Random Blog Clay Feet: February 28, 2008
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sheild of Faith or Walls of Fear

As I start to read a book that has unknown and possibly questionable ideas in it, I analyze the reasoning going on inside me and question the assumptions used for my apprehension. I find some interesting things that I would have never questioned a few years ago.

I hear the voices from my past and my people warning me to not read anything that is not in strict harmony with the doctrines I have been taught from my youth. They say that it will be too easy for me to become deceived and then I won't have any ability to live in the truth any longer.

What I realize is that this kind of thinking effectively puts a padlock on my heart that is not necessarily from God. It may well be a counterfeit lock purporting to be a god who will protect me.

I turn in my spirit to God and ask Him to be my protector, my guide, my warning system. As I do so I begin to sense that God wants to use my connection to His Spirit to be the protection for my heart instead of the fear-based locks that have been used as my protection for so many years. I sense that in some way it is turning to a positive faith-based protection system instead of a negative fear-based protection system.

Fear produces stress, worry, apprehension and narrow-mindedness. Fear produces bigotry and condemnation and alienation. God has not given us a spirit of fear... Then why have we relied so heavily on it for so long to lead us to the truth or keep us in the truth?

I sense that if I turn to God and learn to trust His goodness and power to keep my mind from deception and guide me into all truth, then I will grow in genuine faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin. That includes fear.

So my mind continues to pepper me with questions from my past. If this is the right way to live and learn and grow, then what is it that potentially places me in real danger of being deceived? I have to acknowledge that deception is a very real possibility, to think otherwise would be the height of arrogance. I would agree. But if I am to shed my blanket of fear that has claimed to protect me for so long and if it is truly the counterfeit that it is being exposed to be, then I need to know what the true protection is and how I am to avail myself of it.

Maybe this is partially an issue of maturity. Maybe the immature are required to depend on a certain amount of fear to keep them out of trouble until they develop enough trust and a dynamic spirit connection with God to trust Him more fully to shield and guide them without the need for fear-based walls around the heart. This is right along the same line as what I have been learning in my intensive study of the book or Romans. This looks terrifying to the uninitiated but also looks unimaginably exciting to the one ready to move to the next level of grace.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand..... (Hebrews 11:1-3)

What I think I am starting to see is that I will either subscribe to the religion of fear that produces hardness of heart by building thick walls around it to protect myself and my identity or I will trust in the shield of faith that God is good enough to watch my back while I have the freedom to make mistakes and grow and learn while living under His protection. If I am God's child – and I am – then I need to trust His protection around my heart just like a little child would trust a loving parent to keep them safe while they indulge in relishing the joys of playing and learning and growing without inhibitions.

To the degree that I will not trust I will always fear. To the degree that I fear I do not trust. The two are mutually exclusive. Satan has filled religion with the leaven of fear and so distorted our view of God and His love and care for us that we have minuscule amounts of real faith and trust in Him. I believe that one of the most effective antidotes for this besides getting a much better picture of God in our minds is to discover the enormous amount of faith that God has in us. For faith awakens faith just as love awakens love. This is a powerful but mostly untapped resource of transformation for our life of faith.