1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
As a child it was not uncommon for me to come home after some mischievous adventure only to find my dad sitting at the dining room table waiting for me to confess to him what he already knew. Somehow in our small town, without fail, our dad found out all about our misdeeds. We still don’t know how, but sometimes it seemed he knew about them before we even knew we did them. Okay that is a slight exaggeration, but there were times it felt like that wasn’t too far off.
In these moments of being confronted with my wrongs and receiving the consequences, I don’t recall ever feeling afraid. Even in the times when mom and dad were furious with me, they were gentle, and I knew that their love was bigger than their anger. Throughout my childhood there was safety in the love of my family.
This was not something I experienced during my marriage, which in later years, caused a great deal of fear about ever opening myself up to love.
Three years ago, God brought a man into my life, a kind, compassionate, and wonderful man. But for months, fear had me standing at the doorway of love filling my head with lies about the hurt that was just beyond the threshold. Fear caused me to believe that if I allowed the good in my life, that I was only setting myself up for failure. But God says trust. I eventually stepped through the doorway and during this time, have been deeply blessed by this man.
Let me clarify, there are times when those moments of fear are a warning, and we must heed those warnings, but how do we know when the fear is real and when it is Satan is using his crooked tactics to distract us from the Lord’s plan?
This is the question of the ages! However, when we put our focus on the Lord and seek Him, He gives us the ability to discern what is real and what is fake. And if we allow Him, He removes the fear.
Anxiety, worry, and fear wraps us up, and causes a suffocating inability to move. When you listen to Christ, when you know the truth of His love and His plan, when you believe that His will is the best for your life, it removes that paralyzing fear and frees you from the bonds of doubt. When you look at what is true, that truth becomes the force that will spur your heart into action and allow you to confidently take the next steps into the exciting adventure that God has planned for your life.
1 John 4:16-18 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.