Fear & Discernment #4 (Paul)

Hi all,

We lived in Colorado when our 3 boys were little and one day off we decided to head for the mountains. Barb had that morning prepared a meal to satisfy her 4 men that she could warm up later: Home made macaroni and cheese with diced ham mixed in. Heat up some green beans and have some cold applesauce at the ready, and it would be a meal fit for a king!

Once the cheese sauce, macaroni, and ham were mixed and poured into a large baking dish, she put plastic wrap tightly over the top and slid it into the refrigerator.

Shards of glass?

We had a wonderful day, but were very hungry once home. The boys cleaned up and Barb warmed dinner, and soon we were at the table ready to dig in. But Barb and I noticed what seemed to be sharp shards of glass all over the top of the macaroni and cheese, glistening in the light. Shiny and of different sizes and shapes, we checked the refrigerator to see if something made of glass had broken and fallen onto the top of our dinner. Nothing. We were confused and afraid lest our boys take things into their own hands and start spooning dinner onto their own plates.

I delicately picked up what seemed to be a sharp triangular piece, but it was soft and pliable. Then I noticed something melted over the sides of the dish – and it hit us: She had put the dish into the oven in such a rush to get us fed that she forgot to remove the plastic wrap! It had melted onto the top, looking like glass had shattered and fallen across our mac & cheese!

You can imagine the scene: 3 hungry boys staring at us in shock, waiting for large spoonfuls of cheesy delight to be put onto their plates but confused at our sudden holding pattern: The aroma of the bubbly mac & cheese calling to them, mom & dad staring at each other asking what do we do now? And 1 dog hoping for leftovers and thinking things were turning her way with each passing moment.

Finally we made an executive decision: Pick off the top layer of the mac & cheese, pray over it, and eat! Here we are 25+ years later and none of us are the worse for the experience, but Barb and I still laugh over that story. Hopefully the boys have forgotten it. (I told this story with her permission, lol)

And this has to do with fear & discernment, how?

Many Christians are like that macaroni and cheese – lives rich and yummy in the Lord, bubbly hot for Jesus - yet glazed over the top are shards of fear covering it all. Unsure what to do next, many aren’t sure if ‘eating’ a little fear is ok, or do they skim it all off the top and keep going? Is this a fear from the devil or something God is warning about? Do you use common sense, take the right action, and ‘eat’ anyway?

In Acts 27 Paul is a prisoner about to board a ship for Rome. Being a prisoner meant others told him when he could eat, sleep, use the bathroom, and where to sit down. But Paul had a revelation from God in v10: “Sirs, I perceive (always a term meaning the mind notices something in the spirit) this voyage will be with much damage and hurt, to the ship, the cargo, and our lives!”

Often, God shows us the devil’s plans

You can imagine the fear and concern Paul had as a prisoner – his life was not his own. He perceived they were going to lose the ship, the cargo, and their lives, but was powerless to do anything about it.

Fear often besets us when circumstances are beyond our control. Others do things that we know sometimes by common sense and life experience will end up a disaster, sometimes we know by revelation from God as Paul had here - but we must go with them because they are the authority or circumstances dictate their actions, or accidents happen. All these things cause fear which is quite natural – no one likes to be in situations that are out of our control, and it makes it worse when we know by the Spirit disaster awaits.

However, in verse 27, after some 2 weeks of being driven by a storm and no food for that same amount of time, and angel stood before Paul saying, “Fear not Paul, for you must be brought before Caesar. And look, God has also spared all those that sail with you.” Evidently the angel told Paul more than what was quoted, for he told his companions they would be shipwrecked on an island and to save their lives, they had to not jump ship until it started breaking up on the beach. (v26, 31)

Understand the picture – in v10 Paul is shown by God they would lose the ship, the cargo, and their lives if they set sail. In v24 an angel appears and announced God has intervened – the ship and cargo would still be lost, but all 276 would be (could be if they follow instructions) saved.

That means God showed Paul the devil’s plans that would happen IF allowed to continue.

Fear and revelation

In July of 1986 I had a spiritual dream about being in another nation, in the front passenger seat of a van with a driver who didn’t speak English, I barely knew the people in the seat behind me, and didn’t know at all the people in the very back seats.

We were driving down a gravel mountain road at night, took a left turn too fast, slid off the road, and the van rolled onto the right side. My arm was temporarily pinned between the ground and the window frame but I was able to pull it out and determine I was unhurt. Everyone else was hurt however, it was night, I was in a foreign country in the wilderness – and then I woke up in a sweat.

As soon as I woke up I took authority over the devil, commanded him to stop that plan and told him I was not allowing that to happen, then asked the Father to send His angels to make sure it didn’t. That was in July.

On October 1 I was in a mountain village in Mexico, the Lord just having appeared to me and later my interpreter, a woman named Dora, as well, then a dinner and church service, and now we were headed back.

It was about 9:30pm (21:50) as the driver of the van, a man from the village, and Carl the missionary and Dora, along with the driver’s family, prepared to get in the van. I touched my hand to the handle of the passenger side door and my July dream came flooding back to me.

“Dora! Wow, I just had a deja vu experience. I saw all this in a dream a couple months ago, and it ended with a wreck.” She said, “That’s weird, 2 days ago I had a similar dream about a wreck after coming back from a ministry day.” So we (once again for me) took authority over Satan, commanded him that his attack would not be allowed to happen, and asked the Father to send angels to do their part to protect us.

With that, we got into the van – the driver who didn’t speak English, me in the passenger side. Carl and Dora who I knew a little, behind me, and the driver’s family who I didn’t know at all, in the very back. As we headed down the mountain road, gravel, I was a bit nervous at first, then settled myself because I believed in the power of the name of Jesus, knew my authority, and trusted the Lord.

I tell the rest of the story in my book, “Pursuing the Seasons of God”, so I won’t cover here other than to say me, Dora, and later Carl all saw 3 angels standing at the point the headlight beams ended, moving perfectly in sync with the van, and Dora and I both recognized the curve of the wreck that never happened. When he got down the mountain and the road became paved, the angels left.

The dreams were God’s revelation of what would happen if the devil’s plan was left untouched

Is what you are hearing and seeing a revelation the devil has planned, or is it the hand of man and is going to happen anyway? If the devil, you can take authority over it and ask the Father to send angels to make sure HIS will happens instead. If it is man’s doing you can ask the Father for provision and protection, taking authority over anything the devil has planned in that time frame.

Many, many people who don’t know that God regularly shows us the devil’s plan if left unhindered, think it is God and they end up rebuking the Holy Spirit who is revealing that to them so they can take authority and pray that it doesn’t happen!

Because they sense fear in the revelation, they miss the peace that also always accompanies a revelation from the Father. Do you not think Joseph and Pharaoh felt a little fear when God revealed in a dream there would be 7 years of famine? But they made preparation because it was put to them that is was going to happen – no devil to rebuke, famine was coming, so they had to prepare.

When it is just the devil presenting evil imaginations, there is no peace. With God’s revelation, peace always accompanies the scary scenario being shown you. Either way, take authority over the devil, ask the Father for His grace, protection, and provision – and if in Paul’s case where it is beyond your control, or mine where I had to get into that van, center yourself on faith in Him, the power of His name, and His plans for you.

You have to determine if the top of your mac & cheese is covered with broken glass, or melted plastic and whether to eat it anyway or pick it off. Take the appropriate action and don’t let a little fear stop you from a great meal in the Lord.

Until next week, blessings,

John Fenn

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