turn the volume down
I am reading the Bible in a year. It’s equally fascinating and never-ending. This is how it goes: each day (every single one) has a portion of scripture to read. So the sick days and the late nights don’t earn you space or grace. May 16th is still there waiting for you. I (mostly) really love it.
Last night Austin and I sat on the couch for a couple hours. We hadn’t done that, together, for awhile. No TV on, he closed his eyes for a bit and I used it as a chance to catch up on some reading.
There isn’t time for in-depth scripture meditation when you read the Bible in a year. You get it all in a 30,000 foot rainbow. But yesterday as the house was quiet and I sat in the corner of our couch flipping through the flimsy pages, a line from 1 Samuel glared at me:
“I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and instead did what they demanded.”
I told my sister recently that my issues of people pleasing, people’s opinions, and people’s perceptions have been remarkably powerful and obvious in this season of life. And I REALLY thought I dealt with this sort of ‘silly sin’ in my twenties.
Turns out, I did deal with them in my twenties. But I’m finding out I will deal with them (in some form) in my thirties, forties, fifties, and so on as well.
It is my go-to, cardinal misstep. The bait I bite far too often to leer me away from God. It’s not a silly sin. There is no such thing. Anything or anyone who draws my attention and affection away from my God needs to be noticed and dealt with.
Saul had the same problem. Fear of man led him to disobedience. In fact this chapter says that the Spirit of God that consumed Saul before this moment LEFT him after his veering. No more comfort, wisdom, insight or reassurance. Just a ‘tormenting spirit of depression and fear.’
Luckily, this side of Jesus, I don’t have to worry about the Spirit leaving me because of disobedience. But it does remind me that when my thoughts lean towards fear or despair it may be tied to how I’m allowing the VOLUME of other’s opinions, reactions, words and perceptions to increase in my life.
Where am I afraid of people? Where am I fearing them more than God? Chances are disobedience, fear or despair are waiting for me or about to land.
Let’s turn the volume down on our fear of man and instead sit still and quiet long enough to let the freeing fear of God get loud in our lives.
New obedience, courage and joy may just the tasty fruit waiting for us.