I can sometimes become obsessed with my new life as I once was with expressing my self-will and sin. I can convince myself that I have to work to get what I want or to deserve what I have. It is in those times that I have to remind myself that the work is done. I just have to relax and accept it. Grace is not something I work for, and it is not something I earn, but it is a gift. I do not have to make anything happen, but trying to make things happen often seems to erect a barrier between me and the grace or the blessing or the goal I convinced myself that I was working for. Trying to make things happen is me exerting my own will. Letting things happen is Surrendering to God’s will. The free gift from God comes to me when I am ready to receive it. So my job is to be ready, to relax, and to receive with gratitude and humility, placing myself in God’s hands. The grace of God is doing for me what I have been unable to do for myself, if I can just get out of the way and let it flow into my life.
Of course, fear tells me that if I do not exert my will, or if I do not try to make things happen, then nothing will happen. Fear tells me that if I do not strive for God’s grace, then I will not receive God’s grace. But fear is a liar. F-E-A-R is False Evidence Appearing Real. I have many fears and I have to stand up to each one. I have to face each fear as it appears. I have to tell my fear: “If I have to earn God’s grace then it is not grace.” Fear is darkness and lies and God is light and truth. I overcome my fears by Surrendering my fears, along with every other part of my life, to God.
“Perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). What is “Perfect Love” but God? If God is the perfect love that drives out fear, then fear is the opposite of God and works against God. Therefore, fear, like the power behind it, is “a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44). The enemy of God wants to use fear to destroy the life I have found in Surrendering to God’s will. Fear destroys hope and hell is the absence of hope. There is no room for fear in a heart inhabited by God. If I fill my life with love, then I allow no room in my life for fear.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY:
Do I believe that God’s grace can do for me what I could never do for myself, even to the point of expelling fear?
Lord, fill me with your love, so that there will be no room within me for fear. If I do experience fear, remind me that fear is a lie seeking to rob me of my happiness, and the fear of the thing is far worse than the thing I fear. Amen.