Thursday, July 07, 2011

Our Fears and the Adequacy of God

Whence comes the nervous, dithery, take-no-risks mood that mars so much of our discipleship?...

One reason, it seems, is that in our heart of hearts we are afraid of the consequence of going the whole way into the Christian life.  We shrink from accepting burdens of responsibility for others because we fear we should not have strength to bear them.  We shrink from accepting a way of life in which we forfeit material security because we are afraid of being left stranded.  We shrink from being meek because we are afraid that if we do not stand up for ourselves we shall be trodden down and victimized, and end up among life's casualties and failures.  We shrink from breaking with social conventions in order to serve Christ because we fear that if we did, the established structure of our life would collapse all around us, leaving us without a footing anywhere.

It is these half-conscious fears, this dread of insecurity, rather than any deliberate refusal to face the cost of following Christ, which make us hold back.  We feel that the risks of out-and-out discipleship are too great for us to take.  In other words we are not persuaded of the adequacy of God to provide for all the needs of those who launch out wholeheartedly on the deep sea of unconventional living in obedience to the call of Christ....This, at bottom seems to be what is wrong with us.  We are afraid to go all the way in accepting the authority of God, because of our secret uncertainty as to his adequacy to look after us if we do.

J.I. Packer
Knowing God
Pgs 269-270


Richard L. said...

It is only when we cross the line of "selfish" service to the "self-less" service to God side of the line that we can begin to let go of our worldly insecurities and find our rest and peace in the sovereignty of the infinite and eternal Lord.

Thanks for sharing from your reading, Morris!

Morris Brooks said...


There is so much that tends to get in the way of our service to the Lord. This section from Knowing God seems to speak so much of where we are as the church today.