There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear....I John 4:18
This verse is so simple and so basic. And so easy to believe, right? I have talked to many women on the subject of fear in the christian walk. I have personally struggled with the stronghold of fear and anxiety in my life. I was quite surprised how much we women worry! I mean, I guess isolation is also part of Satan's plan (duh!) because here I thought I must be the only one.
I didn't realize that so many of us choose to believe a lie over the truth.
I wish that I could write a glowing story of my faith in Christ during the deepest crisis of belief that I went through. I wish I could be like other women who I have heard speak tell of how during their deepest, darkest times they turned to Christ faithfully during their time of need, trusting him fully.
Yeah, I really wish I could say that. But I can't. I chose to believe a lie. I chose fear over love.
I am thankful for friends who loved me, who prayed for me and friends who walked with me through that dark valley. I am thankful that I came through to the other side, repentant and surrendered and free.
But man, I wish I had a better story to tell. It is very humbling to have to say out loud that you believed a lie. Faith and fear really cannot coexist. And for over a year, I thought they could.
The minute I chose Christ, however, the lie was obliterated. And the thing is, He was there the whole time, waiting, lovingly, patiently and mericfully, for me to return to Him; to not believe a lie. And he accepted me with open arms, with no condemnation.
You see, it wasn't as if I had really "forsaken" God. I mean, i was still in church, went to bible study, attempted to pray and read the bible. I allowed Satan to convince me that I had every right to feel the way I did. I was still playing along in the game. This is where I think he has a lot of strong, Christian women. Women caught up in fear of things that we think should be okay. We are still okay.
But you either believe a lie or you believe the truth. For me, I thought I was okay and that my relationship with Christ was okay. He understood where I was. And He did, but what I did was reject His love. I rejected truth. All the while I didn't trust God with my pain and hurt. It really wasn't about the fear, the lie. It was about fearing God. For me, I thought it was about my pain and hurt and how I couldn't really trust God.
See, you can replace whatever it is you are held in fear about and hold it up to the light and say out loud....what I am really saying, Lord, is that I fear you. Yes, you heard me right. You are holding onto something that isn't yours anyway. I feared that my children and my husband's safety was in constant danger. Irrational? Yes. Did I believe it. Yes. Did I want to? Not really, but because I had put my faith in Christ and was a believer in him, Satan had to do whatever he could to immobilize me. Make me useless. And he used my concept of God, my perception of Him, to do that. Even though I said I feared death, what i was really saying was, "God, I fear what you are going to do to me". I chose a lie.
So what do you believe about God?
Our concept of God shapes how much we trust him. Because when we worry and fret and have anxiety and fears over something that god has control over (which is everything, by the way), it's like we are saying He isn't enough. He is too small. He is limited. He is somehow bound by our human limits.
The God of the universe. The creator of the heavens and the earth. The giver of LIFE itself. I mean, think about it for a minute. The more you dwell on God and hang out with him and His beauty and majesty, His righteousness and justice and His mercy and grace the more you are compelled to believe Him. the more you remember the Lord your God and Who He is, the great I AM. You trust those very hands that have given you life.
I kind of felt like Job, near the end of his story, and how the Lord prompted Job to show Him who the creator was, who held everything in His hands. who else out there is able to do this...please, Job, show him to me. "will the one who contends with the almighty correct him?" the Lord asks Job in Job 40:2
Job's response in chapter 42 is my response to the Lord, even this day. Every day.
"I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted....surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know....therefore, I repent. Job 42:2-6. Job wasn't repenting for committing secret sins. He was repenting for questioning God's sovereignty and justice. He repented for his attitude toward God. Then the Lord restored Job above and beyond what he had before.
Why would God do that? Because he is GOD. We have humanized our God so much that we have made him very small, bound, and limited. God did this for Job (and me and you) because he LOVES you. Because He loves me. And NOTHING can separate me from that love. Even my unbelief and unfaithfulness. He forgives. He heals. He is perfect love. The only way we are able to love him is through Him loving us. The very capacity to love is from him. Do we believe that? Or do we believe a lie?
It's your choice. I hope by sharing my story someone can avoid the regrets of believing a lie.
Choose the truth. Choose Christ. Choose love. He is right there. He has never left your side. His arms are open wide. He is holy. He is just. His love is perfect, whole, trustworthy and pure. And He would love nothing more than to heal your hurts and ease your pain. Whatever your story.
"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in FULL ASSURANCE of faith.” Hebrews 10:21-22 (emphasis mine)