Good morning all-
As I told you in my last post, I am reading a great book on relationships. It is revolutionizing the way I look at myself and those around me. I even caught myself being upset yesterday in my work life and diagnosed that I was feeling disconnected and it brought on feelings of insecurity and withdrawal. Fear causes us to do all kinds of things. When I was younger, I feared people not liking me and as I grew older I fear for my future. With each year of my life, as I have really pondered my relationships, I have always feared something. Some would say that the fear inside me has propelled me to success but after contemplating fear in my relationships, I also realize it has been very destructive.
What are we to fear? Scripture says it all, we are to fear God. But does that mean we sit around and wait for the punishment or is His fear really a reverence or respect for who He is and what He has done for us? I'm not God but I believe we are to fear Him with reverence and respect. Fear is subjective and many feel fear. Some fear that they aren't good enough, others fear punishment for sins and others suffer fear of heights, planes, automobiles and germs. We have all kinds of fears and I'm not trying to make light of them. My greatest fear is losing people I love suddenly. I fight it every day of my life and it's probably why I can disconnect so easily. I don't want to feel the sadness so I prepare for the loss. How does that help in my relationship building? Well, it doesn't. It keeps me from having deep, God inspired relationships and it even sometimes holds me back from the relationship Christ wants with me.
If I fear messing up, then I'm not looking at growing in love and respect with Christ. I'm focused on my fear of staying in the lines so that I'm perfect in His eyes. However, I'm not perfect and maybe that is my greatest fear. Someone wrote yesterday that it is in his weakness that he was able to see how much he needed Christ. Isn't that true. When we feel strong, we feel invincible but when we are weak we know that only God can help us. I look on this and wonder, "Why does God wish to be in relationship with people that fear life over Him?" Great question, right? That very thing has been on my mind since I started reading The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley.
We are the sum of our circumstances and those circumstances build fear. Don't you remember being a small child and being afraid of monsters? Even as I got older, I would look under my bed and in the closet before I turned off the lights. Later, I feared death or people being murdered. Because of this fear, I have never watched a scary movie but if a program comes on about forensic medicine and finding the killer; I'll watch it every time. Our fears are irrational and yet they become part of our DNA from a small age. I know that my fear has guided me many times when I should have asked Jesus to take my fear away, give me Holy fear and keep me in His arms, rather than the darkness of my mind. And yet, with all this knowledge, I still fear losing people and not being enough personally or professionally. What a mess?
Yes, I am a mess but I'm a healthy mess. I work on looking in the mirror every day and asking Christ to refine me and mold me. I know that I have fear and I continue to work toward asking Him to remove the fears of this life and provide me with a dose of Holy fear. Loving Him more than myself means I must be vulnerable and willing to work on me and only me. I could play the blame game about my life and my choices but where is that going to go, nowhere. Analyzing my fears and weaknesses gives me more reasons to go to my Father and ask for His help. I may always have fear and so may you but with time, my prayer will be that the fear that is not of God will be replaced with wisdom, understanding and the love of Christ. These things are what can propel us to success in life and within our relationships, not the fear of failure or incompetence.
If your struggling with fear, get on your knees and look in the mirror. Our lives are but a moment but with every breath we have the choice to choose Jesus over our darkest fears. I have to capture my thoughts every day when it comes to the health and welfare of my husband and sons. Tomorrow will come but today I can handle my fears with prayer and the power of the cross. I have authority over the darkness and so do you. If you are struggling with fears that are making you drown, please talk to a friend, your spouse or pastor. You may need someone to walk with you. Don't be ashamed of your fears, face them and find the freedom that only Jesus can provide!
The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. (Psalm 25:14 NIV)
He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord. In every case that comes before you from your people who live in the cities—whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or regulations—you are to warn them not to sin against the Lord; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your people. Do this, and you will not sin. “Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter concerning the Lord, and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will be over you in any matter concerning the king, and the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act with courage, and may the Lord be with those who do well.” (2 Chronicles 19:9-11 NIV)
Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. (Malachi 3:16 NIV)
My prayer today:
O, Lord, we all come to You with our fears and our petitions. Right this moment people are fearing the unknown, germs, life and more. Only You are the all knowing Omnipotent one! We are vessels trying to find our way in this great journey. Help us as we adventure into the unkown. You are more than enough for us. Replace our fears with Your word, Your sword and Your glory. We need to be closer to You so that we will have a Holy fear for a Father that has given all. We are one body in Christ coming to you as weak beings. We desire relationships but we fear being crushed by them. Give us the strength to move forward in our fears and to see You in all circumstances. Grow us like the vine, pruning and making us a great and strong vine while bearing much fruit. We look forward to today and You washing our fears white as snow. Be with us today, unite each nation and help women everywhere to see You more than their fears. In Jesus name, AMEN