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Gaining Freedom From Fear 32 (Printable Verses)

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 32 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Some Final Words

READ AND PRAY THESE VERSES ON FEAR

Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Ps. 91:4-5 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Ps. 91:10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

Prov. 3:25-26 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

Isa. 54:14 In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.

Ps. 56:11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

2Tim. 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Rom. 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

1John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Ps. 91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Ps. 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Rom. 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Rom. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Rom. 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ps. 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Ps. 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

Ps. 27:3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

Hebr. 13:6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

For more information or resources visit our web site at www.otm.org Or e-mail webmaster@otm.org
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 31

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 31 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  The State Of The Union

It is my sincere hope that you have begun to gain freedom from fear through this series and that you now possess a new and vibrant UNION with your heavenly Daddy. We have discussed a great deal and have identified the many aspects of fear and how they relate to us individually. In our last TargetPoint you will find a list of verses having to do with fear. Please take time to print this list and use it in your personal time of prayer. Also, it would be my privilege to be able to pray for you as you work through some of these issues in your life. Please e-mail me if you would like me to do so at vince@otm.co.

In Volume 30, we discussed how intimacy with God and our union, or relationship, with Him helps dissolve fear in our lives. As you seek to grow in your relationship with Him, I would encourage you to sign up for Dick Eastman’s subject here in TargetPoint entitled “Developing a Devotional Habit of Prayer”.

Our next devotional series will be on Anger – a direct result of Fear. Uncontrolled anger becomes a major deterrent in growth in spirit, in mind, in relationships, in life! Anger is often a “socially acceptable” mask for fear. In this series we will discuss different forms of anger and how to identify and manage negative anger. I would encourage you to look for and sign up for this important subject.

As you grow as a follower of Christ, let me recommend a book I have written called Wired to Work. It focuses on building Christ-like people-not just Christ-sounding people. This book was written to help each and every reader to better understand HOW they are wired and WHY they are here (God’s plan). You can order the book by logging onto our web-site indicated below or by calling us at 719-649-1000.

It would greatly help us to hear from you. Your feed back is absolutely invaluable to us in hearing how this TargetPoint may have helped or strengthened you in some way. After all, that’s the point-the TargetPoint! If it is not helpful, it merely joins up with the stream and myriad of information that pounds our nation on a daily basis-from TV, to books, to the internet, and on and on.

Do you have any thoughts for improving our subject matter, our format, our presentation? Do you have a testimony of how a particular TargetPoint may have helped you? With your permission, we would publish your testimony and the blessing and assistance would certainly be multiplied to many others.

And finally, it’s important to tell you that our desire is to continue to offer the TargetPoint ministry FREE OF CHARGE. The reality is that the cost of developing and producing a single subject is $1200.00. If this has been helpful to you, perhaps you would like to sponsor the cost of a TargetPoint subject for $1200.00; or even a partial amount, translating to $37.50 per volume, or $262.50 for one week’s worth. If so, please contact us at the number above. You can use your credit card or send a check to On Target Ministries and memo it to TargetPoint. Or, just contact us at otm.co and let us know of your desire to help.

Thank you for your support and interest in reaching out to others and assisting in building up the body of Christ.

Now go forth in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ, for knowing Him intimately and recognizing Who He really is will dispel all fear!

Blessings,

Vince D’Acchioli

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Some Final Words
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 30

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 30 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Don’t Run Away From Your Heavenly Dad

Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ . . .

Life Implication:
ABBA. Such an intimate word, for in the Aramaic (Jesus’ native language) Abba was like today’s English word for DADDY.

It took me a number of years to be able to come to the place where I could have Abba or Daddy intimacy with my heavenly Father. I remember growing up with my dad. We did not have the kind of intimate relationship I would have liked. When he died in 1983 I recall the deep sadness I felt and sometimes still feel when I think of him.

I have come to realize that God’s plan has always been for our EARTHLY FATHERS TO MODEL HIM. Oftentimes the GREATEST HINDRANCE for people to see their real heavenly Father stems from dysfunctional relationships with their earthly one.

In my case, the hole in my heart brought about by a less then perfect relationship with my dad was never filled UNTIL I DISCOVERED MY REAL DADDY, my heavenly Father. This discovery has so impacted my life that I now believe an intimate relationship with God is the ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT in life, the secret to everything.

Perhaps you can relate. A close friend of mine had a good Dad, but his Dad was never there for him. He traveled much of the time and when he was home, he ruled with an iron thumb, and literally, a buggy whip. My friend came to know his heavenly Father as his Daddy only after going through a three-year valley in his life. What he learned was invaluable, and something he would never trade, the fact that he could truly depend upon and trust totally his Heavenly Dad!

Life Application:
If you have struggled with understanding the fact that God can be your Heavenly Dad, the only answer is to GET CLOSE TO HIM. How do you do that? The answer is simply to SPEND TIME WITH HIM. The only way I know to do that is to spend time reading your Bible, praying, praising and worshipping Him every day. James 4:8 says, Come near to God and He will come near to you. Begin today to seek that intimacy with Father God, let Him become your Heavenly Daddy.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
The State of the Union
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 29

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 29 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Put Up Your Guard!

Ephesians 6:11-14 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against all strategies and tricks of the Devil . . . Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be STANDING FIRM. STAND YOUR GROUND.

Life Implication:
How do we STAND FIRM? How do we PUT UP OUR GUARD? There are several uses of the word GUARD, To protect from harm by watching over . . . to supervise entry or exit through . . . to keep watch. But I think my favorite, and the most appropriate here, is the use of the word GUARD in the sports world, to keep an opposing player from scoring or playing efficiently. For when we put on the full armor of God, that is exactly what we are doing! Not allowing the opposing player, our enemy, the devil, to be able to score or play efficiently. And, the number one place the enemy wants to score with us is in the area of fear! Remember from our past discussions that fear paralyzes us.

The verses that follow our verse for today go on to talk about the various pieces of armor, describing what you could imagine a person would wear in the sport of fencing: a helmet, belt, sword, shield, and appropriate shoes. The purpose of this gear is to act as a defensive covering. However, notice the number of times the Apostle Paul uses the words STAND FIRM or STAND YOUR GROUND. That kind of guarding is an OFFENSIVE stance.

Let’s take a look at how we can TAKE THE OFFENSIVE and put up our guard.

Life Application:
Think about the books you READ, the magazines you LOOK AT, what you WATCH on TV or SEE in movies, or what you pop into your DVD player. Jesus said in Matthew 6:22 that The EYE IS THE LAMP OF THE BODY. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

What do you THINK ABOUT? Do you ponder clean thoughts or do you allow your mind to wander to places that are not healthy? How about what you allow your EARS TO HEAR? The kind of music you listen to; the kind of people you associate with.

MAKE A CONSCIENTIOUS STAND; do what it takes to take an offensive stance in your life today and everyday. CHOOSE what you see, think and hear. Then, allow the peace of God to GUARD your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Don’t Run Away From Your Heavenly Dad
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Gaining Freedom from Fear 28

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 28 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Embracing Our Valleys

Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.


Life Implication:
It came to pass, a phrase so recognizable in the scriptures, spoken by God 453 times in the Word. Don’t we all want anything negative to come only in order for it to pass us by? None of us desires to walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23)! But, my friend, WE WILL HAVE THOSE VALLEYS in our lives, like it or not.

Philippians 4:6 tells us to give thanks IN everything. God does not bring adversity upon us, but HE OFTEN ALLOWS VALLEYS in our lives so that we can become more intimate with Him. He does not say for us to thank Him FOR everything . . . but IN everything. No matter what the trial, the BOTTOM LINE IS OUR HEART ATTITUDE toward Him. Perhaps you have lost a loved one suddenly; perhaps you grew up in an exceptionally abusive situation; perhaps you have been misunderstood and feel the resulting loneliness. How do we make sense of these tragic situations? Only in INTIMACY with our heavenly Father.

We all know people who we might describe as surfacy. People without depth. People who skim through life without much substance or fruit. Then there’s people who’s LIVES ARE LADEN WITH GOOD FRUIT. People to whom you might want to turn in the face of adversity. People whom you know would understand and not judge you in your situation. These are the kind of people that have learned how to embrace their valleys . . . and it shows!

Life Application:
When you find yourself in the valley of the shadow of death, death of a loved one, death of a business, death of a relationship, it is only natural to experience fear. At times like this, ASK GOD TO HELP YOU ACCEPT HIS WILL AND PURPOSE in allowing you to suffer.

REALIZE that God has only good plans for you, even in the face of your trials. DO NOT BLAME God or anyone else for your suffering. Recognize that GOD IS SOVEREIGN over all that affects your life and ask Him to bring forth delicious fruit in your life. Ask Him to DRAW YOU CLOSER to Him in your time of sorrow and to ultimately USE YOU TO COMFORT OTHERS in similar situations.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Put Up Your Guard!
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 27

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 27 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Fear vs. Sound Mind

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of FEAR; but of power, and of love, and of a SOUND MIND.


Life Implication:
Let’s start today by taking a closer look at the word SPIRIT as it’s used in our verse for these last three days. The Greek word is PNEUMA, meaning the Holy Spirit of the living God. Its definition speaks of a movement of air . . . as in wind . . . as in breath . . . or the vital principal by which a human being is animated.

Several days ago, we talked of asking God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here the words BE FILLED are in the present tense, which implies to keep on being filled.

It is my contention that this is the way to have a SOUND MIND, a mind that has its senses about it . . . a mind that is self-controlled and disciplined . . . a SANE MIND.

When we have a sound mind, our imagination is healthy. We are able to see God’s vision for our lives, for opportunities that arise. OUR THINKING AND ATTITUDES ARE INSPIRED by the Spirit of Christ and you can come to say as Paul did in Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Life Application:
There are times for all of us, I’m sure, when our feet first hit the floor in the morning that you perceive immediately that your THOUGHTS ARE OUT OF WHACK. Perhaps you feel a sense of depression, confusion, or foreboding.

Remember, fear never comes from God. These are the times that we must CORRAL OUR THOUGHTS and place them at the feet of Jesus. As you’re walking away from your bed, IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO WORSHIP and praise God in your heart. Ask Him to replace those fearful, scattered thoughts with HIS THOUGHTS. ASK HIM TO BREATHE HIS HOLY SPIRIT INTO YOU, so that you can keep on being filled. THANK HIM for your sound mind. Ask Him to give you a spirit of discipline and self-control. ASK HIM TO ORDER YOUR THOUGHTS for the day. Godís Spirit will begin to breathe into your mind . . . God-given sanity will prevail!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Embracing Our Valleys
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 26

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 26 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Fear vs. Love

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of FEAR; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.


Life Implication:
For God HAS NOT given us the spirit of fear, Fear never never comes from God. As we continue to concentrate on the remainder of this verse, I want to make it perfectly clear from the get-go that when we experience fear . . . it is not from God. He is the One who tells us: Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful (John 14:27). That’s the FIRM FOUNDATION to then receiving a spirit of power, love and a sound mind!

So, today, let’s look at that incredible word LOVE! The kind of love that cares more about another’s well-being than your own . . . that’s the kind of love God’s Spirit wants to pour through us. But until we can fully grasp and understand God’s love for you and me, it’s pretty hard to whip up that kind of UN-self-centered love.

Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The key phrase here is WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS! As sinners weren’t we unlovable . . .unappreciative . . . ungrateful . . . ?

I’m sure we can all think of someone that we find hard to love. Someone who is unlovable, unappreciative and ungrateful. Well, I think you might be catching my drift here, those are exactly the kind of people GOD WANTS TO LOVE THROUGH US. Did you get that? He does not ask US to do the loving. He wants us to be a funnel through which His love can pour to those who are difficult to love. That’s why He says that He gives us a SPIRIT of love!

Life Application:
In prayer I have heard others, and I myself have prayed: God, BREAK MY HEART with the things that break Your heart. You see, God has to do the heart-breaking inside your heart. Only then can you become SENSITIVE AND FILLED WITH PASSION for the needs of others.

First, acknowledge that God is NOT the author of fear. THANK HIM that He gives you a spirit of love. Ask God to GIVE YOU A HUMBLE HEART full of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness. Then ASK HIM TO BREAK YOUR HEART with the things that break His heart. Then, watch how His love begins to flow . . . youíll be amazed!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Fear vs. Sound Mind
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 25

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 25 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Fear vs. Power

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of FEAR; but of POWER, and of love, and of a sound mind.


Life Implication:
This is a loaded verse! Who wouldn’t want to be pumped with power, have abounding love, and be a brain to boot? 

The Greek word used here for POWER is the root word for our word DYNAMITE. That’s the kind of power that’s dynamic and enabling. It enables us to be far more effective than we could in our own human abilities. It isn’t that God calls us to be powerful, but that HE WANTS TO SHOW HIS POWER THROUGH OUR LIVES.

John 20:22 tells us that Jesus breathed on His disciples and they received the Holy Spirit. It is only by His power that we can be free from our own inadequacies.

Smith Wigglesworth was a powerful man of God who lived during the 1800s. He was known as A Man Who Walked with God. In his travels in England, he was responsible for many who came to Christ and were healed. He was described as a man full of humility, but full of Holy boldness. He made popular an expression: God says it; I believe it; that settles it.  Smith Wigglesworth’s power in the Holy Spirit is legendary. He tells of being asleep in his spartan bed in a small one-room house. The night was dark and the wind blowing. There came a loud rap at the door. Wigglesworth tells of rising from his bed and upon opening the door, he saw Satan himself, standing there. Wigglesworth looked at the devil and with Holy boldness, he said: Oh, it’s just you.  And he shut the door and went back to sleep.

Life Application:
That’s the kind of Holy boldness and power I want in my life, how about you? How do we get such power? By being conformed to Christ; by being transformed by Him. Smith Wigglesworth exhorted Christians: Faith is an act, and Only believe! 

DECIDE TO LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND and press into Jesus Christ. ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that God wants us to understand our privileges in Him. Recognize that your humanity, or flesh, is against divine things. HUMBLE YOURSELF before the Lord and ask for His Holy Spirit to fill you.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Fear vs. Love
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 24

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 24 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Faith or Fear, Which Do You Nourish?

To NOURISH is the act of keeping something alive, the FUEL that maintains or stimulates an activity or emotion.


Life Implication:
Just a few days ago, we discussed the importance of being sure that Jesus Christ is in your heart. There is a wonderful little book by Robert Boyd Munger entitled, My Heart, Christ’s Home.  In this book, you are guided through the various rooms of the heart, from the living room, to the dining room, the library, bedroom, the kitchen, and finally to the hall closet.

The heart’s owner is overjoyed to have Jesus as a welcome Guest in all the rooms except one: the hall closet. For inside that closet are all kinds of hidden and rotten things. Things that the heart’s owner knows would be sickening to his invited Guest.

How many of us have a hall closet in our hearts that is full of the FUEL THAT KEEPS NEGATIVE FEARS ALIVE. Perhaps you are fearful that God will have you do or be something or someone you wouldn’t want. Perhaps you are concerned about what He might take away from you. The thing we must remember is that God would never take anything away from us that is not death dealing to our soul. It’s like pulling thorns out of the paws of an animal, while the animal may dislike it, removing those thorns brings life and freedom from pain.

As Jesus helped the heart’s owner in the book, My Heart, Christís Home, clean out the rot and decaying stuff in that hall closet, so He wants to help you do the same, nourishing, or fueling, your faith in Him, rather than hidden fears.

Life Application:
FLING OPEN THE DOOR OF THAT HALL CLOSET of your heart and let the Lord Jesus Christ help you clean out the fears that so easily beset you.

Identify those fears: Is it a gnawing uneasiness. . .a fear of losing control . . . the fear of rejection, death, failure, man, abandonment? REMEMBER, God wants to take you through the process that brings freedom. He loves your soul much more than you do! ALLOW HIM FREE REIGN in your life, tell Him He can have it!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Fear vs. Power
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 23

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 23 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Are You Energized or Immobilized?

Psalm 56:3 But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.


Life Implication:
Simply stated, FEAR IS WHAT THE ENEMY USES TO PARALYZE CHRISTIANS, making them immobile. If the devil can immobilize us, he has succeeded in taking away the abundant life Jesus promised us.

We have such a wonderful example in the scripture of a man who at one time was immobilized with fear . . . but later, became energized by the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember Peter?

Peter became IMMOBILIZED WITH FEAR as he walked on the water toward Jesus, and suddenly, looking down at his circumstances, he immediately plunged below the water. Again, it happened as he warmed himself by the fire as Jesus was being interrogated. The question came from a mere servant girl: Aren’t you with Him? Fear literally froze Peter and with expletives, he renounced any knowledge of Jesus. And yet, after Jesus returned to His Father in heaven, it was Peter who PREACHED FEARLESSLY for three hours, totally energized, totally oblivious to what others might do to him. Peter was ENERGIZED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Hebrews 13:6 says that we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid.  There are times when we will be tempted to be fearful. If we give in to that fear . . . allow it to run rampant, we will become paralyzed. But, if we do not allow ourselves to become obsessed with apprehension, and take courage, then we can BOLDLY STAND ON THE PROMISE of God’s assurance to us.

Life Application:
You have heard of making positive statements to change your situation. While I am not of the positive thinker camp for the sake of positive thinking . . . I do strongly believe, that making POSITIVE STATEMENTS FROM GOD’S WORD will literally UN-paralyze us while at the same time paralyzing the enemy.

Jesus Himself, rendered Satan ineffective by speaking God’s word in the face of the enemy’s attempt to tempt Him. You can do the same. When fear begins to haunt you, SPEAK ALOUD that you are a child of God . . . that you refuse to be intimidated by your circumstances . . . that you choose to be full of courage and not obsessed by apprehension; . . .simply because you can say . . . The Lord is my helper, SO I will not be afraid.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Faith Or Fear, Which Do You Nourish?
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 22

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 22 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Our Ultimate Fear, Death

Romans 8:2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.

Life Implication:
Dr. Paul Yonchi Cho, pastor of the largest church in the world (750,000 members in Korea), has figured out, I believe, the antithesis to the fear of death. Recently he spoke to a number of Christian leaders and explained how he KILLS HIS FLESH DAILY. Think about it, if you’re already walking around as a dead man, the ultimate fear of death is eradicated, or certainly lessened.

Because of Christ’s death on the cross, He has reigned triumphantly over death. Of course, that fear of death is still a formidable enemy for us. But, as we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and we are buried with Him in baptism (Romans 6:3,4), this miracle of our regeneration in Christ gives us complete assurance that when our bodies die, it is MERELY A TRANSITION INTO LIFE forever with Christ.

Then, as we live for Christ, and as Dr. Cho so aptly puts it, we DIE TO OUR FLESH, the actual death of the flesh becomes less fearful as we live. We learn how to live differently. There occurs a transformation of our inner man. If we can but get a grip on this truth, it will forever set us free.

The bottom line is where and how we will spend our forever, with Him or without Him? As a little child, Pastor Jack Hayford asked his mother, How do I know I will go to heaven?  Her response, after a day of thinking and praying, was simply:  Son, those who are taken up with Jesus here on earth, will be taken up with Jesus when He comes again.

Life Application:
EXAMINE YOUR LIFE. Are you taken up with Him now? What is your first priority in life? Have you RECEIVED HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR AND LORD? Have you BEEN BAPTIZED since you asked Jesus into your heart? Do you WALK WITH HIM DAILY? Think of your life on a continuum, from conception to eternity. Only those people for whom heaven has begun now want to live forever. Do you . . .?

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS HONESTLY to yourself and before the Lord. If the answer to any one of these questions is No, then TAKE A LOOK AT HOW THAT NO CAN BECOME A YES and take the necessary steps.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Are You Energized or Immobilized?
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 21

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 21 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Fear of Abandonment

Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor forsake you.

Life Implication:
Sin gave birth to a man’s need for significance, which gave place, then, for the fear of failure to enter. Yesterday, we looked at how sin gave birth to woman’s need for security and today we will look at how that need gives place to a woman’s FEAR OF ABANDONMENT.

Suddenly, the atmosphere in the Garden of Eden made a radical paradigm shift. Because of sin, Eve felt separated from God. WHEN WE FEEL SEPARATED FROM GOD, WE FEEL ABANDONED. A chasm has formed between us and our Maker, even though God did not do the abandoning.

The opposite of a secure place is total desertion or abandonment. On one end of the spectrum we can find COVERT ABANDONMENT. Picture a husband sitting reading the newspaper, oblivious to something important his wife is trying to share, she FEELS abandoned.

On the other end of that spectrum, there’s OVERT ABANDONMENT, where a husband may finally forsake his wife, and walk away from her and all his responsibilities, she IS completely abandoned. Her fear has been realized, in his withdrawal of support, duty and allegiance . . . not to mention, his love!

Remember the control issues we discussed a few days back? Even if a woman is single, often you will find her becoming hardened and controlling in corporate, or even church settings, grabbing the steering wheel of her life in an effort to counteract being controlled by others which she feels could ultimately position her for abandonment.

Life Application:
God did not flippantly choose the words, I will never leave you or forsake you.  He chose those words clearly to put our hearts at peace.

We, as both men and women, must STAND FIRMLY ON THE WORD OF GOD and BELIEVE HIS PROMISE. God said it again to His disciples in Matthew 28:20: And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Ask God to help you stand on His Word and believe His promises that He will never leave you or abandon you in any way. ASK HIM TO HELP YOUR UNBELIEF and SUPERCHARGE YOU WITH FRESH FAITH in Him.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Our Ultimate Fear, Death
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 20

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 20 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Security, Right Up There With Food and Water!

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.

Life Implication:
Eve arrived on the scene of creation in PERFECT SECURITY. God brought her forth from the rib of Adam . . . she was obviously perfect in every way and joyously desirable to Adam. She was safe and secure in the love of her husband and in the ultimate, overshadowing and intimate love of God the Father. Their garden was a safe place.

But, Eve hungered for more . . . and the more she got wasn’t quite what she bargained for. For she lost forever that total sense of security. Suddenly, her husband had to eke out their basic living by the sweat of his brow. Time? He no longer had much time for her. He was too busy plowing, cultivating, planting, and harvesting . . . wearing himself ragged.

Today, women battle for security in their lives. Often women find it difficult to let go and trust their husbands to provide properly for them. And, as in the case of Eve, often women find themselves looking for that something ìmoreî in life.

Many women have been overwhelmed by what we commonly call The Proverbs 31 Woman.  She is a virtuous woman who valiantly takes care of her household; she buys and sells; she sews and cooks. But, what we often overlook is the foundational verse of Proverbs 31. Verse 30 says, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE TO HER SECURITY issues in life. The rest of this woman’s exploits would be reduced to nothing without that verse.

Life Application:
As a woman who fears the Lord, my wife, Cindy, would say that truly that is where she finds her security. I would like you to hear how Cindy fears the Lord in her own words: I commit my day, myself, my family and all that the Lord has put into my hand unto Him. For His word declares in 2 Timothy 1:12 …I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until that day.

I remind myself and thank the Lord that He alone is my portion. He is my provider, my deliverer, my healer, my defense, my counselor, my comforter, the lifter of my head. There is nothing that He will not be able to be to me or impart in and through me as I keep my eyes focused on Him and choose to wait and abide in His presence. He is my righteousness, peace and joy. He is my ultimate sense of security.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Fear of Abandonment
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 19

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 19 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  Are You Fail-Safe?

II Cor. 4:8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we donít give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.

Life Implication:
Yesterday we looked at man’s NEED FOR SIGNIFICANCE. While this is an innate need in man, the fear on the flip side of that coin is the FEAR OF FAILURE.

There is a term often used in our government, in the military, and in our computer-world as well: FAIL-SAFE.  Capable of compensating automatically and safely for a failure, as of a mechanism or power source. Or, acting to discontinue a military attack on the occurrence of any of a variety of predetermined
conditions.

As we begin to FIND OUR SIGNIFICANCE IN CHRIST, WE CAN BECOME FAIL-SAFE. How does this happen? I ask you, and myself as well, Who is your power source? If we fail in anything, are we capable of compensating automatically and safely . . . by going to the One and only Power Source that is capable of making us fail-safe?

To fail is simply the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or result. This can surface in many ways: the failure of an experiment; failure at one’s career; falling short in an endeavor; not performing properly in what is requested or expected; not passing a course, a test, or an assignment; having a decline in strength or effectiveness; a failed marriage; failure as a father; perhaps youíve had to declare bankruptcy. The list can be endless, but the culminating factor is FEAR! FEAR OF FAILURE!

Life Application:
When failure comes, and itís accompanying fear, with God’s help DECIDE that you will not be crushed and broken. SAY before God that you REFUSE TO GIVE UP AND QUIT. THANK HIM that He never abandons you. DECLARE that you will get up again and keep going by His grace. Ask God to help you make these choices and decisions an ongoing reality in your daily life.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Security, Right Up There With Food and Water!
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 18

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 18 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought:  How Significant Are You?

Matthew 20:20-23 The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him . . . asking . . .Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.
Mark 9:34 . . . for on the road they (Jesus’ disciples) had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Life Implication:
For the next four days we will begin to look at the specific needs and the accompanying fears, specific to men and specific to women.

MAN HAS A NEED TO BE SIGNIFICANT. God said in Genesis, that man would work by the sweat of his brow. That sweat comes in many forms . . . from tilling the land . . . to negotiating on Wall Street. The point is that man will have to work hard to provide for his family. As a man struggles to achieve his significance his self-worth can become tremendously threatened.

We usually think of being significant in a positive way. However, because of early life experiences, one may seek significance in a profoundly negative manner. A Columbine School shooter may have thought significance could be found in being on the front page of newspapers all over the world, and he was right . . .dead right!

To be significant is to be FULL OF MEANING . . . how do we wed this to the idea that Solomon bemoaned in Ecclesiastes 1: Everything is meaningless . . . utterly meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work?  In the end, Solomon summed up where our significance can be found: Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person.

There is a Christian catechism that asks and answers the following question: What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If we could but get the significance of this into our hearts . . . our minds . . . our spirits . . .for, therein lies our own significance!

Life Application:
REMEMBER that you are so significant that Jesus died on the cross for you. Here we are again, at the foot of the cross. ASK GOD TO HELP YOU to find your significance, your chief end in Him and only Him. ASK GOD TO REPROGRAM any of the negatives of your past, and begin to teach you how to glorify Him and enjoy Him on a daily basis. START EACH DAY by worshipping and praising Him. REALIZE how much He loves you. Isnít it easy to enjoy someone who already has declared His never ending love for you? Make Him part of your daily schedule, like a Bosom Buddy that enjoys your day along with you.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Are You Fail-Safe?
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 17

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint Volume 17 of 32

Todays Verse/Thought:  The Rejection Factor

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Life Implication:
He lived, he died, so what? An undesirable epitaph to put it mildly! One of the GREATEST BLOWS TO OUR SELF-WORTH COMES IN THE FORM OF REJECTION. There is not a human being alive that hasnít been rejected in one way or another. As a child . . . by the kid down the block; as a teenager . . . by the popular ones at school; as a young adult . . . spurned by the object of affection; as an employee . . . passed over for that promotion.

In Isaiah 53:3 the prophet foretold the rejection of Jesus:  He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  The Hebrew definition of the word rejected here is the worst possible, meaning VACANT, to disappear, to loathe and disdain. Think of it, almost like the epitaph above, as though His existence was NON-existence.

Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:22 that if you even call another person fool you are in danger of hell fire. Here the Greek means, EMPTY ONE, WORTHLESS ONE, total rejection of another.

Perhaps you have been rejected and pronounced worthless. You may try to rise above those situations and say It really doesn’t matter, when in truth, it hurts, it causes pain, grief, and ultimately fear. THIS KIND OF FEAR CAN ROB US OF DEEP RELATIONSHIPS and we may even become very compliant and solicitous, blending into the values and attitudes of others where we should not.

Life Application:
In his book, 12 Steps to Living Without Fear, Lloyd Ogilvie, our former U.S. Senate Chaplain, suggests the FOLLOWING AFFIRMATION: Secure in God’s love, I will not surrender my self-worth to the opinions and judgments of others. When I am rejected, I will not retaliate; when I am hurt, I will allow God to heal me. And knowing the pain of rejection, I will seek to love those who suffer from its anguish. Along with this statement, it is important to LOOK REALISTICALLY AT THE POSSIBLE REASONS behind why you might have been, or are being, rejected. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to shine His light on the situation and to be the strength of your life. MAKE HIS OPINION MORE IMPORTANT than the values and opinions of others. Be concerned about what God thinks of you . . . not others.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
How Significant Are You?
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 16

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 16 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Oh, I’m So Stressed Out!

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.

Life Implication:
Americans work more, sleep less, was a recent headline in our local paper. The article went on to say, A workaholic lifestyle with too little time for sleep is turning America into a nodding-off nation, with 40% of surveyed adults saying they have trouble staying awake on the job. Sound at all familiar?

I like the way a U.S. author put it: When you suffer an attack of nerves you’re being attacked by the nervous system. What chance has a man got against a system? Well, my friend, a system is exactly what we have! It’s A SYSTEM WHICH PROMOTES FEAR and tells us we can never have enough . . . do enough . . . achieve enough . . . be rich enough . . . be hard-bodied enough . . . be gorgeous enough . . . and on and on.

This kind of system becomes MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DISRUPTIVE, it’s very food, our fear. It can affect our physical health resulting in increased heart rate, rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression. This system leads us down the road to complete burn-out, burning a hole deep in our soul that can never be filled by what our system tells us we need to achieve or have.

Jesus gave us SEVERAL ANTI-STRESS GUIDES: He said, Commit your way to Him . . .Ps. 37; We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps, Proverbs 16; Work six days, and rest one, Ex. 20. Jesus, Himself, was a perfect example of complete balance in living and working.

Life Application:
My challenge to you today is to PRESENT THE SCHEDULE OF YOUR DAY EACH DAY TO THE LORD. ASK HIM TO WEED OUT THE UNIMPORTANT and guide you in those things that are truly needed. When I go my own way and forget to do this, stress becomes the normal fall-out in my day. Nothing is too insignificant to bring to Him. He wants to use your gifts in your work and in your relationships. He knows what spins our wheels as opposed to what is actually needed to get the job done. If you use a Day-Timer, a simple calendar, or a smart phone/tablet, bring it to your prayer time, review it with Him, and SPECIFICALLY ASK HIS DIRECTION FOR YOUR DAY. You will be amazed at how your stress level begins to diminish.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
The Rejection Factor
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 15

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 15 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Giants and Grasshoppers

DREAD: To be in terror of, to anticipate with alarm, distaste, or reluctance; pessimism, feelings of doom, apprehensiveness, fear.

Life Implication:
When we are walking in fear, PROBLEMS LOOK LIKE GIANTS and WE BEGIN TO FEEL LIKE GRASSHOPPERS. Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the concerns of the day; overwhelmed when you look ahead to the future? Perhaps you feel engulfed with fear and apprehension, defeated before you start, like a small craft amidst
enormous waves.

A classic example of this kind of FEAR AND DREAD can be seen in Numbers 13:31-33. God had clearly told the Israelites to go take the land of promise, it was time and He would help them. But here these guys return, after checking out the land, full of dread and fear and say: We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! . . . All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there . . . We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them! A quote from President George W. Bush puts it so well: The fearful build walls. The confidant tear them down. These Israelites built walls of fear and dread among the people.

In order to overcome fear and dread in our lives, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE TRUTH OF WHAT GOD SAYS TO US. He says: I will never leave you or forsake you. Perhaps you grew up in a home where your father was not dependable. Maybe you were exposed to fearful situations that were no fault of your own. Often we find we react and don’t know why. FEAR, DREAD AND FEELINGS OF DOOM, COULD HAVE BEEN PROGRAMMED INTO YOU AT AN EARLY AGE. BUT GOD CAME to seek and save the lost, the fearful, and He promises TO REMOVE THE DREAD FROM YOUR HEART.

Life Application:
As you look to Jesus to remove the feelings of dread in your life, start with this prayer and finish it in your own words: LORD, I DESIRE NOT TO BE HAUNTED BY APPREHENSION. YOU ARE MY CONFIDENCE AND I BELIEVE YOU when You say in Your Word that You are my Helper; that You will never leave me; that You will fight my battles for me; that You are my hightower and see all that is to come; that You have good plans for me that hold a future and a hope; that you will never fail me. I CHOOSE NOT TO SUCCUMB TO FEAR, the enemy’s way of trying to paralyze me . . .

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
I’m So Stressed Out
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 14

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 14 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Are You a Man-Pleaser or a God-Pleaser?

Proverbs 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety.

Life Implication:
When we govern our lives according to how we are perceived by others, IT’S AS THOUGH WE HAVE CHAINS ATTACHED TO US from the minds of other people to our own actions. Fear of man, whether it is what man can do FOR you, or what man can do TO you, becomes a prison within which we often try to function. In today’s verse, the word trap means a snare, a hook or a noose, pretty graphic wouldn’t you say?

We see it clearly in the political world of soft-money and leaders falling prey to self-interests. We see it daily in those who compromise their values in order to climb the corporate ladder.

A MAN-PLEASER OPERATES OUT OF FEAR. A GOD-PLEASER OPERATES OUT OF TRUST. What is trust? It’s total dependence upon whatever it is we put our trust in. In the book of John in the Bible, we meet a man named Nicodemus. He was a main-man in the Jewish upper echelon of leaders. But this Man called Jesus, piqued his curiosity. Nicodemus, out of fear of compromising his position, CAME TO JESUS AT NIGHTTIME. The next time we see Nicodemus is a few chapters later when he’s with the Jewish council, and he timidly speaks up amongst the naysayers, asking, shouldn’t there be a trial before someone is condemned? But, the last time we see Nicodemus, he has gone from being a Man-Pleaser to a God-Pleaser, with his total love and devotion and trust, showing in broad daylight. For, he, throwing all caution to the wind, was one who wrapped Jesus’ body for burial. Something significant happened in Nicodemus’ heart between John chapter 3 and John chapter 19, total faith and total trust, he had discovered Perfect Love, and FEAR AND LOVE CANNOT CO-EXIST. Nicodemus was free!

Life Application:
LET’S CUT THOSE PUPPET-STRINGS of others’ thoughts governing our actions. As you go before the Lord, ask Him to cut those connections to your heart and mind. Ask Him to free you to LOOK FULLY INTO HIS FACE AND TRUST HIM for your every move, for your every thought and idea, for your every decision and choice. Look at the ways you operate, the things you do, and BE BRUTALLY HONEST in identifying the Man-Pleaser traits you might have. ASK GOD TO CHANGE YOUR DNA from a Man-Pleaser to total trust in Him.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Giants and Grasshoppers
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 13

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 13 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Your Pound of Flesh!

Jeremiah 16:18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin . . .
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Life Implication:
Another area driven by fear is getting even . . . getting your pound of flesh! IF I DON’T PROVE I’M RIGHT, THEY MIGHT CALL ME A WIMP. Justify! We always want to JUSTIFY and DEFEND ourselves in order to make ourselves look good. We FEAR being viewed as less . . . less than smart, less than this or that.

God says we are to WALK IN FORGIVENESS. That’s a lifestyle! Unforgiveness actually negatively affects our health! Studies have shown this to be true.

A U.S. author once characterized a litigant (someone who sues another) as a person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones. Now, when you think about it, getting your pound of flesh, as opposed to letting God deal with those who have hurt you, as my wife, Cindy says, THAT’S A NO-BRAINER! For, as our verses clearly speak, God will repay double. Who’s hands would you rather your adversary fall into, yours or the hands of the living God?

Of course, I fully agree that there are times when we need and should appreciate our court system. But, let’s not be quick to go there. Will Rogers, the renown humorist, once said: People are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide. But, as Christians we are called to be a counterculture. We are called to bring our conscience before the Lord God, and let Him deal with us and with others. My wife puts it so well: We live in an invisible kingdom within a kingdom. 

Life Application:
There’s a well-known saying: Love is never having to say you’re sorry. But, I would like to give you the Christian counterculture rendition of that saying: REAL LOVE IS FORGIVING OTHERS from your heart, just as Christ has forgiven you. True forgiveness is AGREEING TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES of another person’s sin, and making a choice and a decision to forgive.

So, with that in mind, BRING THOSE HURTS AND THE EMOTIONAL PAIN of specific situations and relationships TO GOD IN PRAYER. Allow Him to point out areas where you need to forgive. Allow Him to take care of those debts against you. MAKE A LIST of those people who have hurt and offended you and then pray for each one of them on a regular basis. Then watch what God does with YOUR heart . . .

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Are You a Man-Pleaser or a God-Pleaser?
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 12

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 12 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Intimidated? Or Intimidate?

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Life Implication:
We all know about one or the other: to be INTIMIDATED or to be an INTIMIDATOR. Both are motivated by fear. Whichever way a person goes most likely has to do with their particular personality. I’m not going to go into detail about how either of these looks in today’s world, rather I want to remove the ID, interestingly enough, our English word for EGO, from intimIDate . . . and what we have left is the word INTIMATE. Let’s take an INTIMATE look at our Savior.

Here was a Man who had every reason to be intimidated, for he landed right in the middle of a bunch of self-righteous men who prided themselves in keeping the law of Moses. Here was a Man who had every reason to be fearful, for He knew He was headed for the excruciating pain of the cross. But Jesus was intimidated by no one. He knew the heart of man . . .

Here was a man who had every reason to be an INTIMIDATOR. For after all, He was the Son of God, the Wisdom of the ages. But, He never sought to intimidate anyone. When the Pharisees brought Him the woman caught in adultery, it was a two-edged sword they were trying to wield. They were trying to intimidate the Master but He would not be . . . And, they wanted Him to intimidate the woman . . . but He would not.

Jesus’ life breath was the Father. He didn’t let the world intimidate or govern Him. He set the role and is our model. Here is our example, an intimate look, at true freedom. Jesus shows us the antithesis of walking in fear and therefore, being free from bondage. Seeing who Jesus really is, is what is liberating!

Life Application:
Today, let’s continue in our quest to become intimate with Jesus . . . ask Him to remove the ID, EGO from INTIMIDATE and replace it with INTIMACY with Him. Take a look at how you function. Perhaps you are given to being an intimidator. . . or perhaps you are intimidated easily. Ask God to show you the root of fear behind your behavior. Seek to spend time with Him, reading the Word, praying and praising Him. This is the pathway to intimacy with the Father.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Your Pound of Flesh!
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 11

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 11 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Ministry vs. Manipulation At Work

Genesis 3:17-19 And to Adam he said, Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day.

Life Implication:
No wonder fear began to germinate in the heart of Adam. He went from a promising future to a future of blood, sweat and tears. REMEMBER THE PATHWAY HERE: sin gave birth to fear and here we witness the results.

You’ve probably all heard of the importance of one-ups-manship in the corporate world. You’ve gotta wear the power suit or, in the techie world, the power jeans. Women are coached that if they wear long red fingernails, they can intimidate men around that conference table. You’ve gotta climb the corporate ladder . . . and usually the STEPS OF THAT LADDER BECOME THE SHOULDERS of your co-workers.

This is a world of materialism . . . if I just have the right house, the right car, wear the right label, have the right job, then I’ll be free! This, my friend, is NOT FREEDOM!

Would it surprise you to learn that that is not God’s way? We need to understand that the Kingdom of God functions totally differently than the kingdom of the world. It is God who raises up and God who puts down. In Proverbs 8:15 God says: By me kings are raised. Again, in Proverbs 18:16, He says, A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. Resting in the Lord in this arena, HAVING HIM REMOVE YOUR FEAR OF NOT SUCCEEDING, will give you freedom and liberation beyond compare.

Life Application:
In Psalm 37 we find out how the Kingdom of God functions: TRUST in the Lord, and DO GOOD. . . TAKE DELIGHT in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. COMMIT YOUR WAY to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Here the Psalmist is advocating an ATTITUDE. He calls on men to put their trust in the Lord, which is only another way of telling them to live by faith. It is FAITH IN GOD THAT IS NEEDED. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and do not rely on your own insight (Pr. 3:5). The latter part of this verse frowns upon trust in one’s own powers. This is the road-base that paves the pathway from fear to faith. Seek to incorporate this attitude into your life starting today! Get in the habit of asking this powerful question before you act upon or say anything, WHAT IS MY MOTIVE?

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Intimidated? Or Intimidate?
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 10

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 10 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Ministry vs. Manipulation In My Friendships

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Life Implication:
This is the secret to having lifetime friends as opposed to revolving door friendships. Over the years of my life, I have watched my wife, Cindy, handle others with her heart. Because Cindy has such an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, she is free from the bondage of fear in her friendships. I have watched her in relationships where a friend has chewed her up and spit her out, so to speak, and Cindy simply walked in love and forgiveness toward that person.

The key to lasting and loyal friendships is to love and minister to that friend. Not walking in judgment, but when there is something questionable, taking it to the Lord.

People are not unaware when they are the object of manipulation. One usually knows when they are being manipulated rather than being ministered to. How do you feel when you realize you have been manipulated? I’ll bet you would say you would feel resentful. Again, that person doing the manipulating in a friendship is a person who, OUT OF FEAR, FEELS THEY MUST BE IN CONTROL. If we can leave our response with Jesus and handle people with our hearts, our friendships will be lasting. Once a friend realizes they are being manipulated, they will begin to distance themselves.

Life Application:
What about your friendships? Are they long lasting or are they of the revolving door variety? Do you tend to minister to your friends, or do you attempt to manipulate them to your own advantage? The Bible says in Proverbs,  . . . there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Isn’t that the kind of friend you want? Isn’t that the kind of friend
you want to be?

Well, here we are again! Where do we go to release that fear that causes us to manipulate rather than minister? I’ll bet by now, you’re beginning to get the drift that God is the only place we will find this freedom from fear, and the actual freedom to be vulnerable in friendships and relationships. ASK HIM TO REVEAL TO YOU areas where you might find yourself manipulating. ASK HIM TO HELP YOU CHANGE in your behavior, freeing you from that fear that leads you to become self-protective.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation At Work
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 9

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 9 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Ministry vs. Manipulation In My Family

John 20:27-28 But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.

Life Implication:
I once knew of a woman in our former church who literally cut her teeth on an atmosphere of fear. Her mother was so fearful that she would lock her daughter in the closet for days. This young woman went through great healing, but it took a process of time. In that family, fear and intimidation were the modus operandi.

Families learn to function working around each individualís personalities. Birth order also comes into play. Whether the siblings are boys, and/or girls has an affect. Daughters can learn how to manipulate their Dads and their brothers; they can become little dictators. Sons learn how to manipulate by their actions and attitudes. Their role models are their parents. If the parents manipulate one another, the children learn that naturally. BUT, if the PARENTS MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER and to their children, the children will learn that way of operating naturally.

Jesus gave us the perfect model of how we should behave within a group, a family unit, and with friends. JESUS WAS A SERVANT, BUT HE WAS NOT A DOORMAT. One who feels free to serve others is one who is free from fear and self-centeredness. One who becomes a doormat, however, is not a person who is free. That individual is shackled by a fear of man, which we will discuss later.

Life Application:
Take a hard look at your family situation. Are you one who has the best interests of your family members at heart? Or, do you tend to manipulate your children, your parents, your siblings, in order to get your own way. RECOGNIZE THAT THIS WAY OF FUNCTIONING IS DRIVEN BY FEAR, A NEED TO PROTECT ONESELF. Ask God to
begin to help you in specific situations to choose to minister to that family member rather than manipulate. What a joy it is to live within a family unit where each member is looking out for the well-being of the others. LEAN ON YOUR SAVIOR to give you the safety you desire and to minister to your needs. THEN, ASK HIM TO HELP YOU do the same for your family members.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation In My Friendships
Posted on

Gaining Freedom From Fear 8

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 8 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Ministry vs. Manipulation In Marriage

Genesis 3:16 Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.

In the Old Testament desire means much more than merely to long for, to ask for or to demand. In Hebrew psychology the whole personality was involved in desire. Hence desire could easily become covetousness, leading to envy and jealousy, etc. . . . and when such sinful desire was given free rein the well-being of the whole community was endangered (Je. 6:13-15). The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1962.

Life Implication:
As you can see from the above Hebrew explanation, the well-being of the community of marriage is certainly threatened by what sin brought forth. The curse put on the relationship of the husband and wife was a direct result of sin.

A British novelist once wrote: A complete woman is probably not a very admirable creature. She is manipulative, uses other people to get her own way, and works within whatever system she is in. Not a very pretty sight indeed.

This is the very essence of CONTROL. How often we laugh in our society that a smart wife is the one that makes her husband think he is in control, while all along, she is the one who is running the show.

In marriage, there can be a constant tug-of-war between the husband and wife. Often you find one of two scenarios: the wife manipulates and the husband becomes weak and spineless; or, the husband becomes a heavy-handed dictator, in order to keep his wife under control. Either way, there is no freedom . . .there is no ministry. Fear is the underlying source for each situation, seeking to maintain self-serving control at all costs.

Life Application:
If you are married and any of this sounds familiar there is hope for your marriage relationship. Manipulation and control are the direct opposite of FAITH AND TRUST. Our first place for faith and trust is in the Lord. Ask God to start you on a pathway of faith and trust in Him that abrogates the need to control and manipulate. Perhaps there is a long-term pattern that has developed between you and your spouse. ASK GOD TO BREAK THAT BONDAGE OF FEAR, and show you new and healthy ways of relating to your spouse. ASK HIM TO DEVELOP IN YOU THE DESIRE TO MINISTER, and show you ways to minister to your spouse. Have a discussion with your spouse using this very printout. DEVELOP A PLAN TOGETHER.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation In My Family
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 7

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 7 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Do You Minister or Manipulate?

John 13:2-5 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.

Proverbs 16:2  All a persons ways seems pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Life Implication:
What a picture! Our title today represents the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VULNERABILITY AND CONTROL. You all know people who tend to be control-freaks. Either they control others by shrewd or devious management for their own advantage, or they make every effort to control their own personal environment, to keep themselves feeling safe.

But JESUS FEARED NOTHING AND NO ONE. Because of this, He could be totally vulnerable. This is true liberation! Being able to serve others, rather than manipulate them.

Often in my On Target seminars, I make the claim that in life, you are always doing one of two things: either you are manipulating or you are ministering! Think about it. You can’t be doing both at the same time. One is self-serving, the other is others-serving.

The desire to make ourselves feel safe by controlling others and our environment is the world’s way of coping with fear. This is bondage! Even the Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) had it figured out when he said, . . . (good) deeds. . . are the greatest joy man can experience.

Life Application:
Evaluate your life. Look at the way you manage your daily activities. Do you find ways to minister to others at home, in your friendships, at work? Or, IS YOUR NATURAL TENDENCY TO MANIPULATE CIRCUMSTANCES toward your own best interest?

GO TO GOD. Ask Him to show you specific instances where you find yourself manipulating circumstances. Write down those situations. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ARE FEARFUL OF IN EACH SITUATION. Ask God to take those fears from you and show you how to change your actions into service to others. Then, look for opportunities TODAY to take action on your actions!

Finally, do what I did some time ago.  I wear a bracelet on my wrist that asks a simple question…What Is My Motive?  I look at it often–before I say or do anything–it is a powerful reminder to check my motive.  Am I about to manipulate or minister?

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation In Marriage
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 6

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 6 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Ostriches and Alligators

Galations 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Life Implication:
As we saw a couple of days ago, Adam coped with his fear by covering he and Eve with fig leaves. A friend of mine often jokes (about his negative work situation) that he keeps his head in the sand; now and then he pulls his head out, looks around, doesn’t like what he sees, and pops his head back in the sand. This is a form of coping, like the ostrich, rather a dumb bird. It’s a case of what you don’t know won’t hurt you. You might call it DENIAL.

Then there’s my own tendency, to become a bit CYNICAL AND SARCASTIC when I don’t like the way things are going. Fear sets in, and I can find myself developing a hard exterior to cope with what’s going on around me.

Interestingly enough, the word cope means to contend with difficulties and act to overcome them. Contending is actually a form of battle. This takes a lot of work, my friend. Fear is always a problem to be dealt with. The important thing is how we respond. We can’t change things that come upon us. But we do have a choice in how we respond. The more we understand God’s way, the more we can be free.

Our own ways of coping, perhaps denial or developing a hard exterior, may work to protect us to a degree, kind of a form of defense, but what do those defenses do to our relationships? I know when I get cynical or sarcastic, it pushes my wife and friends away; when my friend buries his head in the sand, what good is he to his co-workers?

Life Application:
Instead of coping with your situation, let’s see if we can begin to understand God’s way of handling things. HIS WAY IS TO DO BATTLE ON OUR BEHALF. As our verse for today says, GOD’S WORD IS THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. Wouldn’t you prefer His sword to trying to create your own defense mechanisms?

If you are not already a reader of the Word, get yourself to your nearest bookstore where Bibles are sold or download a version to your smart phone or tablet. Find a Bible that helps you read through the Bible in a year. Begin to READ THE BIBLE ON A DAILY BASIS. You will begin to understand the power of His Word. Read a Psalm and a Proverb each day. Read the gospels, and endeavor to look for the ways that Jesus Himself, spoke the word in what could have been fearful situations for Himself.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Do You Minister or Manipulate?
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 5

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 5 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Pick Your Fear and Toss It!

Psalm 91:5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day . . .

Life Implication:
A British model once said, I don’t mind flying. I always pass out before the plane leaves the ground. A feminist writer put it like this, By the time we are women, fear is as familiar to us as air. It is our element. We live in it, we inhale it, we exhale it, and most of the time we do not even notice it. Instead of I am afraid, we say, I don’t want to, or I don’t know how, or I can’t. Perhaps men put it in other ways: That pursuit doesn’t interest me, or I’m too busy to take that on right now.

WE LEARN IN LIFE TO COPE WITH OUR FEARS. We learn to use socially acceptable phrases, but we never, never want to admit to anyone that we are just plain afraid.

Our fears often manifest in uncontrollable anger, or in various phobias; perhaps we are always feeling stressed, or we try to control everything and everyone around us. What is your attitude in life? Do you feel like you live inside a glass half full, or half empty? Are you afraid to be alone? Are you afraid that your hurting memories of the past will repeat? Do you feel inadequate to meet life’s opportunities? Are you afraid of the future? Of death? Of the opinions and judgments of others? Does fear cripple you in any way?

Do you try to numb your fears with alcohol, drugs or pornography? A recent ad, speaking of a particular natural vitamin, spoke to our culture: Natural Valium Nourishes Fears and Anxiety Away. What are your fears and what are the methods you may have unwittingly developed to cope with those fears?

Life Application:
IMAGINE a huge basket in the sky. Imagine God’s hands holding that basket and lowering it down to you. Now, think of each fear you have. Visualize writing that fear out on a little piece of paper. In you mind’s eye, see yourself tossing each of those little pieces of paper into God’s huge basket. Ask Him to take each of those fears away from you. REMEMBER, as our scripture for today says, He wants you to live trusting in Him, and free from the bonds of fear!

As we move ahead, we will go deeper into what particular fears look like and how we can overcome them in Christ.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ostriches and Alligators
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 4

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 4 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Holy Fear, A Personal Testimony

Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.

Life Implication:
As we progress in our study of fear, I want to first dwell on the area of wise or godly fear. This will be in contrast to most of our remaining volumes, where our emphasis will be on gaining freedom from negative fear. Our goal, in this series, is to move away from allowing negative fear to dominate us, and to move toward allowing Godly fear to dominate all areas of our lives.

As I grew up, I acted fearless about most things. I lived in and of the world, and thought I could dominate and manipulate most anything to my own advantage. In a very scaled down version of my story, I married my high school sweetheart, Cindy . . . Cindy subsequently found Jesus . . . I later accepted Christ as my Savior . . . but continued to live an unchanged life. Then came the breaking point. Cindy uncovered the secrets in my life that I was struggling to keep hidden. God’s giant searchlight had landed on my sinful path, and I was dangerously close to losing the people I loved most in life, my wife and my children. I WAS MOST DEFINITELY AFRAID! This was Godly fear, a fear that became the beginning of wisdom. Almost like touching a hot stove, once you do so, you have wisdom about hot stoves that stays with you for a lifetime.

Let’s head toward developing a positive and reverential fear of God . . .

Life Application:
To put us on the road from negative fear to positive fear, TRY WRITING OUT A NOTE TO THE LORD. It could go something like this: Lord, I do not want to be dominated by the negative aspects of fear. My desire is to know you better, to be directed by a true fear of You, to have you shine your search light on all areas of my life. Help me experience the incredible healing that comes as I develop and grow in wisdom and knowledge of You. Give me clear direction as I go through this series on fear. Please change my thoughts and tendencies from the unhealthiness of negative fear to a mind and heart that is clear of negative fearful debris. Thank You, Lord.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Pick Your Fear and Toss It!
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 3

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Volume 3 of 32 

Todays Verse/Thought: Which Fear Is In Your Driver’s Seat?

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Life Implication:
The Bible uses numerous words to denote fear: reverence; dread; fear; and terror. The New Bible Dictionary states that theologically, four main categories can be suggested.

1. HOLY FEAR: This is God-given, enabling us to reverence Gods authority, obey his commandments and hate and shun all form of evil. Our scripture reference above tells us that this kind of fear is the very BEGINNING OF WISDOM.

2. SLAVISH FEAR: This is strictly a natural consequence of sin as we mentioned in our TargetPoint yesterday. An adulterer fears they will be found out; a tax evader works hard to cover their tracks; an alcoholic fears losing their job, etc.

3. FEAR OF MEN: This can be positive in the sense of having a reverential awe and regard of men, as of those in authority over us; or, it can be quite negative, where we have a blind dread of other people because of what they have or can do to us.

4. FEAR AS THE OBJECT OF FEAR: This is a particular fear that terrifies us. The Greek word is phobos which is where our word phobia comes from. One of my closest friends lived in fear when his children were teenagers if they were out even one minute past their curfew. His imagination would go to the worst scenario he could think of, and he was sure it had occurred to his kids. As President Roosevelt said: Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

The right kind of fear can be a good thing. The wrong kind of fear can devastate our lives. Of course, don’t we all want to be dominated by holy fear, wise fear? Wisdom and knowledge is what we all want. That’s most likely what Eve thought she was getting when she ate from that tree. But, God has given us the key to successful living Knowledge of Him!

Life Application:
As you review the different kinds of fear listed above, see if one or more descriptions trigger something inside you where you feel as though you can IDENTIFY PERSONALLY. ASK GOD TO REVEAL SPECIFIC CASES in your life where you have been dominated by a particular negative fear (or fears). WRITE DOWN THOSE SPECIFICS and then give them to the Lord. Ask God, as He sheds His light on those areas, to begin to remove and heal those specific fears, and replace them with His wisdom and love.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Holy Fear, A Personal Testimony
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Gaining Freedom From Fear 2

fear_false_evidence_appearing_realTargetPoint  Vol. 2 of 32

Todays Verse/Thought: Fig Leaves For Sale
What Is Fear and Where Did It Come From?

Genesis 3:10 The man answered, ìI heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.

Life Implication:
In this scripture, Adam is talking to God. Why is Adam afraid? Here he is, created by a loving God, placed in a gorgeous garden, given the woman of his dreams, having authority over all living things, with all his needs (and wants) met, and he is afraid! Why?

We all know this story well. it is commonly referred to as The Fall of Man. In six cosmic days, God creates the heavens and the earth, man and woman, and gives them only one (not ten) requirement! They are not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Along comes the devil, telling Eve that eating of this tree is really no problem, it will just make her like God. So she does . . . Adam does . . . and sure enough, THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL ENTERS THEIR MINDS, AND FEAR ENTERS THEIR HEARTS!

They fashion fig leaves as a covering, the first human reaction to fear. Remember when you were a small child and it was dark and out of fear of the dark, you may have pulled the covers over your head? Our natural instinct is to cover-up when we experience fear. We do it physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Genesis 3:10 is the very first reference to the word fear in the Bible. The sad thing is that for us as human beings, because of sin, fear is natural! We all battle it in one way or another, no matter who we are, no matter what our personality, no matter how strong we think we might be. As we progress through this series on the subject of fear, we will address the many different ways all of us as individuals, negotiate through this minefield.

Life Application:
Start this very day, to ASK GOD TO OPEN YOUR MIND AND HEART to understand the subject of fear. Ask Him to REVEAL HIS TRUTH to you as you move through this series. Ask Him to SHOW YOU AREAS OF YOUR LIFE WHERE YOU MIGHT BE DOMINATED by fear.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Which Fear Is In Your Drivers Seat?