Observations from a Middle-Georgia Pastorate: It’s War, but Faith Beats Fear

This blog was never intended to become a ministerial diary, of sorts, but reality is what reality is, not what we want or perceive it to be.

Therefore, I will continue to share my observations as we press forward in this new (to us) work in Georgia.

Reality Check

Getting strait to the point, there is a spiritual war going on, and you and I are involved in the conflict. It doesn’t matter where you and I are; the war is on-going and world-wide. We will never escape it until it’s over.

Unfortunately, too many think that life, with all its problems, is rarely affected by the spiritual conflict that rages all around us, even within us. Yet, the reality is that nearly everything we experience in this life is tactically connected to innumerable, web-like strategies meant to bring either victory of defeat. And depending on which side you are on – and that is debatable – victory may mean either bondage and destruction, or hope and deliverance.

There are no coincidences, and no small decision is devoid of long-reaching consequences. This is reality, and that’s a check you can cash.

The Influence Factor

To be fair, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what responsibility you’ve been given: you’ll never know the full extent of how your life and your decisions will affect others. However, what is equally true is that the more influence a person has, the more of a “high-value” target he or she becomes. And because we are in a spiritual war, this is especially true for those in ministry.

Just since the last post I wrote, the one about “Food and Fur,” I have been reminded that the more influence one has, the more the enemy will attack. I have been reminded that the enemy will wait until we are comfortable, then strike where we are least expecting it, and usually with weapons and tactics for which we have little defense. Or, rather, the defense we do have is more than adequate, but the enemy knows we have not done much training on how to use it.  Either way, the attack is meant to knock us back and reconsider our ability to continue the fight.

This is why it should never be an aspiration for a minister to obtain a “larger church” or anything like that, for unless it’s in God’s timing, and unless the minister and his family are equipped, because of the “influence factor,” they – and I do say “they” – may not be able to handle it. The more influence over the lives of others, the more the Enemy will desire your destruction.

The “Fear” Factor

You do remember the TV show Fear Factor, don’t you? Do you remember how that it was perfectly possible for every contestant to complete the required challenges, if only they could conquer their own fears? They all had the strength, the coordination, and the skill, but it was so often the fear that immobilized the contestant who failed. So often in this spiritual warfare what we find is that we’ve been given all we need by the Holy Spirit to be victorious, but fear – fear of failure, fear of exposure, fear of sacrifice, fear of inadequacy, fear of the Enemy – saps our strength, makes us weak in the knees, causes us to run, or convinces us to surrender.

This week (even yesterday) my family was threatened. The threat is hard to assess, but it is being taken seriously, so much so that police departments in two states are now involved. Yet, should we live in fear? Should we be intimidated?

Or, should we refuse to cower and hide, put feet on our faith, and trust our God to deliver?

In the Messianic Psalm 91, David wrote of how he would handle threats. He wrote:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust’” (Psa. 91:1-2).

Later in verse five he writes: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.”

Then King Solomon, David’s son, echoes these very words when he describes the kind of peace one can enjoy when he puts his faith in the true God and trusts His word:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths…When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:5-6, 24-26).

Believe me, I am concerned. I am concerned for the safety of my daughters, my family in general, myself, and even my friends and congregation. But I refuse to live in fear! I refuse to live in hiding. I refuse to accept that threats from enemies of God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven, the One who tells me to call Him “Abba” (Daddy) – carry more weight than the promises from God’s Word!

Conclusion

Since I’m already at 907 words, I should bring this “Observation” to a conclusion.

First, I don’t think it’s wise to share specific details about what is going on that made me write this post. Doing so would not help keep anyone safe any more than what is already being done. So, don’t expect any real details to come out in future posts.

However, I will say this: Even in America there are those who will swear they are not radical, but will nevertheless use the “fear card” credit their fellow faith-members have earned as a tool. Even should their veiled threats be hollow and only mean, it is impossible to know what is truly in the heart or intended, and should therefore be taken seriously.

Evidently, the Enemy wants to put a stop to what God is doing, and he’s not going to play nice. When people down here said they’d heard I was stirring things up, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind! And whether or not what we are going through right now as a family is related at all to the overall plan here in Georgia, in reality, it’s all related.

So, pray for us.

Your soldiers on the battlefield in middle Georgia


BONUS: Here’s a song my daughter Katie sang several years ago (I think she was 17). I think it’s pretty appropriate for today. Are we fearless, or full of faith?

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21 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Culture Wars, Faith, Family, General Observations, ministry

21 responses to “Observations from a Middle-Georgia Pastorate: It’s War, but Faith Beats Fear

  1. Lifting you and the family up in prayer and declaring the Lord’s protection all around you.

  2. hawk2017

    In prayer.

  3. Well Anthony, when the attacker of the brethren makes himself known, becoming active, it shows you are invading his territory, proclaiming Jesus, and shining the Light.
    Praying for your family as we know that HE who Ives in you is greater than he who is in the world.

  4. Praying that God’s angels would be encamped around you and your family.

  5. Praying for you and your family Anthony! And thank you for the reminder that the enemy hates those who have been called and chosen.

    Father,

    Whatever is happening within this ministry and family God you are allowing this to play out for Kingdom purposes no matter the current battlefield. God, bring warriors to come and stand and commit to praying for not only this family but God even the ones making threats and judgements because they need you God. They need your encounter and your peace that is perfect God, I pray for Anthony, Valerie, and their children and grandchildren may your warring angels stand beside them as you walk in them. God bring about peace and mercy. God will you deliver your mighty love onto each individual not only dealing with these issues but God those of us who read this post may we stop and come and bring them before your throne.

    God I thank you for the call on Anthony’s life and the call on every member of his family, and his churches where he has and is pastoring. Will you make being the new kid on the block a little less damming and more amazing. Lord may this new churches leaders come together and instead of ‘we don’t do things that way here” mentality make in roads for healing, growth, and Kingdom expansion and lots of Kingdom love. For you God are a God of love and justice so come now with your mighty staff of loving Shepard. Lord thank you for the reminder that we see only a snapshot but you see the whole picture and that God you aren’t settling for anything but love. Thank you God for the many opportunities that this family will have as they continue to see you. I pray all of this in the mighty and victorious name of Your Son Jesus Messiah. Amen

    • God bless you, and thank you. But if it’s any comfort, the threat is from outside the church – the people here are wonderful and want to serve the Lord. The threat is, dare I say, from some Muslim individuals. We have taken precautions both in TN and in GA, but we will not allow the threat to make my family live in fear. Our God is bigger, He’s alive, and His arm of protection and vengeance is not shortened.

      • Bless you Anthony

        Bring the reign God bring the reign! The devil is a squished bug under the feet of God and because we have the same power as believers the enemy is a bug under our shoes.

        Victory Victory shall be mine if I let the Lord fight my battles If I hold my peace,
        let the Lord fight my battles;
        I know that the victory shall be mine,
        victory shall be mine.
        If I walk upright,
        all my battles He will fight;
        I know that the victory shall be mine,
        victory shall be mine.

        Blessings

        Loved your daughters song it made me cry 🙏

  6. Anne

    So sorry to hear you and your sweet family are going through this. We will pray

  7. evolution is a hoax

    God bless your family and I hope you circle the wagons.
    I do know that in the middle of stuff listing the things going for you helps give you perspective.
    And the Other day my washing machine broke, and so I did some research and then went to lowes with a customer for other things and happened by the appliances. to cut it short, I said I like one that was there for 850 but if he had one scratch and dent, I would consider it if it was big and had a extra rinse button.
    He said, a guy came in and bought the one they had. But then he went into a bit of a phase, started searching the computer and then said he would go back and see if he could find something. He comes and says, I got one. Its 1495 but I will give it to you for 500 and throw in a 4 year extra warranty.

    I was befuddled. I said, OK. he could have sold it to me for 900 and I would have took it, but as it turns out, it was sold to me for 399 plus a 100 warranty. There are several details I will leave out, but the point is. It was if he was driven, and he admits no one not even the store manger has got a deal like that.

    I was reminded that Elijah had a God, and by God, Jars filled with Oil. Not that I am greedy, but that same God loves me as well. And he just wanted to bless me. giving me thumbs up. So Don’t worry. while stuff might be tough. God will put his fingers in your life, ask him in trust. Let your kingdom come and Your will be done. In our lives. give us insight, give us trust and confidence and we will with a smile sort stuff out. and turn a pigs ear into a silk purse, not for greed or lust but just cause you like to help when we need it.

    • That was a blessing! Thank you.

      • evolution is a hoax

        Who knows you might lead the blind right into camp and explain the gospel to them, in love and blow the doors of their lives. It just might be you will get a chance through the police to talk with them. And as God gives you words to say, they will think you like prophets before know whats going on behind closed doors. It would be a tough way to come to Jesus Christ, But some people come the hard way.

      • That would be awesome, for sure! Of course, there’s a loaded weapon on my desk at this very moment, so… Just being prepared either way 😉

    • I love God miracles for His kids! Awesome bkessing

  8. Praying right now! 🙏🙏

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