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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why I Stopped "Serving God Because I'm Scared" [Day 12]

I'll be honest with you.

There was a time in my life where I did good because I wanted to receive good. I remember when I used to work as a waitress and, honest to goodness, I would listen to 'holy' music before work... I would make sure I kept everything perfect.. so I would receive His blessings at work. I was scared something bad would happen, I would make a mistake... so I would seek perfection in order to attain favor.

I was motivated by fear.

I remember going to sleep at night and saying, "Please make me clean. I want to go to Heaven... I'm so scared of Hell. Keep me right in your eyes so I can attain Heaven as my home."

I was motivated by fear.

For awhile, I was able to push 'fear' to the back of my mind. I quit worrying about attaining favor through doing good and just lived... until recently.

Fear has crept back in to my life. I'm not exactly sure why, but it has become a motivator again. I have been struggling to even sleep because fear has gripped my heart. I have found myself seeking His face over and over again... "Make me holy in Your eyes. If I die tonight, I want to make Heaven my home." But guess what? Not one time did I say, "Make me holy in Your eyes... BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND YOU LOVE ME."

I have seen churches operate through fear. I understand we must grasp hold of reality. Yes, we all have a heart.. and yes, one day that heart is going to stop beating. I am sure everyone understands this. But to say things like, "If you die, where are you going...." to motivate individuals to turn their lives over to God....

I think we're missing the point.

Saturday night (9/7/2013) I couldn't sleep. I was tossing and turning..I could feel a stirring inside of me... God had something He wanted to say, I just had to listen.

When I talk about God speaking to me, I don't claim to be perfect. I don't even claim to feel 'deserving' of these little talks I get. I'm a simple servant.. a sinner... that just loves talking to Him. And even greater-- I love listening to Him.

I finally laid on my back, closed my eyes, and listened.

The first thing He said to me was:

"If you're serving me because You're scared... stop now.. because that isn't what I want."

BOOM.

It hit me.

He hit the nail on the head. 

I can't tell you how many times I think about making Heaven my home on a daily basis. I can't tell you how many times I see people writing on Facebook about how people need to come to Jesus because Heaven and Hell are real and which one do you want to make your home...

But God told me that night...

YOU PEOPLE HAVE IT ALL WRONG!

If you serve me... love me... worship me... seek my face.. to try and just make Heaven your home... you've got it all wrong.

He explained it to me like this:

Why do you love, Ethan? (My husband)

So, I started listing all of the things I love about him: He cares for me, protects me, always has the right thing to say, encourages me.

God said:

So you don't love him because you're scared of him? You don't love him because you want him to do good things for you?

I said:

Of course not, God. If we lived in a shack, I'd still love him. I don't love him because of the outcome-- I love him because he is good to me, because he loves me!

AHA! THE POINT!!!

He doesn't want us loving Him because we're scared. What kind of love is that? It's not pure. It's not true. It's only foundation is 'fear.'

If there wasn't anything after this life-- no heaven... no hell... nothing...

I'D STILL LOVE YOU JESUS!

Why??

Because He breathed the breath of life in to me! He gave me a chance to experience love.. family... children.. LIFE. He wouldn't have to do one more thing.. and I'd still love Him.. because I LOVE His Spirit!!! I love His presence!

Saturday night changed something for me.

I stopped serving God out of fear.

I started serving God out of love.

I don't love the Lord because I'm afraid of going to hell. I don't try to do good because I'm afraid if I don't, I will have an awful fate.

I love the Lord because He is good to me. THAT'S IT. I love Him because He loves me! Because He cares for me. Because He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Are you serving God out of fear... or out of pure love?

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