Ok, so back to wondering how the people in our lives get between us and God. First off, let me start this next section with a huge thank you to all the people who support every “crazy” idea that comes to my mind. I am sure I can overwhelm even the most creative mind at times with how many directions my brain can go.
So, to those of you who keep track of me and listen to all my ranting first hand.
THANK YOU! you are amazing.
Please don’t take any of the following statements to heart. *(see right there, had to put a note in to make sure the feelings of loved ones are protected from the truth I’m about to share) Half of them don’t even know I’m writing a blog!
So, While “retreating” here and spending quiet time alone with the Lord I was praying and reading and writing. On the coffee table right in front of me was a small magazine I will reference it to avoid any copyrighting issues. (Tabletalk, The Seven Deadly Fears.) While reading a few struck me and God convicted me big time! Fear of Men by. Nicholas T. Batzig (no idea who he is but God used his writing today. If anyone reading this is friends with him on Facebook be sure to tag him so he knows he is being used as an instrument of God).
We are around people everyday all day. I am becoming increasingly aware of how much, what they think or what I think they might think effects what I do, what I say and how I say it. Even the way I might DO anything could change.
Think about that for a moment. You’re at work, working and a person you don’t know very well is in the same space as you. You feel God nudging you to ask this person a simple question. What do you do? Do you fearlessly ask the question? Do you ask God to repeat Himself to make sure it was Him? Do you think the entire situation out to the end. For example: I ask and the person looks at me nuts and has a bad opinion of the crazy girl asking random questions. Get scared of being rejected and say nothing? Or, do you walk past them seven times, think all these things through, and then realize not asking is against what God wants you to do. Then, finally terrified and reluctant ask the question?
The last option is the one I choose today. What did I find? Not only was the person happy to answer but it helped me learn more about them. It opened up a door. It was two people talking about their faith at work. To top it off something even more unexpected happened. They asked me to answer the same question! Which turned into me sharing about the time I spent with God yesterday and sharing this fear of Man I have with someone else.
That one simple question turned into a deep meaningful spiritual conversation with someone I haven’t really talked to before. I will tell you what, I will take that over “Hi, hows it going?” any day.
God, knows what He’s doing. Even when we don’t. The enemy wants to prevent us from these simple conversations. These simple conversations bring strangers closer together in Christ. Even people who seem to have no faith can gain some from us asking the questions God prompts us to. We need to hear Him and obey.
So, the hidden foe I speak of are the little whispers of doubt in the tiny little things we think we hear God prompting us to do.
He whispers “Ask Nate how he sees me working in his life.” if I obey -a relationship with God at the center starts and faith becomes strengthened. God gains more ground in the battle. We are faithful in little and will receive more.
He whispers “Ask Nate how he sees me working in his life.” if I ignore it (disobey)- nothing happens. No relationship, no strengthening, no added faith, no spiritual gain. The enemy keeps us in a boring mundane regular day at work lull. Nothing spiritual about that, no battle taking place. (or is there?) The enemy gains ground in the battle.
These situations can be the worst with family. Like I said, I love mine and they are very supportive. But, lets face it. Who’s approval do you seek out when it is God vs Family? Do you stick with the urges and prompts that God gives you? Do you say something about Jesus to the person in your family that you are unsure of where they stand with Jesus? Do you take the chance of offending them because God wants you to say something? Or, do you ignore the quiet voice, or feeling that you shouldn’t say something because it might be uncomfortable? They might get upset or push you away!
We fear the loss of mans favor, loss of their love or we fear their disapproval. We fear loss of friendship, comfort or pleasure from those relationships. So, we “edit” what we know we should say. We all do it. I’m the worst at this. Time and time again the chance to speak Gods truth goes by, ignored. His convicting words tight in my chest as the anxiety builds. Do I really say that to them? (whatever it is your feeling you should say at the time). What if they freak out on me? What if this guy never talks to me again because I need to keep strict boundaries he doesn’t understand? What if my words sound overzealous? What if I sound nuts?
So we compromise. We say half of what we thought we should. We edit so the truth is sorta there and Gods message is kinda given, but in a way we know it will be better swallowed.
Question: Do you know that person better than God knows that person? Do you really think you know what is best said and not said to them at any given moment?
If you feel God telling you to deliver a message do you put your own words in, edit the message to make it more palatable. Or, do you deliver it as you know God is telling you to?
Maybe, the enemy has you double guessing all together. After all, why would God use you to tell someone they are heading down the wrong path? Why wouldn’t He just tell them Himself?
When we fear man it mutes and quiets our witness and keeps us from living for his glory.(Nicholas T. Batzigs words not mine) But, it spoke very clearly too me.
This fear of Man is a thing I never even thought of and it turns out to be my greatest road block. My biggest idol standing in my way to doing all the things God wants from me and for me.
Now, picture what it would be like to act on all the things you feel God telling you to do. Imagine, fearlessly and confidently carrying out every order large and tiny that the Lord gives you. I wonder what that would be like. Not even sure if it is possible. Sometimes, I have a hard time knowing for certain it is God telling me to do these things.
Jesus was able to do this and he never worried what people thought he never compromised for gain and his only goal was to bring honor and glory to the Heavenly Father. He was also rejected and despised because of it.
I don’t know if I can say I have what it takes to do the same. How do we battle this foe? How do we put God above all others all the time? How do we seek His approval over mans every time? How do we break free from our Man pleasing default setting?
*Father, I pray for all man kind that we would seek you more fully. I pray that when we feel you speak to us we follow more quickly and with less reservation. I pray you help us to come together and trust you as our guide and counselor. I pray you strengthen our faith as a whole, as one body. I pray you show us when the enemy is at work and make us more aware of how real the spiritual battle is. I pray Father, that you would give us a boldness to speak when you ask us to and a willingness not to edit the message according to what we think would be more pleasing to the receiver. I pray you help us to see the power and authority you have given us over the enemy and that we would see him and his attempts to keep us weak and fearful. I pray you help us to see you put us here to love one another and not to fear one another. I pray you help us to see there is one purpose Father. To glorify you Lord in all we do.
In Jesus Name- Amen