A few years ago, I watched a friend go through a separation and then divorce. I felt so bad as I watched the pain and devastation that ripped through their lives. The whole process began with unfaithfulness and lies. And as my heart went out to this friend and their child, God clearly reminded me of what happens when we follow our own hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says that our “hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.” It was a light bulb moment for me, as things I always knew became clearer than ever before. I’ve always known we should obey God. I’ve always known sin is wrong. But I saw a glimpse of what going outside of God’s boundaries looked like. And I didn’t like what I saw. I saw so plainly the side of sin that satan never shows you when he is tempting you to go against God’s plan. The pain of a life ripped apart. God used this situation to teach me that His plan is to guide and protect us, rather than a list of rules.
We can choose how we view God and the Bible. We can choose to fear the world, or we can choose to fear a world without God. I fear a life left to my own devices, because I fear a life outside of God’s will. I’ve wanted so many things in my life that I know are not God’s will. I’m glad that God loves me enough to go against the things I think I want, and instead gives me a plan and a guide to follow. I know He loves me enough to resist my plans, and I fear a life outside of His plans.
When my mother-in-law and father-in-law were serving as missionaries in Thailand, my mother-in-law said that people often asked them if they were afraid of living in another country, outside of American law. I will never forget my mother-in-law’s answer. She said they would be more afraid to stay than to leave, because they knew God was calling them to go. She said the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.