April 1, 2015

Jericho Fears

It was finally warm and sunny enough to visit the beloved greenway close to my house. I needed to be out in nature, to be moving with no one around. I needed space to wrestle with God.

I was wrestling with fears:
fears about finances (looming tax bills, car on the frits, lack of savings, things just being generally tight),
fears about my future (will I ever have babies, or will my body be too old by the time a husband shows up, will I ever have a house, or be able to adopt, or ever get married????) and
fears about my heart (when it is time to love, will I fail again?).

As I walked and spoke aloud with the Lord expressing my fears and pleading for him to "JUST DO SOMETHING ALREADY"... in his graciousness he didn't tell me "you are enough strong, just deal with it on your own," or "I am God, I will do what suits me," or ask "what is your problem?"

He replied to my confession with an image:

Jericho: a fortress with its walls rising, seemingly insurmountable to a band of ragtag people after years of traveling in the wilderness, but also essential to overcome as part of entering the Promised Land.

The Lord in his tenderness revealed my fears, a personal Jericho, were a wall standing between me and a land of abundance and promise. The thing that was to free me from these walls? Worship ...wholehearted passionate worship of the King of the Eternal Kingdom who forever holds me in his hands of love. Just as the walls came crumbling down with a trumpet blast from the priests the fears surrounding my heart will evaporate as I worship. Worship and time. Jericho's walls didn't topple in a day, or by the end of "Jesus loves me this I know." It took seven days, a cycle of completion ending with a grand finale. Worship is the key, but things also take time. A pattern of trust has to be build.

In our journey of learning to trust in the love and promises of the Father lets meditate on His word and what He has already done:  
"I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you." (Joshua 1:9 words of Rehab)
"The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." (Joshua 2:24 words of the spies)

"Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18)
 "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them." (1 John 4:16)

Think about the garden of Eden... there was no place for fear there, only love. We are not meant to dwell in fear. It is crippling. We are meant to work with our hands, have free relationships, and walk with the Lord in the cool of the day, forever in His presence. We are meant for worship, crafted to be objects of his love and vessels pouring His love back to Him and the people around us. As we exalt  the One who is love our fears come crashing down, having lost their power, leaving us free to dwell in the Promised Land of abundance.