I love how God communicates with us. He often speaks in unexpected ways… Last night, I asked Him what He wanted me to write about for today’s blog, and I didn’t hear an answer. I sat still for a while, waiting, but didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, I felt like opening an app on my phone that plays movies, even though I was actually watching a classic football game on TV. I opened the app and searched through my movies to see if there was anything worth watching or that caught my eye. As I scrolled through, I found Justice League, the newer version. I thought to myself, “I don’t really care to watch a 4 hour movie right now; it’s already after 10 pm.” As soon as I had that thought, I remembered that my brother and I had talked about it a few months ago. You see, I didn’t have any desire to watch it. I’ve heard good things about it, and I was sure I would enjoy it, but I just never felt it was something that I had to watch. Never the less, I couldn’t shake it, so I decided to at least start the movie, and just watch the first hour or so.
I began watching it, half-heartedly, just to see what the differences were. There are a lot by the way. After the first hour or so, I was reminded that the bad guys feed on fear, and instantly knew that God was directing me towards today’s blog. I hope you remember that before I began to even think about watching this movie, I prayed and asked God about the blog… and I believe now that God was directing me to watch this movie so that I could focus on a need that I have neglected to write about in over 15 months.
Fear is a constant problem for us. Every single person on the planet is familiar with fear, aren’t we? We know what fear does to us, how it affects us, how it sneaks its way into our hearts and minds and causes relationships to break up, families to split apart, how it causes us to lose jobs, and even death. After all, Job said in 3:25-26, “What I feared most has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” What did Job fear most? He feared that his children would die in their sin.
I read somewhere that “All fear is fraud, all fear lies that we could somehow end up beyond the love and arms of God- and the truth is nothing is beyond God.” Fear, at its core, is simply a lie that God’s love won’t come through for us. When we get bad news, we often turn to God and beg Him to help, but our motivation is fear that if we don’t pray, He won’t help. That couldn’t be further from the truth: God tells us in Isaiah 65:24, “Before you even ask, I will answer.” No pain, loss, heartache, mountain, situation, circumstance, or closed door is beyond the love of God.
In Deuteronomy 3:22, Moses told Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” I hope this clarifies this point- You don’t have to cry out for Him to rescue you. He is always ready to save you.
Over 360 times in the bible, God encourages us to not fear (Revelation 1:17, for example). I have heard it said He says it over 365 times, at least one time every day of the year. That’s awesome, but why does God spend so much time encouraging us to not fear? Fear is generated by unbelief, and it causes us to sin- fear causes anger, jealousy, resentment, and can even cause us to covet. Fear questions God’s goodness, limits, and Word.
What God wants from you is your love. Learning to love God, learning that you are worthy of His love, and learning how to love others is what God is after for you. It really isn’t any more complicated than that. The key, though, is learning to love like God, and not like man. The world’s love doesn’t even come close to God’s love. The world’s love is selfish, not faithful, not patient, not forgiving, and definitely not kind. Our challenge is learning to love God, ourselves, and others on His terms.
2 Timothy 1:7 is a critical verse for us to look at when talking about fear and love: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind.” And 1 John 4:18 tells us that “perfect love casts out all fear because fear involves punishment.” God loves you. As Jesus told us, “Now remain in my love.” Remaining in the love of God will allow you to be free from fear. Jesus left us His peace, and then warned us in Luke 14:27 to guard ourselves so that fear doesn’t creep back into our hearts and steal our peace.
I haven’t finished the movie, but I remember how the older version ended: the bad guy suddenly realizes he can’t win, and fear enters him. His confidence is replaced with fear, and his army turns on him, as it feasts on fear. Suddenly the general of this giant army of creatures becomes its victim, and they carry him away, presumably to devour him. Like this scene, our bible tells us that the enemy walks around searching for victims to devour, but when we stop allowing fear to control us by learning of God’s love, we are no longer victims. When this happens, scripture tells us that we are able to stand firm against the devil, and when we do so, he runs away in terror. Fear is a very interesting thing… if it can’t torment you, it will find something else to torment. So do not fear. Set your mind on God, who sits above, and has seated you with Him. There, you will find peace and joy, and fear will no longer have a place for you. Bless you…
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