Inspired to Action blog posts by Rebecca Pratt
Are you living in fear that is crippling you from living your destiny?
Many of us self sabotage our lives over and over by not dealing with the many fears in our life.
Fear of financial failure, fear of rejection or hurt, fear of the unknown, fear of the end of the world, fear of loss, fear of God not coming through, fear of death, fear of losing a loved one...... The list goes on. You name it, we can fear it.
I have realized that most fear in my life ultimately comes from lack of faith in God, and a lack of really understanding God’s character. It can also come because I am unwilling to deal with the issues God has asked me to deal with in my life.
If I am walking humbly before God and seeking God with all my heart, and loving all those in my path and doing what God asks of me each day, then I should never be walking in fear. I can walk free and walk forward in all that God asks of me.
One of the classic stories in the Bible where fear crippled God’s people from coming into their destiny, was in Deuteronomy chapter 1. God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt showing His power and favor on them. God wanted to give them the promised land flowing with milk and honey as a fulfilled promise to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When the Israelite men scouted out the land, they were crippled in fear after they saw the people were like giants in the promised land. They came back from their scout out trip, and put the fear in all the Israelites minds, saying they could not conquer them due to their size. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith, but this faith almost got these two men stoned by all the ones who were living in fear.
Because of their fear and lack of faith in God, God did not allow that entire generation to step into the promised land. They had to wander in the desert for 40 years. That whole generation had to die off before God would give them the land. Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of that original group that were spared and given a long life so they could inherit the land with the next generation.
For me, different fears rise up regularly. When the fears come, I have to seize them and take my thoughts captive, as it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
Next week I leave for Benin, West Africa. This is the voodoo Capital of the world. The area I stay in is not an easy place to be. Oppression sits in as soon as I hit the ground. I instantly feel depressed and overwhelmed with a spirit of inability to affect change. I feel a hopelessness that comes on me. This is a complete lie, because God is doing crazy and beautiful things in the kids lives whom we have helped rescue. who are living in our orphanage/safe home. Yet when I am there, these feeling seem very real. It is hard to explain.
I also get fearful that I am going to die, the spirit of death is all around, and the death rate is huge with murders, accidents and all around unknown causes of deaths.
I have to stay real close to God and not give attention to these fears at all, or I would not be able to function once I arrive in the country.
Instead, I choose to, moment by moment cast all my cares on Him, like it says to do in 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I have to choose to trust God for my life and for the lives of those in front of me.
I also have to come to a place of surrendering my life over and over to God. If I die, what is the worst thing that could happen? I go to heaven. That really is not such a bad thought. As I have full confidence I will go to heaven.
I choose daily to give my life and my everything to God. He is the boss, and If I choose to trust Him. even unto death. Then I become free.
My dad has a saying “until you are ready to die, you are never really ready to live.” Once we deal with the ultimate worst thing that our minds go to, and that is death, then if we have no fear of death, then there is nothing to fear in this world.
Whatever God asks of us, we can walk freely to do it without the ultimate fear of dying.
That does not mean we do stupid and careless stuff, on the contrary We make sure everything we are doing counts, and that our time is not wasted on what does not really matter. We live each day as if it were the last, and then we never waste our days on superficial things. We also kick the fear right out of our lives, and fully with 100 percent trust, hand our lives over to God.
Then we are truly able to partner with God in whatever He asks, without walking in crippling fear. We are then ready to live how God destined us to live. Free and walking in whatever He asks us to walk in. As we walk free of these fears, we are able to help others come into this freedom through Christ, as well.
I refuse to allow fear to cripple me from living my destiny.
Are you living free and living your life as God destined you to live?
Through life, we are sometimes faced with having to submit to leaders we would rather not have to submit ourselves to. These could turn into incredible testing times for us.
For me, it has been having to submit to different leaders in Africa that are not easy to work under. I know that if I want to affect positive change for the kids we are rescuing on a regular basis, then I have to walk a very careful road for their sakes. I am also keenly aware that I am a direct representative for Christ, and I may be the only true Jesus some of these officials will see. To my incredible surprise, my relationship with these different ones, have been full of favor, and I am seeing God work through these relationships to be able to help many more children.
When unGodly leaders are all around us and we are forced to serve those who are not making good choices, or who may be doing terrible or unjust things, how do we react? Do we pray and ask God for opportunities to allow God to reveal who he is through our life and our actions?
When we see leaders walk in corruption, How do we respond? Do we gossip and try to figure out how to ruin their life? Or do we show value to them and pray each day for opportunities to allow God to have his way in every circumstance in front of us, and to show himself strong through our lives?
2nd Chronicles 16:9 (KJV) says this:
“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart are perfect towards him.”
Is your heart perfect towards Him? Can He show himself strong through your life and actions?
All through the Bible we are given incredible examples of Godly men who chose to stand strong in the Lord and to be honorable, even when their leaders were corrupt and were completely unjust. These are just a few.
Daniel is a man who submitted himself to unGodly leadership, yet never compromised his faith and walk with God. In Babylon, where Daniel was a slave, the King had the highest respect for Daniel. His whole kingdom was able to witness the power of God, and came to believe and serve God through the miracles they witnessed through Daniels life. In Daniel 2:48, after interpreting a dream, that only God could have given him wisdom to do, the king promoted Daniel, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
His actions and prayer life was also noted in the Book of Daniel to be what God used in the spirit realm to set the Israelites free after 70 years of captivity, through his fasting and praying. Daniel was not intimidated by unGodly leadership.
In Genesis 39-50 we see how Joseph was treated very unjust by many, yet still found favor in all the unGodly leaders that were before him. In Egypt, Joseph was able to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream, and was given all power over Egypt. This gave Joseph the ability to save the whole world from starvation during the 7 years of famine, by storing up grain in the 7 years of plenty. In spite of all the hardship he endured at the hands of others, he never lost faith in God. He showed value and respect to every leader who was over him, and was given favor with each one.
In 1 Kings 18:4 Obediah was a Godly man who was in charge of King Ahab’s household. It says in 1 Kings 16:33 that Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to Anger than all of the kings of Israel before him. Yet while Ahab’s wife Jezebel was killing all the Godly prophets, Obediah was able to hide 100 prophets from her, thus saving their life. He kept his faith in God and continued to use His life for God’s purposes, even when his leaders were so terrible. He had all the connections needed to secretly rescue these prophets.
These are just a few incredible examples of how ordinary men were forced to serve unGodly men, and yet were honorable, loving and respectful to their leaders, and allowed God to show Himself strong through their life. Whole kingdoms, and thousands of people turned their hearts towards God through their faithfulness and unwavering faith in God.
Let’s choose to be honorable to whomever is in leadership over us, so God can show Himself strong through our life.
Through my life I have found that God is truly trustworthy and really does have the best for my life, and for the lives of those in front of me.
All through the bible God shows us that He is always working towards Redeeming, Rescuing and restoring people.
In 1 Kings 17:9-16 Through a 3 year famine, the Prophet Elijah was told by God that a widow would feed him and care for Him, yet when he reached this widow, she was preparing to make the last bit of food she had, and was preparing to die with her only son.
Elijah asked her to please make him a cake first, and that God would not let her flour or oil run out until the Lord sent rain on the land.
So by faith she did according to what Elijah asked, and it says in the 16th verse, “The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the world of the Lord, which He spoke by Elijah”
This story reminds me of a pretty desperate situation that happened last June, where I had to either trust God or fall into deep despair.
I was in Benin, and Tim was in Liberia. I checked our Orphan Relief and Rescue bank account online and saw that only two thousand dollars were in it. Within two weeks of coming back home to America, I knew I had to wire 10,000 dollars to the field in Liberia for our programs and projects to continue. We had been incredibly fugal with spending, yet donations were at an all time low.
I remember going back to my room at the orphanage/safe home and calling Tim in complete despair and frustration. Thinking it might be time to start laying off all our people and shutting some things down.
Tim seemed unusually calm and said he would be praying as we were quite helpless with both being overseas. God had to come through on this one.
After getting off the phone, I had some one on one time with God. It was pouring rain and my metal roof made the rain sound incredibly loud. I took this opportunity to yell out to God, knowing no one would hear me, because of the pounding noise of rain. I had it out with God, and felt like God could handle it. I let Him know how frustrated I was. My rants went something like this: “We are only doing what You has asked us to do. we are living simply and using every dollar to the fullest, yet here we are, in this desperate state. I am not going to take the weight of all this on anymore, It is yours. Once and for all, I am handing it to you. If you want to close it down, then so be it. I cannot worry about it and take this stress anymore. The end.”
The rest of the day I took time to listen to worship music and just purge my anxieties to Him. It was a complete releasing to God. (I had thought I had done this numerous times before in the last 6 years of doing this work, but this time it was a bit different. It was a release to a new level).
After many hours passed, I felt like God asked me to go over to the window and to look out. As I did, I saw our little orphan boy named Joseph, (changed name) who lost his parents to AIDS and also has AIDS himself, just sitting by himself, as all the other kids played around him. He was extra weak this day. (Pictured here, while in a corporate prayer time).
I walked out and put this little one in my arms and nuzzled him into my chest. He was real stiff, as he never knows what to do with such affection.
I forced him to nuzzle, and he finally relaxed and fell asleep peacefully in my mothers arms. As I looked at Joseph sleeping so beautifully, tears dripped down my face onto his face, as I breathed these words to God, “Oh how I love this little one, yet I know you love him even more than I do. He is yours. I give him to you. If you want to close it all down, that is your call. I am just going to walk forward in what you ask. I trust you with all this.
As I looked around at all the other kids, I begin to remember all their crazy rescue stories as well. And breathed out these same words “They are yours Lord. They are yours.
In coming home to America, We sent a letter out to friends sharing the need. We immediately had one person let us know that they were sending 10,000 dollars which allowed us to wire what we needed to Liberia. Soon after, another couple sent another 10,000, and after that another couple, 5,000 which got a triple match from their business. To our incredible surprise and relief, God got us through the summer months. Then our October event brought in another amount that held us through to the next phase.
All I can say is that God is truly faithful. I am so thankful for the many of you who pray and give as God prompts you, and that God uses each of us to make a tangible difference as we choose to say yes, and to trust Him with the details. Whatever He wants to do. I trust Him. Even if he did choose to close it all down. I still trust Him. All of this is His, not mine. I am just walking in what He asks each day, and that is a beautiful and releasing place to be.
In your life, Can you trust Him with your everything?