So much for having pigeon-holed God pretty well! And pigeon-holed is exactly the word. For so long I believed that God is a willing representative of my fears — always content to pander to their demands. But, all along I was disregarding the fear-less nature of His character. God does not work with fear. He can have no part with it. Where there is fear, there is no God.
Therefore, to go on with God, I am the one that needs to drop the fears and sin-born inhibitions, not Him. What He needs to do is exactly what He’s been doing all along — unmasking the disbelief I harbor behind the fear-lies crippling my heart. Fear disconnect my focus from who God is, forcing me to be more concerned with what I can do in the face of what I can’t control, than what He has already promised to do. I think because He has not dissolved or removed the things that I fear, that He is not able to care for me, but the truth is, to leave the fear within, for the sake of removing the catalyst without, is not love at all. Love, by its very definition casts out fear:
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
1 John 4:17-18
My brother said something to me tonight that I found very insightful — truth meeting me exactly where I am: “That is so conservative; and God doesn’t play conservative.” We were talking about how I decide what would be best for me, without letting God display the wonders of His heart and its ambitions on a far bigger field.
I think that if God is for me, He must be so much like me in all respects — great and small. But, really thinking about that makes me change my mind. How could I want God to be made in my image, respective of my interests, and limited to my depravity?
I really don’t know how good it is for me that God’s love is perfect! I see Him as binding, rather than completely liberating. But, if I will live by faith enough to hold Him to what He proclaims He is, then none of my objections apply. Ever.
And, do I truly want these belittling complaints, doubts and objections to determine what I know of anything in this life, anyway? If I don’t want it to diminish what I know of the good in life — and I know that God controls every bit of that good — shouldn’t I be willing to let it come to me in the form that is best in His eyes?
May I, without bitter complaining or empty petitioning, receive whatever He chooses to give me with gratefulness and humility. Knowing that in the worst, like the best, He can showcase the essence of His character in the way that would be the most beneficial for all who observe.