer. And give up your sins, or confess your sins to God.
Then notice the eight benefits: You won’t be ashamed, you’ll be confident, you’ll be fearless, your troubles will be like water under the bridge, the dark night you’re going through is going to be brighter than noon, you’ll be able to sleep well because you are safe and secure, you will be filled with hope, and you’ll be emptied of worry.
Wow! Who wouldn’t want to experience those benefits? You ought to write that Scripture on an index card and put it somewhere you’ll see it throughout the week. Let it remind you to do those three things—surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and confess your sins—so that God’s love will fill your life and cast out all your anxiety and fear.
Try it this week, and then watch how God fulfills his promise as he fills you with his love.
Gifted for This Time
God doesn’t recruit you without a calling. God calls everybody to use the gifts and the passion that they have, but not everyone picks up the phone.
The only way you’re going to hear is if you listen. You’ve got be quiet, you’ve got to get alone and spend time with God.
When Mordecai sends Esther word that the Jews are going to be annihilated, he essentially says, “Don’t think that you can just ignore this disturbing trend. Yeah, I know it’s been tough, but this is your destiny. God put you here. It’s no accident that you are a Jewish girl and now the queen of Persia.’
It’s important to read on and see Esther’s response to Mordecai in Esther 4:15, “Go, gather together all the Jews and fast for me. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law” (NIV).
Esther knows confronting the king is likely to mean certain death. She’s going to have to use her gifts of beauty, brains, and personality to persuade him. But before she goes to see him, she sets aside three days to fast and pray before God.
When you are seeking God’s call on your life, follow Esther’s example. First, get all the support you can. Second, you need extended time alone with God. I want to encourage you to schedule a retreat with God. Whether it’s an overnight, a weekend, or longer if you can, you won’t hear God’s call on your life if you don’t get alone with him.
How to Invest in the Fellowship of Your Church
God wants us to use some of our money to encourage fellowship, to show love to other believers, and to build relationships.
Any time I give my money to God, it draws me closer to God. Any time I give my money to another person, it draws me closer to that person. When I give money to people in my small group or I invest in my small group, I grow closer to those in the group.
Any time I go out and buy a nice card and write a note of encouragement, I’ve just invested in God’s Mutual Fund. When another believer is discouraged and needs somebody to talk to and I buy him or her lunch, I’ve just invested in God’s Mutual Fund.
The Bible says, “When you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible” (3 John 1:5 MSG). When we invest our money in developing relationships within the Church, it points others to God. In other words, when you invest in the fellowship of your church, it helps bring people to Christ.
Be creative! Be innovative! Put some thought into it. “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out” (Hebrews 10:24).
Any time you give to other believers, it draws you closer to them!