Originally published Friday, 18 December 2015.
What is most effective thing at stopping someone?
It makes you sleepless and hurried and doubting and fretting.
It makes you freeze like a statue of uncertainty in the face of family issues.
It makes you lash out at those you love because of how they're treating you.
It makes you avoid truth, because you can't handle facing it.
It makes you not want to leave your house, breaking at the thought of happenstance situations.
It makes you turn from the face of God towards the face of your man-made solutions.
It makes you run ineffective circles to try to calm and fix yourself.
It makes you quiet when you know you should be speaking out.
It makes you grab on to those you love in unhealthy ways.
It makes you a worrier, an anxiety ball and a mangled line of hooks that hurt.
It makes you a spectator and not an promoter of Christ Jesus.
It makes you forget God and remember self.
It makes you takes your "this little light of mine" - and hide it under a bushel.
Have you ever considered?
Perhaps fear is the exact place the enemy wants you to be.
For then, you won't see God. You will miss him only to see the shape of dark clouds taking form over your head. You'll see them move, like a harbinger of all you don't want to happen, they'll consume your eyes with the possibilities and then divert them from the one moving them all along. Suddenly, you become so fixated on colors of dark and shadows of gray, you become certain you are alone, unprepared and ready to be drenched.
Yet, all this while, what you did not realize, is that the Lord, with his clouds and his movement, was creating a dramatic masterpiece in this sky. Perhaps, he was just showing his ownership of everything below it. Perhaps, he was showing his ability to water the world, not to ruin it. To create new seeds, not to demolish them.
What will we see? How will we see it?
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. Lu. 1:30
Truth is - you can't follow fear - and the Lord - with the same fervency.
You can't be a shiner and a hider.
A complainer and a worshiper.
A victor and a cowerer.
A force and a fort of self-protection.
You will either be thrilled by God
or thrilled into shock of all that surrounds you.
You will either walk on water, keeping your eyes steadfast,
or you will sink fast into the waters around you.
You will either walk by faith, and not by sight
or your sight will become marred, mangled and, ultimately, blind.
You will either be determined, diligent and dedicated to the race or you will fall on the sidelines.
Small choices make all the difference.
Think Judas. This disciple took his own life.
Think David. He fell right into adultery.
Think of Lot's wife. She looked back towards sin, and became a pillar of salt.
Fear makes a whole lot of people do a whole lot of things they never wish they did -
but still, they did.
We have a decision to make.
Will we move nowhere in fear, or will we move somewhere - even towards the face of God - in spite of it?
Is this too intense for you? Maybe this is the point, intense is what we need. Intense is what we crave. Intense is what we have to be to fight back intense.
Intense times call for intense measures.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Rev. 3:15-16
Never let your mind forget: God is not a fan "I fall somewhere in the middle."
He is a fan of small movement towards something different, of small beginnings, of pivots...and he is a tremendous fan of you ...
A big fan.
A huge fan.
A fan that he wants watching his game.
The game of encouragement, hope and life.
The game that will rise you out of your seat and make you chant his name.
That is the game that counts - the one to watch.
The one where its fans get a little roudy - on his behalf.
The one that never ends.
The one that looks bad, but ends well.
If you watch this star, you are sure going to win.
You are sure going to make strides.
You are sure going to do his will.
You are sure going to find hope.
You are sure going to be sure.
You are sure to be equipped.
You are sure to be carried through.
You are sure to get all you need.
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." Mt. 2:2
The star in the East.
It hits us.
Dropping us first to our knees.
In submission to the magnitude
of the force that is forcing nature to move.
Then it raises us up in worship,
it beckons us to look high,
to notice what is high,
to take notice of our lows,
and to thank God for this glow.
Our hearts are compelled to worship,
and worship him we do,
then our feet move to follow.
They follow to the place,
a place we don't know,
but he does,
and that is all that matters,
for he is there,
the beating love of Jesus.
And he waits for our will to want him,
for then we can
breathe it in
and consume every part of goodness.
We can inhale love
and exhale grace.
And when we do,
nothing is ever the same again.
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