Confessing Fear and Apathy

by Angie Thomas

I am so humbled and grateful to be on this journey with you this summer as we take theses amazing truths from Ephesians and ask the Lord to seed them deep in our hearts.There is great, really incredible news that our hearts need to hear.  Luke 8 starts out saying this about Jesus, “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means” (Luke 8:1-3).

I love that immediately preceding the parable of the sower, Luke tells us about all these women who were following Jesus, who desperately wanted to hear what He was teaching.  They were hungry for the good news of the kingdom that Jesus was proclaiming.  They wanted to hear. Luke says they had been healed of their infirmities.  I can relate well to these women.  My heart is full of the infirmities of fear, worry, and possibly most troubling…apathy.  I need to be healed by Jesus.  I was really struck with the words in the introduction to our Seeds of Spring study: “Don’t be afraid to ask Him for His help to hear His voice and grant you the grace you need to follow in the steps that He asks you to take. Be excited!”

The words convicted my heart.  I had to confess to the Lord that I was afraid to see the weeds of sin in my heart and that I was honestly not very excited about the whole thing. Following Him in obedience takes work and sometimes I would honestly rather just ignore my sin, regardless of how miserable it makes me, instead of being proactive and dealing with it.  I mean, I can think of a lot of things I would rather spend my time and energy on than dealing with my sin.  I am just keepin’ it real girls.  Ignorance is bliss after all, right? But the reality is that there is a fuller and deeper life here on earth for me to experience if I allow Jesus to deal with this junk in my heart.  It’s kind of like watching television in HD versus regular definition.  Do I want to continue to walk through life with this muddled, fuzzy picture of what He is doing in and around me because of my sin, or deal with it and root it out by His grace so I can see and experience with vibrancy and clarity His work and His kingdom being established here on earth?

As I laid this all out on the table before Him in brutal honesty, these are the crazy fears I had to confess to Him:

-I am afraid of admitting to Him that I don’t have it all figured out, and perhaps acknowledging that I never will while my feet are rooted to this earth.
-I am afraid of losing control, of things not happening the way I want or think is best.
-I am afraid of being dependent on Him.  What will He ask me to do or give up?  Where will He ask me to go?

In short, I realized I want to keep my independence.  Surrendering fully to Him feels like throwing myself over a cliff.  But that thought could not be further from the truth.  Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.   Satan, the thief, is the one who wants to ruin my life, not Jesus.  Jesus wants to give me ABUNDANT life.

Paul knows this well as He prays in Ephesians 1:18-19 that God would make your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!” (The Message).

Endless energy and boundless strength!  Yes, please.  Sign me up for that, Jesus.  Thank you for loving us enough to lay down your life and suffering for us so we can truly experience abundant lives of beauty and purpose here on earth, not to mention for eternity.  Thank you for the promises in your Word which are the perfect antidote to my fear and apathy.  May we let go of our fears so that we can experience more fully your abundant love and peace and bring great glory to your Name!
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