Friday, November 28, 2014


You remember the story....

Jesus was taking the boat to the opposite shore to get away from the crowds. He asked his disciples to join Him.

 A violent windstorm came up, and the waves began breaking into the boat, 
so that the boat was rapidly becoming swamped.
 But Jesus was in the back of the boat, asleep on a cushion. 
So they woke Him up and asked Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?”
Mark 4:37-38 

The sea was calm and peaceful at the start. There was no hesitation from anyone as to whether they should make the journey. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a storm of great magnitude came upon them! They panicked, felt helpless, uncertain and incredibly fearful and out of control.

Life does that to us more than we care to admit. Totally blindsides us, sidelines us. Events surprise us. Circumstances catch us unaware. "Why me?!" "Not again!" Rather than act, we react. We react with...

Of course, there is a healthy type of fear, a rational fear, that helps rather than hinders. The fear that we sense when something truly dangerous to our health and well being is threatening.

The type of fear we experience that interferes with all that we are created to be for His glory is irrational fear. Self doubt, insecurity, persecution. Fear of rejection, failure or exclusion. Fear of being alone, forgotten. The list goes on. The weight of this type of fear drags us down. It is baggage bearing great weight that drags us under. We carry it with us at all times. 

We choke on it. It suffocates. We retreat with it. It inhibits us.  It steals our joy. It is a thief. And, worst of all, 

Yes, fear is a liar.

I am in a season of uncertainty in my journey in this life. This past year has brought changes, heartache, challenge and, yes, fear. The past eleven years I have been plagued by it. And, honestly, as I look back, fear has been lying to me my entire life.

Recently, nothing terribly serious has happened but yet a series of unfortunate events have changed my life in ways that I didn't expect. It has brought me, in some ways, out of my comfort zone. Into uncharted waters. I've been set off course to a new destination.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of the future. Fear of being hurt, alone, forgotten.
Most of all, fear of not making my life count for His glory. 

I long to be on a sea of glass with my sails unfurled headed with eyes focused upon my certain destination. A sea of calm, a sea of tranquility. Perfect wind in my sails. A gentle breeze on my face. Pleasant temperatures surrounding my presence. A heart full of joy and anticipation in what lies ahead.

I long to set sail with no fear, no regrets, no uncertainty. In or out of my comfort zone. Gazing at the beauty of sunrise and sunset in the clear, endless sky. Gazing at the still moon's reflection over glassy waters beneath my skiff. Resting my head with confidence and sleeping a deep, undisturbed sleep. Just like Jesus did. But I can't. Fear has whispered lies and I've listened. I am fearful of what lies ahead....

Then He got up, rebuked the wind, and told the sea, “Calm down! Be still!” 
Then the wind stopped blowing, and there was a great calm.   
He asked them, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?”

 Overcome with fear, they kept saying to one another, “Who is this man? 
Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
Mark 4:39-41

Or can I? With Jesus, yes, I can do all of that. Even in the here and now. He promises His presence. Always. He promises me a future and a hope. He promises me that He will never leave me of forsake me. He promises He will be my strength and my guide. He promises me that He will go before me. He is for me and not against me. And, so much more!

Tear your hearts, not your garments; 
and turn back to the Lord your God. 
For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to become angry, 
overflowing in gracious love, and grieves about this evil.
Joel 2:13 

Fear is a liar. The author of fear is the evil one, the father of lies, the devil himself. He wants us to fear and to run and hide. He wants us to doubt ourselves. He wants us to doubt every one of God's promises. He wants us, most of all to doubt His perfect, unconditional love for us. He wants us to question our very purpose and the reason for our existence. His desire is to render us unbelieving and ineffective for the Kingdom of God.

 This is how love has been perfected among us: 
we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, 
during our time in this world, we are just like him.  
There is no fear where love exists. 
Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, 
and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love. 
1 John 4:17-18

Where is my faith? Where is my faith in the storms of life when the wind and sea rage and I'm being tossed about like a boat in the ocean? Are my eyes fixed on the One True God? Is Jesus my anchor?
The devil would have me think that my Lord and my God has abandoned me. "I will never leave you or forsake you" says the Lord. I am NOT alone. Nothing is too big for Him to handle!

For you, God, tested us,
    to purify us like fine silver.
You have led us into a trap
    and set burdens on our backs. 
 You caused men to ride over us.
    You brought us through fire and water,
        but you led us to abundance.
Psalms 66:10-12

Read the last part of that verse. Over and over again. Abundance. He brings us through the fire to a life of abundance!

I can have that sea of glass as long as my heart and mind are stayed upon Him. Yes, here and now. I need to get on the boat, as His disciple, and stay there. Despite wind, rain and torrent. I must not abandon the ship.

I cannot listen to the lies that fear whispers.  The Lord has promised me the peace that surpasses all understanding and the gift of His Spirit to guide. I know His purposes. I know His promises. I know His plans. I know His unfailing love. I know my destination. I know the evil one has already been defeated!

But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what He has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me? 
Psalms 56:3-4

Where there is fear, His love has been cast out, rejected. Where fear exists, there is lack of trust, belief, love and faith in Him. Where His love exists, fear cannot exist simultaneously. Fear becomes fallacy and love and truth reign supreme.


Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 
Isaiah 41:10

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, 
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 
Isaiah 41:13

I must confess that, for me in this moment, I have to consciously make this choice. Out of obedience to Him knowing He is love. Out of obedience, fruit will come forth. Each day that passes will be born of love rather than fear. Each day, it will become a more natural, integral part of my being. The sea will become more and more a sea of glass... And, then, I will truly be ready to walk on water with Him.

Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, since He is good, for His gracious love exists forever. 
Psalms 106:1