Friday, January 27, 2017

Intimidated No More.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bead, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11).

In the mid 90's I had graduated high school and had joined the United States Army. That summer was a complete blur as my life had changed so much and so fast. The emotions I encountered with the mixture of physical exhaustion were more than I had ever anticipated. I remember "giant status" of each of drill sergeants in basic training. They were very successful in creating a fast impression of coming across as strong, brutal, and most of all, at least to me, intimidating. There were a few times that I needed to go to the office of the drill sergeant and approach one of them for some reason or another. We had been taught how to approach them, what position to be in, what words to say, and in what tone to speak. There was certainly more than a respect that would come over me when I came close to the door and begin to knock. I was intimidated. I feared whether or not my request would be considered, would this be an acceptable reason to approach, and would I face some sort of consequence for even asking. The intimidation served on more than one occasion as motivation to "suffer in silence" whatever need or question I may have had. 

How many times have we considered God in the same way? The intimidation is so great as to how He may or not respond that we just simply do not get too close. The pain and fear of rejection or consequence becomes greater than the "suffering in silence" that has become an all-too-often norm. Jesus spoke the light of truth into the darkness of a lie that has shrouded many into believing that God does not care. He does. Intimidation is lie straight from the pit of hell to keep you from approaching God in prayer. The fact, over the fear, is that God loves you and has much better in store for you if you would only trust Him enough to ask. 

"How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" It is not really even a question, but a statement of truth. The root of the intimidation many times is that we are still holding on to things God wants us to release. There may be somethings in your life that make it harder to believe that you deserve anything good or that you could even earn the right to ask God for anything. God does not treat you in terms of "how much you deserve." Yes, He will hold you to a standard, and yes, there will be consequences according to your actions. But He is not a God with some sheath strapped to His back where He pull out the lightning bolts and hurls them down every time you make a mistake. He is a God of TRUTH & JUSTICE, but He is also a God of MERCY & GRACE. His love for you is GREATER than the sins that have become the obstacle between Him and you. 

Don't let intimidation have power over your life. You can approach God. You are the very reason Jesus came from Heaven to earth. The devil wants to separate you with the weapons of intimidation and isolation. God wants you to know that as a Heavenly Father, what He holds for you is far better than anything you could ever imagine or achieve on your own. All you have to do is APPROACH, ASK, and APPLY. So, what are you waiting for? Take some time now, right now. As you acknowledge who He is and what has been in-between Him and you, ask Him for the help and the "what you need" in your life. His love alone will more than give you the confidence that He will answer.

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