Make

Correction: Flesh is a Liar.

Flesh is a Liar

Fear isn’t actually a liar. It’s a normal, emotional response whatever stimuli causes it.

Flesh is the liar. Our flesh says, “OHHH FEAR! GOODY! Let me use it to keep myself comfortable.”

I think I’ve been getting it all wrong. Seriously. If you’ve seen posts from the past, you know I have “Fear Is A Liar” written across my bedroom wall in very large letters, thinking it would help me get out of bed each morning as I read it.

But it hasn’t done that at all. It was kinda cool at first, seeing it up there in that popular cursive font.

You know what should be there instead? Someone’s art. Maybe mine, maybe someone else’s. Cause at least then, someone created something and it’s being admired.

No, instead I have a big, dumb, false sentence up on my wall.

FEAR IS NOT THE LIAR. FLESH IS.

I didn’t realize this misunderstanding until the other day when I was sharing with a group of friends how I wished I could be fearless, like Jesus was. Loving me, they quickly and gently corrected me.

 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,  saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:41-44

Jesus freaking sweat HARD. People who are fearless don’t sweat in agony.

I often forget that Jesus was an actual human being with real, human emotions. I seldom remember that the Savior of the world asked His father to not allow what was about to happen, happen. He didn’t want to be betrayed by his friend, physically ripped to shreds and have the weight of the entire world’s sin (past, present and future) crush him to actual death.

Jesus wasn’t fearless, He was obedient. And because of His perfect obedience,  I have the ability to be obedient too.

So, what the hell am I even talking about? Aren’t I just arguing semantics? 

No, I don’t think so. I think there are some things we need to make distinctions about in this life, because they make a big difference in whether or not we actually come alive during the short duration we are here on earth.

Fear says, “That’s scary!”

Flesh says, “Exactly, so why bother?”

Fear says, “That’s risky!”

Flesh says, “…And you might fail, which would be sooooo humiliating. Just stay put instead.”

Fear says, “What if I actually succeed?”

Flesh says, “That’s uncharted territory, and you know how we feel about that (*cue self-sabotage).”

The Spirit says, “Be quiet and go right a song.”

Get where I’m going with this? Fear isn’t bad. Not only is it a tool that can prevent us from physical harm, but it also gives us the opportunity to overcome our fallen nature and be victorious.

It gives us the opportunity to be obedient. To engage the Spirit.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16-17

The biggest reason I think this distinction is so important is because if we blame fear for our lack  of movement, we don’t take any of the responsibility for it. It’s all fear’s fault… right?

Nah, dawg.

The Creator bestowed upon all of us gifts, talents, abilities and ideas, and they are to be used in order to piece back together the worlds broken parts. I think that something heavenly happens when my flesh tries to seduce me with my fear and I choose not to give in. That’s one of those seemingly small moments, but a moment where God’s glory is taking place.

So, I think I’m gonna take those letters off of my wall.

Failure Does Not Equal Death.

When you wake up in the morning, what is it that you wish you could do?

When you are getting ready for work, what is your mind REALLY occupied with?

What is that thing, above all other ideas and tasks and jobs, that gets your blood rushing and your adrenaline up? That thing that when you think about it, you get lost in a day dream, and when you actually get a free moment to spend time doing it, you lose track of time?

What are you passionate about?

And why aren’t you living that passion out?

Every person I have ever encountered that is not doing what they love almost always answers me with one or more of these three things:

“Well, it’s just not very practical.”

“There’s not really any money in that.”

“My spouse/family/friends wouldn’t understand or approve.”

Here’s the common denominator that anchors all of these excuses to our hearts: FEAR.

Fear tells us that our dreams are only just that: dreams. They aren’t meant to make into a reality. They are simply there to make us feel better, nothing more. Taking it any further would just end in failure, because it’s not what practical adults do.

Fear loves to ask, “how are you going to pay your bills doing that? That’s going to take a lot of sacrifice, and sacrifice is not your strong point. It’s just too hard. People are going to think you are ridiculous for not making every dollar you could possibly make.”

Fear insists that you think about the possible disapproval of your loved ones, and how you just can’t handle that. You’ve tried to make them understand before, but they just don’t get it, so why bother?

All of that is crap. Fear is a liar. I mean, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until we all finally BELIEVE THIS CRUCIAL TRUTH.

We were created in the image of our CREATOR. We have the create ingredient in us.

There’s a strange, unexplainable and euphoric joy that comes from doing, making, creating something with your own hands (or minds), isn’t there?

That’s part of that image-bearer in us. And what’s so incredible, what makes me want to fall on my face in worship right now, is that there are millions of us, with millions of different passions and abilities lying in hibernation, waiting to be awakened and put to use for our joy, the continued restoration and redemption of our world and ultimately God’s glory.

So let me ask you again: Why aren’t you living that passion out?

If you just exist each day in the mind set that if you try, you might fail, then you are going to live a very sad life. It’s that simple.

Failure ≠ Death.

Failure = A First, Second, Third, Fourth Try.

In the ridiculous but somewhat insightful words of Pink (or whoever it is that writes her songs), “…but just because it burns, doesn’t mean you are gonna die, you gotta get up and try try try.”

Awakening that passion may mean that you are going to be really poor. It may mean selling your nice car and driving an old clunker around. It may mean eating out less and cooking beans and rice more. It may mean shredding your credit card so that you stop spending loads of money you don’t have. It may mean that even though you have to turn all the lights off in your house to lower the energy bill, you paint incredible masterpieces by candle light.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean that you die the “American Dream” and sell everything you have and move to Nakuru, Kenya so that you can love motherless babies and make soap.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean going to school for something so specific and risky, instead of being an accountant like your dad wants you to be.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean that you try, and fail, and try and fail, and try and fail…. and then finally succeed.

Your passion is worth it.

No more excuses, ok? Stop cheating yourself and everyone around you out of your God-given and beautiful abilities.

Do. Make. Create.

Fear is a liar. Repeat that in your head as many times as necessary.