Fear Not - Your God Is Qualified!
I have been processing what it means that God is our Helper, and that meant starting off by asking some important questions: Why don’t I go to Him for help? What is at the core of my sluggish and half-hearted attempts to come to Him?
I have deceived myself on a variety of levels. The first is that going to the Source of Help when I have already found some alternate and apparently acceptable imitation of aid seems redundant. Band-aids on problems can appear to work well for awhile, until the wound starts some serious gushing! The other thing I do to circumvent His help is making a choice (conscious or otherwise) to believe certain lies about God, thereby letting my old self try and run things.
And then Isaiah 41 arrives on the doorstep of my devotional time to make things brutally clear as you will see. These are the lies that the powerful chapter in Isaiah has highlighted:
I don’t believe that God is actually with me.
I don’t believe that He is bigger than my obstacles.
I don’t believe that He has abundant resources.
I don’t believe who He says I am. (Because my view of Him is skewed)
But thankfully, God won’t let me, or any of us, stay there. He insists upon his qualifications to be our Helper.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
While my sinful humanity has me quick to negate the reality of His Presence, His Spirit isn’t so easy to shake. His Holy Presence won’t allow me to continue in the sin of perpetual, or even occasional fear. Is not Immanuel fully equipped to help us by the very fact that He is so near to help? Jesus went from heaven to earth to the cross to the grave and back again to glory, enduring - forgive me but - a whole lot of crap to be with us! How dare I live in such a way that rejects His presence! If the FATHER was willing to accept that Jesus met all the requirements in order for us to be together (Hebrew 7:16; 26-28), certainly I need to be reminded of His Presence that he purchased with his own life, death, and resurrection.
“Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:14
Fear erupts when there are size issues - when I forget Who is big and who (and what) is small. When I choose to believe the obstacles that stand in His way are boulders rather than pebbles, fear wins. His goal has never wavered, with the ultimate objective of making His own name great. He has a habit of becoming small only to be magnified, at least if we trust Philippians 2:6-11. Is He not completely qualified in Power, Magnitude and Authority to squash any reason I can offer as to the validity of my fear?
“When the poor and needy seek water; and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights and fountains in the midst of the valleys.” Isaiah 41:17-18a
God has resources I know nothing about, but what I do know for sure is that they are abundant, sufficient for whatever I need. I may not be able to see it, and it may come from a crazy and unexpected place, for the resource of Himself definitely did. (The Savior as a baby? Really?) But He will make a way when there is no way, for He is THE Way. He has given His Spirit who is the fountain of living water, making sure I do not thirst again (John 7:37-38).
When I stop believing that He is qualified to help me, then I also fear that I am not the person He has said I am. It starts with Him and trickles down so that my whole new identity starts to get...squishy. I forget that He has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. I forget that I am FREE, that I am truly His child as well as His precious possession, owned by Love Himself. He has earned the right to determine who I am, yes, even who I am becoming. He deserves to be my one and only source of Help because only He is qualified.
So, dear Church, let us eschew any other types of help we have invented which won’t save us. Let us reconcile with the reality of His presence instead of forgetting about it. Let us adjust the lens away from ourselves and our obstacles being so overwhelming, so that the Great and Powerful One would be rightly magnified. Let us enjoy the satisfying resource of Christ Himself and agree with Him that He is able to supply all our needs. Let us accept who He has declared us to be, SAINTS, rather than trying to live under our old titles. He is undoubtedly qualified to help us, so fear not.
- Guest Post by Brittany Van Ryn