Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fear--Not Always A Great Motivator ~ Part 2

One of the things that God showed me recently was how some of my decisions have been based on fear concerning my children. Legitimate fears that I don’t need to go into, but all based on my own past or present experiences personally or of those in my world.

This fear was definitely a motivator. I was moved to action on behalf of my love for my children. I was motivated by emotions. I was compelled by the convictions of others and their choices in how to protect.

I did ask God. I did pray and seek the word. Sometimes the scriptures are inconclusive and God seems silent. Perhaps I was too far gone with the idea of someone else’s conviction that I didn’t honestly wait quietly long enough to listen to Him say, “Whoa girl...slow down there!”

What I do know now, that I didn’t realize then, was that my motivation was fear.

Another example was my garden. I went overboard in money, time and mental focus on that thing this year. When the prices of rice and wheat sky-rocketed, I was determined I was going to learn how to grow our own food so that I would be less dependant upon others meeting the needs of my family. Good idea...yes! Going overboard...not so good!

Again...fear is not the greatest of motivators. This fear cost me a summer of frustration and abundant expense. Had I been more reserved, planted less and looked at it as a learning, growing (pun intended :), fun experience it very well could have been.

Fundamentally, the question I have for I trust God with my children? I trust God to take care of our needs? Yes! I absolutely do trust God. Fear motivated me to reduce that faith to lip service in these two areas.

Faith has no depth if it is not actively engaged.

Protecting my children is not wrong. Growing a garden is a very good thing to do. But I now realize the extreme and specific recent decisions in these two areas were based on fear.

Motivation in decision making should be made based on the word of God and His specific instructions to me (and/or my husband) as I follow hard after His will for my life. As I “seek to align my heart with His” daily, I trust Him to show me how to parent my children, how to feed my family, how to _______________.

God is the perfect motivator...not fear.

Can I just encourage you to go to God and ask Him to examine your heart for any decisions--choices you’ve made....ways that you are living....that are being motivated by fear and not Him?

We should go to the Bible...yes! But we must also beware of just grabbing and going off at a full sprint with one or two verses as our new life’s ambition. Unless we know specifically that the Holy Spirit is also involved in directing the process.

She looks well to the way of her household” is a great verse to follow, but not to go overboard with. Trust me...I know! :) I learned the hard way...

Can I suggest that we all look specifically for any area in our life that either seems really emotionally urgent or that feels unnatural, uncomfortable in its fit. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is not exactly what God has intended for us. Maybe it is partially correct, but we take it further than He has planned for us. Perhaps there is more to the motivation than we realize right now.

I surely was surprised at what God had to show me in this area--pleasantly surprised! I am so grateful for the scales that He removed from my eyes—what freedom!

I can protect my children without going to confining extremes that remove us from His will. I can feed my family without cursing the ground and expecting miracles from myself in something of which I have no experience and no control of the outside elements.

My faith in the “bigness” of my God, as well as His personal attentions towards me, has grown!

No longer fearing, I see my faith in these two areas once again real and activated. I feel the weight of this heavy burden removed and joy has returned.

Having had this experience, I will be less likely to allow fear to motivate me the next time. I want the motivation for all of my decisions based on what God has to say to me in directing my life. I don’t want to be motivated by fear, by the world, by fleshly desires, by jealousy, by anger, by any thing that is contrary to God and His will for my life.

As I “set my heart to seek God” my trust in Him is constantly being renewed and deepened in every area of my life.

This trust brings peace! A happy replacement to fear!