Tag Archives: living without fear

Does History Matter?

This is one of those days, like the day JFK was shot, that everyone remembers where they were when they heard about the attack on the twin towers. I can even remember how I felt and what I thought two days later listening to the news. Will this change life from now on?

Fourteen years later, a lot has changed in the world, but probably not a lot in your world if you live in America. It seems like a good thing, but is it?

I think it was Roosevelt that said, those who don’t understand history are condemned to repeat it. It may not be verbatim, hence no quotes. But for awhile after that, people were thoughtful about what really mattered. It even caused some people to reorder their priorities–at least for a while.

Did it change your perspective or behavior?

My friend sent me a blog on media overload. It’s hard to live with so much input when the world seems to be coming apart in so many places for so many people. It can put you in fear or make you calloused. So many people’s lives are being threatened by dictators or hostile predators. Even the weather is getting more wild and extreme, threatening and changing life. Is it irresponsible or healthy to turn it off?

Is there really anything to understand?

One of my favorite things is understanding history through scripture. It is why I’m writing my new series Love’s Playbook–the Bible from a cosmic perspective. (Another will be out next month.) One thing that has impressed me lately is how God works through events–sometimes horrible ones. No He doesn’t cause them. But He uses them. And if we trust Him, He can turn it into good. But it takes real trust, and sometimes real time. He works slowly, it seems to us, but that’s because what He is doing is so much bigger than we imagine.

Just try to imagine 200 billion galaxies; it’s freaky to our brains. The scope is so huge, it can overwhelm us. But that is exactly where it gets exciting to me. With that kind of size and order, there has to be something important to understand. And I think scripture makes a great case for understanding the kind of being God is. It says He is all good–“no darkness at all.” Is that hard to believe in light of what is happening? Evil seems to be getting more intense.

I think it is part of the plan. As I understand it, God is going to step back and back and back, and let evil have more and more power. Why would He do that? Just so those who don’t have time for God, or don’t want to be concerned with Him, can see what their options are. When He is caring  and kind and protective, we tend to put very little effort into knowing Him.

But God has been challenged on his character. Is He fit to rule? This whole war between good and evil fills the universe, but centers here. He has put Himself on trial, and recorded it for our benefit, but unless we see events from that perspective, we could blame Him and grow cold and angry.

So yeah, understanding history does matter–making or breaking your perspective of God. He will always leave hooks to hang doubt on–that protects our freedom. We get to choose our paths–our priorities. I’ve said good choices make a good life, and it’s also true that good choices reveal a good God. Everyone gets to choose.

 

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Boundaries

So ISIS beheaded another 21 people–Egyptians–this week. In the name of God? I think not. The one before that was an American woman. Before that burning the Jordanian pilot. They are going for reaction and intimidation. Notice how tall their black-clad executioners are compared to their victims. They are going for fear. It brings up some important questions:

How could they possibly think a God who died for freedom would approve? Or is that why they hate Christians–because we believe in a God who died to guarantee our freedom? Are these guys so demented that they actually think God rules with force? The word demented has ties with “demon” –have they been so pounded on by people who were controlled by demons that their boundaries cracked and they allowed evil to take over?

Were they so powerless, so mistreated as children and became so angry or were so hurt that they chose evil in the form of revenge? They have attracted many such “demented” people. Do they all really think God is like them? Or is this just an excuse to act out their rage?

What caused them to feed such rage? Helplessness? Powerlessness?

Have they thrown off their ties to their own religion in order to vent their fury? Or are they really deluded into thinking they are acting righteously?

I’ve read their holy book, and it says over and over–more than anything else–that Allah is most gracious and most merciful! Where is their disconnect?

I love it when the things I’m thinking and the things I read converge.

I’ve been working on God’s conversation with Cain in Genesis 4 for weeks, and was thinking the above this morning, when I went to God Calling for today. It said to be more afraid of disturbance between God and us than anything.

“When you feel the absolute calm has been broken–away alone with Me until your heart sings, and all is strong and calm. These (disturbances) are the only times when evil can find an entrance. The forces of evil surround the city of man-soul, and are keenly alert for one such unguarded spot, through which an arrow can pierce and do havoc.”

He had my attention; this is just what He had said to Cain! Then He said something shocking! “Remember all that you have to do is to keep calm and happy. God does the rest.”

What? No word about choice? It is only implied, but what a choice it is! And I know you experience it–when someone treats you meanly or rudely, or worse, scares you to death. And you choose not to let their arrows, poisoned by the dark side, go in.

Is that even possible?

It is! Listen to the rest: “No evil force can hinder My Power–only you yourself have power to do that.”

I think the next words are going to be about choosing because that’s what He’s talking about. But no–the last line is, “Think when all God’s mighty forces are arrayed to aid you–and your poor, puny self impedes their onward march.” He’s talking about how our emotions like fear and hurt get triggered. grabbed, and we run away with the wolves instead of sounding the battle cry, “Onward! Fight!”

There is a fight, a holy war, going on, but it isn’t about us killing each other, it’s about us choosing calm or trust and letting God fight for us. God’s boundary is our freedom, our boundary is not hooking in, not letting ourselves get carried away by fear, or hurt, or desire for revenge  but knowing our Helper and choosing to use His forces.

Right after that I read Psalm 4 and it’s all about the same thing! Wow! The last line is “Now I will lie down in peace, and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord, makes me live unafraid.”

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Bullying, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Parenting, suffering, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...