God knows what motivates us more than anything - fear. It is not that these people have just decided to be rebellious. They are afraid not to follow this path. Christianity is a faith tradition that is motivated by love, but how often has it used fear to motivate people. Many churches have used lines like, "Repent now, or you will go to hell." What better way to fill our church pews with people?
But I see myself getting caught up in similar games also. Fear of not having a job, the church not having enough funds, having a small church that doesn't look successful - all of these fears can become my motivation if I am not careful. I must not let my own personal fears creep up on me like shadows. One of the biggest challenges in ministry is to remain grounded in love. It sounds simple, but it is a challenge that requires taking time to bathe in the presence of God - who is love.
And so, I could hear God's question of the people in Isaiah as a question asked of me afresh each morning, "Whom have you so feared and dreaded that you have not been true to me?" Today I choose to name my fears and not let them become my motivation.