Archives for October 2011

1 John 4:18

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

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.  
What do you fear most? As a business owner, speaker and a human being, there are times when I’m tempted to let my fears, insecurities and weakness stop me from doing big things. I think to myself, What?! Are you crazy? You can’t do that!
Like the first time I chose to call myself an author and a speaker… Who would believe that?
Or the first time I stood in front of an audience, hoping I could keep their attention for the next 45 minutes. What could I possibly have to say that they’d want to hear?
Or when I took a huge leap of faith to follow God’s prompting, even though it seemed like a ridiculously huge step to take. What if I fall flat on my face?
Or the first time I allowed myself to be vulnerable with a new friend or ask for help when I’m stuck with something. What if they won’t like me afterward?
We can always find something to be afraid of, if we allow ourselves to. Our limiting beliefs don’t come from our Heavenly Father though. He assures us that through Christ, all things are possible because of the strength He gives us.

So, where do these fears and limiting beliefs come from? They come from the One who fears our being made perfect in love; the One who knows he truly has no power over us. He can only manipulate us.
Our Heavenly Father is love perfected. When we step out in faith, trusting in the words of Phil. 4:13, He will drive away our fears. But we have to let Him.
If we cling to our fears because they are familiar and comfortable, we shortchange ourselves, and we fall short of the plan that God has for our lives.
Take that first step, not around your fears, but through them. Let Christ pour through your words, your actions and your everyday life, driving out fear and replacing it with perfect love.
It’s a choice, pure and simple. But one that’s hard to make, and life-changing once made.
I once heard someone talk about having to embrace your fears in order to get through them. I wasn’t certain at the time if I believed it or not. But having recently walked through multiple fear-filled choices, I can see now that the only way around fear is through it. Embrace it, consume it, acknowledge it, and then let it go. It will lose its hold on you as you pass through it.
It is only in this way that we can be made perfect, and our words will have the value God intended them to all along. Remember, God loves words. After all, His Son is The Word.

The Armor of God Ephesians 6:19

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

We’ve often heard the Armor of God before. Paul is exhorting the church in Ephesus to stand strong. We struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness, and with many enemies who would keep us from God and heaven. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves.

As Paul speaks, we learn that if Christians are truly soldiers of Christ, they must be stout-hearted and well-armed. He instructs his listeners in how to put on the armor of God, and why. Then, he finishes with an exhortation to pray, not just occasionally. But at all times, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Through this, we see that words, formed in prayer, have power, and become part of the armament of a Christian soldier.

More importantly, is Paul’s final request. “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Paul had a great command of language. According to Matthew Henry, the Greeks called Paul “Mercury,” because he was the chief speaker. Yet, Paul still requested that his friends pray for him and ask for the gift of utterance, and not just that he had any word, but he speak the words that he ought to speak.