• Dana L. Butler

My Greatest Fear. For Real. [And Why I’m Refusing To Let It Paralyze Me]

I’m gonna let you in on my greatest fear.


Eesh, this feels a more than a little vulnerable.


My biggest fear is my own hidden heart-motives.  

Whew. Inhale.  Exhale. Okay.  Continuing:

When I still myself before the Lord, and all of the peripheral noise and brain-clutter fade away, this is what rises to the surface, what comes up out of the depths of my heart:

I’m terrified of what’s inside of me.  The pride I’m aware of.  The pride I’m NOT aware of.  The need for people’s approval.  The fear of people’s opinions.

I struggle so much with the fear that the things I do will be motivated by my broken places instead of being motivated out of security in the complete, total acceptance and freedom in Christ that are mine because of the blood of Jesus.

Greater Than My Heart

Truth is, I vacillate between the two oh, so frequently.  I swing back and forth between fear and faith.  Craving approval, and being settled in knowing His approval.  And I waver between one hundred per cent confidence that I’m moving out of pure motives, and this terror that somewhere deep inside, I’m not.

Actually, let me just put it out there right now:  My motives AREN’T pure.  Not completely.  I am so. incredibly. human.  Prideful.  Fearful.  Frail.  Sinful.BUT, even though all those things are true about my heart, even deeper and more real is the blood of Jesus, His righteousness purchased for me.  His purity that covers over all of my pride, fear, frailty, and sin.

My confidence must not be established upon my own ability to keep my heart and motives pure.  To try to do so on my own is self-righteousness.

I must lean into Jesus as my righteousness. Not on my own heart-purity.

After all, the heart is deceitful above all things, and who can know it?

There is no. way. that I can search out every dark corner, every hidden motive, every broken place in my own heart.  It’s not humanly possible.  When I try, I spiral.

I am capable of cycling in introspection until it utterly poisons my heart, and a heart could die cycling like that.

Can I get an “amen?!”

Introspection without God’s perspective is exhausting, draining, and not what we’re called to do.  And praise GOD we’re not.

This was why the Psalmist prayed “Search me O God, and know my heart.”   And this was why John reassured the New Testament church that when our hearts condemn us, “God is greater than our hearts.”

We cannot. CANNOT. search and know our own hearts outside of Him.

I sat with the Lord the other day and those same old heart-motive fears?  They started creeping up again.  Seems like no matter how many times I think I have their coffin door nailed shut, they keep mysteriously resurrecting.  Sigh.

The fears want to paralyze me.  To squelch my forward momentum.  To keep me from becoming all I’m called to be.  From doing what I’m called to do.

But thank God, His greater-than-my-heart-ness won out quickly this time.

I found myself wrapped tightly in His knowing of my heart.  Inside and out.  Every room, every part of me.


All my hidden, impure motives?  He sees every one.  Knows them intimately.  And He’s there.  Right. there.  He dwells and works in those deep, hidden places.  Refining, purifying, molding, shaping.  It’s tender, gentle.  All of it.  And so. perfectly. trustworthy.

He knows you intimately too, friend.  Every secret intention.  Every hidden corner of your heart.  He sees you through-and-through.

And guess what?  He likes you.  Knows every part of you, and still tenderly pursues you.  Is still committed to His process inside you.  Still desires intimate friendship with you.  Still wants to move through you to reveal His heart to the world around you.

Impure motives and all.  Still-in-process-ness and all.

So who am I, anyway, to say, “God, You can’t use me yet. I’m not ready”?   And who are you?   We are on a growth journey, each one of us.  And we will continue to be.  He will continue to refine, to correct, to bring to our attention the impure places in our hearts, in His timing.  And if our hearts are after Him, we will be tender and responsive to His precise conviction, to His tender purifying processes.

And the places in our hearts that are yet hidden?  Guess what: It’s not our job to worry about them. I don’t know about you, but that knowledge makes me breathe a sigh of relief.  Like, almost daily. It’s HIS job, and He does this whole purifying-revealing-convicting-cleansing-me-on-the-inside thing so much better than I ever could on my own.

So.   I think I’ll take some confident steps forward now.

Steps into letting Him be fully Himself inside of me.  Into letting Him speak and move and extend His heart to others through me, despite whatever is going on in my depths that I’m not fully aware of.

Because He sees it all.Because He intimately knows my heart, and He is greater than my heart.  Because He has made me righteous, and I’m His work-in-progress.He’s more than got me covered.

So I can be confident.  Refuse to let fear paralyze me.  And move forward.  Become all I was made to be.

How ’bout you, friend?



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