At the Top of God’s “Do Not” List

It’s Fearless Friday!

Our family is one of list-makers.  We love them.  To-do lists of course, but also pro/con lists, goal lists, grocery lists…

And I’m thinking a “Do not fear” list would be a good one.

The list of verses in the Bible that have the phrase, “Do not fear…” is a long one. The longest in fact.

But so what?

The important part is what comes next.  Why in the world should we just obey that command willy nilly?

God is with you.

God is with you.

God is with you!

But who is the God who is with us?

A.W. Tozer writes,
“What comes to mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.”
How does what comes to mind about God affect my fear factor?  My ability to walk through life with a non-anxious assurance?

In Love Beyond Reason John Ortberg writes about a scene from “The Bear“, in which a mountain lion tries to attack the baby bear cub who’s been orphaned.  The camera zooms in close, going back and forth between the menacing mountain lion approaching and the terrified cub about to become lunch.

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The tension builds and builds and when I watched it I was yelling “Run away! Run away!”  Willing the baby bear to survive.  But then, at the last minute, the camera pans out revealing what is standing behind the baby – a papa bear (a giant Kodiak) is standing up huge on its hind legs, ready to do anything to protect that little one.

Like any parent would do for their child.

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A picture of God, standing behind me, ready to do battle.  Kind of like the picture I wrote about of Elisha ringed with the heavenly armies.  Ortberg asks,

What would my life look like if I lived in the settled conviction that because of God’s character and competence this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be?

What if I really, truly believed that God had my back, and that this world was His, my future was His, that He was sovereign and all-powerful and good and faithful?

Mark Buchanan writes, “…how you see God affects how you live. Our theology determines our destiny. All our problems, as well as all the solutions to our problems, are at base theological. How we see God affects how we live.”

One of the verses I’ve been working on memorizing is Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

It’s a reminder that the God who says “do not fear” is not only with me, but is also strong, and able, and righteous and willing to help.

So, today, when we talk to our boss, or send our kids out the door (or put them on an airplane like I did last night), or see posts on Twitter, or FB, or face someone who’s been unkind…

I’m wondering what does our fear or lack of it say about our view of God?  And what do we do to bring into focus a clearer, more accurate picture of God’s character?

2 Comments

  1. I LOVE this new “table topic”. A great question to put out there for discussion – “what comes to mind when you think about God?”. It’s easy to get overly eager about wanting to share (maybe shove) with people what we think about God …….but how much more helpful we can be in conversations if we first take time to hear their answer to this simple question! LISTENING to what they say and feel with them why they may see God differently than I do hopefully can bring God into clearer focus. I believe God’s character is love-filled. Unfortunately we fail to live in God’s character full time – even though we are his followers.
    Thanks for the quote, Laura.

    • Thanks Betty! Such a great reminder – the importance of LISTENING deeply to each other! There was a great Bible study that’s out of print now called Distorted Images of God that explored how our family relationships and our experiences apart from God’s word can affect how we view Him.

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