Monday, October 21, 2013

Fear!  I've not researched it myself but someone who has recently said that the phrase "Be Not Afraid" is used 365 times in the Bible.  I love it, one "Be Not Afraid" for each day of the year!  You think God might be trying to communicate something very important to us? 

Let me be very honest and transparent with you.  The biggest obstacle my wife and I have had to face is fear!  And the biggest fear we've faced is the fear of stepping out again and doing what we believe God is calling us to do.  One of the common things said in our house has been "we tried and it didn't work."  With this attitude what God can do in our lives is very limited.  With this attitude we begin to tell God what He can do with our lives and how to do it instead of us surrendering to God and doing whatever He says.  What keeps us from surrendering?  Fear! 

I personally believe the most potent tactic of the enemy to stop God's plan in your life is fear!  Fear is a paralyzing force and if allowed to control your life will hold you captive and keep you from God's best.  Please understand how dangerous fear can be if given a place in your heart. 

Let me say bluntly before I share with you how to overcome fear that you can dream all you want but if you are controlled by fear you will never step out on those dreams.  All your dreams will be is wishful thinking!  That may sound a bit strong but I hope it helps you understand the danger of being controlled by fear. 

But I love what the Bible says about fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  This verse alone is enough to tell you and me that we want nothing to do with fear!  I don't want anything God has not given me.  Look at what one commentary says about fear as it relates to the above verse.  "It's not from God; and it can immobilize and torment its victims, making them feel powerless and alone. Indecision or wrong decisions are then made that could give place to bondage and great human suffering." 

Are you struggling with fear today?  First know you're not alone!  So let me share one verse that I believe will help us all overcome fear. 

1John 4:18- "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 

Here's what I earnestly believe.  A person that is controlled by fear has lost sight of how much God loves them.  They no longer have a fresh revelation of God's love in their heart.  This person is no longer focused on the love of God.

Let me gently say that if you are ruled by fear it's very possible that you are more focused on you then you should be and you need to refocus on God and who He is.  And the Bible says that "God is love" and my friend His love is perfect!  Therefore, "perfect love casts out fear." 

I'm going to pray for every person that reads this blog.  Here's my simple prayer for you. "Heavenly Father I pray that each person who reads this blog will have a fresh revelation of your love.  May they fully understand the love that caused You to send your Son Jesus Christ to give His life for them.  And Father I declare that as they are filled with Your love fear will go in Jesus name!  Thank you Father for hearing and answering my prayer!" 

I encourage you to refocus your focus and face God's love instead of facing fear!  When you and I walk in the revelation of God's love for us we'll not only DREAM.......AGAIN but we'll also step out and begin to live the dreams God has given us.  You can trust Him, you really can!

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf


Saturday, October 12, 2013

WHAT DO I DO NOW?  This question may be trivial for some but for the person that's stepped out to live their big dream and then experienced failure this can be a huge question.  Think about it, you've poured all your energy and resources into this dream thats been burning in your heart and your whole life has been captivated by what you believe is God's plan for your life.  The big day comes, you step out of the boat, and then you sink.   You've just faced the biggest discouragement of your life and now the question is, WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Some have left good jobs to live the dream.  Some have left family to live the dream.  Some have left communities they were raised in to live the dream. For me and Jeanie we left a perfectly good church with incredible people that didn't want us to leave but we had this dream burning in our hearts to plant a church in Colorado.

I really think Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was in a similar frame of mind when he said in John 21:3 "I'm going fishing."  Just think about it.  Approximately three years prior to this the Bible tells us that Peter, who was a fisherman, dropped his nets at the beckoning of Jesus Christ to follow Him. Basically Peter left his family business to follow Jesus and become a disciple of the Messiah who was to give His life for the salvation of humanity.

Now just before the events of John 21 Peter watched the Man he left everything for die on a cross and in the process of Jesus journey to death Peter denies Him three times! But now Jesus is alive again and Peter's got to be wondering about his future as a disciple.  For those who know the Bible we know that in John 21 Jesus shows up where Peter and some friends are fishing and later in the chapter Jesus commissions Peter to "feed His sheep."  What a powerful moment for Peter who certainly had questions about what his future looked liked.

But this encounter with Jesus Christ all started with Peter saying "I'm going fishing."  I've read several commentaries on this chapter in the Bible and all with different thoughts on the idea of Peter going fishing.  But here's my view on this story and I've used this principle for this season of our life and ministry that we didn't know what to do.

When you don't know what to do, do what you know to do!   I think that's what Peter was doing.  He didn't know what to do so he went fishing, something he knew how to do.  And in that environment Jesus shows up and has an encounter with Peter that established the direction of Peters life, the rest of his life.

When you've experienced tragic situations there's the opportunity for the rest of your life to be one big pity party!   Many people get offended at God and stay mad at the world.  I promise you this is the road to nowhere and you will live a miserable life and make life miserable for those around you.  I know that's direct but it's the truth.

I'm not trying to minimize the pain you've experienced but don't allow your pain to become a life long pity party.  If you'll give your pain to God and start doing what you know to do God will turn your pain into a life long praise party!  

In the midst of our pain Jeanie and I started doing what we know to do.  We currently serve as Associate Pastors in a great church.  In the past two years I've traveled to Romania, Denmark and Uganda speaking in Pastors conferences and Bible Schools. Next month I travel back to Denmark to speak in a conference.

I know God has called me to encourage people all over the world which is the reason I started writing this blog and I use Facebook almost daily to encourage people.  We're just doing what we know to do!

As a result of this some cool things have happened and some doors have been opened.  A person who reads my blogs has strongly recommended that I write a book and has connected me to a publisher.  This same person has told me that he believes there's not just one book in me but several.  I'm not boasting but I am testifying of the restoring power of God if you'll just pick yourself up and start doing what you know to do.  I boast in Jesus Christ alone!

Recently we had a Pastor from New Zealand speak at our church who flows in the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge.  He knew nothing of our past journey and what we had experienced.  He prayed over my wife and told her that we had "passed the test and were coming up out of the wilderness".  He also told her it was good she was married to me.  I liked that one!  Well,  I'm also glad it's time to come up out of this wilderness!

While praying with me he confirmed the five-fold ministry gift of Pastor that God has entrusted to me.  That's when I had what I've mentioned before in other blogs as a "sandy sea shore moment."  He then communicated that Jesus was commissioning me and said "it's time to feed My sheep."

In some peoples eyes Jeanie and I probably have every reason to be mad at God, other people and ourselves.  But we made a decision and with the decision comes the following declaration.  "God still has a great plan for our lives!"  We're going to do what we know to do and experience the restoring power of God.

If one devastated pastor reads my blog and decides to "get back in game" then our mess has become a ministry.  If one woman who has been through a tragic divorce decides to pick herself up and move forward then our test has become a testimony.  If someone who has failed in business decides to "go for it" again then our failure has become fruitful!

But it all begins with just doing what you know to do when you don't know what to do!

Be encouraged today!  You can DREAM.......AGAIN!


Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf