What keeps us from praying and abiding with God? Sometimes, we like to claim we’re simply busy, but we make time in our busy schedules for the things and people we love, don’t we? So why do we avoid God? What are we afraid of? What are we hiding? Is it just God, or do we draw back from close, intimate relationship with others for fear of being exposed?
Even the Lord Himself did not entrust himself to men, for he knew what was in the hearts of men, but we were created for fellowship and communion with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Choosing our close confidantes wisely is prudent, but not choosing any is a slow, painful spiritual and emotional death–especially when God Himself does not make the list.
Fear of the Lord is a good thing, except when that fear takes the form of being afraid to open our hearts and expose our wounds to him. Unless we are willing to confess our sin, we cannot be cleansed. Unless we bring to him our broken heart, he cannot bind it. We cringe in fear of judgment, but in God’s case, He already knows everything about us. David said it best in Psalm 139–God has searched us and knows us. He knows our lying down and rising up and discerns our thoughts–even before a word is on our tongue, he knows it. He knows all of our ways. No matter where we flee, he is there, still knowing and seeing everything about us. The darkness we hide in is as bright as day to him.
This means we cannot disappoint God, at least not in the sense of failing to meet His expectations. He won’t condemn us for speaking the truth of all we hide in shame. He is waiting for us to come to Him and surrender what we’re holding back, so He can give us peace and strength to stand and do his will.
Sometimes we run for fear of His command because of not emotionally understanding this, too. God will never ask us to do something He does not intend to enable and equip us to do. So if God asks the seemingly impossible from you, rejoice–that means He is about to do a miracle! Think about it. Every seemingly ludicrous command God gives in the bible proceeds radical obedience and a miracle. He has not changed and never will. The only matter for us to confirm is whether the word is truly from God.
And remember, wonderful are His works, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. Not a sparrow falls without his care and notice–and we are of more worth than many sparrows. The Lord Jesus Christ shed his own blood to prove our value–while we were yet enemies dead in sin, afar off. Now we are adopted into God’s family and coheirs with Christ. We have nothing to fear in coming to our Father with our hurts–it is the fear itself that cuts us off from him and the life blood we need to survive.
So bring to Him an offering of pain, sorrow, and anger, even, if that is what is truly on your heart and mind. Offer up to Him all the shame and the deeds of darkness you hide in the heart rather than nailing to the cross, and he will grow in you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Only after we have given him our junk can we bring him a sweet fragrant offering of praise and gratitude that will truly touch the heart of God–for it will be overflowing from the depths of ours.