We all have certain fears. However, when it comes to living authentically, living mindfully, and living out a genuine spiritual life – there is an inherent fear of stepping out in faith and living completely and totally surrendered to God. In fact, one of my biggest resentments I’ve held against God is asking Him to draw me near to him and seek him.
Now, why would this cause grave consternation and resentment? Because, whenever I had sincerely desired to seek God and truly know him – something in my life is completely turned upside down. Loss of employment, loss of housing, loss of significant relationships. Yet, instead of having to turn to God and seek His divine counsel and wisdom? I relied on my own intellectual understanding.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths
~ Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV ~
I also had a habitual need to seek out those who are willing to come to my aide and rescue me. It almost felt as though I am standing on the end of the dock and asking God to draw me to himself and suddenly I am kicked in the rear and find myself flailing in the water.
Hindsight being 20/20, these circumstances were apparently my call to action. Meaning, most of my young adult life spent in some form of naive cocoon of many varying false beliefs and illusions. Having this, proverbial, swift kick in the ass was a means of getting my attention to focus on seeking God and coming to rely on him. What I greatly feared was leaving my own sense of comfort and stepping out with faith and courage to seek an enriching and divine relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with, what I believed, a faith and testimony about God. However, it had never occurred to me that I had not developed a strong sustaining faith that was based on a true and authentic relationship with Christ and my Heavenly Father. And, realizing this, I have come to recognize the many missed opportunities I had where God truly was calling me out of my place of comfort.
Yet, if anything I have learned in life is this: God never gives up on us. His promise is definitive in that:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
~ Deuteronomy 31:6, KJV ~
As long as we are strong and have courage, not fearing, not being afraid – God will go with us and will not ever fail us. However, when we are at that precipice of wanting to be courageous, strong, and not wanting to be afraid – we have a tendency to shrink back. Fear becoming the more powerful influencer of our inaction to follow through and stepping out in the faith to walk with God.
I see this in those patients that I work with. They fear leaving a toxic lifestyle that has brought nothing but misery and distress in their lives. I see this in my own life. I see this in the life of my friends who are struggling. And, it is not that we fear the unknown. It is the fact that we fear the reality of our own inadequacy to cope with the situation that we are suddenly thrust into.
Going back to the visualization of being on the dock and then suddenly being pushed into the water. For a moment, we are floundering around, struggling to get ourselves stable. Yet, we eventually get ourselves stable and start swimming around. At the moment, the shock and panic is there. However, it soon dissipates. This is because our circumstances we are faced with do not change. We change and adapt to our present circumstances.
Genuine and authentic spiritual growth is where we are challenged and brought out of our comfort zone. Our faith is going to be tested. We either react in fear and miss those opportunities to increase our faith and move further toward spiritual maturation; or, we surrender ourselves and adapt to the circumstances and seek God’s wisdom and counsel as we move forward with courage.
Today, I have come to embrace those seasons of challenges, because I have now learned that true faith rests in relying on God’s wisdom and counsel for my life and that I am called to step out in faith, having courage, and being of a sound mind where there is no longer the need to fear – or be afraid.
So, what is your greatest fear you are wrestling with today? Share your thoughts on where you are at in life, what you are struggling with, and what your fears are in moving forward.