Comments are off for this post

Tuesday Thoughts 10-2-18

Fear is a liar!  That’s not only a true statement, but also an awesome song by Zach Williams (look it up on YouTube).  For instance, I was lying in bed at Men’s Retreat last week, listening to the rain on the metal roof, and reviewing the plans to go kayaking in the morning.  We had been told tales of a near-drowning last year and the river just outside the cabin ran strong and cold.  The forecast was a chilly one, and on top of that, I had never kayaked on any river, much less a cold, fast, and tree-choked one.  On the other hand, I had kayaked on lakes over two years of owning one, and I had canoed too many times to count, beginning at about age 8, including two winter trips of near zero temperatures lasting for 6 hours each.  Yet there I was in the dark, fighting a surprisingly strong fear of drowning at retreat!  I was still waffling about going while driving to the launching point of the trip.  What a lie I had been hearing.  Now, after a highly enjoyable experience on the Pigeon River, I can hardly wait to do it again!  I’m not trying to make a blanket statement that all fears are bad.  There are healthy fears that keep us from harm.  No, I’m talking about those irrational (yes, they are) fears that keep us from doing good, and right (even if difficult) things.  So how can we tell the difference?  It all starts by being confident in the value and the rightness of the thing we’re about to do.  Anything worth doing contains risks, variables, and surprises, but when we’re sure of the goal we can power through the challenges.  We would never get in the car, turn on the stove, or step foot outside our door if we bowed to what might happen instead of heading toward the expected outcome.  Our walk with Jesus has the same dynamics.  We are called to place our faith in Christ, which carries along with it a new perspective and principles by which we can (and should) discern attitudes and actions that are pleasing to him (and those that aren’t).  When we make choices based on the character of God, all of his resources are available to power through the lying fears.  But when we live according to our own perspectives, choosing actions and nursing attitudes of our own design, we’re vulnerable to the gnawing, anxious whispers of failure and harm that comes from the mouth of the enemy.  What fears are pressing in around you today?  Trace them back to the choice those fears are attacking.  If it was not in harmony with Jesus (would he have made that choice?), confess and choose differently.  If it was, be confident, and keep going! The One who died for you will also accompany you through, around, or over any of those fears that start to swarm.  Here’s how the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews puts it, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 10:35–11:1 (NIV84)

Comments are closed.