Growing up, the elders in my community would rarely commit to the success of anything before its completion, and even then, they were careful not to let the slightest hint of arrogance interfere with their assumptions. They would only speculate about their ability to be victorious over any challenge or task by making the statement “If it be God’s Will”. They had tremendous reverence for God’s omnipotence, and from them I, too, learned to honor His Will; but as I got older, I realized there was a pivotal piece of knowledge that I had missed. Because of this, I looked at everything from the perspective of disappointment waiting to happen, and not success.
This was especially the case with romantic relationships. My tactic was to try to overwhelm the throne of God with my sobbing pleas, asking for tons of assurances that the person I was with was indeed the ‘one’. I’d be terrified that he would do something to hurt me the way others had done, or that I would do something to mess things up. In my erroneous thinking, God was pulling all the strings, and could cause, if He so chose, the person to respect, neglect, or mishandle my heart. So I begged Heavenly Father constantly to please let everything work out the way I wanted…‘this time.’
I didn’t understand that God never violates His Word. So, my approach was not one of believing the right things about what God wanted for me. Even though I thought I was headed in the right direction, what I believed wasn’t the truth. I believed what I had been taught, and it wasn’t yielding the results I wanted for myself. God was not orchestrating the details of my demise. He was not trying to teach me a lesson by punishing me, nor would He alter someone’s mind or heart to make them love me. God offers liberty, but I was so accustomed to living in fear that it was difficult for me to see it.
The lessons I learned as a youth were very beneficial on one side. I was correctly taught to honor God’s sovereignty and holiness because He is all good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. But many of those who taught me believed Him to also be a punishing God, waiting to really give it to you if you did something wrong. They believed that you could never know what He wanted, that you could never know in advance whether His Will would provide for your success or failure. It was a dance of reverence and ambiguity that ultimately left me confused about what God desires for our lives.
I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to straighten me out, and as he did, I became a lover of faith! He taught me that fear doesn’t ask much of us, and we’re very comfortable with it, but in order to walk by faith, fear must be released. Ephesians 4:22 tells us to put off the former conversations we had with our old selves. You know, those chitchats we had with our souls about not being—looking—loving good enough; and don’t forget those feelings we had that made us wonder whether God truly loves us and wants the best for us. All of that stuff has to go. It doesn’t create a cozy place for faith to feel at home, and God isn’t pleased with that.
James 1:8 tells us that a doubled-minded person is unstable in all their ways. We can’t be wishy-washy when it comes to believing with all our hearts that God wants the absolute best for our lives. Faith requires us to kick ambiguity to the curb! 1John 1:5(NLT) declares, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” What a magnificent truth! God is light, and He has made us children of His light through Jesus Christ, His Son! In my life, I knew darkness. I was in it long enough to know how miserable it makes you feel. I wanted God’s light and took the leap of faith to get it. This meant that I had to abandon some of the things I believed and had been taught by people I love very much. They did their best, but we all will face a point in life where we must go higher, and leave behind things, beliefs, relationships or situations that hinder our journey forward and upward.
We can’t have both faith and fear at the same time. That’s a doubleminded person, and James 1:8 says only unstable folks operate that way. 1John 4:18(NIV) tells us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” God’s plan is to help us to grow in love and grow in the knowledge of His Will. Approaching life as if it is an accident waiting to happen is not the mentality of someone who walks in the light. God is waiting to bless us in ways we’ve never imagined. Open the door of your heart, kick out fear, then, let God’s love drive you to the infinite possibilities His goodness holds for you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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“Kick Ambiguity to the Curb!” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!