It seems today that there are ample opportunities to become fearful or walk in fear. Whether it is the COVID-19 virus or the tension in our government, we are becoming a fear-ridden society. No one seems to be exempt. The ‘spirit of fear’ is constantly knocking on our heart’s doors seeking to come in. Why? Because fear can paralyze and torment us. Fear is punishment.
Opening the door to fear gives it the freedom to hold us back and bring despair and hopelessness into our lives. The opportunities to be fearful are endless. Everyone knows what a phobia is. So it seems that it is acceptable to have one or many phobias. There is a phobia for everything from spiders or arachnophobia to going out into the market or agoraphobia.
The list is endless. I do not like snakes, spiders, or going to the market at certain times or places. Yet, I refuse to be paralyzed and sit at home or avoid certain areas because there may be a snake, rat, spider, bug, or other creature. I won’t fear gangs or eating certain foods. I will exercise wisdom and caution because God created us to get wisdom and live with wisdom and common sense in everyday life.
God is love, and everything that He made is good and full of love, so why would He not want us to enjoy His creation? We also treat God the same way that we do His creation and everything else in this world. But, unfortunately, most people have the wrong approach to God. They see Him like Job did, as a judge, ready to come down against them. Yet, Job was a righteous man who prayed for his family and friends.
Fear Hinders Us From Receiving From God
When we look at the effects of fear in a person’s life, we see that it can control them to the point that they cannot function or live a normal life. When one approaches God from a place of fear, they never really connect and see Him as the guy that will judge them one day, and even though they are saved, they have no revelation of what that future judgment day entails, nor can they have a relationship now.
Fearing God is like this: when I was a youth, and I made a mistake or did something that I knew my father would highly disapprove of, I dreaded telling him. My entire focus was on the consequences. I walled myself off because of insecurity and kept it to myself until I was so miserable that I couldn’t eat and enjoy daily routines.
I had to tell my father, and alas, while he was upset and disappointed, he told me he loved me and was sorry and that he didn’t want me to be afraid to tell him. Relief came quickly, and I soon wondered why I was scared to tell him. But, the next time something terrible happened, I reverted to the way I was the last time, except it was worse. After my father died, I still carried that approach in job-seeking, education, employers, supervisors, or just about anything I did.
I was self-conscious because of rejection, and so I dreaded dealing with people and issues. This was how I approached God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I didn’t see them as my friend or that I was their friend. I had a wrong perception of who God was. I studied the text, and I knew what it said. I taught the word, but my prayer life was based on one where I felt like I better get it right or He would punish me. Sometimes I pictured some big guy on a throne watching me mess up.
Like my biological father, I couldn’t fully receive His love and enjoy Him. I was full of religion. I didn’t know that I could enjoy God. We enjoyed hanging out with our father, but it was usually when we were doing something he enjoyed, like fishing, watching Braves baseball, or working on a car. He enjoyed woodworking, too. It’s funny how the only one of those things I still enjoy is baseball. Perhaps that is because he taught me about the game. He once pulled me out of the hopeless, hapless position of right field to that of catcher. I really enjoyed catching it even though it was dangerous.
The point of all of this is whether we had bad father relations growing up or something else. Most of us battle with fear and approaching God. We can’t receive love from Him as we should and live a kingdom life in fear, rejection, and insecurity. How do we get free?
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment (torment), and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
I hope that verse sinks in with you! I must have been perfected in love, or at least I now see myself as a work and creation of God’s love. I am not perfect, but His love has already perfected me. I just choose to identify with that and know when I get angry or gossip or think sinful thoughts, and I can come clean, repent and receive God’s love through His son Jesus.
Perfect love only comes from God. That is what casts out fear. You can be delivered from a spirit of fear, but it is replaced with perfect love from the Father. That is freedom.
I see that I am always loved, and what separates me from that love is my own fear. My sins separate me from enjoying Him fully at that moment, but I am still loved, and repentance is so easy because I know that He will forgive me, and I am cleansed and can continue to walk in love and enjoy Him fully.
Isaiah 62: 4 is the verse that turned everything around for me.
“ No longer will they call you Deserted or name your land desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.” NIV
Some translations say that the Lord ‘takes delight’ in you. The light bulb went off. He delights in me so that I can enjoy Him. I can find pleasure with Jesus, with the Father and Holy Spirit, no matter what I am doing. I know He loves me and delights in me, and I am confident in His love for me. That is liberating, and I pray that you receive that today.
Isaiah 61:10 “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, He has clothed me with garments of salvation, and He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks Himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
When you come to salvation or are born into the kingdom, he clothes us with robes of righteousness and garments of salvation. We are priests, and we receive those priestly garments. When we approach the throne of grace, we must see ourselves as covered by the blood of Jesus and wearing our priestly garments.
How about it? Receive today the perfected love from God. Jesus paid the price for you to be free from fear. Enjoy life in the Kingdom!!!