Fearing God's Will and Losing our Dreams
As I continue to search both myself and the Scriptures, I am amazed at the short-sightedness of Man. For many of us, accepting Christ's wondrous salvation was the first and last life-altering and soul-liberating decision we made in our spiritual existence. Once we have secured our eternal destiny, we put no effort towards establishing our God-given identity. Jesus Christ has freed us from Satan's stronghold, but we linger about the premises, fearing the unknown.
Whilst reading through Mark, I came across the passage where Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy. Reading that portion of Scripture in chapter 9, I realized that we have all been paralyzed and possessed like that young man. It is the work of Christ in our spirit that saves us from that torment. Christ's salvation is welcomed into our life by faith. In Mark 9, the father of the demon possessed boy demonstrates his faith and begs for more.
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."--Mark 9:23-24
It is that faith that allows Jesus to work in his son's life. In identical fashion, it is by faith through grace that we accept and receive the salvation of God. In that moment, we are saved for eternity; however, God's work in our souls is far from complete. We are redeemed, but we are not yet made whole. Sin is still present in the world, and we are still separated from God the Father by mortality. Salvation needs nothing added to it, but we still have the opportunity to draw closer to God and become stronger in our faith. This is demonstrated in Mark when Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit out of the boy.
"When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead."--Mark 9:25-26
Christ's liberation was full. The boy was free of possession and the demon could never return. However, on his own, the boy was left in a ravaged and broken state. It is that state that so many of us fear yet cling to. Deep down, we fret that abandoning what Satan has given us will leave us wanting. We trust God for salvation, but we worry He cannot sustain our souls.
Growing up in the church, I heard story after story about Christians living in Africa or Soviet Russia, living off only bugs or watered-down soup. I heard people testify that once they surrendered to God's Will, He sent them to the exact place they had pleaded not to go. From other people, I developed a distrust for God's knowledge of me. If God truly knew me, He would understand why I will not go there. If God truly understood my heart, He would know why I am wary of that circumstance. Trusting enough to let God handle eternity but too afraid to let him hold this mundane stretch of seventy or eighty years, I let myself be consumed by frets and fears. Like the liberated demoniac, I am free but dead in my spirit.
"But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose."--Mark 9:27
As faithful as He claims, Jesus does not abandon us after He works salvation in our hearts. Taking hold of our hand, Jesus is prepared to lift us up and walk with us every step of the way. In Romans, God describes our new relationship with Him.
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father."--Romans 8:13
Where we were once slaves, a relationship defined and bolstered by fear, we are now children, a relationship defined and bolstered by unconditional love. When we remove our focus from fear and condemnation and fix our eyes on the new creation God is working in our hearts, we begin to live an abundant life in God Himself. As slaves, we are accustomed to fear; as children, we learn to live in the freedom of love.
With such a beautiful relationship and a new creation growing in our hearts, we continue towards eternity with expectant hope. As we look towards glory with satisfaction and joy, salvation becomes the first of many exciting spiritual changes God makes in our life.
If we can trust God to search our hearts and purge them of sin, we can trust Him to search our souls and give us that which we need and desire most. As we grow more intimate with Christ, He will reveal our deepest desires and mold our longings to suit the beautiful life He desires for us. God has given us our dreams; He will not waste them. Give God the entirety of your earthy existence, and He will grant you a beautiful life settled in His service and full of His glory.
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."--Psalm 37:3-4