I was talking to Carole yesterday, and as we were talking a light bulb went off. We were talking about the work of separation, and I saw that one of the fruits of this work is becoming dangerous, a dangerous person. By dangerous, I mean a person who is beyond the reach of manipulation and control.
The work of the Spirit is a vast mystery to me. My Cross-encounters – and Gethsemane surrenders – have no real mystery. It’s what happens after that never fails to astonish because it is so utterly NOT human; it is completely divine. I don’t know what the Spirit is doing while it’s happening. It’s more like waking up a few weeks later and realizing that I’m not the same as I was, and I can’t pinpoint when the change occurred. It just did.
So I’ve talked about separation before (not the most popular topic, I know!), but what I just saw was the work of the Spirit to root out and demolish fear – through the process of separation. All the little fears that work in tandem with the entangling demands and expectations (ours and theirs) are cut and killed. I could easily see the demands and expectations – mostly my own – but I never saw all the fear before now.
Fear is such a powerful cord of control. And I’m not even talking about the BIG fears. I’m talking about the hundreds of thousands of little fears that manifest every day. Are they looking at me? Have I got something in my teeth? If I respond truthfully, will they get mad? This is what it means to be a sister/daughter/friend – right? Just smile and nod and you’ll get out of this alive and you won’t have to see them for a while. Fear of hurting someone, fear of being hurt, fear of rejection, fear, fear, fear! These little fears cover every relationship and act like some sort of nuclear deterrent. In my life, every contract is written with the ink of fear.
So what happens when I wake up, and scores of those fears are gone? I’ve become a little more dangerous than I was yesterday, that’s what. The more I am His, the less hold the world has on me. Literally, not figuratively.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters –
yes, and even his own life – he cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:26 HCSB
The more willing I am for the work of separation – a work that is not optional for a disciple of Christ – the less susceptible I am to the fears that would straightjacket me. A person beyond the reach of contracts and manipulations and control is very, very dangerous – to the world, not the Kingdom of God.
“Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34 HCSB
These verses no longer terrify me or make me enormously uncomfortable – that’s a work of the Spirit that I can’t pinpoint. Maybe all those fears are killed and replaced by Love – my favorite miracle. I’m asking that the Lord do whatever it takes to make these verses a living truth in me. And not because I have any desire to be a sword-bringer (I really don’t), but because I’m beginning to want Him that much.