Read His Words Before Ours!
Almost 5 years old. That’s generally when my kids start leaning in to their imaginations and letting fear have a hold on their young hearts. Shadows are spooky, dreams are scary, the dark is overwhelming, and frightful things are waiting for them under their beds.
But they do have an “out”. Run to Mommy and Daddy’s room.
They know compassion waits in our arms, even if we can’t make the nightmare end.
They know they are safe to tell us they are scared.
Security is found in knowing who they run to.
It twists our insides, making us shudder, forcing our eyes to quickly avert the scene in our mind’s eye.
I’ve lied because of fear.
I’ve pretended fear doesn’t affect me.
I’ve ignored people.
I’ve driven away the ones I love out of fear.
But nothing I’ve tried has healed my heart or offered me hope.
Like you, I know the insides of fear. I’ve lived in its shifting shadows and wished desperately for an escape.
I’ve feared the unknown.
I’ve feared for my changing marriage relationship.
I’ve feared for the life of my child.
I’ve feared my past.
I’ve feared the consequences of failing.
I’ve feared loss.
I’ve feared people.
I’ve feared the image of an angry God.
I’ve feared the truth.
Pause and let your heart draw it out. That fear. The one that you run from.
Whatever the name of your fear or the feelings it brings,
the grip of its claws sink into us all the same, enslaving us like heavy chains.
Fear pulls back the shades of our insides making us shiver with the exposure of our terror.
But God’s goodness is found even here because He designed that
everything in life,
would point us towards Himself.
He’s waiting in every breath, every tragedy, every heartbreak, every fear come true. Waiting with arms of compassion spread wide, beckoning you to go deeper with Him, to see His face more clearly, to know His heart more fully.
Fear is either the doorway through which we see and love Jesus more deeply or it’s the dark, back alley by which we run farther away from the intimacy He offers.
Choosing to walk through the doorway instead of running down that alley starts with something simple.
It’s not a feeling.
Not a sadistic look at our fear-filled circumstances and giving a “thumb’s-up-awesome.”
Rather, it’s a hunker-down here in the dirt of my fear, and choose to gaze unswervingly upon the face of the Jesus who loves us.
Because here’s the crazy thing about placing our affections and adorations on Jesus rather than our fears,
adoration frees us.
It doesn’t even start with something we are “thankful for” like water or air or another list of “blessings”. It’s rooted in God’s unchanging character.
You are the God of all comfort.
You are the God who sees me.
You are the God who has counted every hair on my head and knows where each strand lies.
Your love for me is boundless.
Your forgiveness is unsearchable.
You are a shelter.
You are the Deliverer.
You control the winds and the waves, the seasons, the tide, the universe and yet You know me.
You are the God who is intimate with details.
The honesty of bringing all fears before the God who sees all, knows all, and loves beyond comprehension gives us the freedom
to adore Him for who He is
because we know we are lavishly loved.
Adoration. It frees us from fear.
Sincere adoration isn’t something we can just conjure up though; it grows in the fertile soil of an intimate relationship. When we want any relationship to grow, we invest in it by getting to know that person.
We stalk their social media accounts, we join them in recreational activities, we talk to their friends, we make notes of what they like to drink and where they like to go for fun.
We study them.
The same is true in getting to know God. Sure, He sounds intimidating, as He should.
But deciding to make “studying Him” a priority will be an investment you will never regret, yielding unfading benefits both for this life and the next.
It’s reading His word deeply,
it’s getting to know other Christians authentically,
it’s being committed to a local church,
it’s worshipping whole-heartedly.
The more you know Him, the more you love Him.
The more you love Him, the more you trust Him.
The more you trust Him, the more quickly you run to Him with your fears.
And the less power your fears hold over you.
Study Him. Know Him. Adore Him.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!