Tag Archive | afraid

The Head, Not The Tail

THE HEAD NOT THE TAIL - KARINA'S THOUGHT

 

I begin this post with a question. Do you want to be a successful in life? I strongly believe that your answer will definitely, “Yes, of course! I want to be successful in my life.”  That is so true. There is no one in this world who doesn’t want to reach a success in their lives. We all want to success in career, business, marriage, family, study, ministry or whatever it is. Maybe this time you all have achieved a certain level of success in a particular field. That’s great! Be grateful! However, not the least people among us still struggling to achieve a success. There are many people who actually have a life contrary to that I mentioned above. There are still many people who always fail to get a success. Many people said that failure is a part of process. OK, I agree! But it wasn’t supposed to ongoing forever. God wants to put each of us to be the head (successful) and not the tail (unsuccessful). Keep going up, not down. If we continue to be a tail and at the bottom, it could be a sign that there is something within us and it should be fixed.

…The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:13 NLT)

Talk about the head and tail position, I love took the Joseph’s story as an instance. We all know since childhood Joseph was different than his other brothers. Jacob loved him more than his other children. (Gen.37: 3) and it made his brothers jealous and hated him. This is the beginning of Joseph’s suffering series. The suffering began when he told about his dream. (Gen.37: 5-7) Heard his dream; Joseph’s brothers hated him more and have a plan to kill him. (Gen.37:18) Fortunately, He wasn’t killed. But survived from murder plan didn’t make his life totally safe. His life still threatened because he was thrown into the dark cistern. Then even though he was free from the dark cistern, it was not a truly freedom because in fact his brothers sold him to the Midianite (Verse 28) Now Joseph’s status is as a slave. His status is not as the head, but the tail. Then what happen next? It turns out Joseph bought by Potiphar one of Egypt’s captain of the guard.

The most of us might think that there is no feat at all to be proud as a slave. But this thought wasn’t applied to Joseph. He was different. As a slave Joseph always get achievement and got the chance to live in Potiphar’s house. How it can be that way?  The scripture said:

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2 NIV)

Joseph didn’t have a mental that always grouchy. He underwent his “profession” as a slave very well, whatever he did, he always succeed. Even though in the tail position, he could be the head. Why? Because The Lord with him. Joseph’s life journey becomes lighter? Not really. The next problem came. He tempted by Potiphar’s wife. (Genesis.39:7 NLT) But Joseph flatly refused. He wasn’t  tempted by momentary pleasure because he wants to live in obedience. The flesh may be willing, but his spirit refused. Joseph said: how could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” (Genesis 39:9 NLT) Because continuously rejected, Potiphar’s wife was furious and malign Joseph so he was thrown in jail. Position increasingly dropped! Joseph’s status now no longer as a slave but as a prisoner. How Joseph’s attitude? His attitude remains the same. He didn’t complain or blaspheme anyone, including God, but he still showed remarkable attitude that always obey and please the Lord.

Again we will see the similar condition like in the verse 2 but in the different place, in the prison.

But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed. (Genesis 39:21-23 NLT)

Difficulties might be increase but the fact, Joseph remains did as best as he could. Again we see that in the bottom position which lowers than a slave, Joseph can still be a head. Why? The answer once again, because The Lord with him and caused everything he did to succeed.  We all know the end of this story. For he successfully interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, he gets amazing position. From the prisoner became the most powerful man in the all land of Egypt. (Genesis 41: 40-42 NLT ) Joseph eventually became the true head.

Joseph experienced a long journey. He traversed three phases of process which is starting from the dark cistern, prison, and finally the palace. The interesting thing here is, Joseph always succeed even though he was in very difficult situation and even at the tail position. The important lesson that we can get from this story is, God always be with Joseph!  I am sure if God not always be with him, Joseph will not be able to pass through all of suffering and he will not be able to be the head. Just because God always be with him the hard problems and suffering not being able to stop Joseph to success became the head. Oh, our God is so marvelous! He not only will make us the head and always on the top, but he also always be with us in the process to be the head.  God gave Joseph strength and wisdom so everything he did always succeed and finally became the true head. It is a precious lesson for us. In our daily lives, we may pass through very unpleasant phases and even very painful. But right now I am telling you one thing: Don’t be afraid! God always be with us! David beautifully said,

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NLT)

And Jesus also said,

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

God always be with us not only when we are in the safe and comfort season without any problems but God still be with us even in the outer darkness.

Why God was always be with Joseph in any circumstances? Let’s go back to the Deuteronomy 28:13 to get the answer.

If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.

 More affirmed in verse 14:

You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

From the verses above we can get 5 points. First, listen to God’s command. The Second, obey to His word.  Third, not turn away of His command. Fourth, not follow other gods. And the last is, only worship God, not god. Joseph was successfully went through these 5 points and made it as his guideline. Joseph was obedient did these things no matter the condition he faced. He wasn’t disappointed, not trying to find other alternatives to survive. He didn’t grumble and blaspheme, he didn’t despair, and he hadn’t lost hope. Joseph choose to remain believe and walk with God in obedience and finally God made him the head, not the tail.

My dear readers, maybe this time we are experiencing very unpleasant phases in life. We may facing failures and in the tail position. Or we may currently in a hard struggle to pursue a success. This time allow me to encourage all of us one thing: Don’t be afraid and discouraged because God always be with us in any circumstances. No matter what condition we are today, let’s keep hold fast to the God’s word, believe without doubt at all, don’t tolerate the sin’s trap and don’t be tempted to take other alternatives because we impatient to undergo the process. God has promised that He will make us the head. And not only that, He also promised always be with us same as He was always be with Joseph. Even we walk through the darkest journey; if we always walk very close with Him, at the end of journey we will get success.

We will remain succeed even though we are pressed. We will keep moving forward even though detained. No one can stop God’s will as long we remain do what He commanded. Joseph has proved his obedience with always walk with God and he was succeed! Now it’s our turn to prove that by always listen and obey His word and commands, by not follow other gods, and always worship our true God, we will reap God’s promise that He will make us the head, not the tail and always at the top, never at the bottom. Are we ready? Amen

Karina – Living by faith

Image credit: lingholic.com

Advertisements

Fear Not, For I AM with You

FEAR NOT FOR I AM WITH YOU - Karina's Thought

Once again, I begin this post with my childhood story. I really love swimming. Every day I always spent about 30 minutes to take swim before I go to the office. I was remembering when I was a kid for the first time my daddy taught me to swim. At that time I felt very scared when my daddy carrying me to the pool. “Daddy..! I am scared!” shouted me. But with his gentle smile he said patiently, “My dear little princess, please do not fear. I am with you and will hold you tight. I will not let you drowned. Just trust me, ok. Everything will be fine.” My daddy’s eye gaze and loving smile finally make me trust him. Though I am still afraid but I trust that my daddy will keep me safe.

 
My dear readers, this is about fear. In human life fear is not become a new thing. Fear always be there in every side of our life. Starting from the fear of darkness and other forms of phobias such as heights, enclosed spaces, fear as haunted by the past, even fear facing the future. In the one side, fear could give the positive impact to remind us to not be careless and cautious in making decisions or doing something. But in the other side, if the level of our fear too excessive, it can turn off our spirit and brings us to other losses. Not only makes us cannot grow and evolve, but it can also bring other problems such as health problems, unstable emotion and so on. Even worse, for us a Christians, fears also potentially make us no longer able to hear God’s voice or feel His presence. As we talk with someone, the more we move away from that person, the more difficult we hear his voice. It will be going like that if fear allowed undermining our feelings and minds. Satan will use our fear as a powerful weapon to destroy us. Fear will be widen the distance between us and God and ironically we begin to think that God leaves us alone and even more we dare to accuse God is not loves us.

 
Now, I would like to take you to look at the one bible story. We take a look when Jesus was in the boat with His disciples in the storm. The Bible wrote that after Jesus was in the boat He slept in the stern. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake and makes the disciples panic and fear. (Matthew 8:24) Then the disciples went to woke Him and said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25) What was Jesus’ reaction at that time? When Jesus woke up, he did not say, “Sorry I fall asleep” or “Sorry, I am careless” but please pay attention what Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) Then Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. What is the point of this story? The point is faith and trust! This event occurred after Jesus fed 5000 people. The disciples supposed do not need to be afraid because they already knew that Jesus be able to make a miracle. If Jesus can fed 5000 people by only 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He also can be able to overcome the storm. If only the disciples have a strong faith and fully trust to Jesus, they will not be shackled by fear.

 
The disciples’ attitude was also a picture of our attitudes in our lives. Our heart and mind more dominated and controlled by fear so our faith and trust to God getting waver. We forgot that we have God almighty who always be with us and can do anything to help us. At the time, the disciples should not have to be afraid because they are with Jesus the Lord that always preserves them. That’s why Jesus rebuked the disciples because they have so little faith and trust to Him. This is also a rebuke to all of us that we must have faith and trust which greater than our fear.

 
Let’s take a look to another story when the disciples saw Jesus walks on the water. They were frightened and thought Jesus was a ghost. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Then Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) Jesus said, “Come” (Matthew 14:29). What happens next? Peter was successfully walked on the water. But, when the wind hit him, he was feared and begins to sink. What makes Peter failed to walk on water? Once again, beside he doubts, Peter was afraid! But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30) And for the umpteenth time Jesus rebuked, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) Jesus’ rebuke is also addressed to us today. Fear can make us fail to achieve success. Even when the level of our fear is greater than our faith it can obstruct our progress and even our dreams. We could not move on and trapped in the grip of fear.

 
From the two stories above, there is a causal relationship between being afraid and trust. When we talk about trust, we talk about faith. The lack of trust and fait will cause fear in our life. Because of fear, there is no more joy, victory, and peace. My dear lovely friends, what about us now? How big the fear haunts our life? How deep we trust in God? Fear will never disappear from our lives. But if we believe and surrender our lives wholly into the God’s hand that created everything perfectly, why we should be afraid? If God is powerful than anything else promised to continue to accompany, encourage, help and hold us to achieve victory, why should we falter and allow ourselves to continue gripped by fear? I ask you to remember one of God’s promises,

 

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

If we ponder this verse wholeheartedly then we will realize a wonderful promise as an answer of what we face today. If I completely trust to my father who really loves me will keep me safe and not let me drown when taught me to swim, much less to Heavenly Father who created me. I strongly believe that our Heavenly Father really loves us and will keep us safe too in facing any problem and difficulties in life without fear. There is no father who would harm his beloved child. So it is with our Heavenly Father. When God said to us, “Come” We should to be confident and brave to walk and our eyes keep focus only to God. We should totally trust that He will always be with us, and even if during we walk our lives buffeted by the severe storm, He will not let us fall. As was written in Psalm,

 

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

My lovely friends, I don’t know what kind of fear you face now, but allow me to encourage you, immediately tried to get out and rid out from the shadows of fear. How? Continuously grow and strengthen our faith and trust in God. Keep walk with God and submit all of our worries to Him, wholly trust in His mightiness. Maintain our intimacy with Him through prayer and ponder God’s word day by day. Always embed “Fear not, for I am with you” in the deepest of our heart and mind, make it as our guidance. Always Living in God’s love and feel His perfect love in every step of our life, for there is no fear in love. Amen.

 

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. (1John 4:18)

Further reading:  http://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/in-my-prison-of-fear/

 

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: Backhuysen, Rudolf, commons. Wikimedia.org