I believe one of the biggest enemy of any Christian walk is fear. Our fears take many forms. Some of these fears we even spiritualize but when we are truly honest, we recognize these fears for what they really are. These fears hold as back from the greatness God has called us to.
The yoke that is ‘society’
One of the fears I see in my eyes and in eyes of many like me is that we are afraid to live; afraid to truly embrace life and just live. We have put on ourselves such constraints, such barriers, such yokes that we do not live.
Let me give you an example of how this fear looks like, how it works. The societal one is the easiest to describe. We have allowed the world, a world that probably does not even know and believe in God, to place such expectations over us. They expect us to be perfect, to be well groomed Christians, to have our lives together. When we are anything but this, when we struggle with life just as they do, stones are thrown! So we buy this lie and carry a yoke called ‘trying to prove them right’. A yoke that means we are afraid to make mistakes, a yoke that means we could easily live with our struggles yet look perfect.
I was reading the other day of the scandal of Michael Gugliemucci singer of Healer by Hillsongs. I love that song. It speaks of all the healing I need, mostly emotional healing. But to hear that this guy Michael was all along pretending to have cancer was very disheartening. Then I felt sorry for the guy. He had just fallen for the perfect life syndrome / yoke that many of us have. He probably pushed it to another level but I can bet the reason he did had to do with a fear. A fear of not meeting societal expectations; a fear of the societies reactions when they knew him the pastor struggled with pornography. Fear had driven him to such heights of deception.
I will let God down
The other form of fear is a fear to let God down. This is a fear that in loving your life, living life to the fullest you may fall back and let God down.
One of the scriptures that has spoken into me over this is: ‘it is for freedom we are saved”.
If salvation does not make us freer, if salvation does not make us truly free, then it is not salvation. The distinction between Christians and non-Christians must always be in the freedom we find in Christ. Salvation produces freedom, not fear.
I know the verse further talks about that in this freedom we should not live in the flesh and I strongly agree with this. However, if we are truly led by the Spirit of God then freedom should be ours. A freedom that’s seen in the full lives we live.
The singles dilemma
The other day I was thinking about whether to go for a blind date with a friend to a friend, yes thinking about it! And for a second there I was hesitant, why? Fear. I know the person who was hooking me up well and if they say I can date this person I sure can but fear and what ifs for a second flew all over my head.
Yes the singles fear is another fear I live and see with many of us. See many non-Christians have no qualm going out meeting this dude trying it out and seeing where it goes. However Christians it is another world all together. Dating is complicated! A friend of mine says that if you go for a Christians hang out, you are unlikely to leave having known any other person apart from the people u came with. What is that about? We are too afraid to let our guard down and interact with each other; and mark u this is a Christians hang out!
Let us not even talk about the fear to admit that we want to get married. A friend of mine told me the other day that they met with the hubby on facebook but they jealously guard how they met; why coz in the Christian circles this will be looked down at. Why again?
Life to the fullest
At the start of the year one of the things God really spoke to me about is this ‘I have come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest’.
You see life to the fullest never happens in fear. This kind of a life is not a half living life afraid of what others will think.
This is a promise for everything good. You see the world has deceived us that every good thing is outside the church. That it’s outside the church you will have the most fun; that it is outside the church we will live happily. The church has been missold as this boring place where life just does not happen; where people are uptight and stuck up. This is a fallacy; truth be told, every good thing is from the Lord. However, as Christians we have probably missold the faith.
We need to change that; the world should see the joy and happiness in the church, the joy and happiness in our Christian lives and desire that. That will only happen if we truly embrace the promises of the Lord and become less enslaved by fear.
You see in this fear we hold the Lord back. Sometimes I wonder if we were the Israelites would we have crossed the red sea or would we have remained on the other side of the sea for fear of the sea? You see faith and fear do not walk together. The Lord calls me and you to faith. To have confidence in His leading to let go off the reins and trust Him to lead us. To let Him be God, not just on the easier areas of our lives, but especially in the hardest areas of our lives. He calls us to live life to the fullest!
The new me (I hope)
So I have made a commitment, a commitment that I made at the start of the year that well I am not doing too well at but I will try all the more, I will live my life to the fullest. What does that mean?
Laugh until it hurts, dance like no one’s watching, play a part in making someone’s day a little bit better, live in a way that makes people wonder why you are always joyful. Visit the poor, give more; life to the fullest; ask more; love more and freely.
Love your spouse. Love that friend that sees your heart n loves it as is. Love that person who does not get you and probably never will. Love because you have a full life. Then laugh more. Laugh at yourself first, it frees you to laugh at others. Laugh at the small things of life. Laugh at the big things of life.
Then do that which you love to do. Write if you are like me and enjoy the gift as you do, and yes imperfect blogposts or even books are allowed. Travel if you also love to travel like I do. I pray I hear myself on this one more. Listen to the loud music only you gets. Draw and paint as you only can. Serve others, not for the well done comment, but for the joy to brings to your heart. If you are married, spend time with your hubby / wife. Heck take a week off to just hang out with your best friend. Make an effort, yes don wait for him to do all the planning, surprise him. Take your child out, buy them sweets (ok I don want you to live at the dentists) but you get it. If you are single, take a risk with that boy, yes that imperfect one who you are equally yoked. Be at the feet of Jesus, the One who knows you and calls u apple of His eyes. Be at the feet of the Lover of your soul.
Because when its all said and done, these are things that will matter. These are the things that will make your life full. Get rid of the excuses, dance to the rain.
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance (dance), I hope you dance (dance). I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance; Never settle for the path of least resistance; Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’; Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance; And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance
N no this is not an easy one for me either, but baby steps I start. Lord lead me. Lord fill me. Lord take away the fear, lets live this life, this beautiful life you’ve given me to the fullest. Lord I turn over my fears to you