Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fear in Decision Making Part 3

God is love. God wants us to make our decisions based on love of God and love of neighbor - not on fear. The fear of the future should never prevent us from fulfilling the needs of the present. Fear of the future should not prevent us from doing our duty as soldiers in God's army. Don't forget that's what we are. And where would our military be if fear prevented our soldiers from moving forward? Fear cannot be the motivating factor behind our decisions.

When a man asks a woman to marry, she could think of all the horrible things that might befall her, him, or them in the future. She might ponder on how he might leave her in the future, or he might grow ill and require her constant are. She could think about how he might die an early death or she might find herself abused. She can waste a lot of time thinking about things completely out of control. She could worry herself sick over all these options, though I don’t think she normally does. Why not? She is in love. She is in love with her future husband and focused on their happy lives together.

When God asks us to do something, we can think of all the horrible things that might befall us or others. We can focus on the varied negative consequences or outcomes. We can waste a lot of time thinking about a lot of things completely out of our control. If we’re in love with God though, our focus should not be on those useless imaginations. Our focus should be on God and what God wants. God will provide for us and we must trust Him!

I am reminded that after freeing the Israelites from Egypt and getting them across the Red Sea, Moses attempted to lead the people into the Promised Land. He sent in spies to check out the land, and on their return was going to lead them in to take the land God had promised. God Himself had promised them this land of milk and honey. And what happened? They got scared. They decided the enemy was too strong for them and they refused to press ahead on God’s command. They worried about what might happen instead of what they were told would happen.

They then spent 40 years in the wilderness until all but two of them died. That generation fell in the wilderness, not peacefully enjoying the milk and honey God had designed for them.

People might say this is all fine and dandy thinking, but not very practical. It just doesn’t make that much sense, does it? I don’t know why not. If God can part the Red Sea, why can’t He have control over my life? If God will die on a cross so I can get into Heaven, don’t I at least owe it to Him to try?

This doesn’t mean we do intentionally and obvious stupid things just because we have no direct information from God telling us not too. This trust does not prevent wisdom. God did give us our brains for a reason – petting a mamma bear in the woods next to her cubs is not something to do. The outcome is known though. It isn’t like you’re wasting time worrying about the results. All I mean is that we can’t fail to do what we’re called to do out of fear of what might happen. What if what might happen is the promised land?

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