October 8, 2011

Day 8: Afraid?

If you're just tuning in, click here to read the previous posts in the series.

Fear often goes hand-in-hand with worry in our hearts and minds.

We fear many things: failure, loss of control, loss of things that are precious to us, other people, etc.

Want to hear a painful truth?  Behind our fears lurks our pride.  Really, it's more like PRIDE.  There's often something at stake that we're not willing to let go of that drives us to cling to fears, rather than our Savior.  That pride is big, bad, and ugly.

The woman writing this post is really full of it.

Pride, that is.

What were you thinking?!

Bowing to fears (because I'm so dang prideful) has effected me in detrimental ways over the years:
I've long feared failure ... at pretty much anything new I might try.  So my default has been not to try new things.  Yeah, a wonderful way to live. (insert eye-roll here)
I've also long been concerned with what others think of me, fearing that I won't be accepted.  People pleasing becomes the default here - leaving me wondering who the heck I am and myself & others losing out on edifying relationships .
When I got pregnant with Elizabeth, our first, I was quite consumed by fear - embarrassed that it was a "surprise" pregnancy and having to adjust "the plan" for our lives - stealing away most of the joy of those early days of pregnancy, when we could have been celebrating the miracle! 
For years I also spent a lot of time fearing "the worst," whatever that meant at the moment, even when life was quite peachy.  This thinking just leaves you on edge all the time, wondering when calamity will strike.  (I wrote  about this a year ago in My Life is Not a Television Drama.)

I'm sure this list only scratches the surface of fear's effects on my life, but it gives you an idea to get you thinking about how fear may eek its way into your life and the sad natural consequences of fear-based living.

SoooooOOOO, what do we do once we admit there's a problem?

We never sang it often, but in Boston occasionally we'd sing a song at church based on Isaiah 43:1-3.  Maybe you know it; it always brought me to tears.  Give it a listen here.

When you pass through the water I will be with you,
And the waves they will not overtake you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
You are mine.
For I am the Lord Your God.
For I am the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I am the Lord. (women: Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear) 3x
I am the Lord.
When you pass through the fire you'll not be burned,
And the flames they will not consume you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name.
You are mine.


Why?  The LORD has redeemed you.  You belong to Him.  He called you by name.  He will protect you as you walk through the waters and fires of life.

BE FREE because you are no longer a slave to the law.  You know you don't control your own life ... Someone mightier and greater does!

I know it's not easy, some of our fears have been with us and owned us for so long, it will take a lot to release us from the bondage.  But God's people are transformed by the renewing of their minds to know His will.  Taking those thoughts captive and firing darts of truth at them (like the above words from Isaiah) will ultimately lead to their demise.

Christian, you no longer need to be defeated by your sin.

CONFESS your fears to the Lord; CONFESS that you don't believe He actually loves you and and cares for you; CONFESS that your pride keeps getting in the way of honoring Him properly. 
BELIEVE that He surrounds you and protects you;  BELIEVE that He wants you to share in His holiness and He will carry you through the process of rooting out these sinful fears;  BELIEVE that God loves you, beloved child, and forgives your sins.

He does.

And the Kingdom comes in our very on hearts when we repent and believe!

Because Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again we can look at our fears, admit that they find their origins in the sinful pride within, and talk with God (and fellow believers too!) about being changed.  Oh the cross, how it makes us come alive!

Open your heart up to the Lord this weekend.  Dump all of your junk on Him; He can handle it - in fact, He knows it's there already.  

Fear not, my friends.
Let's find freedom and life at the feet of Jesus!

1 comment:

  1. Heather, that song always makes me cry, too. I've always loved that one.
    Thanks for writing truth, friend.