Have you ever believed in your heart that God told you to do something but after you took the first step you suddenly became afraid to continue because you didn’t want to upset life’s “apple cart” so to speak. Maybe you then talked yourself out of doing it?
The process of renewing our minds and overcoming fear takes time. Our goal is to be faithful to complete our God given assignments and grow in the reverence and awe of Almighty God. Over time this ever burgeoning [inward] behavior will replace any fear of how others may perceive us as well as the fear of how our personal relationships may be harmed (Luke 16:10). The carnal part of mankind naturally seeks to curry favor with other men which almost always conflicts with the spirit part of man that seeks to curry favor with the Father. Yahoshua taught a multitude of followers from a mountain to “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Matt 6:33). Thus, when we honor God first He will in turn honor our requests as long as they align with His perfect will. When we come up with speculations, excuses, imaginations and reasons why we procrastinate on our assigned tasks we are giving greater authority to our carnal nature. Thus we are not acting in obedience to God’s commandments. To overcome this obstacle, we must resist such thoughts and feelings and subject them to the [obedience and] word of Yahoshua (2 Corinthians 10:5).
A mind clouded by fear (e.g., of the unknown, of disappointment, or of making mistakes) will prevent us from taking firm and obedient action. We often receive opportunities to grow our faith and to help others but we tend to be afraid to step out in faith because our reality is limited by our perceptions. When we exercise faith, fear must flee because faith and fear are diametrically opposed to each other. 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us to walk by faith, not by sight. Our perceptions are formed by life’s lessons, whether they are good or bad. Consequently we associate those conclusions (beliefs) with behaviors, people, events, environment and actions that occur around us throughout our lives. These associations become obstacles that often undermine our confidence to take the appropriate actions. Putting self first causes us to act contrary to the fundamental principle of Romans 12:2 that directs us to “Be not conformed to the things of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
Let’s think for a moment about light as it passes through a colored filter. When the filtered light is projected into a space, everything in that space takes on the color of the light. If the filter is green in color then the light will cast a green hue on everything in that space where it shines. Show rooms, lounges for relaxation, and dance clubs often use color- filtered lights to create the perception of a different reality, blurring out details so you do not focus on them. The presence of stains, defects, discolorations and wrinkles all fade away under the filtered light.
Thus, often what we perceive a thing to be is not what that thing in reality is. Let us listen for the voice of our Good Shepherd and act according to the leading of the spirit even though it may seem like a dangerous task at the time. We must trust Him to guide us as we face life’s many and varied challenges. Step out and take action in faith and obedience to His commands because His promises are true, for He told us that “…I will never leave you nor forsake you…” (Deut 31:6, Joshua 1:5, and Heb 13:1). Let us pray for the correct perception of reality so we can carry out His commands and bring glory to His name. Now go and shine your light in the dark corners of this world and make disciples for Him for “It’s Not As You Perceive.”