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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fear and Faith

Fear has been a continual companion in this life journey. It is a presence we all encounter, some in a greater way than others. I was thinking of the verse which talks about perfect love casting out fear. Only God has perfect love, so only God can cast out fear in a permanent way. The causes behind fear are punishment and loss, as well as pain. Sin is a breach of trust and relationship with God. *Missing the mark* is the textbook definition of sin. Nobody can hit the mark 100% except Jesus, which is why nothing anyone can do could ever add to His perfect salvation.

God judges sin, He has to as it is a violation of His holiness and pure perfection. My conscience is a constant accuser anytime I commit a sin, no matter the degree or size of it. Apart from Jesus my sin leaves me in a permanent state of guilt and shame. Jesus salvation gains me access to total forgiveness and freedom from punishment and guilt. The struggle is my wavering so much to internalize that in my deepest thoughts,beliefs and feelings. Especially when I engage in addictive behaviors or sins which are habitual. Fear kicks in and makes my whole inner world topsy-turvy. I truly get why sin is called mental illness because it really is psychotic. God is Love and our Creator who wants us to enjoy Him and all His Creation but we reject Him and want to be our own god. Even as believers we all fight this battle each day again and again.

My friend left me a comment talking about choosing faith over fear. How do you get to where you overcome your feelings which cause fear to collapse upon you like a hurricane and choose faith right then?? Why is it that fear and unbelief can commingle together to cause God to appear unreachable or unavailable?? Why do we want other things than God so often??? Why is choosing Him and His kingdom and His righteousness such a tough thing so often??? We are all human and have struggles, which are swept up by His love and grace. He knows how totally weak we are and yet He also asks us to choose Him and His ways, in spite of our brokenness. I see and feel a tension here. He asks us to do something that is virtually impossible for us to do, but still need to in some way anyhow. Paul says thanks be to God Jesus rescues us from this body of death!!!! Just how do we access the reality of that daily???


At 6:43 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Like the NIKE commercial says JUST DO IT.....and maybe....maybe that's when what we KNOW drops down from our HEADS to our HEARTS...He's THAT God and we know it oh I soooo desire to KNOW it. praying for you Roberto....just praying and in this with you.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger jennypo said...

Our struggles can seem so endless and so hopeless, especially when we hear that whisper, "You'll never be perfect anyway, you know..." But one thing we ought to remember is that if God brings up the subject of our sin, then it is something He wants to correct in us - otherwise there would be no reason for Him to bring it up. We will always struggle in this life, but not always in the same way. My own battles remind me, in a way, of a video game - I might feel like I am running around in circles, up against the same problem again and again, and when I finally get that problem beat, I still haven't won... but I do go up a level. And it's still just as hard as it was before, but I know a few more of the tricks. In the same way, the war with sin continues, but there is always an end to the battle.

How do we make it to the next level? The real struggle is to get to the place where we are willing to let God do it in us. WE can't overcome the kind of sin that has us trapped. We can only choose to let our Father do it. We can't choose when or how He will do it, but we can know that if we let Him, He will steadily, gently, and surely bring us to the place of letting go. He has overcome sin.

He doesn't go ripping and tearing through our lives, setting us free all at once but leaving us in shreds. He knows that sin has wound itself around many parts of our lives - parts that are US, and parts that are valuable to Him. All we have to do is choose to let Him do his work of extracting it, piece by piece. It may seem like it's taking forever, but little by little, He will win victories in us, and we will "go up a level", becoming more and more free.

Everytime sin is resisted, its hold over us is weakened. But let's face it- we've been sinning a long time, and it may take a while before we can feel the difference. Nevertheless, there IS a difference.

Robert, it's not up to you to overcome your fears. Keep bringing them to God. Keep choosing Him. Ask God for help to resist acting on them more and more. But He is the only one who can change you. And if he isn't doing it all at once, magic-style, then there is a reason. He knows that we have no power to DO, only to CHOOSE.

Don't be discouraged. He is not concerned with time - He is looking at the end. Our job is not to accomplish anything, but just to respond to Him; to allow Him to do His work in us. Our struggle is not to become, only to choose Him who is already all that we long to become. Take heart.

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Robert said...

becky- so with you friend!!! Just to KNOW I know He is always there and with loving open arms of grace!!!! Always keep journeying on

Jennypo- wow your words breathe such fresh air!!! I really like the video game analogy Sin really does get wrapped around us in so many ways doesn't it?? So good to realize only He can remove certain things and that He isn't rushing and demanding performance of a certain kind before He does His pruning if you ever care to email i would like it vewry much my friend!!


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