Friday, April 11, 2014

what are you scared of?

The words on the page stared up at me, asking me to consider some of the things that I fear that might be prohibiting me from recklessly living out my faith.

"Has your fear of people become greater than your fear of God?"

Um. Yes.

You know, I'm scared of lots of things. Scary movies, for one. (I hate them.) And you can add scary TV shows to that, too. (Criminal Minds. American Horror Story on FX. All that has to happen for me to be scared and freaked out is to watch a preview, especially of American Horror Story.) Let's see. I'm scared of rejection. I'm scared of being lonely. Of making mistakes. Of getting old and useless. Of death. And dying. Of getting sick, like with cancer or a disease. Of being depressed. That I won't meet other people's expectations. Violence and political unrest.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-control.
{2 timothy 1:7}

Oh, yeah, and I'm scared to cut my hair.

But of God? Well, my fear of other things and of people pretty much outweighs any sort of fear of the Lord, so I don't have to wrestle with that one too often. I'm too busy being anxious about everything else.

I don't really know what God expects. Look at this world. I don't really need to explain why I might be scared. (Besides cutting my hair. That one is just silly.)

But all throughout the Bible it talks about a "fear" of the Lord. So of everything else that is on my plate, now I have to fear Him, too. Un. Believable.

But I'm learning that a fear of the Lord, as it says in Proverbs 1:7, isn't like being scared of Him. It's actually respecting Him for who He is: The King and the Maker of the whole entire flipping universe. When I tried to let that sink in, my respect meter went way up. God. He can do what He wants when He wants. He is not bound by time or space. He is limitless.

OK. I can respect that.

So what's holding me back from following Him completely and courageously and outrageously?

Um. Fear.

I do not trust God. I want to trust God. But I do not. I don't trust that He has my best interests in His plan. So I say I believe in Him while I chase down other things that seem like they might make life a little more stable. Like money. Or relationships. Or a good job. The list goes on and on. And I do good things for God, but I have a divided heart.

Trust in the character of God is foundational to obedience.
{jennie allen, chase}

I think my good behavior will please Him, He will be so happy--joyful, even--that I've tried so hard, and I'll go to Heaven. The End.

But, as Jennie Allen points out in her study chase, morality-doing good things for the sake of doing good things-has never won God's favor. Morality is something we achieve, while righteousness is something we receive. (chase, pg. 71). Faith in God has always been and will always be what makes us right before God. (pg. 72)

Fear steals hope. Peace. Time. Thoughts.

Trust creates courage. Endurance. Determination. Faith.

So. Jennie Allen asks us one question: What if we became insanely courageous and began to live the stories God has written for us?

What if we actually trusted and respected Him?

What if our respect of Him showed us to be brave and through that we began to show the evidence of Him? What if we truly began to glorify Him?

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
{psalm 27:1}

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