Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Small, But Necessary, Piece of Real Estate

Fear is a faith destroyer.

I am not talking about a healthy fear, that which speaks of fearing the LORD "with trembling" (Psalm 2:11; 19:9; 22:23; and a multitude of other verses scattered throughout the entire Bible).  Any true Christian understands that principled teaching.  If you don't, perhaps it's time to look for another church.

The type of fear I am speaking of is the destructive kind.  Every one of us can point to a specific time in our lives where it threatened to undermine our faith.  If you can't, I want to know your secret.  Personally, my life has been full of moments where I let it override my trust in God.  And when a person loosens their hold on their ability to trust Him, fear can consume you.

Fear of what life can or is bringing you can weaken the foundation of your faith.  The feeling it brings can be similar to standing in the surf and sensing the sand wash away from under your feet.  Grain by grain, the footing you had is slowly eroded by the onslaught of the waves, until you feel as though you are sinking.  If you stand there long enough, your feet become mired down in the constant motion, making it harder and harder to pull yourself free.  It is then that the healthy fear should kick in, lest you become a permanent fixture of remorse, despair, or anxiousness, forever cementing you in its grip (Psalm 69:14).

Whether you are experiencing fears of joblessness and a dwindling bank account, health concerns for you or others, or the unknown coming around the next corner, remember that there is a Rock firmly placed on that ever-changing shoreline.  It has been divinely placed there for times such as these.  And it has a purpose: to give you a solid and secure footing when trials and tribulations come upon you and threaten to destroy your faith.

It seems I have to be reminded more and more of this, lately.  I am always thinking that my life could be much better.  But, I am eternally grateful that God has been patient with me.  

When I attempt to step off the Rock of faith and trust and onto the unsettled sands of this troubled world, He faithfully and gently steers me back onto it.  And once I am again securely there, He is then able to take me back to when I first learned of grace-saving faith and what it meant to trust Him.

I want to keep my feet firmly planted on that small piece of real estate, especially when I forget what it cost God to purchase it for me, allowing my fears to undermine that precious truth.

And while I am at it, being reminded of my former self and taking a moment to talk with Him about it is also a good thing.

"Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;  
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar."

Psalm 51 (NASB)

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