“You must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars.” Deuteronomy 7:5
“So I took the stone tablets and threw them to the ground, smashing them before your eyes.” Deuteronomy 9:17
I spent several hours yesterday hanging pictures on our living room wall behind our entertainment center. This is a project that I’ve been working on for weeks. There are quite a few frames and I’m dealing with a slant in the ceiling and Sean and I are both pretty particular about things being LEVEL and looking nice so it’s been a challenge. Every time I attempt to hang these poor pictures something comes up. I’ll have them all laid out on the living room floor, sorted and organized and then I’d run out of time and have to pick them all back up where they would sit on the dining room table for two weeks (or more) until I had time to mess with them again. But by then, whatever order I had them in before has been forgotten and so I’d have to start all over again. Except then I would realize that I don’t have enough 3M picture Velcro to hang them all, so they would again get stacked up and put on the table to wait. So this week has been set aside as the week where I do all that stuff that’s been sitting around waiting for me to get it done. I painted the laundry room, got the fish tank moved out, put all the china back in the hutch and off my desk, so yesterday was all about hanging those blasted pictures that I’d been working on for months now without getting them actually ON the wall! I knew I had enough Velcro, it was just a matter of organizing them and hanging them.
It took me hours of, sorting, measuring, doing math in order to make sure that everything was lined up and level, and then FINALLY hanging them. But I didn’t even have half of them hung before they started falling! I don’t know if it was the high humidity in our house from all the wet clothes hanging everywhere, or the type of paint we used on the wall, some wacky combination of the two, or even just some little demon going up there and plucking them off the wall but at this point I’ve had five or six of them fall, three of them breaking the glass! One fell last night while I was writing Stay on the Path and the sound of the glass breaking was different than the other two. This time the glass didn’t just break it shattered! I could hear the tinkling of all the glass as Sean swept up the pieces. The interesting part is that it shattered just as I typed the word “push-over”.
“But a big part of that may be the fact that I’m kind of a push-over when it comes to people asking me to do things. I’m working on that, slowly but surely. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem right?”
Last fall God told me that I needed to grow a backbone, and I’ve been working on it. But lately He’s really been pushing and stretching me in that area. It’s hard for me to tell people “no”. I hate to feel like I’ve let someone down, maybe because it proves to me how less than perfect I really am. But I had quite the wakeup call last week in the car when a story about fear came on the radio and my nearly twelve year old son piped up from the back seat that his biggest fear is disappointing people. I wanted to crawl back there with him and squeeze his little heart! I said, “Gabe, you’re human buddy, you’re GOING to disappoint a lot of people in your life. And you know what, that’s OK.” The most frustrating part for me is, I know he picked that up from me. L
When Gabe was born I was terrified of dentists. Just walking into a dentist’s office made me shake like a leaf and want to throw up. I prayed and prayed and prayed that my kids wouldn’t be afraid of dentists like I was. Then a couple years ago Gabe ran into a pole at recess and knocked his two front (permanent) teeth out, forcing us to go to a dentist. (You can read more about that here and here.) I was actually pretty ok until he was back with the dentist getting his teeth reformed and I was in this little private waiting room and my cell phone died and I had no one to talk to. That’s when I started to freak out. I started praying, begging, that Gabe wouldn’t be afraid of dentists like I was. Then Holy Spirit piped up, “Gabe will NEVER be afraid of dentists like you are. Right now it’s the dentist who is saving the day (and his teeth).” In that very moment I decided that I would never be afraid of dentists either. I had no logical reason to fear them in the first place. I had no real traumatic event to tie the fear to; it was just there – lingering in the shadows of my mind poking me with sticks. It was in that moment that I decided to kick that fear out of my life and my mind. And I said out loud, “I am no longer afraid of dentists.” A couple months later I actually made my own appointment, the first in probably seven years. I went and while I was a little nervous, I wasn’t afraid and I certainly wasn’t terrified. God’s perfect love had cast out my fear.
Today I read the next section of Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. This section was more stories of people who have allowed Insecurity to make a fool of them. Waaay too many of these stories were all too familiar to me. And I’ve been sitting here thinking back, trying to trace the origin of my Insecurity. Beth says, on page 135*, that “Lying has a titanic link to insecurity”. When I was in elementary school I remember lying to my friends and making up stories just to get them to like me more. Praise God I don’t do that anymore, but still, elementary school!!! That’s the oldest memory I have of my insecurity getting the best of me. How sad is that? I’ve lived this life in fear of people rejecting me and for what? I’ve bent and changed who I was in order to get people to like me more. Why??? It’s like I said the other day, if I have to change who I am in order to get someone to be friends with me then they’re not really being friends with ME are they?
I feel like I’ve made a “break”through this morning in boiling Insecurity down to one thing: Fear. Yes, it has many other branches with their tentacles wrapped tightly around us, but at the tip of the root – sitting in the driver’s seat of Insecurity you’ll find Fear holding the wheel and making demands. It’s Fear that speaks those words of Doubt and self-condemnation into our ears. And it’s high time we kicked him out of the driver’s seat and let Jesus take the wheel! We know that according to 1 John 4:18 “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” That last phrase “he who fears has not been made perfect in love” used to really freak me out. “Does it mean that if I’m afraid then I haven’t been made perfect yet? Which won’t happen until I’m dead, which means that I’ll never live without fear!” Then I studied it a little deeper and meditated on it and God clarified things right up. That phrase “made perfect” in the Greek is the word “teleo” which is also the word Jesus used on the cross when He said, “it is finished!” Teleo is used when there is the sense of a cup being filled to the absolute brim so that it’s so full that if there was just one single drop more the cup would overflow. That’s the sense that we get with this verse too. If you’re afraid, then it’s because your love cup isn’t filled with God’s love for YOU. When I meditated on this verse God showed me a glass with a ping pong ball in the bottom. The glass was my heart, the ball was Fear. Then He began pouring His Living Water (the Word) into the glass. At half-full there was still plenty of room for the ping pong ball to be there inside my heart. However, when He kept pouring – and He poured to the point of overflowing and then some because His love is never ending, He never stops pouring it out – the ping pong ball floated to the top of the glass, out and off the table never to be seen or heard from again. God’s perfect love for you casts out Fear! No matter what that Fear is, no matter how deeply entrenched, God’s perfect Love has the ability and the willingness to cast it out of your life FOREVER!
My friend, Jesus loves YOU! And I pray that today you receive that Love so fully and completely that it causes your Fears to flee in Jesus’ name! He is SO GOOD to us! Receive that goodness with thanksgiving today, He is pouring out in an un-ebbing flow so get under that flow and soak in it awhile! Splash around and make a mess in God’s love for YOU today, get it on the people around you and liberate them from the Fears that hold them back. A “no” may be required somewhere in there, but that’s ok. If they get mad at you for telling them “No” because God told you to, then they’re the ones with the problem, not you.
So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us! You’ve caused us to act contrary to our true self and we’re done doing that! From this point on we will be True to who God made us to be; victorious conquerors who live in the Truth that Jesus loves us enough to die for us. And if He’s willing to do that, then He definitely willing to do other things for us as well! Like bless us abundantly so that we can be a blessing to others!
In Jesus’ name!