Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fearing God

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)

I once adopted a dog named “Buttons.”  She had been abused by a man and so was deathly suspicious of me when I first met her.  She hid under a table when I approached because she was convinced I was going to do her harm.  It took several days before she allowed me to get close, but for years she still cowered whenever I stepped over her.  Her first instinct always was fear.

A lot of us treat God in the same way.  Our first instinct is He is going to harm us or to allow harm to come to us.  I think that is why many of us are hesitant to fully trust God.  What might happen if we do?  He might leave me single all my life.  He might send me to the African bush as a missionary.  He might change my lifelong plans for a career.  So while we may be devoted to God, as did Buttons, we still keep our guard up.   We never give Him full control out of fear for what He might do.  

The Israelites had suffered the full effects of their rebellion against God. They had been exiled to Babylon and their beloved Temple had been destroyed.   They were cowering in fear.  Yet the Lord came to them through Jeremiah and declared His intent not to harm them.  He had plans for them, great plans!  Unfortunately, they never fully trusted Him and insisted on going their own way (Jeremiah 44:15-30).  And they missed out on a life of blessings.

When we fail to trust God out of fear of what He might then do, we miss out on His blessings.  He loves us and seeks to do us no harm.  Rather, He wants to bless us in ways far beyond our limited imaginations. However, we often think we know what’s best for us and so resist handing control of our lives over to another.  Like a toddler approaching a hot stove who will not listen to his mom’s command, “don’t touch,” we are going to unintentionally do harm to ourselves when we don’t trust God to know what is in our best interests.

Today, know the Lord does not seek to harm you.  Rather, He wants what’s best for your life.  So do not fear giving Him full control over your life.  You are in good hands and He will take good care of you.

© Jim Musser 2017

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