Showing posts with label Fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fear. Show all posts

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Just Breathe… and Follow Him - Purity 939


 Just Breathe… and Follow Him - Purity 939

Purity 939 01/11/2023 Purity 939 Podcast

Purity 939 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an ascending boardwalk bridge bathed in sunlight underneath a clear blue sky comes to us from a friend who shared this scene from “Port A” back on May 7th of 2022 with the simple caption: “Ahhhhh… just breathe”.  

Well it’s Thursday again, and as is my habit I share my friends’ photo as a visual representation of the path of Christian Discipleship and I share her sentiment to encourage anyone who would hear or read this message to pause and rest in the moment and to consider drawing closer to God with the way you live your life.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to a life of peace and joy is the tendency for us to think of our relationship with the Lord as being separate from the rest of our lives. Our society and even our “church culture” can paint the picture that God is to be enjoyed in the four walls of a church and be left there to be visited once a week or on special occasions.  The belief that there has to be a separation of “church” and the rest of our lives seeks to put God in a box but invariably keeps the ones who hold such a view in a doubleminded world view and limited in their faith and in experiencing the fruit of the Spirit from growing in their lives.   

Such a categorization and division of the holy and the secular would have us serving two masters and unfortunately the time spent in each realm would reveal that we might relate to the world more than we do to God.  

So how do we resolve this?

Do we pack up our stuff and camp out on the church’s front lawn or let the pastor know that we are officially drawing closer to God so we will be setting up house in whatever space they can provide us?  

While those ideas would certainly show where your heart is, a better idea would be to welcome the Lord to move in with you and to ask Him to go with you as you walk through life.  

The good news is that you won’t be disrupting God. He’s omnipresent, everywhere at once, so He doesn’t even have to pack a bag to be your travelling companion through life.  The truth is that if you have made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit  lives in you already and He will be happy to pour out into all the aspects of your life.

Now the idea of going on some spiritual journey might be a little scary to some, as we don’t know what that is like or because we fear what the Lord will have us do. Or we could fear that following the unseen God is just crazy.  To that I would echo the Lord’s sentiments from His word in:

Joshua 1:9 (NKJV) where God said
9  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."


Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) where Moses encouraged:
6  Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."

And in case you are one of those “that was written to the nation of Israel” guys. Here is a verse directly concerning “us” -  the church, Christians:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) where Paul, writing about Christians said:
7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

It is the Same God from the Old to the New Testament, and His word encourages that:

God is with us wherever we go, So let’s talk to Him. 

God will never leave us or forsake us, So let’s draw on His presence, strength and guidance to lead us.  

And God’s Spirit lives in us, to give us the power to overcome our fears, to love like He loves,  and He assures us that following Him can be done with a sound mind.   

So just breathe and follow Him.

I’m sharing a link from open bible dot info’s list of “Do not fear” verses on the blog today (  to encourage you and to assure you that you need not fear developing your relationship with the Lord.   He will teach you through His word and His presence, if you just stop, take a deep breath and decide to follow where ever He leads you. 

Don’t worry. He will most likely lead you to a body of Bible believing Christians where you can grow and discover His purpose for your life.   

If you are local to the capital district I am sharing the link to this week’s “Pray Together prayer event. ( Consider it my invitation to you to “Come and See” what the Lord may do in this event.   And to possibly join one of the four churches represented here.  

If you are not local and yearn for a deeper walk with God and to experience your freedom in Christ, I am sharing a link to Freedom in Christ Ministries where you can boldly step out and join an online class ( ). I will be leading the Freedom in Christ course for Men, on Tuesday nights, but there are many to choose from and I know that any one of them can help you in further developing your relationship with God. Classes begin near the end of the month, so sign up today.   

Whether you can make it to the local prayer event, sign up for a class, or not, let me encourage you to “just breathe” and to make the daily decision to keep walking and talking with God and to discover the life of abundant peace and joy, and the other fruit of the Spirit, that He has for you.


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Ephesians 3:19 (NLT2)
19  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Today’s verse encourages us that we are made complete when we experience God’s love that provides us with all the fullness of life, even though it may be too great to understand.  

I remember a worship song that considered the question of God’s Amazing love.   There are others but Chris Tomlin’s “Amazing Love” states: 

“I'm forgiven because You were forsaken,

I'm accepted, You were condemned.

I am alive and well, Your sprit is within me,

Because You died and rose again.

Amazing love,

How can it be?

That You, my King would die for me?

Amazing love,

I know it's true.

It's my joy to honor You,

In all I do, I honor You.”  


It's difficult to understand why God would send His Son to die us, but He did and He did it because of His love for us. 

And when we know God’s love, and make Jesus our Lord and Savior, it fills the empty our lives that only God was meant to fill.  God’s love gives us the fullness of life and so I echo Paul’s prayer that even though you may not be able to fully understand it: I pray that you experience the love of Christ and allow Him to give you the fullness of life and the power that only comes from God.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.





3. God governs the children of men

We fully appreciate the fact that this is the most difficult part of our subject, and, accordingly, it will be dealt with at greater length in the pages that follow; but at present we consider the fact of God’s government over men in general, before we attempt to deal with the problem in detail.

Two alternatives confront us, and between them we are obliged to choose: either God governs, or He is governed; either God rules, or He is ruled; either God has His way, or men have theirs. And is our choice between these alternatives hard to make? Shall we say that in man we behold a creature so unruly that he is beyond God’s control? Shall we say that sin has alienated the sinner so far from the thrice Holy One that he is outside the pale of His jurisdiction? Or, shall we say that man has been endowed with moral responsibility, and therefore God must leave him entirely free, at least during the period of his probation? Does it necessarily follow because the natural man is an outlaw against heaven, a rebel against the Divine government, that God is unable to fulfil His purpose through him? We mean, not merely that He may overrule the effects of the actions of evil-doers, nor that He will yet bring the wicked to stand before His judgment-bar so that sentence of punishment may be passed upon them—multitudes of non-Christians believe these things—but, we mean, that every action of the most lawless of His subjects is entirely beneath His control, yea that the actor is, though unknown to himself, carrying out the secret decrees of the Most High. Was it not thus with Judas? and is it possible to select a more extreme case? If then the arch-rebel was performing the counsel of God is it any greater tax upon our faith to believe the same of all rebels?

Our present object is no philosophic inquiry nor metaphysical causistry, but to ascertain the teaching of Scripture upon this profound theme. To the Law and the Testimony, for there only can we learn of the Divine government—its character, its design, its modus operandi, its scope. What then has it pleased God to reveal to us in His blessed Word concerning His rule over the works of His hands, and particularly, over the one who originally was made in His own image and likeness?

“In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). What a sweeping assertion is this! These words, be it noted, were addressed, not to one of the churches of God, not to a company of saints who had reached an exalted plane of spirituality, but to a heathen audience, to those who worshipped “the unknown God” and who “mocked” when they heard of the resurrection of the dead. And yet, to the Athenian philosophers, to the Epicureans and Stoics, the apostle Paul did not hesitate to affirm that they lived and moved and had their being in God, which signified not only that they owed their existence and preservation to the One who made the world and all things therein, but also that their very actions were encompassed and therefore controlled by the Lord of heaven and earth. Compare Dan. 5:23, last clause!

“The disposings (margin) of the heart, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:1). Mark that the above declaration is of general application—it is of “man,” not simply of believers, that this is predicated. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Prov. 16:9). If the Lord directs the steps of a man, is it not proof that he is being controlled or governed by God? Again: “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Prov. 19:21). Can this mean anything less than, that no matter what man may desire and plan, it is the will of his Maker which is executed? As an illustration take the “Rich Fool.” The “devices” of his heart are made known to us—“And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there I will bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” Such were the “devices” of his heart, nevertheless it was “the counsel of the Lord” that stood. The “I will’s” of the rich man came to nought, for “God said unto him, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee” (Luke 12).

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov. 21:1). What could be more explicit? Out of the heart are “the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23), for as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). If then the heart is in the hand of the Lord, and if “He turneth it whithersoever He will,” then is it not clear that men, yea, governors and rulers, and so all men, are completely beneath the governmental control of the Almighty!

No limitations must be placed upon the above declarations. To insist that some men, at least, do thwart God’s will and overturn His counsels, is to repudiate other scriptures equally explicit. Weigh well the following: “But He is one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job 23:13). “The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psa. 33:11). “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord” (Prov. 21:30). “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isa. 14:27). “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else! I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9, 10). There is no ambiguity in these passages. They affirm in the most unequivocal and unqualified terms that it is impossible to bring to naught the purpose of Jehovah.

We read the Scriptures in vain if we fail to discover that the actions of men, evil men as well as good, are governed by the Lord God. Nimrod and his fellows determined to erect the tower of Babel, but ere their task was accomplished God frustrated their plans. God called Abraham “alone” (Isa. 51:2), but his kinsfolk accompanied him as he left Ur of the Chaldees. Was then the will of the Lord defeated? Nay, verily. Mark the sequel. Terah died before Canaan was reached (Gen. 11:31), and though Lot accompanied his uncle into the land of promise, he soon separated from him and settled down in Sodom. Jacob was the child to whom the inheritance was promised, and though Isaac sought to reverse Jehovah’s decree and bestow the blessing upon Esau, his efforts came to naught. Esau again swore vengeance upon Jacob, but when next they met they wept for joy instead of fighting in hate. The brethren of Joseph determined his destruction but their evil counsels were overthrown. Pharaoh refused to let Israel carry out the instructions of Jehovah and perished in the Red Sea for his pains. Balak hired Balaam to curse the Israelites but God compelled him to bless them. Haman erected a gallows for Mordecai but was hanged upon it himself. Jonah resisted the revealed will of God but what became of his efforts?

Ah, the heathen may “rage” and the people imagine a “vain thing;” the kings of earth may “set themselves,” and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Christ, saying, “Let us break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us” (Psa. 2:1–3). But is the great God perturbed or disturbed by the rebellion of his puny creatures? No, indeed: “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (v. 4). He is infinitely exalted above all, and the greatest confederacies of earth’s pawns, and their most extensive and vigorous preparations to defeat His purpose are, in His sight, altogether purile. He looks upon their puny efforts, not only without any alarm, but He “laughs” at their folly; He treats their impotency with “derision.” He knows that He can crush them like moths when He pleases, or consume them in a moment with the breath of His mouth. Ah, it is but “a vain thing” for the potsherds of the earth to strive with the glorious Majesty of Heaven. Such is our God; worship ye Him.

Mark, too, the sovereignty which God displayed in His dealings with men! Moses who was slow of speech, and not Aaron his elder brother who was not slow of speech, was the one chosen to be His ambassador in demanding from Egypt’s monarch the release of His oppressed people. Moses again, though greatly beloved, utters one hasty word and was excluded from Canaan; whereas Elijah, passionately murmurs and suffers but a mild rebuke, and was afterwards taken to heaven without seeing death! Uzzah merely touched the ark and was instantly slain, whereas the Philistines carried it off in insulting triumph and suffered no immediate harm. Displays of grace which would have brought a doomed Sodom to repentance failed to move an highly privileged Capernaum. Mighty works which would have subdued Tyre and Sidon left the upbraided cities of Galilee under the curse of a rejected Gospel. If they would have prevailed over the former, why were thy not wrought there? If they proved ineffectual to deliver the latter then why perform them? What exhibitions are these of the sovereign will of the Most High?[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 47–51.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Spiritual Solutions to Analysis Paralysis - Purity 782


Spiritual Solutions to Analysis Paralysis - Purity 782

Purity 782 7/13/2022 Purity 782 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a large outcropping of red rock underneath blue skies comes to us from a friend who is vacationing in the Southwest and shared this scene from their visit to the Capital Reef National Park in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country.   Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles. (  

Well, It’s Wednesday again and today’s photo might be part of a “geologic monocline” but the close up view of it made this portion of this wrinkle on the earth look like a mountain to me! So, I share it to symbolically represent the “hump” of work week.  

Although this might not be a mountain, I guess,  it sure looks like one! But when something is big and in your face, even mole hills can appear to be insurmountable monoliths.  And likewise when our problems are present, daunting, and immediate in our lives, they too can seem too big to overcome.  

With a mountain, we can go over it, we can go around it, or we can choose to sit in its shadow and repeatedly proclaim that “It’s just too big!” and do nothing. 

I got mountains on my mind this morning because recently I have had chats with, or heard reports, about people who are facing big challenges in their lives right now and they appear to be locked in “Analysis Paralysis”.  For an apt description of all of the aspects of this phenomenon we turn to the apt description of it I found on Wikipedia.  

“Analysis paralysis (or paralysis by analysis) describes an individual or group process where overanalyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become "paralyzed", meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon within a natural time frame.”

Do you know someone who overthinks things and ends up frozen?   Wikipedia continues:

“A situation may be deemed too complicated and a decision is never made, or made much too late, due to anxiety that a potentially larger problem may arise.” 

How about that? Have you heard someone lament that it’s all just too complicated and they fear that whatever they will do will just make more problems? Wikipedia goes on:

“A person may desire a perfect solution, but may fear making a decision that could result in error, while on the way to a better solution.”

Know any people that don’t do anything because they can’t do it perfectly or fear that they will make a mistake or fail?   Hold on there’s more:

“Equally, a person may hold that a superior solution is a short step away, and stall in its endless pursuit, with no concept of diminishing returns.”  

Know anyone that is just waiting on that “one thing” they need to happen before they can do anything and ends up standing in place because of that “one thing” rather than working on other aspects that aren’t dependent on that “one thing”?    Wikipedia has more:

“Analysis paralysis is when the fear of either making an error or forgoing a superior solution outweighs the realistic expectation or potential value of success in a decision made in a timely manner.

This imbalance results in suppressed decision-making in an unconscious effort to preserve existing options.

An overload of options can overwhelm the situation and cause this "paralysis", rendering one unable to come to a conclusion.”

Here we go, have you known anyone who wanted to “keep their options open” to the point that they didn’t do anything because they were “open” to everything?  And finally,

“It (Analysis Paralysis) can become a larger problem in critical situations where a decision needs to be reached, but a person is not able to provide a response fast enough, potentially causing a bigger issue than they would have had, had they made a decision.[1]  (  

Ever see someone’s situation get worse because they didn’t make a decision and while they stalled circumstances changed or deadlines or opportunities were missed?

If you have had a family and friends, for any length of time, I would imagine that you have encountered people, or heard about people that suffered, in one of the many aspects, or wrinkles, of analysis paralysis.   

Now as varied and diverse as all these aspects of analysis paralysis are, they all have one thing in common: fear.  Analysis paralysis involves someone fearing something:

Fear of making mistakes

Fear of not doing something perfectly

Fear of missing out on one thing because of choosing another

Fear of limiting their opportunities

Fear of the costs

Fear of their own inadequacies

Fear of failure

Fear of change.

Hey and don’t get me wrong, those things are scary, and in the flesh, when faced with a mountainous situation, the idea of going over that hump, or around that hump, or boring a way through that hump may just seem to be too hard.  “Let’s just stay here” seems like a perfectly logical solution when all those fears come against us.  And even staying put, can work sometimes.  

Unfortunately, I don’t the answer for each specific situation that you might face but I can address the spiritual aspect of Analysis Paralysis and offer some simple advice that has helped me overcome what seemed to be some Himalayan sized problems in my life.  

As Christians, what we do?  We go to the word of God and One who made all the mountains and who sent His Son to assure us that through Him we can move them.  

Rather that moving boulders and monolithic slabs of earth through the sky supernaturally, Christ’s encouragement in

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV) where he said
20  “…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Was telling us that through relationship with God, our trust in Him, and our action we could overcome what seems to be impossible tasks.  

In that section of scripture, the apostles failed to cast out a demon.  But while Christ prescribed “faith” as a key part of success, He didn’t say “just believe brother”.  In this realm of spiritual warfare, He also directed the apostles to take action in “prayer and fasting”.  Although these are admittedly spiritual practices, we have to realize their problem was very spiritual in nature, demons right?  

So what about analysis paralysis? I’m not facing demons, I have to make a decision!

Well your problem here is spiritual as you are consumed by fear.

The word tells:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

So We are not to be afraid. We are to trust the Lord who sees the beginning from the end and who is control of all things. The word also tells us in:

James 1:5 (NKJV)
5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God knows everything so if we need wisdom we are to ask Him in prayer for wisdom and for guidance.   

And after you do that, you take action and all the while you are to stay in the presence of the Lord to receive courage, strength, and wisdom while you walk over the mountain, go around the mountain, or walk right through the mountain.  

While we may be called to wait or walk through the valley of the shadow of death at times in our journey through life, we are never to do it alone.  Go to God and receive courage, wisdom, and the confidence that tells us that:

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Through Christ who strengthens us. Get the strength and wisdom of God and face those mountains. Decide on a course of action and go with God and see what happens.   

My bit of advice to those with God and are unsure of what to do is to trust the Lord and “DO SOMETHING”. 

When we walk with God, we have to realize that we are accepted, secure, and significant in Him, and really, we can make a mistake that we can’t learn from or over come and because God is sovereign, we really can’t “miss out”. Because God is sovereign we can discern His will for our lives by the things that happen. 

If something you were really hoping and pushing for doesn’t happen, it’s okay the failure to accomplish or receive something is an indication that it “wasn’t meant to be”, it wasn’t God’s will,  or it means that you God’s answer is “not yet”.  

I am often reminded of all the prayers I am glad the Lord didn’t answer in my life.  God has perfect knowledge, we don’t. What we think will make us happy or fulfill us may not be best for us or may not be wise.  SO we trust the Lord and accept the cup that He gives us to drink, knowing that no matter what happens in this life, this earth is temporary and our biggest issues and fears are resolved by God. 

Though this world will pass away, the Lord endures forever and He has chosen us to be with Him.  So don’t be afraid of making a mistake, missing out, or not doing it right,  If the Lord is for us who can be against us? Everybody!  But who cares! God is in control and He will lead us and guide us to ultimate good in His kingdom and if we decide to ask Him for strength, courage, and wisdom and walk in His ways, He will even allow us to experience a little bit of heaven here on earth by giving us a peace that goes all understanding that is not dependent on favorable circumstances or outcomes.  

So keep walking and talking with God. If you got problems, DO SOMETHING to solve them but make sure the first something you do is to have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ so you will know that He is on your side and help you over that many mountainous humps you will face through life.   


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 6:24 (NLT2)
24  “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Today’s Bible verse are the words of Jesus Christ that compel us to make a decision with who we serve.

Are we going to serve the Lord or are we going to serve money?  

Can’t I do both?  Not according to Jesus.  

Now don’t listen to Satan and get this twisted.   Other verses of the Bible speak of prospering and being diligent in work, so God is not calling us to homeless and to forsake all material possessions.  

But obviously, the Lord doesn’t want us focused on the wealth that we can earn either.  

Money can’t buy us love but it sure can take care of our material needs and help us to create peace environments and experience many good things. But it does not buy our way into God’s kingdom and it can’t help us to pay for our sins.  

God does that exclusively through Jesus Christ.  In order to be a part of God’s kingdom, we choose to be under the Lordship of Christ.  So we have to choose to serve Him with our hearts, minds, and our money.  

Where our time and money is spent indicates our priorities, God wants us to spend it on Him in service to His kingdom and we must freely decide who we will serve.  

Money is temporary, God is eternal.   Christ calls us to make a decision and we must make a choice that will show that we are His.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Attempt to Ruin God’s Redemptive Plan (1 Cor 2:6–8)

Paul gives us a brief glimpse at a moment in time when the powers thought they could forever thwart the redemptive purpose of God. Another Christian writer, the apostle John, revealed that Satan had wanted to speed Christ’s journey to the cross by entering Judas so he could betray Christ to the officials (Jn 13:27). Paul confirms John’s account of Satan’s intent, disclosing that the powers of darkness were convinced they could neutralize God’s purposes by precipitating Christ’s death. Paul writes:

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers (archontes) of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Cor 2:6–8)

This passage contributes three important insights into our understanding of the powers. First, their knowledge of God’s plan is limited—they were not aware of precisely how God would inaugurate his method of redemption through Christ. Paul states it plainly, “None of the rulers of this age understood it.” God did not reveal to these supernatural beings his “secret wisdom” (literally, his “wisdom in a mystery”). The intricacies of the plan of salvation were kept hidden, not only from humanity, but also from the angelic realm. The satanic opposition thus naively believed putting Jesus to death was the way to do away with the Son of God who had come to fulfill his Father’s will and inaugurate his kingdom.

Second, the demonic rulers are facing impending doom (1 Cor 2:6). Paul asserts that the rulers of this age “are coming to nothing” (NIV), “are passing away” (NASB), “are declining to their end” (NEB). Paul here employed a strong word (katargeō), which is generally used to mean “render powerless,” “abolish” and “wipe out.” Ironically, this is true of the powers because the cross of Christ marked their defeat. Although they may experience temporary victories in their ongoing hostility against the church, their ultimate doom is certain. Paul uses the same word (katargeō) later in his letter to the Corinthians, when he says all the hostile powers must be destroyed before “he hands over the kingdom to God the Father” (1 Cor 15:24). The demonic rulers are also described by Paul as being part “of this age.” Following traditional Jewish eschatology, Paul conceived of two ages, this age and the one to come. The powers are a part of this present evil age (see Gal 1:4) from which God is rescuing his people. The demise of the powers is all the more certain because the Second Coming of Christ will mark the end of “this age.” All the fullness of life in the age to come will then be experienced—and without contending with the devilish influence of the demonic rulers.

Third, the demonic rulers are intimately involved in the affairs of life by working in and through people. From the Gospel accounts it is clear that Jesus was nailed to the cross by humans—Roman soldiers following orders from the proconsul, Pontius Pilate. Jesus had been handed over to Pilate for crucifixion by the Jewish council consisting of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and led by the high priests Annas and then Caiaphas. Furthermore, a crowd of people had assembled for Passover who were shouting to Pilate that Jesus should be crucified. It appears that the guilt for Jesus’ death should be assigned to all of these people. Yet in this passage, Paul pointed to demonic responsibility for Jesus’ death. Not all interpreters of this passage have seen it in this way. Some think Paul has in mind only the human rulers responsible for his crucifixion, usually Annas, Caiaphas and Pilate. There are a number of good reasons, however, for believing Paul intended his readers to think of demonic rulers when they read this passage. First, Paul used the term “ruler” (archōn) elsewhere for Satan. In Ephesians 2:2, for example, Paul described Satan as “the ruler [archōn] of the kingdom of the air.” On one other occasion, he did use the word for human rulers (Rom 13:3), but the important point to establish here is that the word was part of his vocabulary for referring to an evil spirit-being.

Second, it is more natural to interpret the demonic rulers as being “wiped out” (katargeō) than the human rulers. Later in the same letter he said Christ must destroy (katargeō) the powers of darkness (“all dominion, authority, and power”) before he hands over the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor 15:24). He also used the word katargeō to refer to Christ’s slaying of the satanically inspired “lawless one” during the time of great distress at the end (2 Thess 2:8). He never used the word for the ultimate doom of unbelieving humanity. It is significant that the writer of Hebrews also used the word katargeō with reference to the evil spiritual realm—by his death Christ “destroyed” the devil (Heb 2:14).

Third, this interpretation best explains Paul’s argument in this passage. In the larger context Paul was acclaiming the inscrutable wisdom of God. This wisdom is the essence of Paul’s message and is imparted by revelation of the Spirit to believers. He belittled human wisdom as useless for understanding God’s ways. He now advances his argument by showing that not even the angelic powers could understand the secret wisdom of God.

Fourth, Paul probably used the word ruler for evil angels because it was part of the wide array of terminology for evil spirits in Jewish tradition at the time. Furthermore, it likely carried the connotation of exceptional power and authority in the hierarchy of evil spirit-beings. This is especially true when we realize it was a title for Satan. The use of the word “ruler” (archōn) in Judaism for evil angels can be illustrated by its appearance in the second century B.C. Testament of Simeon. In this document Simeon allegedly gave the reason for his jealousy and hatred of his brother Joseph:

In the time of my youth I was jealous of Joseph, because my father loved him more than all the rest of us. I determined inwardly to destroy him, because the Prince [archōn] of Error [or “deception”] blinded my mind so that I did not consider him as a brother nor did I spare Jacob, my father. (Testament of Simeon 2:6–7)

This text also illustrates the tendency of later Judaism to rewrite patriarchal history by attributing demonic involvement to events.

Finally, the word “ruler” [archōn] was also part of the early Christian vocabulary for the satanic. The “prince [archōn] of this world” is one of John’s most common expressions for the devil (see Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). An example of its use by the Apostolic Fathers can be seen in the late first-century Epistle of Barnabas:

There are two ways of teaching and of power, the one of light and the other of darkness.… On the one are stationed the light-giving angels of God, on the other the angels of Satan. And the one is Lord from all eternity and unto all eternity, whereas the other is Lord (archōn) of the season of iniquity that now is.

Paul held the demonic rulers responsible for Christ’s death. He assumes that these powers of Satan were working behind the scenes to control the course of events during the passion week. It was not a part of Paul’s purpose to explain exactly how these demonic rulers operated. At the very least we can imagine they were intimately involved by exerting their devious influence in and through Judas, Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas, and by inciting the mob.

Demonic victory over God’s plan by putting Christ to death failed. The powers did not apprehend the full extent of God’s wisdom—how the Father would use the death of Christ to atone for sin, raise him victoriously from the dead and create the church. Least of all did they envisage their own defeat![1]


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Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 101–104.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Run To God - Overcoming Fear with Intention - Purity 495

Run To God - Overcoming Fear with Intention - Purity 495

Purity 495 08/12/2021   Purity 495 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a hiking trail going into mist shrouded pines comes to us from a friend who took a hike on the Perpetua Trail, near Yachats Oregon, in hopes of getting a glimpse of what is promised to be the best view of the Oregon Coast.   As ghostly cool and mysterious as the mist blanketing the pines in this photo may be, it didn’t do much for the view of the Pacific that day near the end of July. But it did make the photos on the coast appear like you had reached the ends of the earth. To see what I mean check out the additional photos on mt4christ dot org.  


Well it’s Thursday, and I share today’s photo to represent the mysterious path of Christian Discipleship that can start with a clear vision but whose upcoming destinations may tend to be shrouded in uncertainty. But I would encourage you that that this spiritual walk with Christ  is always a journey that is worth taking.  

I share photos of pathways or roads on Thursdays as a reminder that I will be teaching a discipleship class at Rock Solid Church this evening and to encourage my friends to take the spiritual path less traveled of living by faith and walking in the Spirit.    This evening is the last class of our Bondage Breaker Series, and we will be taking a break from teaching until after Labor Day when we begin the “Freedom in Christ” course on September 9th, where I will act as a facilitator as the class will utilize materials from Freedom in Christ Ministries’ video teaching series.

The video presentation/discussion will be new format for me to walk through and I will be preparing to determine exactly what technology I will utilize to present it without any technical issues, being careful to prepare a contingency plan to a avoid any interruptions if plan A fails. 

My preparation in the upcoming weeks is indicative of our lives of faith.  No matter what plans we make to accomplish our goals in life, spiritual or otherwise, we must set our intention to be faithful to persist in doing what we said we would do, keeping our promises to ourselves, to others, or to God Himself, and to make contingency plans to overcome obstacles or changes in our circumstances.    

Years ago, before Christ, I decided to get in shape and had determined that running was the way to do it.  In fact to this day, a mantra that exists in my mind is “if you are serious about getting in shape, you have to run.”  Although, I will state that I currently am approaching the best shape in my life and I haven’t incorporated running into my exercise regiment, so you don’t “have to” run necessarily. 

The evidence for my sentiments about running’s results is apparent when you see someone out jogging or running.  The people you see running all the time are usually not overweight.  The people who persist in running are disciplined and make it a part of their lifestyle and commit themselves to run regardless of the weather or their location. 

When I was in that short season of my life, I would run in the rain, in the snow, and in the highest heat. I would run near home, at work, on vacation, and on mission trips, once delighting in running through a village in Zambia to the surprise of the local citizens. On that run, I was absolutely euphoric over the simultaneous highs of running, being on a mission to do the Lord’s work, and the terror of possible sudden death and the fear of the unknown.  

Have you ever seen the 1959 Elizabeth Taylor film; Suddenly Last Summer based on the Tennessee Williams play? I won’t spoil it, but it contains a cautionary tale for people traveling abroad.  

So yeah regardless of weather, location, or possible danger, as a runner, you had to set your intention to run. Runners run, period.  

Likewise in our decision to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we have to set our intention to maintain a daily spiritual practice and to make the commitment to be faithful to it.  As Christian disciples, we make a regular practice of prayer, Bible Study, gratitude, meditation, integrity, or service on a daily basis and we make contingency plans to stay faithful to it in all situations.   Just like a runner is out of sorts from missing a run,  we should be out of sorts if we miss the practices that maintain our communion with the Lord.  

And there is the key, as disciples of Christ, we don’t develop a spiritual practice to “become better people” or to “get in shape, spiritually”, although those are possible benefits from spiritual practice.  No, we develop a spiritual practice to interact with the Lord, to enjoy our fellowship with Him.  Disciples don’t have a religion, a list of rules to adhere to. Disciples have a relationship with their teacher, who just happens to be the Lord God Almighty.  

So take a step into those misty pines beyond the edge of the trail where you don’t necessarily know where you are going.  Although we can’t see the end of our path, when we are walking towards the Lord we never have to fear because we are finally assured through our faith in Christ that we are going in the right direction and the only thing we need to do is trust Him to take us where He wants us to go and to be faithful to keep on walking.     

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

 Today’s verse gives us one of the go-to “mantras of our faith” to overcome fear and anxiety and to assure us of who we are in Christ.  

 I swear I don’t plan these messages out before time. I had no idea that I would be mentioning aspects of fear in the previous section.  But you know, if you have studied the word of God long enough you understand that it’s not surprising when the word “speaks to us”.  God gave us His word to reveal Himself and to help us. So we should find it appropriate to our circumstances and helpful.   

 Today’s verse is a mini antidote for fear.  If you are overcome by fear, just say this verse, and personalize it.  “God has not given me a spirit of fear. He has given me power, love and sound mind.”  

 And when you tell yourself that, follow it up with a conclusion: such as “Therefore, I will calm my mind and emotions in the assurance of God’s love and power, and I will not fear.”   Or something like that. 

 I can assure you that this practice of overcoming fear works. Ask me how I know.  When I have done it, it may not have been as formal as how I presentation here or verbal spoken, although I recommend that, there is power in the spoke word, but repeating to yourself that God has not given you a spirit of fear works, for two reasons. 

 1.    It identifies the enemy.  Who would cause us to feel fear? The one who wants to discourage us and destroy us.  So if you feel fear, it may be due to circumstances but that emotion or the thoughts that are driving you into fear, that will cause dread, is not from God.  God wants us to be cautious but never incapacitated by a heightened sense of fear.

2.    It reminds you of your accepted position, gifts, identity, and security in Christ.   Bravery is not the absence of fear but is rightfully handling our fears by putting them aside to function and accomplish our purposes.    

 So draw close to the Lord, pray for strength, and remind yourself of who you are in Christ.  God has not given His children a spirit of fear.  Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we have power, love, and a sound mind. Knowing this in our hearts and minds, we can overcome.   


 As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 11.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

See Your Past in the Light of Who You Are in Christ

How does God intend you to resolve past experiences? In two ways. First, understand that you are no longer a product of your past. You are a new creation in Christ: a product of Christ's work on the cross. You have the privilege of evaluating your past experience in the light of who you are today, as opposed to who you were then. The intensity of the primary emotion was established by how you perceived the event at the time it happened. People are not in bondage to past traumas. They are in bondage to the lies they believed about themselves, God and how to live as a result of the trauma. That is why truth sets you free.

As a Christian, you are literally a new creature in Christ. Old things, including the traumas of your past, "passed away" (2 Cor. 5:17). The old you in Adam is gone; the new you in Christ is here to stay. We have all been victimized, but whether we remain victims is up to us. Those primary emotions are rooted in the lies we believed in the past. Now we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Romans 12:2). The flesh patterns are still imbedded in our minds when we become new creations in Christ, but we can crucify the flesh and choose to walk by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-25).

Now that you are in Christ, you can look at those events from the perspective of who you are today. You may be struggling with the question "Where was God when all this was going on?" The omnipresent God was there and He sent His own Son to redeem you from your past. The truth is, He is in your life right now desiring to set you free from your past. That is the gospel, the good news that Christ has come to set the captives free. Perceiving those events from the perspective of your new identity in Christ is what starts the process of healing those damaged emotions.

One dear Christian missionary I know was struggling with her past because she discovered to her horror that her father was a practicing homosexual.

I asked her, "Knowing that about your father, how does that affect your heritage?"

She started to respond in reference to her natural heritage, but then stopped abruptly. She suddenly realized nothing had changed in her true heritage in Christ. Knowing this, she could face the problems of her earthly family without being emotionally devastated by them. She was relieved when she realized the degree of security she enjoyed in her relationship with God, her true Father. The resulting emotions reflected reality because what she believed about herself corresponded to truth.

Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


God bless you all!


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship