"But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and likewise also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him." Luke 5:8-11 NASB
Fear can paralyzed a body as fast if not faster than any disease or poison known to mankind.
Fear came first, right after the original sin of Adam and Eve. Fear can expose thoughts and intentions of the heart in ways no truth serum can. Fear can take the will and harshly subdue it. Fear can propel people do do things they never thought they could do as well.
Fear of what might happen can stop a person right in their tracks.
The imagination runs rampant when fear is involved. Fear of what might happen. Fear of what might not happen.
Fear is a powerful enemy.
In as much as this is a confession of sorts, it's an admonition as well.
When I first gave my life to Christ, fear wasn't remotely on my mind. Until it reared its ugly head my first week in school trying to share my faith with my classmates. I can easily say that fear slapped me sideways. Fear hurt me in ways that I wasn't expecting.
Fear caused me to hold back from speaking up for a long, long time.
Fear, perhaps, is causing you to do the same. God's pointing the way and fear is standing there wagging a finger telling you not to take a step.
Fear and regret go hand in hand most of the time. Peter, we can sort of surmise, had a lot of "sin baggage". He had things he had done, said, or thought, that he believed disqualified him from doing anything meaningful for God.
Look back at one of the campaigns of Gideon in the book of Judges Chapter 7:9-14 NASB.
"Now on the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have handed it over to you. But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, so that you will hear what they say; and afterward you will have the courage to go down against the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the army that was in the camp. Now the Midianites, the Amalekites, and all the people of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent collapsed.” And his friend replied, “This is nothing other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has handed over to him Midian and all the camp.”
Fear keeps even Believers from going and doing what God wants and needs them to be doing.
Fear keeps people in the chains of the past. Constantly reminding people of past failures, reminding people of what they lost. Showing lies about the present and the future through those false visions it creates. Getting people to run in circles, wasting time, energy and money in order to thwart the Will of God.
Hang on firmly to that last sentence: Getting people to run in circles, wasting time, energy and money in order to thwart the Will of God.
Fear and Regret have friends. Another of which is Seduction. They work together at times to get people to pursue lives of self over lives lived in obedience to God. Getting people to believe they are actually serving God WELL without seeing that they really haven't been serving God at all.
Been there done that.
Peter had to be pushed towards obedience, and if you read between the lines, Jesus pulled him out of the waters of pain, fear and regret, to save him long before he cried out to him while sinking in the physical waters.
I can look back and see the tangled web of lies that kept me trapped for much of my life. They were couched in a lot of supposed good intentions. Career choices, the embracing of thoughts and desires that had nothing to add to my walk with Jesus. The missed opportunities that were before me to be pulled up out of it all years ago.
I too was pulled up out of the muck and mire of fear, pain, and regret. I often have moments where it feels like I am being pushed back in that direction. It is then that I pray.
Fear and his friends might be holding onto you. They might be spewing their lies to you about you. That you will miss out on living life if you went all in with serving God. That you would have to give up this or that. That life would be so boring if you obeyed. Maybe you believe that your obedience is going to cost you what you've spent a lifetime collecting.
Hmm. You don't own it all anyway. If what you do have, in all honesty, has become so all important, then realize the truth. It's an idol. You are looking to those thoughts and things as a source of comfort and solace rather that finding that in your Savior!
If you are blinded then how will you see if you don't ask Jesus to open your eyes to see?
I am physically half blind in one eye, but Spiritually, unless the Spirit clears the way, I can be far more blinded than I ever thought possible.
As you're looking around and see what you have, see where you are in life, is it reflecting fears, pains, regrets of a life not lived for the one who saved you?
Are you at the door of obedience and it stand open, do you need pulled through it?
If it weren't for my tenacious Savior, keeping His promise of being His workmanship, pulling me through my fears, pains and regrets, I wouldn't be here today.
I have indeed prayed a prayer for Jesus to save me FROM me. I can't trust me in this sin cursed body. I need to trust Him. I need to lay everything, every fear, every regret, every misguided intention, at His feet.
Don't think it's hopeless. Don't think that you're going to have to give up your lifestyle. We can't know what great things that God has in mind until we give it all back to God. You may not give up anything. You may.
If you want what God wants, tell me, my Dear Reader, how can you possibly lose?
Peter gained a life that he never would have seen apart from God.
What will God do with you if you let Him deal with all your pain, fears, regrets to live as He intended you to live?
I look back on my dreams for my life and the only one that's been really beneficial is when I was living out my faith. Not when I was pursuing life's pleasures and accomplishments.
Nobody is going to think what you do in regards to what things you have collected in this life. It's a billion dollar industry in buying up storage units and selling off what's been in them. Your wasting time and money on things that are so meaningful to you but are meaningless to others means you need to turn your attention to meaningful, Godly, pursuits.
Ask Jesus to pull you out of whatever has been trapping you. He will. It's His Will that we live in obedience, of course He will help you by making a way where once there was no way on your own.
You may think that you're unworthy. We all are unworthy. Only in Christ, by His grace, are we able to truly live.
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