Chapter 5 Let It Go

“And avoid fear, for fear is the consequence of every lie.”
-Fydor Doystoevsky, (the Brothers Karamazov)

Today, this single phrase has been beating in my head like a war drum.
On the battlefield of my mind, and in the fragile chaos of my machine-like heart,
this simple line has been echoing on.
Reverberating off the walls of war-torn streets,
I can faintly here the Roman calvary choirs singing.
And for me, it sounds a lot like freedom.
This one thought, this shining flickering light is my lighthouse in a thundering sea.
Maybe not you, but I for one have been rather sick and tired of myself as of late.
And more specifically, I’m tired of the lies that I so blindly believe.
I know it may sound melodramatic, but if my heart is where my treasure is
then I’m tired of this love affair I’ve made with doubt and
the seemingly never-ending struggle in my heart.
I want you to get it.  I want you to understand that if you struggle with the answers
that you’re not alone.  But I also want you to know the root, the cause,
and the fight that’s in between.

Lies
. There are lies everywhere.
Blinking neon lights, and sweetly penned secrets.
A movie.  A sermon.  A Day after thanksgiving sale.
How quickly we forget that the things we hear and see are making an impression.
Like an empty place in the bed where a body used to lay,
they’re wrapped up in the sheets, but they don’t need the rest.
They can come without warning and talk for hours without a sound.
Lies tell the future, insist on interpreting the past,
and seem to always keep us paralyzed to the present.
They can fill a closet with skeletons and invite monsters under the bed.
Lies are strangers in friends clothing and fill your house when you’re alone.

Fears.

The inevitable, unstoppable result of listening to something other than the truth.
Cousins, sisters, brothers perhaps?  I’m not exactly sure the relation
but I know that its a tie that binds.
Feed one, and you nourish the other.
Nurture a lie, and watch the panic grow.
Forget the truth and welcome anxiety.
Give up on hope, and welcome misery with open arms.

So then it should comes as no surprise
that the most recurrent command in all the Bible is this:
“Do not be afraid.”
Easy enough right?
Well maybe it could be,
but I don’t think we’ll ever live free of fear as long as fear itself is our problem.
Fydor reminds me.  Fear is the consequence of a lie,
Which means, if I find in myself some irrisistible anxiety, chances are,
I’ve welcomed a lie into my heart.
And maybe I didn’t exactly welcome it.
Maybe I just forgot to close the door on some memory
or I left the window cracked, but whatever the reason,
if the lie has crept in somewhere,
and has made its home where my faith has worn through,
I must recognize it for what it is.

It should also come as no surprise then, that the work of God is belief.
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one whom He has sent.”
Or as Jon Foreman sang, “belief over misery.”
Do we understand that fear isn’t something that we are meant to live with?
Do we have any idea how free we would be if we could just believe?
And trust me, I know.  It’s not easy.
In fact, its the hardest work any of else will ever have to do,
but its the war we were meant for.
Since we’re grafted into Israel as Romans says,
that means we’re brought in to “wrestle with God,”
for that is exactly what Israel means.
So we fight to rest.
We work to stop working.
We war for peace.
We run to stand still.
Life is waiting for the ones who lose control.
“taking captive every thought, and making it obedient to Christ Jesus.”
Take captive?
Yeah.
Take it freaking captive.
Smack that lie in the mouth and slaughter it with truth.

Here’s some fights I’ve had so far.
Lie: “you’re too screwed up for God to love you anymore.”
Reliation: “God proves his love, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Lie: “I’ve made too many poor choices.  I’ve missed God’s will for my life.”
Truth: “Even what you meant for evil, God meant for good.” (Gen 50:20)
“God works all things together for good for those who love God and who have been called”
Lie: “Someone might break in and kill me.”
Word: “Do not fear those who can kill the body and after that can do no more.
Fear him who after killing the body has the power to throw you into hell.” (Luke 12:4,5)
Lie: “I’m not good enough”
Truth: “In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us….” (I John 4:10)
Lie: “I’m awesome.  God owes me.”
Truth: “God is not served by men’s hands as if He needed anything…” (Acts 17:25)
Lie: OMG.  Can you believe this guy?  What a jerk!
Truth:  “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but with sober judgement,
according the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:3)
Lie: “Sex will give me the pleasure I’m looking for.”
Truth: “I have no good thing apart from you.”  (Psalm 16:2)
“In His presence there is the fullness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures forever.”
(Psalm 16:11)
Lie: “God’s command is going to ruin your good time.”
Truth: “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to give you life,
and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Lie: “I don’t have the strength to say no to this!”
Truth: “if anyone is in Christ He is a new creation.” (2 Cor 5:17)
        “and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” (I Cor 10:13)

The war drum goes on.
It never ends,
it doesn’t stop.
And so avoid fear, for fear is the consequence of every lie.
Belief is a fight.  Work at it with all the power that God supplies.