Fear This

Lately I’ve been reading–okay, re-reading–Walking with God. Admittedly, I own most of the “main” books the Eldredges have written (for example, I own Wild at Heart, but I don’t have the workbook or any of the off-shoot books like Fathered by God, etc.). But they’re always a good read, so I enjoy re-reading them sometimes.

Last night I was reading a section about motives, and how even in our personalities we have hidden motives–defense mechanisms, if you will. It makes sense. Of course, it got me to thinking about what my chief hidden motive might be. For some reason, fear popped into my brain, immediately followed by a saying I had coined a few years back: “Fear and faith collide every day; where one is, the other can’t stay.” At the time I came up with it, I was proud of myself, because the saying was trite and cute, but also had some truth to it. Looking back, it was probably more trite than anything, but the truth of it is something I still remember. Subsequently, I remembered that as I had studied the armor of God a few years back, I realized that because faith is the shield, that’s why it’s vital that faith is strong. Weak faith–a weak shield–means that the arrows will go through much more easily, and you can be hurt all the more.

My faith has gotten a lot weaker than it used to be over the past few years, and it’s a huge regret of mine. Actually, to be honest, it’s one of my biggest regrets; I have cried myself to sleep before just comparing myself now to who I used to be. I’ve been praying for God to restore me to the person I used to be. So yeah, everything just seemed to click in that moment I had last night. If fear and self-defense/preservation are the ruling motive behind my actions and attitude, of course my faith will be weakened, because faith cannot exist where fear is a dominating presence. The fear will become too paralyzing for faith to have room to do its work of pushing us out of our comfort levels.

It’s going to be a long process, but I am starting the journey of breaking my lifelong agreement with fear. Who knows, maybe it will be the first step to getting me back to the powerful, praying woman I used to be a few years ago. It just seemed like something worth blogging about. As Erwin McManus said on today’s podcast, “You can’t offer somebody else life if you don’t have it yourself.”

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