Unlearning This Fear

Why am I so afraid?

Even if God wanted to bless me, I wouldn’t make it easy on him.

I always live like everything could be gone tomorrow.

My husband wants to buy a new truck. He needs a new truck. Could we afford it? I don’t know.

I don’t feel we’ve exhausted all of our options.

What does that look like?

We dump all kinds of money into an old beaten down vehicle only to find out there no hope to resuscitate it.

So I, for some reason, believe I have to dig hole before we even know if we have to start digging; a hole that we might not even have had to dig if we had just bought something in the first place.

It’s as if I don’t believe I deserve nice things and if I get them, I should be punished for them, not celebrating it.

This is so not Christ-like.

Christ, does not punish (Romans 8:1). He does no harm (Jeremiah 29:11). He provides for our needs (Philippians 4:19). He showers his children with love and blessings (1 Corinthians 2:19b).

Why is it so hard to accept a gift?

I am acutely aware that everything can suddenly turn south and we could lose everything. I know that everything he gives, he could also take away (Job 1:21).

But I don’t believe this is how he intended me to live. Not in fear.

Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! – Psalm 111:10

But…

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18

So what this tells me is, yes, everything we have we can lose, but he loves us still so much, that he would continue to provide for us.

This has been a ridiculously difficult post to write. It’s been even much harder to talk to my husband about. How can he possibly understand me?

If it wasn’t for my husband I would be living in rubbish.

He seems to be able to spend money on things that I don’t feel I deserve.

He has replaced our floors, built an additional bedroom to accommodate all our kids, remodeled our kitchen, painted almost every wall inside and out, replaced bathroom fixtures… I could go on and on.

If I was still single I can honestly say none of this would have happened.

My house would be in total shambles, but instead he has turned it into a modest palace.

This weekend has opened my eyes to just how much fear I live in. It is days like this were I feel my faith has been a huge sham. How can there be faith with so much fear?

It saddens me to know my children have been raised in my fear. I know this, because I too, was raised in the same fear.

Everything was just barely hung together. We were not a family of risk takers. If we were, I didn’t see it.

Let’s just play it safe. Don’t get our hopes up to high. If we don’t expect much, we won’t be left disappointed. If things go better than expected, well that’s a bonus.

This is not the ways of the Lord. This is not how he expected me to live. He has much bigger plans in store for his children. I am a daughter of a King!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

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 straight your paths. – Psalm 3:5-6

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. – Isaiah 58:11

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. – Psalm 32:8

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, – Ephesians 3:20

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:7-11

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38

You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:9-10

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12

Greater things than Jesus? One cannot do greater things than Jesus and still live in fear.

But this is the kind of life God intended me to live.

Lord, please forgive me for my fear. I know this is not from you and I desire to be released from it. I don’t wish myself or my children to be enslaved by it any longer. Please continue to show me my fear, and help us break this generational chain. May we rise into your glory and show our future generations the kind of life you intend for us to live. Ones that bring you praise. Ones that reflect your Son. Ones that reveal your love. May that be the generational chain that we pass on. In your Son’s name, Amen.

Do you see Jesus?

So I woke up this morning and thought…you just wrote a whole post completely exposing the fact that you are fear-based! I hate knowing I am fear-based!

Fear-based is making all your decisions based from your fear. Not your faith. Not that the outcome is bad, but the motivation behind it is.

Fear is not something from God. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18) and since God IS perfect love…well, I’m so disappointed in myself.

My post on, Let It Be Me, should have been about compassion, not fear. It should have been about love. Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:40

He was talking about when we feed the hungry, or clothe the poor. That, THAT should have been my motivation!

My son doesn’t need my fear. There is no God in fear. Fear is the absence of God, and my son needs my God, not my fear.

So I’m doing a Do-over! It’s my blog, I can do what I want.

Yes, I have a heart for the homeless. Yes, I am excited to be partnering with my friend in making sleeping mats, because Jesus said,

“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:31.

This is where I want my motivation to come from. In all things, I want my love, Christ’s love,  to be shown through me and onto others.

After the parable of The Good Samaritan Jesus asked, “Which of these would you say was a neighbor to the man?” and the man replied, “The one who showed mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

This, THIS is faith-based. You see, you could be doing it all right, and yet get it all wrong.

When people look at me I want them to see Jesus. I don’t want them to see I’m a nice person, because I’m not. No one is good. Only God is good.

When you see a nice person you see one of two things, fear or Jesus. I pray when you see me, you see Jesus.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2