A woman in a very strained marriage once shared with me an important insight she had unpacked. For years she had been in an emotionally abusive relationship. Although she had grown to fear her husband, she also feared losing him. The idea of surrendering her hopes and dreams for her family was, understandably, so overwhelming that she had become stuck and unable to make decisions or take steps that God wanted her to make.
Then God prompted her with a newsflash: “You are more afraid of man and your circumstances than you are of ME.” It was as if God was asking, “How much do you really trust me? How much do you even KNOW me? Do you believe that obeying me will be worth surrendering every other fear? ”
I appreciated her humble, teachable spirit. In such extreme circumstances of suffering, it can be very tempting to justify our own comfortable and preferable strategies.
Her perspective challenged me to consider what I fear. Do my worldly concerns exceed my concern for walking according to God’s best for me?
- Am I so afraid of having children who like me…that I fail to provide them with godly discipline and boundaries?
- Am I so afraid of being able to pay bills…that I dwell on anxious thoughts and chase man’s wisdom without waiting on the Lord for answers and trusting Him to provide?
- Am I so afraid that things won’t turn out the way I want them to…that I fail to consider that there will be holy consequences for my rebellion?
- Am I so afraid of being misunderstood or rejected…that I try to keep others satisfied rather than being who God made me to be?
- Am I so afraid of what establishing boundaries might cost…that I am unwilling to trust how God may use them for healing in my relationships?
- Am I so afraid that following God will rob me of “fun”…that I am willing to cheapen His grace for me by taking advantage of the fact that He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love?
- Am I so afraid of the “what ifs”…that I fail to walk in faith and risk offending God?
My list could go on and on.
My heart is divided. I waffle my way through so much of life weighing every command of the Lord like a cost-benefit analysis. I want an undivided heart! I want the Lord to be able to depend on me as someone whose obedience to His ways is swift and unwavering.
“Here I am, send me!”
HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY TRUST HIM?
PSALM 86:11 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.