Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Keep Love in Mind


For years I struggled with fear.  Fear is one of the earliest emotions I remember feeling.  As a child, I don't remember many days without feeling some measure of fear.  It would seem as if I had come from some terrible situation producing this continuous geyser of emotion, but quite the contrary is true.  In many ways I had an idyllic childhood.  My neighborhood, school, church, and community were 'Norman Rockwall' like and life in many ways was very good.   I was not abused as a child and my basic needs and wants were met.

So, I have no horrible story depicting the 'why' of my fear, but just the memory of this dark shadow that weaves it's way throughout much of my early and teen years.

It would be many years later while doing a Bible study called "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby that I read a statement that shook me to my core.  'If you have a fear problem, you have a love problem'.  Though I didn't have full understanding of why this was so, this marked the beginning of a journey into freedom for me.

I would like to tell you that the healing happened quickly, but instead it was layer upon layer as God worked His way into the innermost workings of my heart.   I think it important to mention that before God began His process, I first tried dealing with fear on my own.  I memorized scripture, I repented, I read books, but none of these dealt the death blow to my enemy called fear.

It was not until God Himself began to reveal to me the wrong perceptions in my mind and  heart concerning His nature and His goodness, that I began to understand what had kept my heart so bound.  I had seen Him as disinterested, uninvolved, and busy, and I had stinky theology in some areas concerning His sovereignty and judgments.   I had no concept of what it meant to snuggle up on a father's lap and receive affirmation, comfort, and protection, so I developed my own futile ways of receiving these things.  

But, God in His goodness entered into my world to dismantle the false system that I had built, and then began to build a foundation of identity, security, and love that flowed directly from His heart to mine.  I learned to enjoy and look forward to my times in His presence as He always spoke into my heart just what I needed to hear.

It's been many years now that I began this journey to know and experience His love.  Do I ever still struggle with fear?   Yes...occasionally.  But, it no longer has a hold on me, and it's unwelcome visits are usually short as I know where I need to go to send fear packing.

I learned that the only antidote to fear is His perfect love.   Thank you God that fear cannot co-exist with Your love.

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.  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. - I Jn. 4: 16-18

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