As a follower of Christ our ultimate mission and purpose in life is to share the story and love of Christ to the world. To shine light into places of darkness. :)
Just recently, the Lord really brought to surface a major conviction that has really been bringing me down. Fear. Everyone knows what fear feels like... its awful. It makes you less confident, kills your self esteem and inhibits your incredible abilities the Lord has blessed you with. Fear is not of the Lord, but of the enemy. Now, my fear wasn't the type of fear I feel when I, for example, see a roach in the bathroom...... I hate roaches so much! But its a fear of sharing the gospel, becoming transparent to a harsh world and professing the incredible story of Christ.
Christ dwells in my heart. I feel him working and speaking to me all the time. I love trusting him with my life and serving him... but I struggle the most with what we were ultimately called to do, share his name. So if we are made to share his story and love to the world why is it so difficult...? (I'll come back to this at the end.)
My sweet boyfriend was the one who actually prompted the realization that I was clinging on to the fear of being transparent and vulnerable about Christ. At Baylor, I personally feel as though a lot of people struggle with the issue of comparison.... not necessarily comparison of how we physically look, but of how our "Christian lives" look. We want to appear as though our lives are always on par and in line, glorifying to the Lord... but isn't that really just a subtle way to hide behind our own glorification and control? If life was together all the time why would we need Christ?
I have been dating my guy for almost 7 months now. :) Yes, I love him and I love bragging about him to my friends and I feel like there are hearts in my eyes constantly when I talk about him. However, when I am asked about our relationship, I always lean on my default answers, not glorifying the Lord to his full capacity. Not giving God the fully glory because of the fear of looking different or being criticized. During a recent conversation, Justin (the boyf) mentioned to me that despite how difficult long distance is he actually loves the fact that we are in this kind of relationship. He told me that it allows him to share how incredible the power of God is... we live 800 miles apart yet our relationship is working. It is all because of the Lord! He boldly glorifies the name of Christ constantly through our story, sharing the gospel to his friends and family, not caring if he get criticized or if they don't fully understand.
The world looks at things, such as love or relationships, through a very strict lens. It is almost a taboo if someone talks about marriage and is under the age of 25... or if someone talks of leaving a success promising career for something very unsure financially. Yet if someone wants to take a year off and go to Africa to minister that's okay. God doesn't have a list of specific ways he is glorified. He has different plans for each of our lives, different callings. I am called to date and marry my Justin and through that I know and pray that God's name is boldly glorified. Its definitely a scary scary thing, it means that I have to make my heart transparent and vulnerable to let the Lord take full control and shine through. The enemy realizes how powerful God and his story really are. He works every day, trying his hardest, to make us stumble and not share Christ's story.... especially through fear.
We are human and therefore we fear. We don't want to get hurt and we try to cling onto any security we can have. Control is the biggest security we try to lean on, however its false security. In refraining from telling the bold story of how Christ has worked in my relationship thus far, I know I am controlling (at some level) the reaction I get from people. I know that I wont be criticized and wont have to defend myself.... (a big fear... not being able to defend myself.) I have to constantly remind myself that when we are walking down the path with Jesus, when we are aligned with his will, he gives us strength and the words to speak. He does all the work. He knows exactly how to defend himself. (When I say defend I mean stand up for, to be strong enough and bold enough to not let the opinion of the world (even blanketed in human protection and love) change our minds or statements.) Christ doesn't get his point across by forceful arguments but by radical differences. The disciples and apostles stood apart from the world and professed what was different and made an incredible impact!
So no matter what the fear is, it is Satan's way of realizing how big of a threat you and what you have to say really is. How awesome is that? If Satan is scared, you have to know its truly powerful and of the Lord. I am still learning and growing daily but wanted to really share this because I feel like its a big deal, especially for growing and learning Christ followers. So each day, I am working to lean on Christ's strength and not my own and not care about other people's opinions but the truth of Christ.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31
I know this is a semi long post but my mom shared this video with me yesterday and I wanted to share. :) Its an awesome story by Beth Moore!