Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Stop Worrying!

“Stop worrying!” This really is good advice. The Bible says to stop it (Ecclesiastes 11:10). Doctors tell us to stop it. And our own common sense tells us to stop it. But how do we stop it?

A couple of days ago I had a periodic trip to the doctor to be checked over. As usual, I got anxious beforehand and worried that all might not be right. Even though I pegged my chances that all was right at 93%, I was still worried about that pesky 7% chance that all was not right.

I ask God to help me understand what I was thinking and believing about the upcoming doctor’s visit that was causing me worry. As usual, it was the same habit of putting my faith in getting good results. Instead, God impressed upon me to rely on him and his truth. Truth like he loves me, he is with me, he will support me regardless of results, and that he will work whatever happens to his and my good.

So, I clung to these truths, repeating them over and over to myself as I went to the doctor’s office. I ignored my fears within and kept my mind focused on the above truths. The result – I sensed his presence and I received a clean bill of health!

Many of us are skilled worriers. We have lifelong habits of relying on lies that trigger fear and worry within us. One of these common lies is that there is no God and that we have to be adequate in conquering all the challenges we face. Even when we believe that there is a God, we often prefer to handle the problems ourselves.

So, we worry and try to be God. We fail to realize that God did not make us to go it alone. “For man was born for trouble” (Job 5:7). We were made to need God’s help. That is why we feel peace when we bring God into our problems when we pray (Philippians 4:6-7).

We need to work with God in taking captive to the truth the lies that cause us to worry (2 Corinthians 10:5). Lies like we need to be perfect to be loved, we need to impress others to be an acceptable person, and that we must run from our pain instead of face it. All these are lies and when we rely on them, we often fear and worry.

So, to stop worrying, we need to develop some new thinking habits. When we start to worry, we need to stop and pray. When we start to indulge in a lie, we need to think about what is true, right, honorable, lovely, reputable, excellent and the praiseworthy as commanded by God (Philippians 4:8). And we need to rely on God to change our hearts so that we have the ability to stay focused on God to enable us to stop worrying! (Isaiah 26:3).

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Let Go and Let God

I am sure you have heard the statement, “Let go and let God.” It sounds wise and something we should strive to do. However, do you really want to do this?

We have many good reasons to not let go and to let God. We have inherited a nature and have been trained in not letting God get his hands on our life. Yes, I am talking about us Christians.

We have done pretty well for ourselves running our own life. In many areas we have become quite skilled at muscling God out of our lives and doing it our way. In fact, we have made it a lifelong habit of making things happen our way and in our time. It works! Why change?

Or has it worked?

Has it worked if we have reduced our faith down to following biblical principles that we can do in our own strength? Has it work if we have created a watered down Christianity to avoid letting God take us on a supernatural journey? Has it work if we have missed a journey of living an exciting and godly life that makes a lasting impact on this world.

Most of us have relied on ourselves to control our world for a long time. We like it this way. It feeds our pride. We feel safe most of the time. Yet, God wants us to let go of control and let him control our lives for our good.

I think often failure after failure can help us to let go of our control. This has certainly been true in my life. Only then will many of us become like children and allow our heavenly Father to help us.

Letting go and letting God can only happen as we rid ourselves of lifelong beliefs that support our controlling behavior. One belief is that that we know best what to do and how to do it. This needs to be replaced with God knows best and will lead us to live this best (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Mere exhortation to let God have his way with us is not going to cut it. Mere will power to do this right thing will not overcome the deep inertia we have to changing. No, we need to invite the Spirit to transform us. He needs to make children out of us. We can no longer be proud adults to let go and let God.

So, I challenge you to let go and let God help you with a challenge you have today. Ask him to help you identify what that challenge is. Then ask him to help you with that challenge. What happened? Please let me know.

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God’s Spirit does more than just help us understand the Bible, comfort us, and convict us of sin. He also gives us the power to live the Christian life. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

I used to rely a lot more on myself to live the Christian life and to grow spiritually. If I was self-centered or unloving toward someone, I would either repress the sin, memorize Scripture, read a book on the subject, or just try harder. Now, I am more inclined to give up the autonomy and give it to the Holy Spirit to transform this self-centeredness or lack of love into Christ-like attitudes and behaviors.

We are often fooled into thinking that all we need to do to live the Christian life is to know the biblical principles, and then we do them in our own fortitude. We think we can largely grow and do ministry by our own strength and willpower. However, the resistance to progress in the Christian life is supernatural. We face “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The world, the flesh, and the devil are too much for mere human resources. We need the Spirit’s power to overcome our bondages to arrogance, self-centeredness, and complacency. We need the Spirit’s power to know and do the works of God.

We also need to learn what hinders the work of the Spirit in our hearts. One of the biggest hindrances is knowing the truth without relying on the truth. Relying on our fortitude instead of the Holy Spirit for our life and ministry grieves the Holy Spirit. One of the truths that we need to be relying on is depending on the Spirit to be putting off the old sinful thinking and feelings, and putting on Christ-like thinking and feelings.

For me, I assume I am walking in the Spirit, unless I sense that the Holy Spirit is convicting me of something specifically. A vague sense of guilt does not work with me, for this tends to be a common ploy of Satan. Also, when I feel anxiety, I try to turn to God in prayer, for this often means that fellowship has been broken with him. Anxiety often is a call from God to connect with him in prayer.

May we all move beyond being satisfied with just knowing about God’s power. May we also have the courage and humility to live in God’s power. He commands us to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). May we ask God to make this true for us today!

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I love to see results from my efforts. My ego rises and falls with results. My joy is found in success.  However, a number of my projects failed to give me the results that I wanted this summer. So, I have been fighting discouragement and doing some complaining to God.

However, the other day in my quiet time I came across 1 Thessalonians 2:1 in which Paul is expressing thanks for the results he got when he planted a church in Thessalonica. His results were small (probably less than 50 people) in comparison to the 200,000 potential converts that there were in the city. A city that was largely hostile to his message. Yet, Paul rejoiced in the results.

This made me stop and think that I also had some results in my various projects. Not as much as I wanted, but nevertheless supernatural results. So, I began to thank the Lord for the results that I did have.

I also recalled the verse in the book of Habakkuk that even if the fig tree does not blossom, I still have the Lord with me. His constant presence in my life gives me much to rejoice about, even if there are no results! This was a challenge to me to find my joy in the journey with God, not results.

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Why Wait For God?

Many of us live our lives as if no one is watching. However, God is lovingly watching over our lives, and will one day reward us for every thought and deed that honors him (II Corinthians 5:10).  May we have waited long enough for God to show us and empower us to think and do the deeds that truly honor him.

Another reason to wait for God is because we can’t really do anything of lasting value without him. He says, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This means that when we fail to wait for God, all our busyness is a waste of time.

We also need to wait for God because this is how we were made to operate. He created us to partner with him in facing the challenges and pains of life. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You Shall Find Rest For Your Souls” (Matthew 11:29). When we fail to wait on God, we often bring a lot of unnecessary stress into our lives.

A fourth reason to wait for God is because we really do not know the right way to go. Yes, the way we think we should go may be right by worldly standards, but is it right by God’s standards?  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We wait for God to live our lives successfully.

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One of the big challenges we face as Christians is learning to let the Lord take the lead in our lives and spiritual growth. I tried for years to grow myself and be good by doing bible studies, memorizing Scriptures, having quiet times, and a host of other activities. Only when faced with major exhaustion did I face the painful reality that I needed more help from God to be good and to grow. Following is an excerpt from my book, Experiencing God’s Transforming Love, that talks about a major barrier we all face in growing and being good.

We are strongly tempted to perfect ourselves and be good in the power of our own fortitude (rather than allow ourselves to be transformed by the power of God). No amount of human effort can transform us; only God can. We are not to focus on being obedient to a set of biblical principles. This will not transform us, nor will having quiet times, Bible studies, or practicing any other spiritual discipline. We were saved from a life of trying to be good and pleasing to God to deal with our guilt and shame. Only the blood of Christ takes care of our guilt and shame (Hebrews 9:12-14).

The first several years of my Christian walk I tried very hard to be good. I had my quiet times religiously; I did everything imaginable with the Word (listened to it, read it, studied it, memorized it and meditated on it), prayed often, and did the right things. I was blessed with much fortitude, and I used it to my advantage. By all indications, I was a spiritual giant because I was doing all the right things. Yet, was I really being transformed into Christlikeness at the heart level? The truth is that I was being transformed at the heart level, but, I believe, there were huge areas of my heart that were resisting transformation.

Spiritual transformation of our hearts does occur when we open our hearts to God, depend on the indwelling Spirit, and use the spiritual disciplines to position ourselves for this to happen. Spiritual disciplines, like listening to sermons and quiet times, position us to behold Jesus, and be transformed by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are not to try to fix ourselves. We must learn to give up trying and open deeply to God’s work through the Spirit in our hearts. Galatians 3:1-3 tells us that, as we became Christians by dependence on God to save us, we need to also depend on God to grow us, not our own fortitude to crank it out.

My living by grace was expedited when I got knocked off my feet during my midlife crisis. This was a period of spiritual and physical exhaustion. I was exhausted because I had been largely trying to crank out the Christian life in my own strength. During this time, I discovered a deeper solitude and giving myself permission to enjoy life. I discovered a passion for deep-sea fishing and experienced the joy of catching fish and being with God during the many hours of solitude on the fishing trips. I got to experience God loving me in my weakness. I became more patient with myself, and others during this time. This growth came at just the right time to enable me to be a more attentive and gentle father to my two toddler children.

At the end of this three-year period, I emerged a stronger and more useable Christian. Within two years, God provided me with a promotion at work, and I was elected an elder of our church. However, I still had a long way to go in relying on God’s life to do work, fulfill my responsibilities as an elder and live life at a deep level.

I think we evangelicals have taken a good thing (knowledge of the Word) and exaggerated its importance, while we have downplayed the importance of dependence on the Holy Spirit, life in the body, and self-knowledge for spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:4-16; Proverbs 4:23). I think this is because of the way many of us were raised, which was to be good in our own strength. This made it easy for us to buy into the deception of following biblical principles in our own strength to be good and to grow ourselves spiritually.

The temptation to live by biblical principles in our own fortitude (a moralist) is strong. One major reason is because we can avoid humbling ourselves before God and depending on his grace. In Jeremiah 17:5, God considers a person cursed who habitually tries to be good in his own strength and fails to rely on the Spirit.

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Welcome to Journey into Light Ministries! The purpose of this website is to help you grow more intimate with God. It presents many biblical ideas and practices not commonly taught in our churches today.

The reason I started this website over six years ago was to share how to cooperate with God in growing spiritually at a deep level.

I have been a growing evangelical Christian for over forty-five years.  Attending seminary starting thirteen years ago, and applying what was being taught, moved me to a much deeper relationship with the Lord. It became more of the heart. Since graduating, I have been compelled to share how living these ideas and practices can transform your life, as it did mine.

On the this website, I will offer suggestions and give examples from my life which could help in resolving your everyday issues with God’s perspective and power.

My prayer is you would benefit greatly from this website. Recently a lady sent me a thank you note for a blog that explained we don’t need to be perfect to be pleasing to God. This message helped her get through a rough day. Helping people in this way is why I continue with this website.


Rich Kehoe


About Rich Kehoe

I have had a deep desire to help people grow spiritually since becoming a Christian while in the military through the Navigators in 1971. The Navigator organization then discipled and trained me for ministry for six years . They taught and modeled the most important things in life were to put Christ first and to grow spiritually.

After getting out of the Air Force in 1972, I wanted to be a full-time minister. However, this was not God’s plan. Instead, he led me to be an analyst for the San Bernardino County government until retiring in 2007.

During those government years in my personal time, I was very active in my evangelical church, serving on the elder board for many years, leading small groups and mentoring men.

In 2005, sensing  God wanted to teach me how to help people grow at deeper levels, I started Talbot Theological Seminary. The focus of the theology was on spiritual growth. I took it slowly to allow time to practice what was being taught.

In 2010, After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Theology with Highest Honors, I began to write a book that captured many of the concepts and practices from seminary that had changed my life.

I also began Journey into Light Ministries in 2012. The ministry’s goal is to help people to learn to live the Bible from their hearts .


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