18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:18-19
God created us with the capacity to fear because it is necessary for our protection as we live in this world. Sensible fear can motivate us to stay away from dangerous things; it can cause us to move quickly in dangerous situations. Fear protects us - when it is controlled and expressed in appropriate situations.
Uncontrolled or irrational fears control us. They darken our lives and stunt our spiritual growth. It is these fears that are addressed in this verse. In my experience, these irrational fears can be broken down into two categories - fear of something happening to us or our loves ones that is challenging to deal with or walk through, and fear of man.
Many of us live with the fear that something dreadful may happen to someone we love - for example, when our children don’t answer that text or when they make a poor decision, we begin to imagine the worst possible scenario. Our minds have the ability to imagine the most difficult of circumstances, and we spend an incredible amount of time and energy in life fearing something that may never happen. Our response to these “what if” fears is control - if we can control the circumstances around our fears, we can rid ourselves of the fears that plague our minds. These fears are usually easily identifiable - we know they exist and can describe them well, but we rationalize our response because we’re just trying to protect.
The fear of man is much more subtle and often very difficult to identify, but this fear impacts our decision making on a daily basis. From what we put on in the morning, to what we drive or where we live, to our jobs, to how we live our lives, fear of what other people think controls our behavior. Fear of man impacts our relationships - past damaging experiences can color how we view current relationships, and they can cause us to respond in a way that guards our heart from allowing true love to enter. Our sense of accomplishment and purpose in life is so closely tied to what other people think that it can be nearly impossible to separate. Even when it would appear our desire is spiritual, it can be deeply intertwined with the approval of others.
This verse reminds us that there is no fear in perfect love. Nothing should be driving our behavior except for the perfect love of our Father - everything we do should be pleasing only to Him. Many of us are so far from this marker, but it should serve as a constant reminder to think about everything you do throughout your day, and ask yourself about the motivation of your actions. The reality is that if fear exists in your life, it is sin. Fear denies the existence of our Father in heaven, and places all of our trust in worldly things. When we put all of our trust in our Father in heaven, in the sovereign King of the Universe, who knows all, sees all, and controls all things for our good, we find ever lasting peace.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Popular posts from this blog
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com