Early in my faith walk I was afraid of everything. My shadow. Other people. And God. I was NOT afraid on the outside, hiding behind the façade I created with my success and wealth. It was on the INSIDE. I was afraid to be alone with myself–and my thoughts—and that’s what drove my lustful chase for things and the addictive (though always temporary) distractions they offer.
It’s not much of a surprise that if you’re afraid of yourself, you are going to be afraid of GOD. When we reach that scary state, it’s only a matter of time before we start thinking: If I did try to spend time with God, he probably wouldn’t show up. And if he did appear, all my control would be gone and the façade I had worked so hard to build would crumble. Even worse…I would be afraid of what he might tell me.
Sadly, that describes the dragons and demons millions of Christians around the world woke up to this morning. I know how they feel. Here’s how I would describe that time in my faith walk and the challenge facing so many others today:
Not spending time with God because we are afraid of what he might say is like NOT EATING when we’re hungry because our stomach hurts. At some point we MUST eat or we die. Upset stomach or not. It’s the same thing with spending time in SOLITUDE with God. At some point we MUST surrender control and face our father in full trust that he will take it from there with plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
If I had continued on that “afraid path,” I would have missed the incredible blessing of spending time with the Lord of Heaven and earth. Never known how much he loves me—without conditions. Never felt his warm rays of joy washing over my soul. Never met the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6).
When I did surrender and sought SOLITUDE with God, he grabbed me immediately and held me tight to his loving presence. He taught me that spending time with him is not only about rest. That it is the incubator of change in our life. The revealer of our brokenness. The sorter of painful memories and mistakes, fears and failures, anxiety and anger.
I ask God to bring me to my knees every day in full surrender so I WANT to spend time in SOLITUDE with him to understand who I am and who he wants me to be.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you afraid of what God might say if you open yourself up fully in SOLITUDE with him?
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11