Trust and Fear
We insist that God must surely lead everyone as we believe He has led us. We refuse to allow God the freedom to deal with each of us as individuals. When we think like that, we are legalistic.
~~ Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace~~
It started with an article about breasts. Yes, you heard me right. It was an article that challenged modern day christian restrictions. Essentially it boiled down to this: ask God about what you're wearing instead of worrying about what others think.
The responses rang in.
Disgusted, angry, responding in frustration and exasperation, and casting aspersions.
Some of the responses were downright ugly. The ugliness of judgement. It was no longer about disagreeing with perspectives. It was a gut reaction-fear and anger, judgement and condemnation.
The writer's intent wasn't to call us to dress like whores. But that is all many people heard. And they all rang in with their fear. What if someone hears God wrong? What if this leads to a generation of women who are completely immodest? What if this article fueled the indecency and immodesty we see around us even more? What if an immature Christian read this wrong? What damage could it do?
Then here. Look to the comments. There are a few who voice their fears, who stand confused, unable to discern the difference between the rules of Man and the leading of God. What if we... get it wrong? What if we hear God wrong?
I'll admit, a list is alot easier. Do's and don'ts are much more concrete than saying "Hear God." Cults like the FLDS, they thought they'd heard God. They were even able to twist scripture to fit their practice of marrying off young girls to old men. Fear of Man.
But a God? A wildly, lovingly, unpredictable God? A God who may ask us to move to India, or hang with some drunks, or talk to a prostitute, or take in a homeless man, or befriend the outcasts?
That's scary. Risky even.
A God who goes above the rules? Where just looking is adultery, and anger is murder? Where the motivations of our heart matter much more than the "appearance of evil?"
It's clear that in this life we've got two choices. Fear, and trust.
Fear sets the foundation for legalism and it is essentially this---- the lack of trust in God to deal with and speak to each individual as He sees fit (not as we see fit).
But trust, to trust God to deal with each individual, including ourselves, in His perfect timing, in His perfect will? Freedom.
Freedom to simply trust and obey.
And the funny thing about that is if you're busy trying to hear and obey His voice, there's no room for the judgement and condemnation of others. There's no room for legalism.
There's no room for fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,
1 John 4:18
****Disclaimer: I am in no way supporting the idea that we should not live obediently to the principles in the Bible. I am suggesting though that living those principles in an ungraceful, cut off from God's voice, performance driven, legalistic way ends up in a heap of dead branches.