How Does God Feel About FEAR?

If fear was necessary to life, God certainly would have given it to us.  But He didn’t! The Bible is very clear about it. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)  That’s new news to many of us.  Fear is a evil spirit and it doesn’t come from God.

Understand this, if God is not the author of fear then it’s an enemy spirit and we need to deal with it accordingly. Let’s start by identifying “fear” and all the related “enemy agents.” From concern, worry, fear and anxiety all the way to panic and terror — they’re all liars and enemy forces. Furthermore, God has a great deal to say about them. Check His Word about this whole fear gang and see what conclusion you reach…

  • Consider worry “Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:22-25, NLT)
  • and cares and concernsGive all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)
  • Now fear“We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, (Luke 1:74, NLT) and “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV)
  • and anxietyIt is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. (Psalm 127:2, NLT)
  • Then there’s terror— “Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.” (Psalm 91:5, NLT) and   “You will live in peace, and terror will not come near.” (Isaiah 54:14, NLT)
  • And  panic (groundless fear)“But do not panic; don’t be afraid when you hear the first rumor of approaching forces. For rumors will keep coming year by year.” (Jeremiah 51:46, NLT) and“Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.” (Deuteronomy 20:3, NIV)

Do you get the idea?  God has commanded His children to slam the door on fear. You cannot stop the enemy’s thoughts from showing up to pester you but you do NOT need to entertain them or invite them into your heart and mind! And know this, you cannot be neutral here.  Every little worry and fear is an invitation to trample the Cross of Jesus Christ under foot.  You cannot be fearful and believe that Jesus accomplished His work and destroyed the works of the devil as He claimed when He declared “It is finished.”If you want a strategy for overcoming every agent of fear, try this formula for “Living Fearlessly.” 
LIVING …

  • Face the fears that attack you. Name them, laugh at them and refuse to let them in.
  • Examine the Word of God for promises to combat each specific attack.
  • Adopt a trust mindset that God can and will make a triumphant way out no matter what happens.
  • Resist thoughts that come in the form of panic, worry, concern or anxiety. Don’t dwell on any of them.
  • Leave the future to God.  Stay in the present moment.
  • Expect wisdom, strength and power to come when you need it.
  • Stand on God’s promises for however long it takes.  Don’t waver!
  • Speak only hope, encouragement, and confidence. Use your tongue as a weapon!
  • Live thankfully.  Recount your blessings and all the times God has shown up for you.
  • You decide.  Whose report will you believe?

Interview with Former Job Seeker

I wanted to share this feedback from a job seeker who went through his season out of the workplace God’s way.  Thought you might like to hear his impressions first hand. Barb

INTERVIEW WITH A FORMER JOB SEEKER

Was there any evidence that God was preparing you for an employment transition before it happened? 

Yes, approximately nine months before my employment transition, I had the desire to better understand my core principles (which are faith based), develop a plan to make positive changes in my life (heath, relationships, work/life balance), and plan for my future.  Through a friend, I was referred to a faith based life coach who made a profound impact on my life by helping me think about what was important to me and why, and most importantly, start to take action to make positive changes.  I believe this all was driven by the Lord to prepare me for an unplanned and unknown transition. 

Did He address a fear of leaving, increase your boldness to speak your truth where you were, reveal that it was time to leave, or remove your desire to stay?

The Lord removed the desire to stay where I was.  I knew that I should be pursuing other career/life choices but did not have the personal courage to be proactive.  When the Lord forced the issue, it was a HUGE relief and it helped me get focused on the future and positively impacting my life, personal health, relationship with God, relationship with family and friends. (BTW, so far, I have lost over 35 pounds, run my first 5K race in 20 years, build a better faith based relationship with friends and family and ENJOY my new job)

During your season out of the workplace did you receive any of the promised blessings:

Closer, more personal relationship with God

Absolutely – I now do daily scripture reading

Better understanding and appreciation of your own gifts and design/ your destiny and purpose

Yes – focused on what I do well, focused on the legacy I want to leave, much more open to helping others in job search.

Closer, more loving relationships with others-family, church, community?

Yes – my wife has provided me very positive feedback on how I have handled the employment transition and my interaction with family and friends.

Freedom from fear and anxiety

I pray daily for freedom from fear of failing.  I still am a little nervous, as an employment transition, especially unplanned and sudden, is a tremendous blow to one’s confidence (ability to perform the job with excellence).  The key is to find positive people to interact with who can provide positive feedback on one’s capabilities.

 Were your financial needs met during this time? 

Yes, I didn’t miss a single paycheck.  It was amazing!

What assignments did God give you while you were unemployed?  Did you accomplish anything that you could not have done while working? 

I organized and conducted a very successful fund raiser for one of the charities for which I am a board member.  Our objective was a “stretch” of $25K and we achieved over $33K.  I could not have done as much work on creating a successful event without a bit of relief from my “daily work.”  I was able to help my daughter save some money and paint her new condo.  I also took my personal health seriously.  I had my first full physical in over 20 years.  I took action to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, etc.  I also had out-patient surgery on my nose that had been broken 40 years ago which didn’t allow me to breathe through the left side.  I also am now exercising regularly and run/walk more than 10 miles per week.  The good Lord needed me to get my house in order…and I heard the message!

If you read the book Employed for Life-what key takeaways did you get from the book? 

CAR messages for interviews.  Leverage your network.  Have your personal messaging ready.

If you completed the 30 Day Launch process- what did you take away and how did it impact your behavior? 

The daily tips/scriptures kept me going every day until I got my energy going.  It was an extremely positive component of helping me get through the initial shock of the employment transition.  It helped me build the habit of reading a daily devotional.

Any advice you want to offer to other job seekers? 

Stay POSITIVE, trust in the Lord, turn your job search over to Him, He will provide. TRUST!

What’s My Occupation?

This poem was written by a brilliant young woman and performed at the recent  Aglow International Conference in Orlando.  It is a great depicition of the message that serves as the foundation for Employed for Life.  We will be posting the video so you can see her delivering her poem personally but in the meantime, enjoy it here. Thank you for sharing it, Nishan!

What’s My Occupation?
Written by: Nishan Patton

Introduction
What’s my occupation?
I wanted to be an astronaut
You see I wanted to ascend to the heavens maybe go to the moon…
Then I wanted to be a doctor
I wanted to have a title before and behind my name
Something that would make me sound real important you know like, Dr. Patton, MD…
Then I wanted to be forensic psychologist
See if I could get inside the minds of people,
I guess then I could justify the trouble of my own…
Was there anything else? Perhaps. How many people have told me I should be a teacher…
But you see I wanted to be an actress too!
And I was already the main character in my cartoon, my puppet show
I was dangling by the strings of all these things and I was miserable
Until I found it exactly what I am…
Nothing!
If I would become nothing then I could become all things to all men and perhaps I could win some
If I would lose my life then I would find one
And He found me
I heard him say, “Come…
“You that labor and I will give you rest…
Take my yolk upon you and learn of me.”
“Come buy and eat you who have no money!”

What’s my occupation?
I am a teacher of His word, a student of his heart, a priest, a queen, a conqueror if I must declare
A wise man once said he had nothing to declare but his genius
And I say I have nothing to declare but His name, Jesus!
What’s my occupation? I say Hallelujah! I will make a joyful noise and sound this battle cry!
With tears in my eyes you will see me outwardly broken but being renewed within
This is my occupation. How beautiful are the feet that bring good news!
These feet cannot fit in another man’s shoes.
So I will not toil in your fields and be burned by the sun
I was many things but with Him I am one
There will never be another. I am an original brand of Him. He has sealed me
Because when He said “Who will go?” I said, “Here I am send me”
I was crazy enough to believe that He could use me
This brokenness and frailty
I went from a shepherd to a king, a pauper to a princess, as soon as I stopped trying to be someone else’s
He has anointed and appointed me for such a time as this
I am nothing. I am everything. I am His!
They say, “But how do you get paid?”
The sower reaps, the reaper sows. What He shuts no man can open, open no man can close
I know this “Hallelujah” might sound absurd but I must answer with the word.

What’s my occupation?
He said ask and I will give you the nations as your inheritance
So how will you get a car, a house, a mortgage, a loan, and a pension?
They say by the sweat of your brow you shall labor like Adam
What happened to the freedom bought by the second one that saved me from the curse?
For the seed did crush the head and I am seated in heavenly places with him instead
A coheir to a kingdom, I will not submit my freedom to your false ideas of Eden
My will to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work
He has washed my hands of that dirt
Peter was a fisherman and he became a fisher of men
He taught my hands to war my fingers to fight
I am a soldier, more than a conqueror
I do not go left and right…
At your command. My life in his hands
He is the commander in chief and I will not stealth or camouflage my praise with your performance.
I am not afraid of men in their faces. In the end I stand before one.
I will see him in righteousness, with unveiled face I behold
And I hold a sword that’s sharper than any two edged
Piercing through dividing soul and spirit.

Some call me insane, they say don’t waste your life
Well, I died. I no longer live but He lives in me and I in Him
So when you see me you see Him. When you judge me you judge Him
I will not store on earth where moth and dust corrupt and thieves break in and steal
My heart where my treasure is, to Him my heart is sealed
Adam brought death but the second Adam bought rest
I will not be like them who He swore will never enter in because I am a part of another generation
We are the ones that seek His face, that seek your face oh God of Jacob!
See you probably think I’m lazy. You may just be right ideally
I have no passion for the things of this world because zeal for his house has consumed me!
My ambition is to be the ruler over ten cities in his kingdom
A ruler and not like the rich young one. I sold all I had because all I had was dung.
I counted the cost, and counted it all lost, for the surpassing glory of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord!

What’s my occupation?
I’ve rehearsed this over and over again and I’m right back to the beginning,
I wanted to stop at the moon but He took me higher
And from this job I will never retire
A doctor? Listen, here says The Great Physician, “Only speak the word and they shall be healed”
And that’s only for those who want something real
The grass withers and flower falls but this word remains forever
I’m the lead actress in this love story, all for His Glory
May never see my name on a door
But if I could be raw
I’d rather be a doorkeeper in my father’s house than shackin up with the world
Ask for me and you’ll find me about my father’s business
This is my resume
When I pray these words are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
This is full time not just nine to five.

I am dancer.
No I haven’t been to Julliard
But I dance to the rhythm of his heart
I am a bond slave
I’ve been sold and bought with a price
Sealed with promise to be the bride of Christ
It’s about the fruit that I produce from this intimacy
What am I still striving to do when I know what I am to be
I am in this world as He, the flesh, the bone, the heart, the body
Without Him nothing was made that ever has been
So I couldn’t make ends meet when I had no beginning
He is the beginning and the end
If any be in Christ, He is a new creation!
There is no life beside him
So seek ye first all you who thirst
We worry about bills when we owe a debt we can’t pay
Pay attention to the words of his mouth
For the bread you buy will not satisfy
But every word that comes from Him
So what is your occupation?

© Copyright 2013 NPatton

Proof You Are God’s Employee!

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your bodyand in your spirit, which are God’s. 2 Corinthians 6:19-20

Okay, okay, so you’ve seen this scripture but it really doesn’t have any practical meaning for you.  You know that Jesus paid the price that covers ALL your sins—past, present, and future—and you believe you are headed to Heaven one day.  But, beyond that, this verse really doesn’t impact you.  It certainly doesn’t affect the way you view work or “earn a living,” does it?

               Actually, if you took this verse seriously you would understand that you are a slave first and foremost.  God paid for you with the life of His own Son and that means He can do with you whatever He chooses.  He has the power, authority and legal right to do just that.  The over-the-top, amazing thing is that chose to adopt you instead of using you as a slave!  That’s right; you’re now His legal heir (joint heir with Jesus) and deeply beloved child.  That explains your legal status, your family status, and your Kingdom citizenship but I want to focus on your employment status.  It’s critically important for you to know Who you really work for and what that means in practical, everyday terms.

               So to help with this I am going to employ the help of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.  You’re excited now, aren’t you?  For purposes of taxation liabilities, the IRS needed to clarify which workers were actually legal employees and which were independent contractors. So they came up with three categories of criteria that can be used as the “plumb line” for making that determination.  I now invite you to compare yourself to these criteria and see if you aren’t persuaded that God Almighty is your Employer.  I’ll provide a few scriptures to help with your decision.

1.      Behavioral Control:

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

You are an employee if—

  • you are subject to instructions about where, when and how to work.
  • you have been, or may be, trained to perform services in a particular manner.

You are not an employee if—

  • you decide where you will show up, how long and how hard you will work, and who you will work for
  • you have no particular skills, abilities or gifts; you can do anything you want to do

2.      Financial Control:

“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Acts 17:28.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1

You are an employee if—

  • you use facilities that have been “paid for” and provided by the employer.
  • the greatest part of your pay comes from the employer.

You are not an employee if—

  • you are providing your own facilities (Right!  You created your own planet!)
  • lots of sources are producing your income streams.

3.      Type of Relationship:

“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”  Genesis 17:7

You are an employee if—

  • you have a written contract that defines the relationship.
  • you receive benefits provided by the employer
  • the employment relationship is to continue indefinitely
  • you are essential to the work of the employer, providing a key aspect of the “business.”

You are not an employee if—

  • there is nothing in writing to define your contract or covenant
  • you are on your own to provide rest and recreation, education, etc.
  • there is nothing unique about you; the employer could replace you with another without a problem.

Are you God’s employee?  If so, you might want to stop behaving as if you’re an independent contractor!  Since God is continuing to cover you with His “contract” and provisions, you can safely assume that your job search is His assignment for you at this time. You are not unemployed or out of work. I promise you God has definite plans for this time in your life—that’s why you’re still out of the marketplace.  Find out what He wants you to learn and do it right now while you have the opportunity. And know this, God doesn’t need any payroll department to take care of you.  If He provided daily manna and water to millions of Israelites in a desert for 40 years He can and will take care of you and yours!  Just focus on His love and majesty and banish fear from your thoughts. Then you will finally see clearly the amazing One who has been providing for you all along.    

Isn’t it time you started checking in with your Boss about how to conduct your job search to learn where to look for your next position? And, if you would like to be abundantly well paid, work with excellence and try to collect all five of the blessings promised in the Employed for Life book. Most of all, take the time to realize how highly favored you are!  Bless the day He hired you!

 

How’s your Job Search Going?

“How’s your job search going?” How many times have you been  asked that question? Too many times to count, I’ll bet. And it’s a tough question to answer too. After all, how can any job seeker really know how the process is going? What are the mile markers that would indicate progress and how far it is to that destination of a new job? By and large, the majority of people looking for work have no benchmarks to measure themselves against and no true sense of their job search performance. And that’s definitely not good…for job seekers or their families. When the person without a job is also without direction and self-confidence the effect on everyone is both enormous and unsettling. When no one knows what’s going on or what direction leads to a new position, everyone in the boat loses hope. Absent a trustworthy guide it’s just too easy for job seekers to misjudge the situation, panic, and traumatize all involved.
Far too many job seekers consider every day without a new job as a failure. Their response to the above question is generally, “Not good, I’m still unemployed.” There are other, less pessimistic individuals who will answer with a shrug and “Beats me, I have no idea how I’m doing.” But neither of these groups inspires confidence in their loved ones. And for the most part they go to bed at night troubled and guilty over what didn’t happen that day. Their job search is definitely a struggle, not the exciting adventure that God intends it to be.
Let me suggest that evaluating your job search performance doesn’t have to be such a mystery, however. There are definitely measures of success that can guide you. If you’ve read Employed for Life: “When Can You Start?”— God you already know that God intends to bless His children with five distinct blessings during a season of joblessness. That knowledge alone points us to a way of evaluating our job search performance and setting clear achievable objectives for the rest of the employment journey. I’m going to borrow the Job Search Performance Appraisal from the book and offer it here as one way to confidently determine how you’re doing in your job search. You’ll find the actual appraisal form in the book and at the end of this article.
It’s important to understand two key things before we begin – the first is that every believer works for God and the second is that God has performance standards for His “employees” just like the world does. He is our provider and our protector but He is also our Lord and Master and He has a right to expect obedience to the standards He sets. Don’t misunderstand me, God hasn’t given us a set of rules to obey just because “He feels like it” or He wants to satisfy some need on His part. No, in His mercy and grace He has established performance standards in order to lead us into abundant life and true prosperity! As we serve Him, we walk in His blessing! So let’s look at what it will take on our part to accomplish the wonderful plan He has for us and experience the greatest unemployment turnaround strategy imaginable.
Since God’s command in Matthew 6:33 is to “Seek first the Kingdom” let’s start there. Are you using this time away from work to get better acquainted with the King? If not, make that your first priority for nothing matters more than this. He wants a personal relationship with you and you will need it in the days to come. We have to be able to recognize His voice and receive directions from the throne room if we hope to accomplish the purpose for which we were designed. So make it your first priority to spend time in His Word and in prayer. Next, consider the command to love others as we love ourselves. How are you doing on that self-love part? I’m not referring to self centeredness or selfishness but rather the identity of a believer who truly understands the love Christ has for each of us as precious children of the Most High God. So, are you caring for your body as if it is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you living as one who knows that his life belongs to God? And, what about your “love walk?” Every day that you are out of the workplace is a day filled with opportunities to give into the lives of those you love — your family, your friends, your church and your community. Are you giving? Are you accomplishing all the little projects and volunteer assignments that would bless those around you? If not, you have some project work to do! Getting centered in your identity in Christ and becoming a conduit for His love to flow to others will put you into position to receive the first three of God’s unemployment blessings…a deep, intimate relationship with God, an true understanding of your gifts and design, and better, more loving relationships.
The fourth objective that God wants to accomplish in this season is your absolute freedom from fear. How are you doing in this area? If you’re still harboring worry, concern, or anxiety, it’s time to make a quality decision to stop it. It actually is your choice—you either believe the promises in God’s Word or you are trusting in the lies of the devil. I don’t have time to go into this in any depth here except to emphasize the importance of recognizing that there’s a battle going on and you must take up the full armor of God if you want the guaranteed triumph that ‘s been promised to you. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) So renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word, declare His promises, and take a determined stand against fear in every form.
Last but not least, to obtain the prize of that new work assignment there are tactical job search activities to take a look at. Have you spent the necessary time to become well prepared, even excellent, at this process? Or are you like countless job hunters who race into the market with hastily thrown together resumes, no sense of direction, no understanding of where to find the best, unadvertised jobs, and little to no ability to sell themselves to strangers? Looking for a job is a job and it takes study and practice to do it well. If you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, you may need to back up and get that solid foundation in place before you venture out again. Finally, you have to dedicate the time and energy required to position yourself for victory. Too many job seekers spend less than 15 hours a week looking for a job even though they believe they’re working at it full time. When all is said and done it comes down to a commitment to follow a schedule and discipline that will keep you in the marketplace so God can connect you with your next opportunity.
To illustrate, I remember being hired into a position as an executive recruiter. In our training program we were taught that if we made a certain number of contacts with employers every day we would acquire the position openings, or requisitions, that we would need in order to make placements and be successful. It was a stretch for me to believe. I wondered how anyone could guarantee that just making a prescribed number of calls — day in and day out –would ultimately lead to success. But, amazingly, it worked just as predicted. Despite my unbelief I made those calls (and experienced repeated rejections!) but along the way I also ended up making the promised placements. Successful sales people will tell you the same thing…it’s a numbers game. So if a job seeker will make the calls and spend the time required, success will follow. Any believer who has followed God’s job search strategy has His promise: “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find pastures” (John 10:9). Our places of employment are our pastures and the Holy Spirit will lead us to them if we’ll spend the time to “seek and keep seeking.” The required time investment does not even equal a full time job. Dedicating an average of four effective hours a day will put you way ahead of most job seekers and position you for success.
If you want to measure your performance along the way try asking yourself these three questions after every contact you make: 1) Did I represent myself well and make a good impression? 2) Did I learn whether this organization hires people like me for the work I want to do? And, most importantly, 3) did I obtain two new names of people to call? If you will get fully prepared for the process and then execute against these standards on a consistent daily basis, you’ll achieve the goal of a new position. God truly “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”(Ephesians 3:20). We have to put that power to work. God’s final direction for us is to “knock and keep knocking.” Don’t try to predict when your job search will end; that’s a waste of time and energy. Instead focus on obtaining all five of the unemployment blessings that God is offering by doing all that you can to understand and cooperate with His plan. Then, when next asked “How’s it going?” you’ll be able to confidently reply, “My job search is going great! I’m getting everything I can out of the process and I know my next position is just around the corner.”