Although I’ve been a Christian most of my life, I’ve grown in my understanding of the deep implications of God’s word in the last ten years or so. I used to view the bible as a collection of little encouraging snippets that I could apply to my life in a haphazard fashion. I’ve since come to look at it as a complete book that is a continuing story from the beginning that shows us who our God is. Instead of looking at individual stories that have neatly tied up morals at the end, I am learning to see the nature of God and the bigger narrative we get to be a small part of. When I wrote this guest post recently over at Defying Shadows blog based on a single verse, I saw it as an opportunity to unfold the greater story that takes my eyes off of me, and reminds me of the God that conquers all our fears.
I have a lot of fears. With a vivid imagination like mine, it’s easy to concoct all kinds of dangerous situations that might arise from a seemingly harmless activity. I’ll spare you the details. So many times I forget the nature of God and who He is and what He promises. He doesn’t promise us that our lives will be easy or without struggle and sadness. But like the verse in Haggai, he promises that His spirit is with us. Just like the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. It was forty years of wandering, never knowing what dangers might befall or when they would reach the end. But they had a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night as a physical reminder that God was with them.
God made a promise to His people in the Old Testament, and He makes the same promise to us today. It was a covenant made to Eve in the garden of Eden, to Moses at the burning bush, and later to Abraham that God had chosen a remnant to be His people. A people who would fail and complain and forget God’s goodness. And yet He remained faithful. God brought his people out of slavery and hardships in Egypt. God preserved that people through the generations so that from them would come the very one who came to save them. Jesus. The God Man who opened the way for all to come to Him.
We no longer have a physical reminder of God’s presence in the form of cloud, or fire, or God in the flesh, but we have something just as powerful: His word. I often forget that there is power in His written words. Power to drive away fear and live in the truth. Without this deep understanding of who God is and what He has done, I will remain in fear, just like the Israelites did. But when I remember the covenant He made so many generations ago, my fears start to dissolve. I no longer live under the darkness of my fear, but in the light of the promise that he will never leave me nor forsake me.