Are You Avoiding God?

What’s stopping you from following your dream?

That’s the question I asked as the guys at the retreat prepared for a day of mountain biking, hiking, 4-wheeling, and rock climbing. I challenged them to talk with their companions about the fears that get in the way.

One particular response was particularly revealing. “I’m afraid if I really listen to God, He might tell me to do something I don’t really want to do.”

What a wonderful—and brutally honest—insight. It’s an interesting twist on a common complaint.

Lots of folks grumble that God never speaks to them. What if the real problem is that we’re afraid to listen? What if we intentionally keep God at a distance to avoid disrupting our self-created illusion of security?

Most of the guys around the fire that night agreed. We seek to serve—when it’s convenient, when it fits into the schedule. We want to finish well—but we need to guard the 401(k).

We want to follow—on our terms.

What if we’re not-so-secretly afraid that Jesus was serious when He said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

What if our efforts to follow Jesus in a safe, sanitary manner actually cause us to avoid God because we’re afraid of what He might say?

I stated my goal on Friday night: I wanted to pose some questions that might create a bit of internal dissonance, prompt conversations, and cause each guy to lose a few minutes of sleep. Sunday morning brought several mostly good-natured complaints, and demands for extra coffee, from men who didn’t sleep quite as much as planned.

I intended challenging questions. I didn’t plan on answers that would keep me awake.

Are you avoiding God because you’re afraid of what He might tell you?

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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