THIS WILL KILL YOUR FEAR

Today you find yourself facing threats that were unimaginable just 10 years ago.  Changes are dizzying. Political and moral evil is on the march. The child of God navigates a world that is explosive.

Do you have children and grandchildren who depend on you?  That makes it all the more difficult. You wonder what will happen to them.  You pray, “Lord, how can I protect them in such a violent time?”

Our souls are vexed by the parading of evil, perversion, and bloodshed. What was once in the back alleys is now front and center for all to see.

For this and many other reasons, we need something fresh and unshakable.  We need whatever it was Daniel had in the lion’s den.  We need authority to open prison doors.  We need courage that conquers the future even before we get there.  We must walk a walk that conquers sickness, dwindling resources, and any sudden attack on our soul.

We also need to see the tactics of Satan. He knows his time is short, he is racing to take as many down with him as he can.

Powerful preaching will only take us so far.  Worship music may quell dismaying emotions temporarily, but we need something more—something unshakable in the core of our being.  We need an anchor that holds us, no matter what.

What do we need? What fear-killing insight should burn in our soul?

It’s this: Imagine if you could hear Jesus praying for you. Imagine what that would mean to you. Imagine how that can kill your fear of any shocking attacks that come?  Imagine being transported in a vision, and beholding Jesus mentioning your name. Imagine hearing Him taking your needs, your burdens, and your cares directly to the Father.

Stop right now.  Open your heart wide. Let me give you the fear-killing facts about  Jesus praying for you:

Jesus started praying for you the instant you got saved.  The world can’t enjoy the benefit of His prayers, but we as believers can.  John17:9, “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.”

Jesus will never stop praying for you. Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Can you see Him? Right now He is lifting your situation before the Father in unending prayer.

Jesus is asking the Father to protect you from Satan.  John 17:15, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

Jesus has prayed in advance of your greatest hour of testing, just as He did for Peter.  Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for you (Peter), that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Here is the most important fact about Jesus’ praying for you: He says you are His child.  Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

His love for you is not just tender—it’s fierce.

Consider the momma grizzly as she snuggles her cub.  She is the essence of tender love.  Now, try to come between her and her cub. The loving mom instantly becomes the most terrifying creature on earth.  She will stop at nothing to protect her cub. Both are expressions of the same love…a love God but in her.

The same Jesus who comforts you with unmatched tenderness turns His wrath on the evil one when you are threatened.  It would be breathtaking to see the contrast in His intercession before the Father when you need comfort, and when you need to be rescued from the attack of the evil one.

Jesus will not let anything come between you and Him.  Paul said it this way: Romans 8:38, “For I am fully convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you could hear how Jesus is praying for you right now, you would not fear a million enemies.

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YOU NEED TO STOP

It looks terrible when you drink alcohol in front of people. You are damaging your body. You are weakening those who watch you.  And, it is a wicked thing to do in front of a former drinker who is struggling to stay sober. It is equally bad to do it in front of those who have never indulged, because they might start drinking when they see you doing it.

None of the old excuses work anymore, and God help you if you defend even moderate drinking as some sort of display of God’s goodness, your claim to personal liberty, or as a crusade against a ‘religious spirit’. That is total bunk.

Here are new and compelling reasons you need to stop now.  And yes, I have upgraded my position on this.  Before, I said that the Bible condemned drunkenness, but not drinking in moderation.  But I said the Holy Spirit was leading certain individuals into an alcohol-free life for a deeper anointing.   Now I am saying that every Christian needs to lose the booze.

Here are the new reasons:

-There is no safe dosage of alcohol. A few years ago we were told that a little red wine was good for your heart. We now know that is false. We now know there is no safe level of drinking.  Kate Lelland in an article from Reuters entitled “Major study debunks myth that moderate drinking can be healthy, reports: “Blood pressure and stroke risk rise steadily the more alcohol people drink, and previous claims that one or two drinks a day might protect against stroke are not true, according to the results of a major genetic study.”

The research, which used data from a group of 160,000 Chinese adults, many of whom are unable to metabolize alcohol due to genetic intolerance, found that those who drink moderately, consuming amounts even as small as 10 to 20 grams (that’s 1/3 to 2/3 of an oz.) of alcohol a day, raise their risk of stroke by 10 to 15 percent. Do the math, for drinking larger amounts…

For heavy drinkers, those who consume four or more drinks a day, blood pressure rises significantly and the risk of stroke increases by around 35 percent, the study found.

 “The key message here is that, at least for stroke, there is no protective effect of moderate drinking,” said Zhengming Chen, a professor at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health who co-led the research. “The genetic evidence shows the protective effect is not real.”

They went on to say, “It’s not a good idea to start drinking alcohol to protect yourself against heart disease. Simply put, it’s just not worth it. With alcohol and the heart, it’s a benefit and risk trade off. So, for example, while alcohol’s anti-clotting ability might protect against heart attack to a limited extent, it may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (i.e.: when a blood vessel bursts causing bleeding inside the brain).  Alcohol’s potential small benefits for the heart are outweighed by its increased risks of developing other very serious illnesses, such as liver disease or cancer.”  And speaking of cancer…

 -Alcohol causes cancer. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta said, “Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six kinds of cancer—mouth and throat cancer; voice box (laryngeal) cancer; esophageal cancer; colorectal cancer; liver cancer; breast cancer.” https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/alcohol/index.htm

 -Alcohol and brain damage: SAM BLANCHARD HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE wrote: Disturbing scans reveal how brain damage caused by alcohol continues on for up to SIX WEEKS after you stop drinking. Experts in Germany and Spain scanned the brains of alcoholics and non-drinkers, and they found there was less activity in the brains of those who drink−even weeks later.

(http://healthmedicinet.com/i/disturbing-scans-reveal-how-brain-damage-caused-by-alcohol-carries-on-for-up-to-six-weeks/)

Areas of the brain controlling emotions, behavior and memory were affected.

Although drinking can make people feel happier and more sociable, overuse can cause damage to those parts of the brain that control thoughts and movement.

Scans showed there is significantly less electrical activity in the brains of drinkers than of teetotallers– even after two weeks of sobriety. The changes were still present in the brain after six weeks of no alcohol, according to the research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.

The researchers said their findings go against the conventional idea that damage from alcohol ends when the drinking ends.

Dr. Santiago Canals, one of the authors of the study, said: “Until now, nobody could believe that in the absence of alcohol the damage in the brain would progress.”

The scans showed that the two areas that were affected the worst, were the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.

Memories, emotions, decision-making, and behavior are controlled by these parts of the brain, suggesting these characteristics could be particularly altered.

“We found that at two and six weeks of abstinence, the micro-structural changes progressed,” the scientists wrote in their report.

 AND FINALLY:

 -It is an empty defense to say that Jesus drank wine. No one really knows what He drank, and we do not know what the level of alcohol was, if any, in the wine at Cana.  We do know that He didn’t drink anything close to modern alcoholic drinks. The best estimate is that today’s wine contains 300% more alcohol than most wines in the first century.  Distilling was not invented until centuries later. We know that Jesus gave up all wine after the Last Supper to prepare for His crucifixion (Luke 22:18). He even refused it at the cross.

 -It is inaccurate to say that Paul recommended alcohol to Timothy.  Drinkaware, a secular website devoted to drinking says this: “Put simply, alcohol irritates your digestive system. Drinking–even a little–makes your stomach produce more acid than usual, which can in turn cause gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach lining). This triggers stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in heavy drinkers, even bleeding.” Okay. Do you think Paul would recommend alcohol as a cure for Timothy’s stomach?

It wasn’t because the wine contained alcohol that Paul recommended that Timothy “no longer drink water.” Many Bible scholars believe that Paul was telling Timothy that his stomach problems were being caused by the water where he was located. Paul added, “but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and those frequent infirmities of yours” (I Tim. 5:23). Paul was recommending that Timothy forgo drinking the local water, perhaps because of the many types of water pollution common in those times, such as dysentery, Guardia, lead poisoning, pollution, etc.

Of course, there are many other issues we need to cover, including nutrition, wholesome conversation, bad company, financial integrity, and sexual purity. But right now, the enemy is capitalizing on the subtly of alcohol to cause many vessels of God to plateau and cease growing in holiness, and even to destroy their anointing, their power, and their walk with the Holy Spirit.

We are about to lose our country. Do you want to be remembered as one who championed the cause of social drinking? You know you want power.  You know you yearn for a greater presence of God on your life.  Don’t let a crude habit sabotage your destiny.

Remember, a real disciple gives up what they want now, for what they want most.

Prov. 31:4-5 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes, strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the justice due to any of the afflicted.”