This is a confession.
Seems I’ve been doing this a lot lately, and the truth is, it is freeing.
I know that I am not alone on this one because I see it all over the internet and even on people’s faces.
The eclipse. Hurricanes of historic proportions. The wildfires in the west. The earthquake in Mexico, and major earthquakes predicted for the United States.
People prophesying about the end times are using these events to point to an imminent conclusion of the world as we know it. Not just crazy, modern-day doomsday prophets, but conservative Christian leaders that are willing to publicly confess that they believe we are living in the “last days”. Prophecies that contend that it will happen very soon–even narrowing it down to months and weeks.
The anxiety that we feel as believers is not a fear of the unknown– it is a legitimate fear for those that will be left behind. Those we love and care about–some that we have shared the gospel with but they refused to listen– and those that we will regret not speaking to.
And that causes us to lose focus on WHO.IS.IN.CONTROL.
Well, it’s not me. And it’s not you.
It is a powerful, all-knowing, compassionate, yet HOLY God who sees this world from a perspective that we can never fully understand. He sees what we can’t. He knows what we don’t, and He understands things that we will not understand until we are in eternity.
This lack of control is, for some, the biggest fear of all. We want to feel like we “have it all together.” We put on a brave front and live like tomorrow is a given.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15
I watched videos on You Tube. I searched diligently for a trustworthy opinion on this subject. I walked into our office and stared at the bookshelf, just waiting and watching for something to “call out” to me…
And it was in a very distinct moment of searching for an author that I trusted, that God quietly reminded me.
He is the One I am looking for.
Of course! I was reading Daniel and Revelation and all of the gospel passages relating to His return, but reading them was not enough. I know, you’re thinking, “What in the world is she saying?” “The Bible isn’t enough?” Filling my mind with facts never replaces fellowship with God. Other peoples opinions never satisfied. I needed His Word, yes, but even more than that, I needed His presence.
I needed His perspective. His peace. His promise. His Spirit.
He reminded me that this book we call The Bible is a complete package. You cannot look just to the Old Testament, nor to the New. You must see everything in its totality. Much like the eclipse, we tend to illuminate only part of the whole–and everything gets out of whack.
Including our perspective.
“You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in you.” Isaiah 26:3
My fear was showing a lack of trust, and He reminded me to stop looking elsewhere and get back in His Word, and lay it all at His feet.
“Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
Do I really believe that God loves those people more than I do? Of course.
He reminded me right then and there that it was only a few weeks ago that some of my family members had heard the gospel (possibly for the first time) at an aunt’s funeral. Most of them had never heard my husband preach, (thought we both had shared the gospel with many of them personally), but that day–they heard very clearly what they needed to do to be saved. In those moments, the gravity of death and eternal life became very real. Believe you me, I was praying throughout the whole ceremony.
Do I really believe that God answers prayer? Absolutely.
Then the course of action was clear: Keep praying. Keep asking. Keep believing.
This is a spiritual battle, and spending time in God’s presence prepares us for the battle.
Calling out to Him in prayer relieves you of this burden of fear. When you get in His presence, confess your fear and dare utter these words:
“Thy will be done”.
When you choose to trust Him, your perspective changes. For me, it was a renewed passion to do whatever He asks–even if it’s hard. Instead of walking around in fear, I am asking God to let me see others from His perspective. You see, it’s not up to me to save people, but if I am willing to step out of my comfort zone when necessary, I can share truth with them. I can choose to love those He places in my path.
The burden of fear has been lifted, for now, and in its place God has given me peace. I see these events as a reminder that life is short. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, but today–this day–is a gift. Let’s not waste it!
When did you stop expecting God to do great things?
Where is your fear coming from?
What benefit is there in fear, unless it is to call us to greater faith?
“Through Him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21
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