”Walk like you own the place, talk like you know it all, and act like no one can make you fall..”
One of my Facebook friends posted this yesterday. I don’t find the quote particularly inspiring, but she interpreted it this way…
“to know who has my back…true definition of NO FEAR…”
That I can agree with. The true definition of ‘no fear’ is TRUST. Who or what we choose to place our trust in is crucial to the merit of this definition, but I have no intention of going off an an apologetic tangent right now. Suffice it to say—I believe it is inappropriate and futile to put absolute trust (the only kind completely free of fear) in anyone other than the God of the Bible.
Trust and obedience are inextricably linked. If I don’t trust God in all things, I will be afraid of at least some things. When I am afraid, I will be tempted to compromise and disobey. Sometimes, determining the right course of action really is difficult and confusing, but more often than not—our hesitance can be traced back to lack of trust.
It is good to count the cost before we act and it is good to plan and be wise, but we should beware when we know what is right according to God’s word, but our thoughts become filled with “what if’s”. These questions are often nothing more than justification for compromise we hope to dabble in. These questions are born out of fear.
In each of our lives, we are regularly faced with circumstances that require us to decide if we will…
- be truthful or deceitful
- serve or be selfish
- be vulnerable or protect ourselves
- offer love or withhold love
- serve God or serve money
- give our very best or give the minimum required
- live with integrity or succumb to corruption
- confront wickedness and injustice or turn a blind eye
- invest in the Kingdom of God or invest in our own comfort
And though we know precisely what is right, we find ourselves asking,
What if I am misunderstood? What if I am rejected? What if I get hurt? What if I do the right thing and no one else does? What if I don’t play by their rules? What if I get burned out? What if I am humiliated or ridiculed? What if it’s uncomfortable? What if the cost is too high? What if my routine is disrupted? What if I look ignorant, foolish, or naive? What if God doesn’t protect me from the consequences of living in a fallen world. What if I fail?
The thing is, there is no guarantee that any of those things won’t happen when we wholeheartedly obey God. But if God wanted to communicate to us that He would give us grace (the desire and ability to do His will) no matter what (if), what would He have to say?
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NASB) 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB) 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” …10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Philippians 4:13 (NASB) 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
2 Timothy 2:1, 3 (NASB) 1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:16 (NASB) 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Acts 5:29, 32 (NASB) 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men…32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
What if’s are excuses to protect ourselves, to cut corners on obedience, to compromise. When we appeal to them, we are trying to justify withholding a part of ourselves from God. If, on the other hand, we choose to trust God, fear of the what if’s has no power over us. His grace is always enough.
2 Chronicles 16:9 (NASB)
9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
What if we abandoned our lives to God?