Fear and Comfort

Journal Entry // May 20, 2021

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

Acts 9:31 ESV

Fear and comfort. It seems odd to find both of these words describing the walk of those in the early church. This is another one of those two-sided actions that should be prevalent in my life. Another reminder of my role and God’s role in my life.

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The Spirit’s Deep Work

Journal Entry // August 24, 2022

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (ESV)

Galatians 5:9

Whenever I come across this verse in Galatians, I typically view the leaven as sin that in only a small amount can affect everything in my life. This is true and rightly teaches about the pervasiveness of unchecked sin in my heart. This morning, as I was reading this passage my mind focused on the leaven representing the Spirit and the pervasiveness of the Holy Spirit to work and act in every area of life. That I only need to be aware of even a hint of the Spirit within me to see the work of righteousness and holiness being spread throughout the whole of me. This is not a passive action though. The leaven does not just disperse itself throughout the lump of dough. You must massage the dough and work at it to move the leaven around and spread it evenly throughout the whole dough. So too with the Spirit within me. The Spirit does the work, but I work in tandem through the power of Christ to see the fruit of the Spirit come alive in my heart.

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Spirit Provoked

Journal Entry // May 30, 2022

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Acts 17:16 ESV

There is a feeling of disappointment within myself when I read this passage about Paul travelling to Athens as he was fleeing persecution in Berea and Thessalonica. Here was a man who had been called by the Lord to preach the good news of the resurrection of Christ in all the world. A man that knew his calling and was passionate about being obedient. It would be easy to think that he could simply perform his calling and duty without really engaging his heart in the matter.  I think of Jonah in this way, as he was forced to preach to the Ninevites even while he hoped for their destruction. That is not Paul’s way. I can’t remember all the adversity he’s encountered so far, but I know he has been stoned and left for dead. He has just fled back to back cities because they were seeking to kill him. I would think he would lay low and wait for his friends to arrive. Just rest and take it easy. But this was not Paul. Paul was always engaging his heart and mind for the glory of God.

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Wise Mind

Journal Entry // December 30, 2021

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;

Revelation 17:9 ESV

A mind with wisdom… There is an inclination within me to look around at all that is happening in the world and in my life and give myself over to despair. Despair leading to depression. For it all just seems overwhelming at times. I want to just check out mentally from it all and not deal with the reality of life. I find myself disengaging from life and pouring myself into worthless pursuits.

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Spirit of Power

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

It is seemingly far too easy for me to fall back into a mindset of fear. Fear of the world and the enemy that seeks me harm. Like Peter walking on the water with Jesus, I am distracted by the wind and the waves of chaos that are swirling around me and I take my eyes off Christ. It’s fear that distracts my attention away from Jesus. It’s fear that calls out to me from the darkness. It’s fear that tempts me to wander away from the presence of Christ.

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