LET IT GO!
BY: JAN A. ANTONSSON
SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway
“He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will” (Eph. 1:5).
Today’s title is also the name of a hit song from the Disney movie, “Frozen.” I made a ringtone from the song and each time I hear those words, it’s like the voice of God speaking. The plot of the movie is simplistic, but the theme of it is what the Lord has been saying to me repeatedly as I’ve been dealing with fears I didn’t realize I still had. “Be Yourself!” is God’s continuous message to me. Who else could I be, you ask? Therein lies the lesson for me and perhaps for you as well. Our Father is in the process of clearing out the debris, burning off the dross (seemingly a never ending process), and polishing up the remains.
Malachi wrote, “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD” (Mal. 3:2-3). Parts of me and probably parts of you as well, are pure gold. It’s the other parts that I’m writing about today, including my fears. You know from my previous two articles that I’m snake phobic, but snakes aren’t the problem. They are the object on which my fears have been projected, the purpose of which, psychologists tell us, is to sum up all our fears into one thing, as opposed to many different things.
In the interim, the LORD has been digging out the roots of all my fears. I wrote last week about the fear of hell, but that can be broken down into a powerful unit called, fear of rejection. All my life, I’ve tried to be honest, to the point that Lenny would sometimes say, “You didn’t have to give that much detail.” But the real fear is, that if you knew who I really am, and you don’t like me, then the deal is off; the show is over, because who I am is all I’ve got. We sometimes wear masks, as you already know, to obtain a favorable impression from others whose opinion is important to us.
When He told me not to go to the church I had planned to attend, I persisted in asking Him why. His answer? “Be yourself.” Since churches are one of the principal places where wearing a mask is counter productive to spiritual growth, it makes sense now that He wouldn’t want me to go anywhere until He has delivered me from fear of rejection.
Thinking back on our call to Neosho, and Lenny’s assignment to be a witness of God’s light, power, and unconditional love in a local men’s Sunday School Class, I’m constantly amazed that he wasn’t done in by the rejection he sometimes got. When he told them that God is going to save everyone, he said some of them stood up, pointed the finger at him and said, “You’re not telling the truth. That’s not what the Bible says.” That would have folded me up like a cardboard box, and reduced me to tears. Lenny only replied, “Don’t kill the messenger.” That’s why God sent him and not me to deliver the Good News to a group who had consistently been feeding on very bad news indeed.
Yes, I delivered that same message to the old dears at Medicalodge (local nursing home), where I did the Sunday service for eleven years and they were excited to hear that God is in control everywhere, and that He loves everyone unconditionally, but the difference is plain. They no longer have church leaders looking over their shoulders to make sure they are doctrinally correct. They are free from that pressure which never leaves some church goers. The church I grew up in set great value in being “doctrinally correct.” Anyone who deviated from that was suspect and if they didn’t keep quiet, they would be ushered OUT! Fear is a powerful motivator to keep the flock attending, giving, teaching Sunday School, or whatever else the leadership deems important.
Now, honestly, I never consciously had the intention to go to the aforementioned church and blurt out what God has shown me. I know that if I run ahead of the Spirit, I’ll crash and burn, but our Father has His reasons for everything and so until He tells me when to go and where to go, I’m staying home.
That brings me to the rich on-line fellowship I have enjoyed with many of you over the years. It really does bless me to know I’m not alone. One of you who has often blessed me with his comments, wrote after last week’s article that he had been to a funeral, where the pastor took the opportunity to urge the mourners to repent of their sins before it was too late. About that shameful practice, my friend wrote, “I do groan for God to change their concepts of things. You were writing about it not being the persuasiveness or excellency of man’s words but His power which changes. I FEAR that my words aren’t wise or persuasive enough and, what will they think of me? There are times though, in weakness or fear, when He gives me His powerful, right words and He opens eyes even though I didn’t. It’s great that out of the weakness of “ME,” God is powerful. Of course afterwards, I start second guessing up a storm, “Why did I say what I did etc., etc.?” My wife says, ‘Leave it with God’.“ End Quote.
There it is again, “Let it go.” My lesson is, You don’t have to fix it, Jan. That’s above your pay grade, big time! Now there, is a conclusion worth the price of the trip, the discomfort of the fears, and the uncomfortable process of His removing them.
Providentially, Fr. Richard Rohr’s meditation today had to do with this very thing. About thinking I have to do it all myself, he wrote, “Most of us were not raised to understand that we are participating in something that is already happening. Rather, we were given tasks to accomplish individually and completely. This placed the entire burden on the single isolated person. That’s not participation. That’s perfectionism, thinking I have to do it all or that I can do it all (the American myth). I’m convinced that’s why we have so much of what we call negative self-image in the West, because of this impossible spiritual burden put on the separate individual. The Good News is that it’s not about being correct. It’s about being connected. When the Spirit within you connects with God’s Spirit given from without, you are finally home. Now you know that your deepest you is God, and Christ is living his life in you and through you and with you.” End quote.
While researching what the Bible has to say about fear of rejection, it came to me that fear of rejection from our peers is minor compared to our subliminal fear of rejection from God. That’s the one which robbed us of sleep, fueled our works mentality, and kept our eyes on the ground, rather than turned heavenward toward Him, “For it is God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Cor. 4:6). I’ve been asking for His Presence in the present, and He opened the portals of glory for a brief but thrilling encounter. Feeling His Presence was scary and exhilarating, reminding me of my Baptism in the Spirit. I wondered if my old “wineskin” would burst, but it turns out that He IS the new wine as well as the new wineskin. We are in Him, and He does all things well. It is only in Him where we can truly be ourselves without fear or pretense or guilt.
Lenny used to walk the circle around the garage outside and talk to the Lord. He would come in, his face glowing, and tell me what a fantastic experience He had enjoyed with Father God, but when I would question him about what the Lord had said, he could never put it into words. I’m at that place right now, and I’m sure you’ve been there as well. I can’t explain it or tell you how to access the Presence of God, except that, “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” He who chose us before the foundation of the world, will never sleep nor slumber until all have come into intimate fellowship with Him.
Father, it is in Your Presence where all fears fall away, all pretense is dissolved in Your unconditional love, and there is nothing left to say or do. There is only You, the fount of every blessing. Let this be our dwelling place, Father, with You and with each other as You continually enable us to let it go, Let It Go, LET IT GO! The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth! Amen.