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Last week I read a story of a man who had never slept on a feather bed before:
“He found a feather, lay down on it all night, and said, ‘If one feather is that hard I can’t imagine what a whole bed of them would be like!'” A.W. Tozer says, “We get just enough religion to make us miserable. If we would go on, we’d find God’s love”. The Attributes of God, Vol.2, Tozer
Tozer’s point? A lot of Christians get caught up in what we “can’t” do, instead of what God’s love does! It’s common to get caught up in rule keeping.
A picture of an unhealthy fear of God
Did you ever try to outdo someone in the holiness department? It sounds something like this:
- I go to church 3 times a week
- I read my Bible every day
- I do nursing home visitation
- I teach 3-4’s Sunday School
- I don’t smoke, chew, or run with those who do
- Blah, blah, blah…
What’s the similarity in those statements?
It’s the word “I”. There’s nothing about God in any of them. This is where the Pharisees went wrong, and Jesus called them on it.
But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. ~Matt 23:5 NKJV
Phylacteries were little paper scrolls with four paragraphs of the law written neatly, sewn up in leather, and worn on their foreheads and left arms. The Pharisees thought if they made their scrolls bigger, they’d appear more important. Same for their garment fringes. God originally commanded this of the Jews to distinguish them from other nations, but the Pharisees took it a step farther by making fancier fringes.
While little head scrolls and fancy fringes seem far fetched to us in the 21st century, we take on similar practices. Or we see others delving heavily into God’s work and feel bad for not doing “our part”.
We do this to ourselves by playing mind games.
I had my devotions today, so God and I are good. I don’t need to feel guilty.
quickly turns into:
I didn’t have my devotions today, so I shouldn’t ask God for help because I don’t deserve it.
And that, my dear mama, is an unhealthy fear of God.
God is love
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. ~I John 4:18 NKJV
Tozer says, “If I know a man loves me, I’m not afraid of him. If I’m not sure he does, I may be a bit cagey around him. Love casts out fear, for when we know we are loved, we are not afraid.”
Tozer goes on to say, “God was so emotionally identified with the human race that the devil knew the only way he could get at God was through the human race...he caused injury to the heart of God because God loved the human race.
I fell into the trap
Let me explain this another way. For the past four years, I’ve been reading through the entire Bible. I love seeing the Bible as a whole instead of a book here and there. But midway through 2018, I had to drop that schedule and settle for less time in the Word, due to various circumstances. I decided to slow my pace and do a deep dive into the Fruits of the Spirit Bible study.
At first, I was sad because I missed my longer quiet times. Plus, I wasn’t going to be able to say I’d read the Bible through five years in a row.
Umm…fancy fringes, anyone?!
I caught myself in time, realizing I was the one placing that stipulation on myself, not God.
And that’s my whole point today, mama. There is not one more thing you can do to make God love you any more than He already does. You can’t do anything to make Him love you less, either.
“Every time God thinks about you, He thinks about you lovingly. Even if He must chastise you, or allow hardships to come to you, it is love that allows it to come and love that sends it. And we never should be afraid of love, because love casts out fear.” Tozer
A while back, I asked my readers a question: What are you struggling with? Their response was overwhelming. Do you know what the #1 struggle was?
Spending time in the Word.
And so I came up with some simple ideas for how to do it. This mini-series, called Mama needs The Word, will free up your phylacteries and fancy fringes. You see, there are many ways to fit in time with God! It’s not a one-size-fits-all deal!
But for today, we’re laying the foundation of God’s unconditional love, no matter what.
Accept it. Bask in it. Believe it, and abide in it.
And if you’re looking for some help finding your special way to get into the Word, why don’t you grab my free mini-series? Three short days to help you find your mojo spending time with the Lord: Mama needs the Word may be just the ticket!
Remember, the opposite of love is fear, and that’s what the Enemy wants you to do – be fearful. ALERT! ALERT! DO NOT CAVE TO FEARFULNESS!
Speak truth to yourself, mama. And while you’re at it, leave a comment telling us why YOU have trouble spending time in the Word. Here are some ideas:
A. I don’t know what to read
B. I don’t understand the Word
C. I can’t get my mind to settle down and focus
D. By the time I can fit it in, I don’t feel like doing it
E. Other – explain
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