Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jedi Lessons.

Star Wars has taken over my house.  If they are not watching one of the movies they are having galactic battles complete with red, green, and blue lightsabers, and quoting their favorite lines from beloved characters.  These four boys have fallen hard and I can't say I blame them.  I don't remember watching the movies a million years ago, even though I did see them, but I'm seeing them with all new eyes now.  Older eyes, wiser eyes.  In the last few weeks I have laughed and cried and pondered.  Watching the story unfold has been a fun family adventure, but there's more than that...  It is a powerful and well-written story filled with many life lessons along the way. 

My little guys favorite character is of course the good guy Luke.  He struts around with light-saber in hand, striking down invisible enemies and saving the day.  When you're two you always want to be the good guy.  His big brother who has struggled with good and evil already identifies himself with Darth and wants to be powerful so he can take over the galaxy.  I think that comes from having 2 older brothers that push him around all the time. 

I have a favorite too...  The struggle between good and evil is represented perfectly in Anakin Skywalker.  You love him, you hate him.  You hurt for him, because you have hurt before too.  Watching him go from light to dark to light again is a sadly, beautiful struggle.  The scene when he takes his first breath as Darth Vadar is so powerful and the scene when he asks Luke to remove his mask, so he can see his son with his own eyes, made me cry like a baby.  The struggle is real.   The scene that has stuck with me the most was a very simple moment between Anakin and Yoda.  Anakin is telling Yoda about the dreams (premonitions) he's having of Padme's death and Yoda says,

"Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin! The fear of loss is the path to the dark side."

The fear of loosing his wife was driving Anakin to do whatever he could do to save her, but his irrational fear eventually became the death of the very person he loved.

Did you know that fear is actually the opposite of love.  The bible says that "There is no fear in love.  But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love."  1 John: 4:18  Fear keeps us from being able to be loved or love in return. 

Anakin's fear eventually turned his love for Padme into hate.  I have been there before.  My irrational fears have propelled me into a downward spiral of jealousy, then bitterness, and eventually hate.  My imaginations of the future, based in fear, have kept me from enjoying the beauty of the relationships around me.  Fear of loosing love has led me to push people away...  thinking it better to be alone than endure imagined heartbreak. 

Insecurity- lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt or doubt in others has kept me from completely giving myself to other people.  Just as that verse says the one who fears is not made perfect in love...  I have self destructed so many relationships because of my insecurity and fear. 

Security- freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt is the only way we can truly love and be loved. 

David said in Psalms 23:4 "Though I walk through the shadow of death, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL; Your rod and staff they comfort me." 

How and where did David find this confidence?  Verse 1 says "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not lack."  There is only one place to find complete security and that is the One who made heaven and earth.  David knew that the Creator/King, all powerful, all sufficient God of this universe was his Shepherd.  He was confident in God's love for him.  He knew that God was going to lead him and guide him and that confidence made him secure. 

A.W. Tozer says "What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us."

What we believe about God determines everything we do.  IF we are secure in God's love our fears will disappear, because we know that whatever He allows in our life He will work out for our good.  When we believe we have been deeply loved by God, then we can allow ourselves to be deeply loved by others and we can allow ourselves to love others free from fear. 

Fear is the death of relationships.  Insecurity leads us into darkness, isolation and loneliness.  Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."  The fear that the bible is talking about here is not a phobia, but Reverential Awe or worship.  When we worship God and we are secure in his love all of our fears will be replaced and leave us free to love. 

We know that "God proves his love for us in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.  The Bible tells us to remember (keep in mind) this truth...  When fear comes in it's up to us to replace it with the truth of God's love for us. 

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