Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
God, what are you talking about? Fear, what fear? I am not afraid of anything. Ok, maybe spiders and other creepy crawly things. Oh, and wasps, hornets, bees or any other thing that flies around and tries to sting me. But, those really aren’t fears. They are things I work to stay away from. So, God – what am I afraid of?
That was how my conversation was going with God when he would not let up about this verse in Isaiah.
Let me backup a little. A friend told me about a book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and I started reading it. I did not realize how God was going to use this book to change my life, I mean what’s this about circles? However, as I started reading, there were so many things that captured my mind and spurred me on. One part in chapter two that spoke to me is where he said,
“There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfilling dreams. That is who He is. … I promise you this: God is ready and waiting. … I’m confident that you are only one prayer away from a dream fulfilled, a promise kept, or a miracle performed.”Batterson, Mark. The Circle Maker pg15
Wow! Really? Are you sure? I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen a miracle. But I was intrigued. I’ve read about people with prayer lives like this, but I’ve never had it. So I kept reading. Then in chapter 3 I was shocked at the truth laid out before me.
“So while God is for us, most of us have no idea what we want God to do for us. And that’s why our prayers aren’t just boring to us; they are uninspiring to God. … Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life.”Batterson, Mark. The Circle Maker pg 24 & 25.
I realized, I have boring prayers, and after thinking about it for a bit I realized I really don’t know what I want God to do for me other than the basics. Keep me and my family safe, provide for us, etc. I try to follow the little acronyms people have out there, but that seems more about being compliant than true prayer. You have heard the saying, your prayers are hitting a brick wall? That’s how I feel so much of the time, I don’t feel connected to God. So he then gave us some possible starting points. One of which was to claim a promise.
Searching for a Promise
Off to google I go. (I am sitting here shaking my head. I cannot believe I am openly admitting to all of this here and now. Thank you for not judging me – at least that I know of.) I look up promises of God. I start to list all the ones I see from other websites and some of them I dismiss quickly, thinking that’s not what I need right now.
After a couple of days of trying to find a promise from God to focus on, the one he kept bringing to me was Isaiah 41:10. I finally accepted that the promise God wanted me to study was about fear.
I still didn’t think I was afraid of anything that required this verse to be my focus, but I know better than to continue to disagree with the creator of everything including me. I’m sure at times He would want to say, like so many southern moms, “I brought you into this world and can take you out”, but I am SO thankful he doesn’t.
Before we continue, can I ask you a question? Do you hear him when you ask these types of questions? I’m not sure when I last heard his voice, but when I asked this question this time (what am I afraid of), I had no doubt what the answer was when I realized what it was. So when I honestly asked him that question, I knew the answer. I didn’t hear it, I knew it. It was like all of a sudden someone just plopped the answer right into my mind in the largest font and in bold.
The answer God revealed to me about what I am afraid of is what he will tell me when I really listen to His voice.
You see, for years now I have to admit I have been playing the church game. Yes I am a Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior years ago and know without a doubt he is my lord. But I have let life get in my way. I go to church every Sunday and it wouldn’t surprise me if many people there think I have it all together.
My prayers are so vague and my Bible reading is maybe a verse or two here or there. Nothing substantial. I’m great at serving other people and believe I am serving God while doing it. I can go on Mission Trips and tell others about Him and sing songs and read stories. But if I am completely and totally honest, I am doing all of that on my own. I am not fully relying on him. I attend Bible Studies, and even lead one every now and then. But my prayer life is not where I want it to be.
So the answer to that question that I asked him… What am I afraid of? I’m afraid of what he is going to ask of me. My life is pretty good right now. I have a wonderful husband and kids, and two sweet grandsons. My job is good and life is good. What if he asks me to do something out of my comfort zone. What if he asks me to let go of something that I want to hold on to. I know, how sad. Am I alone in this?
Since that day when I heard his answer I have done a lot of praying and searching. You know what I found? I found my Lord again. I know he has always been there, but I have returned. Seek first the kingdom of God.
Now back to what I am afraid of. I am afraid He will call me to do something that is beyond me. Which when I put it down on paper I realize that is exactly what he wants to do, especially as I have gotten further into The Circle Maker. That is how he will show his glory, by working beyond me. But still, it scares me. I am also afraid that everything I have been doing, (this blog, my crafts, mission trips) things that I have done on my own using His name for my reasoning, is not really what he wants me to do and I have wasted money and time on these ventures because I did not seek Him first.
So where do I go from here? I need to get on my knees and seek Him, and listen to His voice. Where does He want me to go? What does He want me to do? I know God is for me.
Lord, guide me as I seek you and your will. Show me your path to take. Take me beyond myself and stop me from trying to do it on my own. Thank you for working in my life and for loving me.