Monthly Archives: October 2019

First the Blade (Chapter 19)

 

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 19

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (d)

In the early 1990′s, I was a part of home group, which held some special meetings in the city building of a small Iowa town. Local business people and others were invited. I gave some teachings. Afterward, I prayed for those people who wanted prayer.

A friend brought an eighty-five year old female resident from a nearby nursing home to the last night. She was small, slightly stooped over, and wore thick glasses. She had been a Christian from her youth.

I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit was stronger than normal as I approached her. The little lady asked for her eyes to be healed. I prayed and she fell over backward onto the floor. I continued praying for the other people. They all fell on the floor.

When I finished, I was the only person standing in the room. Everyone else lay on the floor, and to be honest, I rather enjoyed the moment.

Everyone soon revived and the little lady came over to me. She testified how her eyes had been healed. She could now see clearly without the blurriness, which had bothered her for years.

“Really?” I said.

She nodded and explained how the Holy Spirit had never touched her like that in her whole life. She was so excited.

“I want to pray for you and have God use me to touch you,” she said.

“Really?” I said, knowing she was a life-long Lutheran and probably would pray a stiff, formal prayer.

She laid her hand on my shoulder and uttered a prayer with lots of stiff phrases scattered here and there throughout her meanderings. Then she added, “Lord, I just want to be used to touch him like he touched me tonight.”

I hit the floor with a thud and laid there for a half hour or so.

What do you think the little lady did while I lay on the floor?

She jumped up and down and screamed, “I did it! I did it! God used me! God used me!”

I can teach faith, explain about the power of fasting, and the importance of praying in the Spirit, but still it often comes down to how much Daddy loves His children and loves to see His children excited about Him.

 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly, I say to you unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)

We often read the Bible and fail to visualize the scene in which the words were spoken. It is easy to miss the meat of the message by doing this.

In the above verses of Matthew, we learn by looking at Mark’s account of the same event that Jesus was in His hometown of Capernaum. The disciples had been arguing over which of the twelve was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. They were probably filled with pride from their successful ministry exploits on their recent journeys into the surrounding villages. They asked Jesus to settle the argument for them.

The home was filled with people. A curious child squeezed through the crowd to get to the front, near where Jesus sat.

Jesus did not immediately answer the disciples’ question, but instead, He looked at the child standing there. All Bible translations state He called the child to Him. The Greek word proskaleō, which is translated into the English word call, really has two meanings:  to call or to bid.

Because of the to bid meaning of proskaleō, I like to think Jesus looked at the child, winked His eye at him, and motioned with his forefinger in a “come hither” fashion. The child without even looking to his parents instantly walked to Jesus, allowing Him to use him as a model for His message.

Jesus then said, “Whoever humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Think about it for a moment, okay?

Jesus did not say a person with the greatest amount of faith or the greatest amount of knowledge would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. He said the one who would be like “this child” would be the greatest. Why? Because the child totally trusted Jesus and obeyed His promptings without thinking about the possible consequences of his obedience.

That is true faith.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 18)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 18

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (c)

I finished studying at 9 p.m, stood up, and walked into the kitchen for a drink of water.

As I turned on the recessed ceiling lights, I stopped dead in my tracks. A grotesque creature sat on a stool at the island counter. If the angel was the epitome of the Kingdom of Light, then this being was the dark side’s counterpart. Its gloomy eyes glared at me while its lips formed a sneer. Festering sores plastered the being’s face and neck. A filthy robe cloaked its torso and a stench of decay clogged my nostrils.

“Listen up Chuck,” the creature said in a raspy voice.

Fear struck my chest like a baseball bat. I had trouble breathing. Confusion settled over me like a morning fog. I could not put two and two together.

“If you go to businessmen and tell them to pray over their financial gifts, seeking the Lord where they should give their money, some bad things will happen to your family. Your two sons will die in an auto accident and your wife will go insane. Do you hear me?”

I could not speak as my mouth went dry and a throbbing sensation sent stabs of pain through my mind. The creature drummed its dirty two-inch long fingernails on the granite counter. The beat reminded me of a funeral march.

“I said – do you hear me?” the creature hissed out the words.

I nodded.

“And I can do it. It will be easy. Just as easy as it was for me to come into your home. No one can protect you from me! Not even God!”

The creature bared its brownish-yellowish teeth with a hideous grin as it stood up.

“Don’t you ever forget what I told you, okay?”

The being walked over to the door leading out to the deck, then without opening the door, he stepped through it and left.

I collapsed on the floor and wept. My body convulsed in fear.

“Oh God! What have I done to my family?” I screamed.

Afterward, I pulled myself together and wandered into the family room, collapsing on the sofa. What is going on? I thought. Everything is hitting me at once. What can I do?

My mind raced in circles searching for answers, but I found none. I eventually fell asleep.

 

A voice visited me while I slept. Was it in a dream or a vision? It was like both, but different at the same time. I was awake, but I was asleep.

“Chuck,” the voice said.

I looked up and realized I was standing in front of a stage in a large auditorium. It was black. None of the spotlights were turned on. The red velvet curtains were drawn apart. The voice seemed to be flowing out of the darkness blanketing the stage. I felt no fear and was comforted by the voice.

“Yes,” I answered.

“Do you have some questions?”

“Yes.”

“Go ahead.”

“What was that being in my kitchen?”

“What do you think it was?”

“A demon.”

“Yes. That was a demon power sent to frighten you by the religious ruling spirit over America.”

“But how did that happen?” I asked. “I always pray for angelic protection over me.”

“Yes, you do,” the voice said. “For just a few moments, the angels who protect you backed off their posts. When they did that, the demon power slipped into your realm.”

It hit me like a hammer between the eyes. I was set up by the Lord and used as ambush bait.

“But –” I said, trying to put my thoughts into words.

The voice interrupted me. “You have been chosen to have insight into spiritual warfare so that you can teach others. Spiritual warfare is not played on a Game Boy. It is played out in real life scenarios where lives and destinies are at stake.” The voice paused for a moment and then added, “Satan and his army want to kill Christians and their families, and destroy their destinies on earth.”

I cringed.

“But what can I do to protect my family?”

“What does scripture say?”

The voice bounced my question back to me.

I thought for a moment before answering.

“Cast my cares on the Lord for He cares for me.”

“Yes and don’t forget that Jesus rebuked demons. He refused to allow them to speak because they are all liars. You can do the same in Jesus’ name.”

I was silent, not wanting to ask my next question.

“Can Satan and his forces really hurt my children or Dusty?” I asked.

“Yes. Your rebellion and sin could open the gates for Satan’s army to come into your family’s lives. But by the same token, a causeless curse will not alight on you or your family. Walk with God and avoid sin.”

The voice was silent for a moment.

“Any more questions?

“What about my problems with Dusty?”

“She is not the problem – you are. Dusty is like most women in that she desires to see her husband as a sold-out man of God, not a half-hearted pew-sitter. You obey God, follow His instructions, and she will be happy to walk by your side.”

With that answer, the voice left and I returned to my sleep.

(This excerpt is from DECEIVED DEAD AND DELIVERED by Larry Nevenhoven, 2012, eBook, Amazon.com.)

In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6: 16-17)

Whether you like the idea or not, we Christians have to fight demons, which takes strong faith.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 17)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 17

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (b)

The next morning, when I arrived at 8:30, Dad was pacing back and forth in the parking lot. His neon yellow tie hung at half-mast on his white shirt, his top shirt button remained unbuttoned. His gray suit coat draped the blue and white sign in front of the handicap parking space. A scowl etched his lobster-colored face. He was boiling.

“Jeremiah, we need to talk. Now!” he said through clenched teeth.

Dad knows! I thought. How I wish the gift of faith was still working in me. Guess I’ll have to trust in the Lord’s grace to see me through this.

I avoided his blistering eyes and nodded.

“Okay.”

He reached over and slung the suit coat over his right shoulder.

“Follow me,” he spit out over his shoulder as he marched toward his silver Mercedes. “Jump in.”

I opened the door and sat down in the black leather passenger seat. Dad climbed in the driver’s side.

“Better buckle up,” he said without looking over.

The Mercedes’ tires squealed as we pulled out onto Pine Street in front of an oncoming city bus. My right hand reached for the seatbelt and pulled it tight across my dark blue slacks. I snapped it. Then, I tugged on it just to make sure it fastened properly. I straightened my red tie and ironed out the wrinkles in my blue oxford shirt.

We headed west on the one-way street. He turned a razor-sharp right into the Starbucks on the corner of Octavia Street. He read the confusion on my face.

“This is a timeout, sort of like you use to pull on me when you were young,” he said without smiling. “I was so upset I didn’t brew any coffee this morning. Like Napoleon, I am senseless without the stuff. Would you like one?”

With our two coffees, we drove north to Lafayette Park. Dad pulled over to the curb and parked. He sipped some coffee. He rotated in his seat toward me, his eyes blazing with fury.

“Now, what were you thinking about when you pulled that stupid stunt yesterday at City Hall?”

The only other time in my life Dad had been that angry with me was when I dropped out of college and broke-up with Kari. This was out of character for him. He normally joked around and carried on a light-hearted banter with people.

“Where did you hear about it?” I asked.

“Arlene phoned and said she saw you on Channel 26.”

“Good old Arlene and cable TV, huh?”

“And if Arlene knows, everybody knows,” he mumbled. “Right?”

I nodded.

“So, answer my question, will you?”

“The Lord told me to do it.”

“Oh, boy!” he said with a deep groan. “Does this have to do with your thinking you’re called to be a prophet?”

“Yes.”

“Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Jeremiah. I thought we were past that by now.”

I blew out a deep breath.

“Dad, it’s my calling – I can’t just lay it down because it causes discomfort to loved ones or me.”

He rose up and pointed a finger in my face.

“Listen son,” he bellowed, “shooting off your mouth in San Francisco will cause bad things to happen to you. This is not the Bible Belt, you know. Open your eyes. This is the liberal capital of America. San Franciscans hate having their noses shoved into their crappy smelling sins by a Christian who thinks he’s a prophet. Do you hear?”

I looked out the window at two junior high kids who walked by just then. The smaller boy slapped the pudgy one on the back and took off running. The victim stood still for a moment, his mouth hanging open. Then, he ran after the other one yelling, “I’m going to kill you when I get a hold of you.”

The smaller boy stopped a half block away and put his hands to his mouth. “You ain’t never catching me, fat boy.”

He turned and scooted down the street.

“Son, do you hear what I’m saying?”

I nodded but swallowed the hasty words, waiting just behind my teeth.

BUZZ! BUZZ!

Dad answered his cell phone.

“Yes.”

He listened for a long time.

“Okay, we’ll be right there. Tell everyone the sales meeting is canceled for this week,” he said as he started the car.

“It seems the switchboard is lit up with calls for the prophet. Six people want to list their homes with you. Can you believe that?” he said as he shook his head. “I would have guessed your career was buried yesterday, but what do I know, huh?”

(This is an excerpt from the novel, Jonah, by Larry Nevenhoven, 2012, eBook, Amazon.com)

…Let us prophesy in proportion to our faith. (Romans 12: 6 NKJ)

Yes, we need strong faith to prophesy or use any of the spiritual gifts at a high level in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, and nation. We also need strong faith to walk through the aftermath of using our spiritual gifts.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 16)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 16

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (a)

We can expect to have adverse circumstances happen in our journeys. But what will be our first thoughts? To phone a prayer team member? Or a pastor? Call a specialist who knows how to get God on the hot line for us, but what if no one is available, then what happens?

We will have to toss our own prayers toward heaven, hoping God will hear them. But who are we? We aren’t John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Billy Graham, or the reincarnation of Smith Wigglesworth, we’re just everyday Christians, struggling to survive. How can we know whether God will answer our prayers or not?

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11: 1)

Faith is the assurance, the confidence, the deep trust God will answer our prayers and help us in our times of need. Now, why is that so?

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. (Mark 11:24)

Why? Because Jesus, the Living Word, said so.

According to Mark 11:24, when must we believe our prayers for miracles, healings, deliverances, financial help, or whatever are answered by God? When we see it and can actually touch it? No. That’s walking by sight and not faith.

We must believe we have received our answer from God when we first prayed to Him. Then, we have to walk by faith until we see the manifestation of the answer in our lives.

“What?” you say. “How can that be?”

For example, let’s say we order a book online from Amazon.com. We give Amazon our shipping information and our credit card number. Amazon then flashes a big “Thank you for the order” and sends us an email confirmation.

Do we have the book yet? No. We just have assurances from a reputable company the book will be sent. We trust the integrity of Amazon to follow through on what we have asked them to do.

If we can trust the words of companies like Amazon, how much more should we trust God and His word?

God never lies. God is love and He never fails. Period. No man or company can match the integrity of God because He is perfect. His word is truth.

 

As a young Christian, I struggled with this concept about faith until the Lord provided a useful answer in one of my early trials.

My family and I moved from Kentucky to Iowa during the 1981 tax season. I decided to save a few bucks and ignore paying Kentucky income taxes. This omission eventually became a big problem six years later after receiving an overdue tax notice from the State of Kentucky for $42,000.

I phoned the Kentucky Treasurer’s office. They told me the debt would remain at $42,000 until I sent them proof of what I owed and a check for the full amount.

Upon checking our tax statements, I discovered the 1980 tax statements had been thrown out. Therefore, I had to order copies from the IRS.

Have you ever tried to get info from the IRS? Their wheels turn slowly. After a year of phone calls, the IRS notified me all 1980 tax forms and earlier had been destroyed for space reasons.

The only proof I had of my 1980 income was a tax averaging form, which I used on my 1981 income taxes. I phoned the Kentucky Treasurer’s office.

“Tax averaging forms are not accepted. You must have the original forms,” they said.

They then lowered the debt to $5,000 and gave me fifteen days before the state filed a lien on our home. I finally decided to seek the Lord on the matter.

The Lord told me to figure out my taxes according to the tax averaging form and send a letter to the state of Kentucky with a copy of the form. I was to tell them I was willing to settle for $500, which was the original amount I owed.

The Lord also told me to write a letter to Him, stating the time and date I asked Him to take care of the problem, along with scriptures to back up my words. God is a covenant God. Our faith becomes a covenant between Him and us at the exact moment we believe Him for an answer to our prayers.

I sent the tax letter to Kentucky and kept my covenant letter in my Bible.

Whenever doubts hit me, I took the letter out of my Bible and waved it before God. “God, I believed by faith this was handled by You on this date and at this time. You are not a liar. I trust You and Your word that it’s done. Thanks for taking care of it,” I proclaimed aloud to Him.

The state of Kentucky accepted my offer three weeks later.

I have used this method of writing down the dates and times of my requests to God often over the last twenty-five years and then reminding Him of our covenant. Maybe it is a tool that will work for you, too.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 15)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 15

Building a Foundation of Faith (m)

Pride, not walking in love, fear of man, and unforgiveness are the four biggest hindrances for not receiving answers to prayers. Each undermines faith.

Let’s now talk about what I call God’s x factor… x being an unknown, like in an algebraic equation.

In 1995, I dated a wonderful woman and really thought I would marry her. I even had many prophetic words, which seemed to fit her, or at least, I thought so.

While driving my truck back from her apartment in January 1995, I had a conversation with the Lord. “Jesus, You need to get us married as quick as possible,” I said.

My truck cab filled with laughter. It was as if heaven opened up and the Lord along with hundreds of angels laughed at what I said. The laughter was the “hold your belly and roll on the floor” type. It continued and continued.

I pulled my truck over to the side of the road because the laughter was so contagious tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t continue driving.

The laughter eventually ceased and I headed home. As I drove, I wondered, what was so funny, but I convinced myself heaven was overjoyed with me being in love.

One obstacle after another frustrated my relationship with the lady over the next fourteen months. I figured it was spiritual warfare and I needed to fast, pray, and hold strong in faith to win the victory.

My roommate decided to get married in March 1996, and asked me to preside over the wedding ceremony. A dinner was planned at our apartment so I could meet the maid of honor, the best man, and a mysterious lady, who was the bride’s spiritual mother.

I answered the doorbell the night of the dinner and greeted people while my roommate prepared the meal. The mysterious lady turned out to be a pretty blond lady, about my age, who happened to be single. She sat next to me at the meal.

We worshiped the Lord and prayed for each other after the meal. All felt the mysterious lady should pray for each of us and she agreed. As she prayed for someone, I looked at her and what I saw instantly changed my life.

No longer did I see a mysterious lady, but instead, I saw my wife. And with that prophetic glimpse, I fell head over heels in love with her. I was smitten beyond any earthly reason. It was all I could do to pay attention for the rest of the evening.

I turned to my roommate and his fiancée after everyone left. “I have fallen in love with Carol,” I said.

Both laughed. They had been praying for Carol and me for months because each received a separate vision from the Lord about the two of us marrying each other. “But the Lord told us not to say anything to you,” said my roommate, “because the Lord said Larry is so stubborn he’ll do just the opposite.”

Thirty minutes later, I phoned Carol. “What have you done to my life, it’s turned upside down?” I said.

She laughed and admitted she missed her exit on the way home, thinking about me.

Our first date was on the next night, a Saturday night. We became engaged on Sunday morning and were married four weeks later, on Good Friday, 1996.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

 God is a sovereign King. He is the Boss. Period.

He knows what is best for each of us. He has His reasons for allowing things to happen in our lives. He is the Potter and we are the clay in His hands. All of our prayers, even though prayed at the highest levels of faith, will not change His mind about His plans for us.

“He allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power.” (Permission Granted, Graham Cooke and Gary Goodell, Destiny Image Publishers, 2006, pp. 24)

Now that a solid foundation is prepared, how do we build mustard-seed faith on it?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 14)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 14

Building a Foundation of Faith (l)

 “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for my experiences, but you couldn’t pay me two million dollars to go through some of them again,” said Kenneth Hagin.

His words are my exact sentiments about my experiences selling cars at ten different dealerships. One such experience dealt with a reason why many prayers are not answered.

After working for a year at a large GM dealership, the management fired me in early 1993. A used car dealership hired me a few days later. The dealership paid no base salary or benefits. My income depended solely on commissions from car sales. So, no car sales meant no income for me.

The first few months were fantastic and management even considered promoting me. A sales drought then hit and I didn’t sell a car for weeks. Every deal I worked on fell through. The other salesmen stayed far away from me, worried that whatever I had was contagious and would infect their sales.

I had no money. My vehicle sat in front of my apartment, hungry for gas. Bills piled up. My groceries came from a food bank. I walked everywhere, even the two miles back and forth to work.

“Why not quit?” you ask.

I couldn’t quit because I felt the Lord wanted me to stay. I believed He was doing something in my heart. All I could do was trudge through the valley until He delivered me.

After five weeks of no sales and zero income, something happened.

A young couple liked a car I showed them. Everything seemed perfect and we talked about meeting again in two days and writing up the order. Hope replaced the dark clouds hanging over me.

The following day was a day off for me.

A salesman met me at the door two days later when I arrived at work and took me aside. “Your couple came in yesterday and Kevin wrote up the order. He stole them from you. What are you going to do about that?” he said.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know,” I replied.

Kevin and the sales manager were off that particular day. There was not much I could do until the next day, but I was devastated for the rest of the day.

Early the next morning, I went for a walk and the Holy Spirit began speaking with me. “You have to forgive Kevin,” the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart.

“I can’t,” I replied.

“You have to,” He said.

“No, I absolutely can’t forgive Kevin. I hurt too much,” I said as I continued walking.

“If you don’t forgive him then this will happen…” He said, relating what would occur if I refused to forgive Kevin.

“I don’t care. He’s a thief and a liar and I’m hungry,” I said.

“You have to forgive him,” He whispered to my heart.

I sighed and stopped walking. “Okay. I can’t forgive him on my own, but if You help me forgive him, I will.”

And just like that, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit surge through me. I forgave him. No longer did I hold a debt against Kevin. He could have the commissions from the sale and I blessed him.

Later that same day, while Kevin was busy with a customer, I helped another one of his clients and wrote the order up for Kevin. I even delivered the car and sent the people off. Kevin made $400 commission without ever doing anything.

I was totally set free.

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions. (Mark 11:24-25)

Unforgiveness is one of the major reasons why our prayers are not answered. It is such a malignant sin that if it is not remedied in an individual’s life, it will eventually result in bitterness, which defiles other people.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many are defiled. (Hebrews 12:15)

If your prayers are not being answered in a prompt fashion, ask the Holy Spirit if you have unforgiveness. If you do, then forgive, but if you can’t forgive because the pain is too much, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. His name is the Helper and He will help you.

What is a surprise reason that our prayers are not answered?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 13)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 13

Building a Foundation of Faith (k)

Have you ever thought: “Lord do You really know what You’re doing with my life?” Well, I have, more than once, especially when I learned He wanted me to prophesy.

Prophesying is not a problem for most people. They just open their mouths and speak what they feel the Holy Spirit wants them to say. But to a person who has suffered through the cruel effects of stuttering, prophesying is a big, big deal.

I still have vivid memories of sitting in classrooms and feeling my throat swell, my breathing stop, and my tongue waggling around in my mouth when the teacher called on me to answer a question. There was then the inevitable aftermath of listening to classmates laughing and giggling at me as I stammered forth an answer.

It was this deep fear of what others would think about me when they heard my stuttering, which caused me to attempt to avoid all public speaking. I used to think, “If only I could speak normally, I could be a successful somebody in the business world.”

These deep-rooted memories sent tremors of fear through me as a young Christian whenever I thought about prophesying in front of groups.

A man prophesied to me once: “The Lord says you are sitting on prophecies and not speaking them forth. The Lord is unhappy with you.”

This prophetic word caused me to seek the Lord.

“Jesus, this is unfair. You want me to prophesy, but I have speech problems. Deliver me from my fears and help me.”

I noticed no difference in my confidence after speaking this prayer.

A few weeks later, an African-American prophetess from Kansas City pointed to me at the beginning of a large meeting. “You’re going to prophesy an important message to this city at the end of this meeting. I’ll call you up to the front when it’s time.”

How much of her teaching do you think I really paid attention to as I awaited her summons? Like zero, right? My mind focused totally on wondering if I could speak the first word without stuttering, but I also knew it was time to trust the Lord and walk in my calling.

“Okay, come up here young man and prophesy to this city,” she said when she had finished her teaching.

I stood up and headed toward the front. As I walked, the anointing of the Holy Spirit fell on me and I was a different man. No longer was I the little boy who stuttered and stammered his way through grade school. No longer was I held in chains by the fear of what people might think of me if I stuttered. I felt like the Lion of Judah, filled with boldness. When I grabbed the microphone, I prophesied for over five minutes about future events heading toward the city.

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. (Proverbs 29:25)

Most of us struggle with the fear of man to some degree or another. We would like to be accepted and never suffer shame in front of our friends and others. We want to please people and receive plaudits for our works.

But just like in my life, the fear of man can imprison us and cause us to look at our own puny abilities and what others might think if we attempt something, rather than looking at the Greater One who lives within us

Jesus opened every prison door for us at the cross. We simply have to stand up and walk through the doorway. When we do, we will discover His grace and His anointing will be our mantles.

The fear of man can ensnare our faith and cause prayers not to be answered.

If you struggle with this, pray the following: “Lord, I want to please You. Deliver me from the fear of man and help me to trust You in all situations, regardless of what others may think or say about me.”

God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. (Matthew 5:11 NLT)

What other reasons are our prayers not answered?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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