In Pamplona, Spain, there is a festival called the Running of the Bulls. I didn't participate. I know that there's a lot of danger involved, machismo, and fear involved in the activity in which bulls are let loose to run down the streets while people are running with them. If you're running with the bulls, you can't be overwhelmed with fear, because fear will stop you in your tracks. And if that happens, you're in a world of hurt. You have to be vigilant as to what's around you (bulls, people) and also focus on where you're heading (down the street to the finish line).
To live without fear we must run the race of life with total confidence in ourselves and the power that we have within. If we can consistently orient ourselves, our direction life, to God and practice the presence of God in our lives, this will help us eliminate fear and live and life that is set before us.
To help us live without fear, we can look to spiritual truths, written thousands of years ago, by men and women who desired to share what they knew to be true and applicable to your present-day life.
In II Timothy 1:7, we read, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Back then, the church was teaching people to fear God. It's even written in the Bible. But after studying the original text a more accurate translation would be "respect". Not "fear."
Fear does not come from God. We don't fear the Spirit.
Now there are times in our lives where we can be challenged or tempted to fear. If we decide, for some odd reason, to run with the bulls in Spain, for example. To eliminate fear we shift our focus away from fear, pay attention to what's going on around us, and direct our thoughts and attention to the ultimate truth, God, Spirit, who has given us power, love, and a sound mind.
When you're living without fear and filled with the knowledge of God, you have:
We can live without fear because God gave us those things.
In Acts 1:8, it says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] is come upon you."
Ephesians 1:19 says, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power."
The believer has potential power residing within her. God’s power is manifested in our lives when the Word is heard, believed, and acted upon. That's what is referred to as "believing action."
In Ephesians 3:20, there is a spiritual promise. And it's for you. Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
We have the right and privilege to rely on God’s power each day. We put it into operation and God does the energizing. We can live without fear because God gave us love.
I John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love. Perfect love casteth out fear.
Love is the antidote for fear. God can be realized by studying. The knowledge of God’s Word gives us all things that pertain to life (II Peter 1:3). When we put our focus on living God’s love and keeping His commandments, we’ll find no room left for fear.
We can live without fear because God gave us a sound mind. A sound mind demonstrates good judgment and wisdom. It includes disciplined thinking. James Allen illustrates this in his work entitled As a Man Thinketh where it says, "A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth... Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts"
We eliminate fear when we direct and focus our thoughts on God. We keep heading in that direction. James Allen goes on to say, “By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.…”
II Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
We do not have to live with fear in our lives. We can observe what's going on around us and direct our attention to what provide us with power and love. We are sound in our minds because God has given us a spiritual power that works in us to manifest the spiritual fruits in our lives. We can live in love. We can live without fear. We can meditate upon these things which have been given to us. And let's live a life that's more than abundant.
More Spiritual Lessons for Men
I’m guessing you might agree that worrying about the future is not a pleasant way to spend our time. So, the question I have is: when anxious thoughts arise, how can we stop them? One wonderful principle we can operate is to live one day at a time.
What Me Worry?
Realistically, we do need to think about our future. We need to make plans. That’s for certain. We have calendars filled with important dates and events. We have things to do to enjoy life. For example, I have some volunteering scheduled at my daughter’s school for the upcoming weekend. I have to plan that into my future. But am I worried or anxious about my future plans? No. Do I continually fret over the details of my life’s schedule? No.
Why not? Why am I not worrying about the future? I’d like to share with you what I do, so that you can investigate for yourself if what I do can work for you.
I Do Two Things
I do two productive things to make things happen: (i) I pray and (ii) I make positive plans.
Here’s an example. I have a goal that in 6 months, I’ll have much less fat stuck on my stomach, and I’ll be able to fit into a pair of jeans with a 32-inch waist (currently I’m a 34W, and it used to be 38W).
Am I worrying about this goal? No. Why? I’ve (i) prayed about it (or, said in another way, I focused my thoughts with specific details and assured confidence in success), and (ii) I have made positive plans (in which I realize where I am, and list the future steps to reach my identified future goal).
Planning is Time Travel
I think of planning as a bit like time travel. We travel into the future by planning, because planning is like bringing the future into the present so that we can do something about it today. I recommend reading that again.
Once we pray and plan, we can stop our anxious thoughts about the future by putting the majority of our energy and actions into living one day at a time.
Jesus Lived from Day to Day
Jesus lived and taught his friends to live one day at a time. We read in Matthew 6:25, 28, 31, 34:
The words “take…thought” are translated from a Greek word meaning “be anxious about” or, as we might say, “worry.” Jesus told them not to worry about what they were going to eat, to drink, to wear—not to worry about “the morrow,” the future. He assured them that “sufficient [enough] unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Thayer’s lexicon helps clarify the King James Version of verse 34 as “Let the present day’s trouble suffice for a man, and let him not rashly increase it by anticipating the cares of days to come.” There’s enough to take care of in every twenty-four-hour period. If we try to anticipate the worries of the future, we may actually increase the challenges we’ll need to deal with. We can put our focus into living in the day, right now, the day at hand, the present moment and one day at a time.
E. W. Bullinger translates Matthew 6:34 as follows: “Have, then, no anxiety for any future day….” That includes tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after that. Every care or concern we may have about the future can be handled one day at a time. To live one day at a time, you have to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Enjoy what’s going on right now. You’re not your best if anxieties about the future dominate our thinking.
The Benefits of Worrying
Can you remember the last time you really, practically benefited from worrying a lot? Explain the details of when worrying about something actually helped the situation you were in. See what I mean?
Focus on the Present Moment
So how can we focus our energy into experiencing, living, and enjoying the present moment - the day at hand? I suggest we should daily “perform our vows.”
So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
A vow is a solemn promise you make committing yourself to an act, service, or condition.
This is one of the best things about believing in God: we can perform (or do) what we’ve committed ourselves to do, and do it one day at a time.
What have we committed to do?
Our commitments may include: our marriages, our children, our parent, our jobs, our school, our fellowships, our volunteer work, taking care of the things we own, taking care of our health (ahem), etc. We’re committed to doing certain things. We do our commitments and responsibilities daily.
For example, we love our lover daily. Love ‘em up. Right. And when each day is over, we thank God for our commitments and go to sleep. Staying committed to the things we have at hand, and doing them well, can help us stop worrying “the morrow.”
Doing God’s Word. What’s That Mean?
Spending time in every twenty-four-hour period, each day, with our thoughts focused on doing God’s Word can also help us live day-by-day, and not worry about the future. What does that mean – “doing God’s Word”? Here are a few ideas:
And while we are focusing our energy and actions into living every day with the Spirit, we are daily loaded up with blessings.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Because we pray and plan, we can stop anxious thoughts about the future by living our lives to the fullest one day at a time.
You may be interested in reading Squeeze Your Woman Today.
God’s Word gives us clear standards by which we can measure our words (what we say), our deeds (what we do), and our attitudes (what we think). Two such standards are listed in Romans 14:19.
Romans 14:19 reads, Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
In the Amplified version, it reads: So then, let us pursue with enthusiasm the things which make for peace and the building up of one another (things which lead to spiritual growth).
Pursue Peace and Edification
In our relationships, we are to follow after or pursue (1) things which make for peace, and (2) things that edify others. Let’s consider how to apply these two standards so we can strengthen our relationships with others.
In Romans 14:19, “peace” denotes the absence of strife, or a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. What a worthy state to pursue in our relationships—freedom from strife, trouble, and disturbances! If God tells us to pursue these things, then it must be available to do.
How can we pursue peace? At times, pursuing peace involves resolving conflicts. Unresolved conflicts can lead to bitterness, and bitterness is never constructive. It prevents people from having a close relationship with God and with their spiritual brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 12:14-15 says: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. What that means is... instead of holding on to past hurts, disagreements, or disappointments, we can decide to forgive. We can decide to demonstrate the love of God toward others with long-suffering and kindness. Our relationships greatly benefit when we make these choices according to God’s Word. And resolving conflicts helps us claim the peace of God in our lives. It helps us live free from the past and focus on the more abundant life God has called us to today.
We are also to follow after or pursue “things wherewith one may edify another.” To edify is to build up. The Greek word literally means “to build a house.” I was a home builder. There are standards and step-by-step procedures to follow when building a house. Building a house is a big project that is completed one purposeful step at a time. Likewise, building up our brothers and sisters in Christ can be undertaken with purpose—one positive word or action at a time.
Ephesians 4:15-16 reads, But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
What that means is... God’s love is what truly builds. To build up one another, we speak the truth of His Word with love at the right place and at the right time. This can bring comfort and encouragement to others. It can encourage them to elevate their thinking to the Word and to take action on it.
God’s Word gives us clear standards by which we can measure our words, deeds, and attitudes. We looked at two great standards from Romans 14:19—pursuing peace and pursuing edification. These relationship-strengthening standards are also stated in Romans 12 and Romans 15.
In Romans 12:18, is reads: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. And in Romans 15:2: Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
When we follow after peace, we can enjoy freedom from strife, trouble, and disturbances in our relationships with one another. Resolving conflicts when they arise helps us do the Word in this category.
We also pursue edification. We can edify our spiritual brothers and sisters with our words and actions. The world may tear people down. But as believers, we are in the business of building up people by what we say and what we do. And we can choose to do this at any season of our lives and at any moment of the day.
Applying the standards of pursuing peace and pursuing to edify one another can help us strengthen our relationships. Let’s build these standards into the fabric of our lives and enjoy the more abundant life.
This article explores the way in which you see yourself positioned in the cosmos and how that defines who you are and how you see the world around you.
We live on a wondrous planet spinning around an amazing solar system. Everything you see in our system, the sun, planets, Earth, me, and you were all created and formed from dust. Yet Earth is astonishingly beautiful and complex. Our oceans are enormous. Our weather is incredible and ever changing. Our mountains are giants and our landscapes are breathtaking.
I am fascinated by how the world in which we live was created by God, how it moves, how it is shaped, and how the physics that governs our world also shapes other worlds in the universe. The ways in which we experience life here on Earth connects us with everything else in the universe – from our solar system to the moving stars in the night sky.
It’s an amazing time in which we live, because we’re the only beings that have the capability to explain who we are and our position in the universe.
My perspective, the way in which I see myself, on our planet, in the universe, defines how I see the world around me. Similarly, the way in which I see myself positioned spiritually in the cosmos defines much of who I am.
When the Bible was written, people thought that the Earth was in the center of the universe, and that it was flat like a round disk, and if you went too far out to sea, you’d fall off the edge. We know better now.
People used to thank God for the sun rising over the Earth, and for the Sun setting below the Earth, and its apparent movement across the sky. But the movement of the sun is caused by our planet spinning through space. What we see is different from what’s actually taking place. The sun does not revolve around the Earth. It's the other way around.
Our planet is a sphere, a ball of rock.
Our ancestors didn’t know all of these beautiful patterns, rhythms, and order of the solar system. When our ancestors looked up into the night sky, they saw tiny bright lights, and imagined images and figures. And they used the stars to tell stories of creation, life, and their position in the cosmos. Today, we tend not to look up at the stars in the majestic sky anymore. We’ve lost our connection to the stars and other planets.
When our ancestors looked up at the night sky, it told them one thing – they were at the center of the universe. If you look up at the northern night sky, you’ll see a star called Polaris, the North Star. The cup of the Big Dipper points to Polaris, which is at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. The North Star is almost in line with the Earth’s celestial pole. And when you stare at the North Star at night, all of the other stars rotate through the night sky around that point. So, it looks like the entire universe rotates around the Earth, that the Earth is apparently the center of the universe. And that’s what everyone, our ancestors, thought for thousands of years. It looked obvious. But they were wrong.
Mars Retrograde Motion
To really understand the position of the Earth in the solar system, we have to look at Mars. When you plot a chart of the position of Mars traveling across the night sky, you’ll notice that it doesn’t move in a straight line across the nighttime sky, but changes direction and loops back on itself. This retrograde motion is impossible to explain, if you think Earth is at the center of the universe. It can only be explained when you position the sun at the center, and the Earth as one of many other celestial bodies orbiting the sun.
Understanding this retrograde motion was a great achievement in understanding our position in the solar system and the beautiful patterns and order of universe.
A couple thousand years ago, a man named Paul had a similar breakthrough achievement in understanding our spiritual position in the cosmos. And he taught others about it. And he wrote those teachings down for us to read, learn from, and apply to our lives. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 3 in the King James Version.
About 50 AD, a man named Paul wrote about the most fundamental change in our relationship with God. He revealed the greatest spiritual truth that anyone could ever know. It was one of the greatest mysteries of the world. And it triggered a fundamental change in humanity's relationship with God - a relationship in which believing, rather than behavior, became the key to a more than abundant life.
Paul was born Jewish. He lived in Tarsus, which is now Turkey. He lived within the Roman Empire. He traveled to Jerusalem, Asia, Greece, and Rome. And he taught and wrote. Paul wrote 13 letters. He never met Jesus, the man, but met his friends and disciples, and for many years, Paul actually had a job to hunt and persecute them. He grew up under Roman law, and he knew the Jewish law or Law of Moses (Old Testament) very well.
Pay for Love
Under Jewish Law, good behavior included what was/is called “indulgences,” where you essentially pay for God’s love. The more money you pay the church, the more of God's love you receive. This religious dogma limited people of the past. But, because of men like Paul, we now know better.
Ephesians 3:6 actually reveals a certain spiritual truth that remained a mystery until Paul revealed it:
This was a great mystery revealed -- that we are to be of the same body (both Judean and Gentile). Paul revealed to the folks who lived back in those days that everyone could be of the same family, one new body, a new spiritual family body, both Judeans and Gentiles, both the "haves" and the "have nots," both the rich and the poor. All believers in that body are "fellow heirs" of all that God has made available to us. And we can "partake" of God's "promises."
Turn to Colossians 1:26-27 in the King James Bible. It says,
Paul writes this to help reveal the great mystery in more detail. And it's all about love.
Gift of Love
Every believer can have Christ in him or her, which is referring to the gift of holy spirit. Holy spirit is a gift from God to every believer. And it's given unconditionally. "Christ in you" in the bible means the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. So, where the bible says "God in Christ in you," that means that you can have the gift of holy spirit in you, the unconditional love of and from God, held in your mind (renewed mind) and manifested (applied) in your life.
How can God be in your mind? Well, you have to understand what God is, and what God is not. God is not a man. God is not an old man with curly hair floating in the clouds, waving his finger, and doing good and bad things. That's a bit delusional. You might as well believe in Poseidon. Actually, God is what the bible says it is. God is spirit, love, light, energy, everywhere, powerful.
The Buddha said, "The mind is everything. What you think, you become." That's so true.
That's how every believer can have the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. It's all about believing. And it starts with your mind.
That’s what Paul revealed. That’s what Paul taught and wrote for us to read today. Paul revealed a spiritual truth that helps us understand our spiritual position with God and our relation with others.
So, in this article, we learned a little bit about our position in the universe and our relationship with God. We know a bit more than our ancestors did. The retrograde motion of Mars helps us position ourselves in the universe. And Paul revealed a great spiritual truth that also helps position ourselves as the children of God who have the unconditional love of God held in our renewed minds and manifested in our lives.
You're positioned just right. Stay where you are.