Do you want to trust in someone but fear being put to shame? Do you avoid putting yourself out there for all to see because you’re worried you’ll be embarrassed? Do you dread others finding out your secret hopes and dreams since you’re afraid of what they’ll think if none of them come to pass? If so, you’re not alone. Probably everyone in this world has undergone these same feelings; these same emotions. When we feel like we need to step out and take a risk, worry and anxiety are right there beside us trying to stop us from moving forward. They are right there to tell us all kinds of lies that would stop us and cause us to doubt what we really should be doing … if we listen. Problem is, those voices in our head tend to be a lot louder than the whispers of assurance we would hear if only we would choose to listen to them instead. Consider this “whisper” found in Psalm 22:4-5 (NIV) : “In You our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were saved; in You they trusted and were not put to shame.” The truth is, God is faithful. God is loving and kind. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When we look at how God interacted with the people in the Bible, with the people we know today, and even with our own personal relationship history with Him we can see proof for ourselves that God’s character has always been consistently trustworthy. No, we (and others) may not have always gotten what we wanted the way (and timing) we wanted it but that’s because God always knows, wants, and does what is ultimately best for us (and others). His ways are always higher and greater than anything we could ever come up with on our own. When we don’t get what we want when we want it (right that minute) it’s usually because God wants something even better for us … something that we would receive if only we would choose to be patient and would choose to trust in Him and His ways (and in His timing) believing that we will not be put to shame as His Word declares. So, today, the timeless truth to remember is that we need to intently listen to the “whispers” of God’s Word and God’s Spirit that speaks to our soul (and choose to ignore all the loudly spoken lies). We need to trust and believe His voice that would never lead us astray. We need to trust His voice that would only lead us into the good plans and purposes that He has for us. As we follow His leading we can be assured that when we are faithful to obey, He is faithful to bless (not shame us).
Have you ever heard the words, “Close that door, you weren’t brought up in a barn you know!” If so, most likely it was from a parent wanting to keep the heat in during the dead of winter to save on heating costs. (Actually, that is a good practice … after all, who wants to pay more than necessary for fuel to heat their home?) In the summer, when someone is in a room that’s stuffy, the words you’re more likely to hear are, “Open that door and let the fresh air in!” So, depending upon the circumstances, sometimes it’s good for the door to be open and sometimes it’s good for it to be closed. Spiritually speaking, when God offers us an “open door” that we need to make a decision as to whether or not to “walk” through it, we have the option of either exercising faith or entertaining doubt. If we truly feel like we are being led by the Holy Spirit to go forward into the plans God has for us, hopefully we will choose to keep the door open rather than close it through unbelief. The choice is ours … are we going to open or close the door of our faith? We may feel nervous … we may feel scared … we may even feel fear trying to grip at us when we’re in the process of making a decision of what to do next in the choices we need to make in our lives (even when we believe we’re doing the right thing by going forward through an open door the Lord provides for us). Feelings, however, cannot be trusted. They change depending upon what we are thinking about the most. If we are entertaining doubt, for example, we will be feeling that doubt and we will be feeling that nervousness more so than if we are exercising faith and trust and hope (which would lead to us feeling more confident, more optimistic, and more positive about the situation or circumstance). 2 Timothy 1:7 (ICB) tell us, “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” So, the timeless truth for today is this: In order for us to walk in victory over fear, we need to truly believe that fear is not from God, but, rather, from the enemy (Satan). Therefore, we should choose to confidently walk through the open doors God has for us as He leads and guides us in our journey of life … trusting that He will be with us every step of the way. To build up our faith even more we can keep in mind the words of Joshua 1:9 (ICB) that says, “Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”