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God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear Pt. 3

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2022 12:02 pm

God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear Pt. 3

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon

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May 15, 2022 12:02 pm

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God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear Pt. 3

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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. I am convinced that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. I am convinced that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power to accomplish what we've been given to do, a love that will allow us to speak even to our enemies and those who want to harm us.

Thanks for being with us on A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. Today, Carter concludes his three-part message titled, God has not given us a spirit of fear. Hard times may be coming around the corner for you, but always remember this, God won't leave you alone as you face them.

He promises He will always be with you. Nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ. Let's join Carter now as he begins in 2 Timothy 1 verse 6.

I've spoken for the last two weeks. Part one, God's not given us a spirit of fear. Then part two, and this would be part three, God has not given us a spirit of fear.

And if I were to give it a subtopic, I would call it fear of things to come. I'm going to start again at 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 6. Paul the apostle to his young protege Timothy. It's understandable, Paul is an older apostle and Paul had made a decision along his life not to be governed by fear. He had a ferocity in him.

Let's put it that way. That was birthed there by God, given by God, and he had a vision that God had something ordained for his life that nothing of this world could triumph over. Now, such is not always the case in every young disciple coming after those of us who are older.

It's hard. You know, for example, when Paul had a young disciple called Mark at one time, who was probably a teenager. And for Paul, it was common place to have a riot every time he preached. And to have people angry and they want to kill him and they're throwing stones at him. And Mark's probably 18, 19 years of age and he said, well, I've had enough of this.

I've got a life to live. Maybe he was just afraid and he left. And initially it angered Paul, but it changed later on. And you see Paul initially intolerant with the fear in this young man Mark, but later on very sympathetic to the struggle in another young disciple called Timothy who's being called.

It speaks of Paul becoming a man of deeper understanding as he got older, more tempered in the spirit, more aware, or maybe even sympathetic to the struggles of others that are coming after him. Second Timothy chapter one and verse six. Paul says, I remind you, this is to Timothy, to stir up the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a power and of love and of a sound mind.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. In other words, Paul's saying to Timothy, don't draw back. Don't be triumphed over by the fears of your own heart, nor of me his prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings of the gospel according to the power of God. So Paul is saying to Timothy, Timothy, don't draw back because of the fear of the unknown in the future.

Don't try to find a comfortable place that you can stay and maybe exercise your gifts there. If God's called you to follow in my footsteps, there is going to be some hardship in your life, but don't be ashamed and don't draw back from me. He's saying, don't draw back from the pathway that I've taken before you, but share with me in the sufferings of the gospel according to the power of God. In other words, you may have to go through some hard times, but God won't leave you alone.

He's not going to just forsake you because times might get tough and the days ahead of you might be dark. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling. In other words, it's a unique calling that's on your life. It's an individual calling.

It's a calling that through which he will be brought to glory in your life, not according to our own works. You don't have to find the strength in yourself to do this. Paul says, God will give you the strength Timothy to do this. It will be his spirit that will carry you. It would be his strength that will become yours. It will be his thoughts that will govern your thinking.

It will be this glimpse of the future that only God can give that will become the source of your strength, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. And so I spoke weeks ago and shared a personal testimony about being delivered from fear. So I know what fear is about. I even wrote a book about it called Fear Not, a book which talks about the struggle in so many people's lives. It starts with the struggle in my own life, nine years of struggling with a terrible, terrible, almost paralyzing fear that would get a hold of my life.

A fear of failure, a fear of not measuring up to other people's expectations, a foreboding in a sense that there would be no real purpose accomplished through my life or the purpose that maybe was there, I wouldn't find the strength to accomplish it. And I shared with you how when I turned to God and believed the word of God, in less than a minute I was delivered from nine years of hell on this earth and he set me free. The next thing, and I shared it last week, was to be brought, it's not enough to be just brought out of where you used to be, but now he started to bring me in to where I needed to go. And I shared with you about learning to speak publicly in front of people and the battle that that was and the fear, the paper wall as I used an illustration that I had to get through to be able to stand in front of people and to speak and to believe that God could give me the power to do that.

And he did. And he came through in a miraculous and a marvelous way. And so the we're talking about being brought out of bondage, out of bondage to fear, into that, may I call it, the initial paper wall that we go through and we finally get into the game and we're now starting to live that life in a sense that Christ has called us to live.

And then there's a third and perhaps a final frontier, may I call it that, of fear, the final paper wall that we have to break through. It's the fear of that which is yet to come. Now Paul's saying to Timothy, share in the sufferings of the gospel. In other words, Timothy, there's, I think Paul could see something ahead for Timothy that he couldn't see for himself yet, that there was going to be some days ahead of him that were going to be hard. He was going to need the strength of God. And by God's grace, he had a mentor that went before him that was able to not only just endure the sufferings that he had to endure, but he saw a divine purpose in it. Paul wasn't just an optimist.

He actually saw something of God. He knew that even imprisonment could not bind the word of God, that there was something that had been ordained of God for his life. And some may have looked at Paul and say, this guy is strange, but he feels that captivity is somehow going to set others free. You and I know today that had he not gone to jail, some of his prison epistles wouldn't have been written the way they were. He was put in a place where he just simply had to believe that all things do work together for those who love God and are the called according to his purpose. It was because of this that Paul could write in the book of Romans chapter 28 that there's no mountain, there's no valley, there's no hill, there's no enemy, there's nothing that comes against us that can separate us from the love of God. He could write it because he had been through the storms of life. He had faced incredible opposition almost all of his life and ministry. And in the midst of all of this, the spirit of fear had lost its grip on this man. And he understood that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me because he has not given me a spirit of fear, but he's given me power to accomplish that which my life is destined to accomplish. He's given me the love that causes the fear of man to be taken away from my heart, that I can speak to all people anywhere under any circumstance, even knowing he was about to be beaten by a crowd. It would never stop this man from speaking because there was such a love of God in his heart for the lost around him, the soldiers, the Judaizers, those that were going to oppose him and cause him physical harm.

Yet, he wouldn't stop. He would continue to speak because this love of God compelled him to go forward. And he had a sound mind. In other words, a sound mind is a mind that's not governed by the fear of the future. A sound mind is governed by the word of God. A sound mind believes that there is a divine purpose to my life. And that purpose cannot be overcome by anything of this world. If that purpose is ever lost, it's because I chose to forfeit it. I chose to give it up because there's no enemy that can take it from me. There's no power of hell. There's no opposition.

There's no government. There's no nothing that can take away the divine purpose that God has for my life and for your life today, tomorrow and forever. Only way it can be lost is if I choose to back away. And I kind of go back into my cave and make the choice to be afraid, as opposed to stepping out with faith and believing God is able to do what I could never do in my own strength. Now, in the Gospel of John, chapter 16, Jesus said, beginning of verse 12, these words to his own disciples. He said, I have still many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak and he will tell you things to come. He's saying to his own disciples, I have things I've wanted to tell you. I've wanted to share, but you can't bear them.

You can't receive them. Your hearts are not big enough to receive it yet. Now, part of the reason was because the fear of the future was still in the hearts of the people. It was still in the hearts of these disciples. They each had a vision of what the future held and suffering wasn't part of it. And that's the reality of what we face.

Do you have a vision for your future? You know, do you consider suffering fellowship? Because Paul did. Paul said that I consider the fellowship of Christ, fellowship in the sufferings of Christ. May I put it that way? And oftentimes we all have a vision of the future, but suffering is not part of our vision. Nobody wants to really suffer willfully.

Nobody wants to, I would like to have an influence over the culture, for example. I would like to be used of God. This is my personal story, to see children released from captivity under these godless ideologies of our present day. I'd like to see our teenagers find Christ and find a reason to live. I'd like to see the kingdom of God go forward with power. I'd like to see prison doors open and blinded eyes see and wounded hearts healed.

I'd love God to use my life in a way that's far beyond anything I could even ask or think. But oftentimes it's hard to think or it's hard to envision that suffering might be part of that pathway. That there might be accusation, there might be hardship, there might be even the loss of freedom.

We don't know what that holds, but I tell you there is a cost to seeing other people set free. We are living now in a day when the gospel is considered almost an enemy of this new found society that we're creating. We're living in a day when the people of God are going to be vilified. We're living in a day when hostility is becoming more and more open towards the people of God. So to think for a moment that the kingdom of God is going to advance through us without suffering is a fallacy.

It's not going to be that way. Now when self-preservation is at the core of our hearts, it closes our ears oftentimes to what God is actually trying to speak to us. That's the problematic part of the gospel of Jesus Christ and quite often we're praying saying, God speak to me, God show me my future. But we're kind of shut off to the part that might talk to us about suffering.

It might talk to us about hardship, might talk to us about things that we really don't want to hear because self-preservation is at the core of our heart still. Now Paul says to the church in Thessalonians, in first Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 2 to 6, he said, for yourselves you know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say peace and safety then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman and they shall not escape. But you brethren are not in darkness that this day should overtake you as a thief. You're all sons of light and sons of the day and we are not of the night nor of the darkness. So Paul was saying to the believers, the Thessalonians believers, we are not children of darkness and difficult days should not overtake us unaware. We should have an open heart. We should not be afraid of the future.

We should not just be seeking to preserve ourselves and thinking well these days are not going to come in my time. We don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. But Paul said if you're willing to listen God can speak to your heart and he can tell you what is to come. He can speak to you. He can show you what is to come. Let me give you an example of this in the book of Acts chapter 20. This is the apostle Paul and he says in verses 20 to 24, he says, I kept nothing back from you that was helpful but I proclaimed it to you and taught you publicly from house to house testifying to Jews and also to Greeks repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ and see now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem not knowing the things that will happen to me there except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city saying that chains and tribulations await me but none of these things move me nor do I count my life dear to myself so that I may finish my race with joy and the ministry which I rejoice in which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify of the gospel of the grace of God. Paul is saying there's there's a testimony of the Holy Spirit it's not just a witness in my heart but other people are hearing it and seeing it as well that in every city everywhere I travel they're telling me that chains and trials are awaiting me but Paul was able to say these things don't move me in other words they don't they don't alter my course they don't change the direction I'm going in where God is leading me because Paul had this inner knowledge that you and I have that those who are called of God have to have this inner knowledge that there is a purpose for my life that will be accomplished and that purpose will bring others into freedom the purpose of my life is not just to live to preserve myself if I if I seek to save my life I will lose it that's what Jesus said I will lose what I could have had in God if my whole reason for being is just to preserve myself and to live in comfort and and to preach to crowds who love me and to be in the places where there's safety if that's my whole motivation I will lose what God has for me yes I'll still do some good but I'll lose the fullness of what God would have had for my life and I love the fact the apostle Paul could could see what was awaiting him and he could say but these things do not alter my course they do not move me from what God has called me to do because I don't count my life dear to myself so that I may finish my race with joy isn't that amazing here's a man he's he's traveling headlong into difficulty imprisonment accusation all kinds of things but there's this abiding joy in his heart because he knows he's in the will of God that is the key that is the key that unlocks the door when God wants to speak to our hearts about maybe things that you and I don't necessarily want to hear I don't want to hear about hardship I'll be honest with you but I feel like the apostle Paul if God speaks it to my heart it's not going to alter my course I'm not going to take an exit ramp off the highway that God has me on because the highway he has me on will bring people's lives into freedom the highway has me on will will do something that only God can do chains and tribulations await me but none of these things move me I want to finish my race with joy and testify to the gospel of the grace of God he said I want to be a demonstration even in captivity to those who are my captors I want to be a demonstration of the keeping power of God and the joy that is found in the heart of someone who is not given to a spirit of fear but is given to power and love and has a soundness of mind thanks be to God then the very next chapter chapter 21 of acts verse 10 he says we stayed many days and a prophet named agabus came down from judea and when he had come to us he took paul's belt bound his own hands and feet and said thus saith the holy spirit so shall the jews of jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the gentiles now when we heard these things both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to jerusalem and paul answered what do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart for i am ready not only to be bound but also to die at jerusalem for the name of the lord jesus so when he would not be persuaded we ceased saying the will of the lord be done all kinds of voices voices from without voices from within will always try to turn us from any place of affliction now i want you to think about this this is just after paul has made this declaration that the holy spirit says that chains and afflictions abide me on this pathway that i'm going to you see paul was not afraid of things to come and you know the devil will try to get this generation to be afraid of the future a lot of students in the school for example you going home to volatile countries places that are unstable and the enemy will try to put it you came here knowing you had a divine purpose in your own country but the enemy will try to put in you as happened here with the apostle paul thoughts and voices saying don't go there don't don't risk your life don't do this to try to cause you to deviate and take some other path than the path god has for you because of fear the fear of rejection the fear all kinds of fears and and you can see the whole crowd all of these voices saying paul don't go paul don't go aren't you glad he didn't listen to them imagine if he had listened how much of the new testament would we not have today how much of of the testimony of god's keeping power would we not have had he not gone had he had he chosen the the road of safety well yes paul did ultimately lose his head in prison we know that but but the word of god through him was never bound yes he he did suffer yes affliction was part of his journey but god did something through him at the last moments of time that has affected the lives of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of people all over the world have been brought to faith brought to courage brought to safety through the words that god gave this man to put on a parchment and send to his friends in the churches because he believed that all things work together for good because he loved god and he was called according to a divine purpose as he was trying to tell timothy god set you apart for a divine purpose do not be afraid timothy do not be afraid you've been given grace before time even began in christ jesus you will finish your course don't be triumphed over by fear don't draw back from those of us who have gone before you many many throughout history they've handed us the gospel with their blood do you understand people are doing it yet even still today god forbid that what was handed to us with hands that had their own blood on them that we should try to pass it on to the next person while living on a couch or in a hammock god forbid that we should draw back in this the most needy generation of all time one of the most captivated moments in history a time when there is a battle in the heavenlies between evil and good a time when the devil has got his net out seeking to scoop in scores and scores and scores of families and moms and dads and teenagers and young people into an eternal hell for all of eternity god forbid that we should draw back at this time god forbid that his fear to fear would be allowed to dominate our lives and we would choose to draw back into comfort we would choose to be ashamed of those who have gone before us and seek to save ourselves and shut our ears to the voice of god because the voice of god might want to speak something we don't want to hear these voices are trying to turn paul away from going to jerusalem and they're sincere people when you decide to go all the way with god there will be sincere believers that try to turn you back from your journey they are very sincere and they're not wrong in what they're saying they're not wrong that you're going to suffer your hands their feet are going to be bound the fact that the matter is they they're just wrong in their total perception as it is of what the kingdom of god is and how god uses various people they're trying to turn him back from a place of affliction because of their own fears i think there's an inner fear that if this man goes it kind of carves a path for the rest of us we have to start thinking about not just living to preserve ourselves we have to start living for the benefit of others as the theme is of this bible school some people are motivated because of the loss of friendship it was very comforting having paul in their midst and he was about to tell them you're going to see me no more we want to be around people that make us comfortable we we don't like change that's just the nature of of our humanity we we like to be in a comfortable place and we don't want any anything to change it we love our present comforts and we we always seem to gravitate to a place where it's always about me i feel good now i didn't feel good now i feel good and then the lord starts speaking to us about a place where maybe it's going to be it's going to be difficult and we're so loath to hear him when he speaks but you see the apostle paul was the one who could tell us in the book of romans these things i believe we know that all things work together for good to those who love god and to those who are called according to his purpose verse 35 he says who shall separate us from the love of christ shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword as it is written for your sake we're killed all the day long and we're accounted as sheep for the slaughter yet in all these things we're more than conquerors through him who loved us for i am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of god which is in christ jesus our lord he knew these things because he wasn't afraid he wasn't afraid to go into the future because he knew god had him in the palm of his hand and as such his future was secure at some point we have to stand and say what we need to say at some point we have to call this new ideology evil at some point we have to stand for truth and whatever the price is the price is but god has not given us his spirit of fear but power and of love and of a sound mind if i get sent to jail one day that means there's somebody there that needs to know christ it's really that simple i'm not saying it's going to be easy probably won't be but i want to finish my course with joy and so i want to challenge you i want to challenge those that are at home online you have to move beyond just trying to preserve yourself sometimes people don't get free because they're they're not willing to go beyond just getting their own freedom god sees it and god knows it and he waits for that moment of desperation where the prayer is lord if you will take me out of where i am i will go into whatever you're calling me to do and what you're calling me to be admit that you need a savior believe that christ died in your place and open your heart and confess jesus christ as your lord and savior confess him as the one who has not only the promise to forgive you but he has the rights to your future confess him as your lord and confess him as your god the message today has been brought to you by carter conlon from time square church for more information log on to that's plan to be with us next week for a call to the nation with carter conlon
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 03:17:28 / 2023-03-30 03:27:51 / 10

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