My friend John recently said to me,
“Sam, I’m really sweating out this proposal I’ve submitted. I need to win this contract. I’ll do anything to get it, even bend the rules…slightly…if I have to. And I may have to because my competitor is cutthroat. If I lose it, well,” and he paused for a moment, “I just can’t lose it! You’re the preacher. What do you have to say to help?”
John’s eyes were darting around the room in a nervous frenzy, and about every other word was a curse word. I hadn’t seen him this agitated in a while. So I tried to calm his nerves by quietly saying, “I would try to abandon the outcome to God, John, because you do not control the outcome.”
John’s response: “But I’m afraid it might not be God’s will that I get this contract!”
And there it was. The core truth.
“I really don’t want God’s will…because I really do not trust him.”
How often do you obey—or, at least try to obey—but only out of fear God might not give you what you want? Or perhaps try to obey because of your fear of God’s punishment if you displease him? How often do you act right, motivated by fear of what other people might say about you? (Far too often.)
This kind of performance is all about fear.
Or, do you obey because you love God and trust him implicitly?
Jesus’ dear friend, John, after a lifetime of watching Christians trying so hard to perform, motivated by fear, wrote,
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18-19
When we understand God loves us perfectly there is simply no room left in our hearts for fear: no fear of God, no fear of what others think, and no fear of…the outcome. His perfect love can and will drive out all your fears and fill your heart with so much trust that you will start to view fear as silly, useless, and totally illogical.
What a life this would be.
And you can have it.
But you will have to transfer your trust to Jesus.
[i] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, November 2.