• Megan Evans

Moving From Fear & Distraction to Fullness



UNHURRY HACK: Distraction often works hand-in-hand with fear by putting words up in front of us like "can't" and "but" in order to keep us from walking with God to his fruitful places of blessing.


FIRST READ: 1 John 5:13-21


“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1John 5:21


Have you ever thought of fear as an idol? It sure does get a front seat in our head and heart sometimes. Has fear ever called for your attention, resources, or talent? Has fear ever led you to make a decision? Or kept you from making one? Me too.


Fear has a way of leading us to what feels safe and easy, maybe even a quick fix. Has God called you to take a brave step lately? A step away from something? A step in a new direction? A step towards Him? Fear can keep us stuck and missing out on the wonderful things God has planned for our life. Distraction often works hand-in-hand with fear by putting words up in front of us like "can't" and "but"in order to keep us from walking with God to his fruitful places of blessing.


The book of 1 John teaches that God is light, God is love, and God is life. This letter written by the Apostle John remind us of our hope and assurance as we live our life as a Christ-follower. Here are a few of my favorite verses:

  • 1 John 1:5

  • 1 John 2:1-2

  • 1 John 3:1

  • 1 John 4:9

  • 1 John 5:1

And then comes its final closing sentence, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” Final parting words are often dear and important. John longs for us to experience the joy with Jesus that he experienced. In this sentence, it is as if God lifts our chin and looks into our eyes here to say, don't let anything lead you astray from the best I have for you!


1 John warns us how distraction can lead to destruction. Following our own desires, feelings, and understanding leads us away from God's truth, and John reminds us here that there is a whole world out there of false teachers who welcome all who will listen and try out their lies. The devil awaits the opportunity to keep us from enjoying and obeying Jesus. Maybe it's getting us sidelined with an unhealthy habit of a new trend. Maybe it's luring us to man's words over God's Word. Maybe it's getting us to compare ourselves to others in order to keeping us stuck.


At the time John wrote this letter, the church struggled with doing things only God’s way. They liked Christianity, but also liked the world’s way that fed their desires. Much like hearts today, they wanted both. John pleads for us to remember God’s rightful place. Our God is the One True God. God is light. God is love. God is life.


We get comfy in our world and often find ourselves trying to live with one foot at God’s throne and one foot at the world’s altar. John reminds us that this doesn’t work and leaves us missing God’s goodness. John had experienced the glory of God first-hand through Jesus as one of His 12 disciples. He had seen, heard, and touched this great love and power and didn’t want a single person to settle for less!

What stops us short of experiencing the fullness of God’s glory in our daily lives? Doubt, fear, busyness, complacency, to name a few, are just some of the areas that can keep us stalled out like an abandoned car for days or even years. Have you been there? Me too. We make all kinds of excuses and tell ourselves we can’t do what God tells us to do. Somehow we reason that God is asking us to do the impossible. However, God doesn’t need something from us; God wants something FOR us!


More than an excuse, these defeating & distracting words are taking God’s rightful place of victory in our life today. What is holding you back today?


God,

I want to take that step, but…

I want to believe you can, but…

I want to keep praying, but…

I want to forgive that person, but…

I want to serve there, but…

I want to give that, but…

I want to let go of my past, but…

I want to lead, but…

I want to join a small group, but…

I want to study the Bible, but…

I want to love that person, but... I want to trust your provision, but…


Which one of these do you identify with most? Are you wrestling with any of these today? It’s time to clean out the roadways, driveways, and alleyways of our heart and give God back the entirety of His rightful space. Hand over your fear to God and take that very first, maybe even small and simple, step in obedience.


We’ve all experienced what it’s like to hurt, fear, and cling; yet these things can easily take God’s place in our heart if we let them. Essentially, they become idols that we set up in those places we’ve stalled out. They begin to call the shots instead of Jesus and they push us to bow to the world. Instead of praying through and letting God breathe His fresh new life and power into our situation, we just choose to live empty and defeated. That makes about as much sense as running out of gas and choosing to ignore the gas station in front of you.


What is God leading you to do this week? Don’t stop short. Start by asking the Lord to show you anything sitting in His place, and ask the Holy Spirit for help to repent and obey.


Join me in prayer:

Lord, you are the One True God, deserving of all my worship. Reveal to me anything that has taken Your rightful place in my heart. I ask for the strength and wisdom to follow and obey you. In Jesus Name, Amen.