Tag Archives: fear

Daffy Duck Mouth

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Luke 14:11 states: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” I can’t help but think of all the “duck lips” and selfies and derrieres I’ve seen within the past couple weeks or maybe years. People are proud. Proud of what? Their face? Their booty? A certain amount of self-confidence and a healthy dose of self-esteem is appropriate, sure. But I have to wonder: What are we constantly seeking? Approval? Compliments? Someone to notice how worthy we are of attention? As a whole, I think we are placing priority not on the God Who made us, but us.

I don’t want to exalt those who shouldn’t be, namely me. Anything I do is only because God allows me to do it. I have no talents that He hasn’t given me and until I have prayed about a situation, my ideas are limited at best. It’s not easy to live in this world and be set apart from it simultaneously. We were called to be renewed and transformed by the Word of God and some (I dare not say “most” for fear of my stomach turning) don’t even know what it says because the only time they open their Bible is on Sunday mornings, if they didn’t forget it at home. Ouch. That one stung me just a little bit, too.

It’s for that reason that for the next 30 days, I will be carrying a Bible with me. Anywhere I go, the Word of God will be readily available and at my fingertips, much like the smartphone I’m tired of eyeballing. I’ve come to a place where I need more God. More peace. More wisdom. More of anything He’s offering. “God30” begins tomorrow and I look forward to the insights I expect to receive. My priorities must shift. Instead of studying the “art of myself” and how to take the perfect selfie with ideal lighting in the greatest of angles, I’ll study anything the Creator Himself wants to point out each day. I can practice my Daffy Duck mouth another day.

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The Secure Fortress

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The “fear of God” has always been an idea that hasn’t “set well” with me. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me think, God, how are people supposed to feel comfy with you if you want them to be afraid of you too? In my busy lil’ head, I picture the individuals who have a problem with authority anyway, bucking at the very thought of bowing low to a God who wishes to be feared. I realize this is pride, not only within myself, but also within others as well. (We better stick together on this one…) Do you know what I mean? I catch myself in the shoes of an unbeliever a lot of times when sitting in services or worshipping and always have. I honestly believe it has a lot to do with my compassionate nature. I took a test once that showed my number one gift was hospitality. The last thing I would ever want is for someone to feel left out or alone. (And if anyone is ever uncomfortable in my home, Lord help me! I’ll make it right, I swear! Just gimme a chance!) This, of course, borders on unhealthy people-pleasing, but that’s another day’s therapy session.

In my ponderings, I think back to my own dad. He taught me more life lessons than he could ever know without even trying. Although I know he tried as he is very educated in human nature. I knew he loved me; that was never in question. Not once. I always knew he wanted what was best for me despite some of my decisions. He showed his love for me in numerous ways: from feeding me to clothing me to smacking me across the face once. (Oh, I deserved it, you can place your money on that.)Did anyone cringe? Because I still do. Not because it hurt, but because of the look in my dad’s eyes. It was one of hurt determination.  All I remember about that moment was that I had disrespected him and my mother. Eek. That doesn’t set well with me either…to this day.

Proverbs 14:26-27 lets us know that he who fears the Lord has a secure fortress (Can I get an Amen? I need that!) and for his children it will be a refuge.( I’ll take that too.) It also states that the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. (Can I get another Amen? Who doesn’t want more life in their lives?) I had a healthy, reverent fear for my father. I knew that he meant what he said and his reasons for saying so. I knew he loved me without abandon. I also knew that he wouldn’t tolerate disrespect in any way, shape, or form. I had a fear of my father, but not in the way one might think. This fear was about respect, reverence, and honoring his wishes.

God wants the same thing from us. Galatians 6:7 warns us that God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow. I am thankful for a dad who was always seemed to be more than “just a dad”; he was a teacher as well, through both words, but more so through his actions. I am so thankful I had a father  who taught me solid, Biblical principles.

Too Scared to Kneel

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As I was driving the other day, I thought about how God gives us power to do great things. Huh. Great things. What kind of great things are we doing? The other day I congratulated myself for putting something green on my kids’ plate (and they ate it!). By comparison and contrast to, oh say, Mother Theresa, that is not such a great thing. I wonder if she ever had those days when she felt like throwing in the towel, screaming “FORGET IT!” and putting her feet up, demanding they be rubbed.

Great things.

Our world views great things differently than I do. But what if we looked into the eyes of the individual on the hypothetical street and prayed? Is that a great thing? Not to the world as we know it, but do you think it is in the eyes of the One Who created that individual? What if we took that step, you know the one out of that comfy zone, and said, I am not gonna be bullied by anyone, not even the thoughts in my own head? Could we do it? Could we make a difference in the way we see others and their problems? God promises us throughout the Bible to hear and answer us. Why would we be afraid to pray?

Are we afraid that the person we pray for won’t feel anything? That their situation won’t change? Has your situation ever stayed the same after a man or woman of faith prayed for you? I know mine hasn’t. It might not have been immediate, but it changed. Drastically. God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus can do that.

So what are we afraid of? What they’ll think? God’s judgment and disappointment in me has to be more detrimental than anything Jennifer or Sally or Bob or Justin think. (You’ve always got to include a “Sally”…I don’t know why.)

Are we afraid for our safety? That a weapon may be involved if we stop and pray for a stranger? Wouldn’t that be the way to go? God has established protective custody.

Are we scared of looking the demon right in the eye? (Yeah, I said it. There are demons in people. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Have you ever seen the eyes of criminals on the news? If that isn’t pure evil, I don’t know what is.)

I think these fears could be squashed with better-developed trust and faith. If God asks you to get out of your comfy air-conditioned vehicle to pray for the dirty, sad-eyed veteran who may or may not have PTSD, will He protect you? That’s trust.

If you are called to share your testimony with a coworker, can you do it without stressing that your job will be there for you tomorrow? That’s faith.

Can you love the man in the department store who is…shhhh…gay? YES! You can! God does.

God can’t leave us stranded. He doesn’t change. Did Jonah get digested by the whale? Did Moses get bit by his staff and die? Was Daniel a main course? Was Ruth killed for her boldness? No! God doesn’t change. He had their backs and He has ours. Go do something great today!