I heard a song at church yesterday with words that jumped off the screen projection and into my mind where they exploded. It was a giant block of truth I needed to look at more closely and share with others who have felt as I have.
The words were “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”
The word slave probably does not strike me as bad as it does some because I am a white European. As far as I know none of my ancestors were ever slaves. They suffered discrimination but never the painful lash of a whip. A slave is defined as a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.
I have, however, been a slave to fear. Fear has had me in chains keeping me from moving forward literally or figuratively. Fear of elevators has kept me out of them. Fear of flying has kept me off planes. Fear has kept me from speaking up in when I didn’t agree with something said or done. Fear has kept me from applying for an upward promotion. Instead, I remained in chains which inhibited my physical movement or my lips from speaking what needed to be said. Fear has kept me from using the potential God placed within me. Do you agree?
And so what have we received in payment for our sacrifices? Nothing. Fear has not paid a penny for all the things we have given up for its sake. If it looks and acts like slavery, chances are it is.
The song went on to proclaim that I am a child of God. Today I sang those lyrics as though I believe it. “I am a child of God.” What an amazing idea to consider! There are times we won’t feel like a child of God and when we are shivering in Fear’s Marketplace. Nonetheless the song declared it. I sang it. We can embrace it.
I don’t mean to compare myself to people today caught in the dark, cruel web of human trafficking. My suffering is nothing compared to theirs. But from the perspective of someone finding himself tangled in the chains of fear, it is a terrible experience and fear is a harsh taskmaster.
By realizing how much fear takes from us, maybe now we can begin to take back some parts of our lives allowing us more freedom of thought, expression and movement.