“Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.” — Elisabeth Elliot
What a paralyzing effect to think that any part of my salvation depended on me! Other than choosing to accept God’s gift of salvation, I have no part in getting it or keeping it!
As a Christian, the sanctification process in me is His work - nothing of my power! Again, I only make the choice as to if I want to grow spiritually. Any growth in me is only by God's grace and power.
The roles allotted to me are not all on me. For many years due to voices speaking like this: If you don’t do this perfectly and show up 110% of the time with 150% zeal, you will be the cause of the demise of ministries and held responsible for the bad choices made by anyone you love. These words were expressed externally but grew to be so very loud internally even more so by my own heart.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" - II Corinthians 10:5
I falsely believed that the lives of everyone I loved was on my shoulders. Any failures would be the result of my inability to perform or produce more in Christian service, even though God gave every individual the gift of conscience and choice.
Though I have been given much responsibility in my lifetime, my part is to follow Jesus closely and learn of Him as I am doing the next thing. The way I believed and lived was not life-giving, and it is not how Jesus lived. He does not give the spirit of fear!
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." - II Timothy 1:7 KJV
It’s interesting how easy it is to believe we are so needed that God cannot bring about His purposes in our human need to rest or to take a sabbatical. Is God powerful to save, yet not mighty to perform His works if I am called to rest or truly need to take time for His healing of my heart? Does He want us to pretend we are such Christian specimens that we never need His intervention and treatment for heart pain - possibly surgery?
In His kindness, He reminds us that He knows we are but dust. He doesn’t ask us to neglect our relationship with Him or with others to do all the work. God doesn’t need me; He wants me!He delights in me! He pursues me! He still loves me!
For many adult years, I lived in shame and guilt for not doing enough for Him according to the assessment of others. My love for my dearest Savior was always in question. That’s deep stuff to process for so long. After all, I KNOW Who He is, what He has done for me, and I truly love Him with my being. Perfectly? No. Yet, HE knows my heart.
When you truly love someone, you don’t have to be pressured or manipulated to love them back.
It is a natural response to the One Who first loved us to love Him and want to be with Him and more like Him.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us." -I John 4:18-19 KJV
Recently, I had some traveling to do. Because I want people to know about the living God I love, I shared some Gospel literature with a few people. In times past, my trip would consist of imaginations that I didn't love God enough because I didn't make an announcement on the plane about Jesus or because I didn't speak to all the hundreds of people I passed rushing about... because of the engraved voices in my mind.
Letting the Holy Spirit guide me in whom I spoke to and in whom I gave Gospel literature to was freeing and beautiful. God again so clearly revealed to me the power of His Spirit in His timings, in His promptings, and in responses of the people I spoke with. There is no liberty of spirit in listening to voices other than His.
The outcome of those seeds planted or watered is only known by the Lord. It's not all dependent on me! Yes, I chose to follow the opportunity the Lord gave, but any good fruit is His work. I will not be clapped for or recognized as a top Christian servant, but my heart was so satisfied in pleasing my Lord by obedience to HIS voice on my individual path.
I thank God for His truth revealed to me, His amazing grace in my life, and His love that will carry me Home.