A new year, a new list. Right?
Before you think my inner cynic is coming out, know that I am not against New Year’s resolutions. I just don’t think they are the first list we should be writing down. And that’s part of the reason we lose traction right around the Super Bowl.
This year, start with your fears. List them!
That is what motivates most of our resolutions. Literally, we can be running from our fear on the treadmill. Or lifting the weight of fear off our chests. A friend of mine, who is now a personal trainer, confided in me that he still sees “that scrawny kid” when he looks in the mirror. His arms are twice the size of my thighs!
You can accomplish a lot trying to avoid painful feelings. But you also miss out on a lot of opportunities. Fear not only distorts what you see in the mirror, it causes you to fixate on yourself. Living in fear blinds you to the needs of people in and around your life. It saps your energy for risk and adventure. Everything you’ve got is spent holding up this shield of resolutions.
In Psalm 3:3, David describes God as “a shield about me.” The Bible often describes God as a shield. In David’s day, there were actually two types of shields used. There was a lighter, round one that you could carry in one hand, and hold a weapon in the other. But there was also a long, rectangular shield that was so large at times that another person had to carry it.
When Goliath came out against God’s people, the “giant” had his own shield-bearer (1 Samuel 17:41). When David heard this, he left his baggage behind (v22) and went out with no armor (v39). When David wrote Psalm 3, I imagine he recalled this encounter in mind. He was not alone. God was his shield-bearer.
If you are going to say no to fear, you need to see God as David saw Him. Don’t try to lift it on your own. Let Him take care of it. He’s got big enough arms!