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What Keeps You From Jumping?


(Photo: Unsplash)

As God has invited me leap off cliffs into the great unknown with Him the past three years, I find my once confident self a bit apprehensive at times. As He invites me to follow Him into new territory in which I feel like I could easily fail, fall flat on my face, and look like a fool in the end—I grow aware of places from which I’m extracting identity. As He invited me to write Out of Zion, I was filled with terror about the possibility of losing the relationships I have held dear with family, many of whom I expected would feel hurt or angry about me writing my book. 

As unrest enters my body, it’s an invitation to attune to my view of God at the moment. Some weeks, as I sit down to write a blog post, I find myself a bit frozen at once again offering my vulnerability much more publicly than I’ve done throughout the first 30 years of my adult life.  As my heart flinches, my head reminds me that “perfect love casts out fear.” And I wonder again why it seems so challenging to get the breadth of that reality into every cell of my body. 

This Dallas Willard quote sheds light on my struggle to believe from my head to my toes that God is my good shepherd and I have everything I need (Psalm 23: 1, NLT), 

When [Satan] undertook to draw Eve away from God, he did not hit her with a stick, but with an idea. It was with an idea that God could not be trusted and that she must act on her own to secure her own well-being. 

Tim Keller has said that we awaken each morning with the intent in our flesh to prove that we are right and good. As easy as it is to fall into seeking my identity in other’s approval, control, power, or comfort—it’s seems far more difficult to connect that beneath it something is amiss about my view of God. My battle used to be that I was quite confident in my natural abilities—at times too confident. God has led me into a season in which that is no longer my battle. He’s taken me to the other side of the fence where I now empathize with those who struggle with their “not enough-ness.” I can see my Father walking me toward possessing a belief in His identity and my identity in Christ which will release out of me a fearlessness to follow Him wherever He leads me. Presently, I feel neck-deep in rough waters.

So I made space to question why I didn’t write a blog post last week. I knew I didn’t just need a break, but I was resisting writing. As I pondered, I discovered I’m fearing other’s indifference or judgment. I grew aware that I’m placing greater confidence in the approval of others than resting in the reality that my God is a God of sufficiency and His delight fully satisfies me. The next morning I read a paraphrase of Psalm 62 which captured my reality:

Fear keeps me from living fully, from

sharing my gifts;

it takes pleasure in imprisoning my soul.

Bending to seeking approval in others had kept me from living fully, from sharing my gifts, from living as the God reflecting image bearer I was created to be.

I was struck this summer, as I once again read the story of God inviting Moses to join Him in His mission to release His people from slavery in Egypt. Moses had been tending to flocks for decades in Midian. He’d been looking for pasture—not ramping up his oratory skills in order to face-off with Pharoah. God invited Moses to follow Him into a new frontier. I think God takes pleasure in inviting us to join Him in where He’s going when we have no capacity to put confidence in our talent, capacity, or skill. It positions us to see Him as our sufficiency.

What struck me this time around in this story was God’s response to Moses’ very legitimate question, “But who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

In our culture, we often respond to others, when they question themselves or their ability, by encouraging them about their gifts or character which equips them for the task at hand. We cheer each other on so perhaps we can build another up and encourage them for the mission ahead. God took a very different approach to Moses’ expression of insecurity.

“I will surely be with you,” God said…

God’s withness was his comfort and promise. I write bit about the withness of God. This is why. It’s all over the Bible. Perfect love casts out fear. The God of love is with us. That is the truth He spoke over Moses to calm his fears about his ability to be faithful to the steep calling to go head-to-head with Ramses. He is enough. So if that isn’t calming my fears or reservations about following God into what feels like threatening territory, then I must be back with Eve entertaining crazy ideas about His identity resulting in my ego awakening and thinking I must secure my own well-being.

Willard captures the essence of the love of the biblical God which casts out fear,

“We must understand that God does not “love” us without liking us – through gritted teeth – as “Christian” love is sometimes thought to do. Rather, out of the eternal freshness of his perpetually self-renewed being, the Heavenly Father cherishes the earth and each human being upon it. The fondness, the endearment, the unstintingly affectionate regard of God toward all his creatures is the natural outflow of what he is to the core – which we vainly try to capture with our tired but indispensable old word “love.”

His love was always supposed to be enough for us. He offers His withness as our peace, our comfort, our security, our strength, our everything we need. And when His love and withness are enough, I find myself jumping with abandon.

A SUGGESTED PRACTICE

Explore what is beneath your self-doubt or self-assurance? Does God’s offer to be with you as you journey through life bring courage? Resistance? Hope? Consolation? Invite Jesus to repair your vision of Him as you discover it askew. Then jump with abandon!

Written by Lisa Brockman. To read more of Lisa’s writing, visit lisabrockman.me.

Her book, Out of Zion: Meeting Jesus in the Shadow of the Mormon Temple is available at here

Instagram: lisabrockman_me. Facebook: lisahalversenbrockman and lisa brockman author page.