May 31, 2010

Free from worry, fear and doubt

Please sit down before you read this.  It will be such a great shock to you and I know you will have trouble believing it, but make sure to breathe.  Okay, so I want everyone to know that I am 100% human.  I am no super power or perfect being... I have faults and make mistakes.  I am often overcome with worry, fear and doubt.  Phew! I'm glad that's out! :D

Yes, I am human and I struggle with doubt and worry.  Do I need to?  NO!  Should I struggle with these things?  NO!  But I do and this radically free me is a journey and a growth process.  I have lots of learning and unlearning to do, and lots of facing myself in the mirror and telling myself the truth.  Then comes the slow growing and maturing process.  It will not happen overnight.  And so, I struggle and learn. 

I am reminded of Jacob who wrestled all night with the LORD until the morning started to dawn, not knowing it was God.  Jacob refused to let go of the man until he received a blessing.  So God touched him in the thigh so that it was out of joint.  Jacob received his blessing that night and a new name, Israel.  He realized that he had seen God face to face and had been wrestling with the Holy One.  It is obvious that Jacob never walked the same after that experience.  (You can read the text yourself in Genesis 32:24-32) This just reveals to me that the struggle, the wrestling, is not the problem.  It is succumbing to those things I struggle with, letting them gain control over me, that is the problem.  I become a slave to my own doubts, I let worry control my thoughts and actions.  I would much rather wrestle with God and have Him change my walk forever.

I wrestle with doubt, with trusting God completely, with worry about things I cannot control.  Do I want to be free from these weaknesses?  Of course I do!  But the bigger question is:  What am I doing to get free from worry, fear, doubt?  Well, honestly... not much!  You see, I know the many verses of scripture: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)  
"If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." (Matthew 21:21)
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:19)
There are so many verses and so many examples in the Bible that show how God will look after us, lead us, provide for us.  Yet, still I doubt.  I worry about things that I have no control over and I am robbed of peace and contentment.  Why?

I do not have a sure answer, other than the fact that I permit my imperfect, weak, selfish, human nature to control my spirit and emotions.  If I have given control to doubts, to selfishness, to fear, then obviously God is not in control of my life.  Not because He can't be, but because I don't permit Him to be!   So what is the remedy.... how do I get free from worry and doubt?  Quite simply, TRUST!

Trust the One who is the LORD of all, the Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, Lover of my soul.  If I but take Him at His word and trust my most faithful and truest Friend, I will be free of all worry, fear and doubt.  But again, it is a journey, a process.  It does not happen instantly.  I believe it is also a continuing exercise.  Just because I once trusted God before, does not mean I am trusting now.  It is a moment by moment yielding of my mind and heart to Him.  I may trust for His provision for this week, yet at the same time worry about the negative influences of school on my children.  Either God is GOD OF ALL or He is not God at all!!!  The problem is not with HIM, it is with ME. 

This, I believe, is the foundation of doubt and worry.  I grew up learning all the Bible stories of all the great "heroes of faith".  I read and believe all the things about God's love, provision, protection, care, miracles, redemption.... etc.  But the truth is, I don't truly believe that God cares that much for me in a personal way.  Therein is my downfall and slavery to worry.  I DOUBT the person of God and His love for ME!!!  I feel like I have to do something to merit His care.  I need to make myself into someone acceptable to Him before He will look after me.  So, the answer to freedom in this area would be to trust God.  Trust that He is who He says He is; trust that He will do what He says He will do; trust that He loves ME, as if I was the only person in all of creation, and that I matter dearly to Him!  God has not changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is I who needs to change.  I need to know and believe that my God is still able.

Am I radically free from worry, doubt and fear?  No.  But I am on the path to freedom, I am learning and growing daily in trust in my Abba, Father.  The verse that best describes this weakness in my life, and my heart's cry is "Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

Dear friend, I trust that you too will learn to believe that He cares for YOU!  Get radically free of worry, fear and doubt.  Rest in the arms of the Almighty!

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