Random Blog Clay Feet: March 29, 2008
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Trusting in Fear

This is a collection of a number of thoughts I have had over the last few hours. I woke up at 2:30 this morning wide awake and decided that it must be an invitation to meditate and commune with God. The effect of my varied thoughts was fitting many of the pieces together that I have been learning lately into cooperating with the way God does things in stark contrast to how we usually perceive that He does things.

We are addicted to coercion and force. God never uses these things. That is very baffling to us and almost incomprehensible. But it is essential to accept this truth if we are to become free of the roots of bitterness.

My thoughts had been stirred up last night by reading an email from a person who I believe to be very close to God and living a life of faith. I was a little surprised to find that he was utilizing the teachings of another person who, upon investigation into his web site, is promoting some of the favorite topics used by radical, right-wing conservatives to induce fear in people. I was disappointed because, even though I believe in the importance of relaying warnings from God, I don't believe that reinforcing those warnings with larger and larger doses of fear is God's desire. It is mixing in ingredients from the enemy of God that dilutes the real truth about God.

It is far too easy to indulge in fault-finding instead of God-finding. Something I remember James Rafferty saying long ago comes back to my mind. We will never bring about the fall of Babylon by pointing out everything that is wrong with it. Babylon will collapse of itself when the real truth about God is revealed in all its glory. Then the deceptions and errors of Babylon will simply be revealed naturally in the light of the real truth about God and no one will be able to camouflage their lies any longer.

I know that it is very hard for me to shift my own paradigms from what is so familiar and is constantly reinforced by many around me to viewing things the way heaven processes them. But I also am confident that the song I am being taught in the dark, like the bird being instructed over and over with a certain whistle in the covered cage, I will be able to sing with confidence and harmony once the cover is removed and I am placed into position with many others who may presently being taught their own parts in the dark. I do feel somewhat isolated from the cacophony of opinions and arguments going on in the religious world right now and I consider that a wonderful blessing. I don't want those distractions to slow down the personal mentoring and paradigm realignment that needs to continue in my own heart and mind. I have enough distractions in my own small world right now that keep me occupied learning to resist them.

I need to keep my primary attention focused on learning God's ways more thoroughly right now. They are so different than what I am used to that it takes a long time for them to become more clear to me and settle deeper down into my subconsciousness where they can influence my reactions to circumstances.

God's ways are far more natural and consequence-based than man's ways. But grace is always present to prevent many consequences or we would not have opportunity to learn and grow.

A thought that came to me in the shower was about a possible 7-layer sequence of good-news, bad-news events in the history of the Great Controversy. Since seven is a perfect number it can denote the perfection of either good or evil depending on what assumption you start with. If you start out believing in the innate goodness of God and then cycle through the switch seven times you will end up with the last news being very good. If you start with the assumptions that there is a dark side to God or there are flaws in His governance like Lucifer inferred, then you will end up with bad news at the end and it will be very bad. There are many questions raised in the meantime but the most important thing to know is that what you start with is what will be perfected in the end.

I want all fear to be eliminated from my life, my conversation, my writing, and my thinking. God has not given us a spirit of fear and so it always must come from another source. I don't want any contaminating spirits from any other source infecting my mind with roots of bitterness. I already have far too many to dig up already.

I am still thinking about the effect on the spirit that dwelling on all the potential disasters coming soon has on us. I am not advocating living in ignorance about what is really going on in the world. But I believe there is a subtle deception that we are not aware of in somehow believing that if we just have the knowledge of what is going on in the darkness behind the scenes - like what the pope is up to, all the details of the latest conspiracies, what the government is about to spring on us, etc. – that somehow this knowledge will somehow empower us to escape. That is utter nonsense when flushed out into the light but why does it maintain such powerful influence over so many people? The solutions offered by most people who are promoting these inside scoops are even more absurd in light of the overwhelming power behind the forces preparing these disasters.

I am sensing more and more that the answers are fatally flawed because they depend on elements only found in that same view of reality. The fundamental assumptions that we hold about how relationships work in this world and what is real power derail us from discovering the only real way of escape offered by God. If we believe that God is going to use the tools of the enemy to fight the enemy we are already heading down the wrong road to finding an effective solution.

Babylon is all about force and deception and fear. If we employ those same tools in our explanations of God's plans for these times just ahead of us, we are contaminating and polluting the true nature of His ways and His character. We confuse ourselves about what is really going on and the true nature of the controversy. Man's ways are not God's ways – when are we ever going to believe that? God's ways are so radically different than what we extrapolate from most of our Bible study and from other sources that we continue to promote a false image of Him in our teachings and excited, urgent news bulletins.

It is time to begin pre-screening everything we publish or preach or teach through the filters of the real truth about God's nature and His unfailing love. We must radically rethink all of our end-time scenarios in the light of the absence of force and fear in the ways of God. I believe that the intensifying drumbeat of fear found in much of what is being promoted today by excited conservatives may actually play into the plans of the enemy. For his ultimate purpose to to entrap our minds and hearts in the atmosphere of fear which will create our greatest vulnerability to being overcome by his even greater fear.

Fear-bonding is highly effective for manipulating people for a time but it is also very unstable for healthy relationships. Fear-bonds used for allegiance are easily overcome (but often to our astonishment) by simply presenting the person with a greater fear to induce them to switch their allegiance. No amount of determination and will-power and good intentions have any real affect on these kinds of bonds. A person may be ever so certain that they will never waver in their determination to follow “the truth” whatever that means to them. But if they are depending on fear-bonds to keep them anchored when the testing time comes they will be caught off guard and will be blind-sided by overwhelming pressure that will easily change their whole perspective of reality. Fear-bonds may be powerful but they are not stable enough to get anyone successfully through the events about to crash into our lives. They are too rigid and stiff and as such are all too vulnerable to cracking and collapse.

That is also why Babylon will ultimately fall as well. Because Babylon is built as an empire founded on fear and deception, it too is vulnerable to collapse when that fear is reflected back to them in the image they have created in their ideas of God. Fear is not a reliable building material in our life and the sooner we quite depending on it and utilizing it the sooner God can build a safe fabric of protection around our hearts. Love (and joy in its true meaning) alone is the only antidote to fear. We have no business mingling fear and love in our presentations about God because we are distorting God's image in the hearts of those we are trying to save. Perfect love casts out fear.

I am afraid that maybe we are playing right into the enemy's hands when we use fear to motivate ourselves to prepare for the Second Coming. The purpose of Babylon is to teach people fear by any means possible and to weave it into the fabric of their lives. This reinforces the lies that keep us afraid of God, whatever they may be. If God's own people are presenting pictures of Him tainted with fear then they may in fact be simply pre-conditioning hearts in preparation for the greatest assault of fear this world has ever witnessed. By subscribing to the legitimacy of fear as a valid tool for getting people's attention and allegiance we may be inadvertently conditioning them to follow the path of fear wherever it leads them. If fear itself becomes our master, the thing we are trained to pay attention to, then we will follow it to places we never dreamed we would allow ourselves to go.

Someone recently commented that the most often repeated command in the Bible is to not fear, not be afraid. I have noticed this in my own study of the Bible over the past few years and it has caught my attention. If God repeats something that often it may be because it is so very important for us to understand and also because it is likely something we are not learning very well. We cling to the mistaken notion that we must have at least some fear to make our messages effective. It gets such immediate results and we quickly become addicted to its power to wield influence over others. We dress it up in religious clothes and justify its use by compiling many proof texts to support our assumptions. But none of these things change the fact that the spirit of fear never comes from God.

That is not to say that God will not allow fear to motivate people to move toward Him. God can use anything and anyone to coordinate circumstances and influence hearts to change direction if they are willing. But just because God uses things the devil does against him does not justify our employing those elements as correct representations of what God is really like. The closer we get to God in our character and thinking the more dangerous it is to mix into our thinking an element of the enemy. We must never pick up the weapons of the enemy to use against him. He invented those weapons and knows their potential and inner workings far more than we can ever know. If we choose to continue to use the enemy's weapons we will sooner or later be captured by those same weapons. Our only true safety is in keeping our minds and hearts aligned with the ways and heart of God.

When God delivers warnings it is very true that fear is usually produced as a result. We should not necessarily work to reduce this legitimate fear directly for it has the effect of dislodging our complacency and causing us to be ready to reconsider our assumptions. But only the Holy Spirit has the skill to know how to use this opportunity to turn hearts toward the real truth about God. We have no business trying to preempt the Holy Spirit and bring conviction or fear into people's hearts. Our primary business is to focus so clearly on the attractiveness and truths of God and the purity of His nature that fear will be melted away in the heat of His passionate love for all of His created beings.

I am coming to realize that the only way I can address the fears deeply embedded in my mind and heart about the coming end-time events is to obsessively focus on filling my mind and heart with more and more truth about God's glory. When God's glory fills the whole earth then Babylon will fall. And when God's glory really fills my own heart with the light and beauty of God, then the many lies and fears and excuses and resistance I have toward God will also melt away and Babylon will fall in my own heart.

Only when Babylon is conquered by the refreshing revelation of God's real character within myself will I be fit to take the battle to those around me using the same method. Truth exposes falsehood naturally just as light dispels darkness. You cannot get rid of darkness by describing it in detail or attempting to force it to leave. It simply melts away instantly when light is introduced. It works in the heart just as surely as it is going to work in all the world.

In Revelation 17 John is shown the great deceiving woman, the great whore representing false religion symbolically. John wonders at this woman, and this word also means to admire. The angel with him immediately asks him why he did this. This woman is shown to him riding on the back of a great beast which previously in Revelation 13 is described as the one the whole world wonders after. In essence John is feeling the same magnetic draw of awe and attraction that the rest of the world is overwhelmed with and I believe the angel's words are really warning John about the danger of even starting down that path of wonderment and fear.

If one examines the characteristics of this symbolic woman as well as the beast she ride on and is in close collusion with, it becomes clear that the primary means for gaining control over people's minds and hearts is fear, deception, lust and intimidation. Using these ingredients the power of this pair is irresistible unless one is internally divorced from indulging in the attractions the fallen heart has for these things. And the real fatal attraction that makes us vulnerable to them is the desire to use them ourselves. It is part of our fallen human nature and only the presence of the Spirit of Jesus in our heart can deliver us from this most alluring temptation.