First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
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.)