Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Fear. This is the word that I have begun using as a God-led, self-diagnosis for everything that I do. It is remarkable to discover the extent in which that word motivates my daily actions. I had no idea…until the Holy Spirit had me pay attention. I am not necessarily talking about “obvious” fear. The kind that is so blatant that the demonic is not even bothering to disguise itself. It is the more under-the-surface fear that has a longer-lasting, more devastating effect…because I don’t even see its ugly face.
I think, simply put, that fear is the opposite of faith. Think about it? If we fear something, is it not simply because we are not trusting that God is who He says He is in that area of our lives? I really believe it to be that simple. We believe Him, or we believe the lie that makes us afraid.
This little self-diagnostic is quite simple. I ask a question. “Am I doing this/thinking this because I am in fear?” If we are really honest with ourselves, we always know when we are acting out of fear. God is very quick to reveal those hidden places. I guess we first need to ask ourselves just how honest we want to be?
If we are not paying attention, we can be doing the most natural things, and be operating in fear. In fact, we can be doing the most “spiritual” things…fearfully.
We can be praying in fear.
Every now and then I catch a glimpse of “a call to prayer” that has the feel of Lassie running into the town barking madly because Timmy has fallen into a well. Try as I might, I just can’t bring myself to imagine God in such a panic. Does He call us to pray? Of course He does. But I believe the self-diagnostic works just as well here. Is there a sense of fear in the call?
I am forced to think that something is “off” when the church is summoned to pray immediately or else some great evil will befall us. If it is the Father, then a summons to pray will always have his divine calm attached to it, even if the call is a serious one. That is just the way He works.
We are called to be people of prayer, but that prayer is to exemplify the intimacy he desires with us above all other things. In that place, He can direct us to pray to stop any calamity the devil can throw at us, and the spirit of the prayer will be entirely different. Resting in His peace, our prayers become powerful.