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Love, Not Fear



Read 1 John 4:7-20.


Many people have accepted worry and anxiety as a normal part of life when, in truth, the Bible has a long list of commands instructing God’s people not to fear. There is a reason. There are dangers in a “negative church” in that it does not correlate with the hope, joy and peace of the Risen Christ. The voice of God, and fruit of God, are extremely positive (Galatians 5:22-23). Even difficulties can be endured in a positive way—expecting GOD! When fear becomes an ingrained habit, unrepented of, it depletes saints of the mental and physical strength they need for living the Christian life effectively. Fear’s design is to take love’s allotted room in the human soul—problematic, for we need love to live.


FEAR = HOPELESSNESS AND DISCOURAGEMENT

LOVE = HOPE AND COURAGE


Fear is spiritual poison. It causes unnecessary suffering, and an illegitimate perception of distance or unresponsiveness from God.


GOD’S COMMANDS (“FEAR NOT”) ARE ENERGIZED PROMISES.

BELIEVERS ARE EXPECTED TO LIVE BOLDLY IN LOVE, NOT FEAR;

TO MAKE A CHOICE TO BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF GOD OVER SATAN.


Commands spoken by Jesus over us (declared over us; sealing us) and written in the inspired word of God, such as, “Fear not, you are more valuable than sparrows..,” are fulfilled with God’s Holy Spirit. Such words hold God’s operative power. We are, therefore, made well able to obey such words by leaning entirely upon God to perform them and to deliver us from all spiritual corruption—inside and out. A command of God is an energized promise that will not return to Him void. God is pointing, with these words of His, the direction we are to actively go: the direction of LOVE, not fear. It is expected, in Christ, for believers to live without fear or anxiety and, rather, to be free. Since Christ’s first coming, we are expected to experience the peace, love, joy, and pleasant hope God has given us, through His Son, to enjoy:


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27, NIV).

PROPER VERSUS IMPROPER FEAR


When we properly fear God, we are in awe of His colossal nature. We elevate Him above every-trivial-thing else. Almighty God takes first place and holds our full attention. Nothing else exists in our world that is comparable to Him. When we reverence God—not evil—there is no need to improperly fear any event or entity in the world. We simply pay no attention to threat because we are captivated by God Himself, Who overshadows it and covers us as our full-time, all-powerful Caretaker. Love, in a way, is a preliminary form of holy rapture (Colossians 3:14-17).


If you are afraid of anything in the world, bend a knee to God,

put on love,

and the thing will rapidly lose its hold on you.

 

WORRY, DEPRESSION AND PERSISTENT NEGATIVITY ARE ROOTED IN FEAR.

FAITH IS POSITIVE.

FEAR AND FAITH ARE OPPOSITES:

ONE COMES FROM SATAN, THE OTHER COMES FROM GOD.


Romans 14:23c (AMPC) states, “whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin.” Ongoing fear—and related discouragement—is agreement with the enemy of God. We have succumbed to defeat, to weariness. However, simple submission to God corrects this issue. Since we have been given Christ, it is sin to be hopeless. Just lean and rely on Him and watch Him work.


It is impossible to worry in faith!


Worry, at its root, is fear, which our 1 John 4 passage has documented has ZERO in common with God’s love. It should be repented of, and its torment stopped, for God’s love contains all the protection and appointment we need. The enemy of God attempts to use fear to lead souls astray, to confuse and cloud saints’ path, to disappoint them. The love of God, however, wins. God Himself guides us, empowers us, and keeps us safe and on track—His love shines bright over us.


When you mature in the Christian faith to the stage of loving other people (in spite of their flaws), you will not be afraid of them (Jeremiah 1:8; Psalm 118:6; Proverbs 29:25; Galatians 1:10-12; Matthew 10:28). What can they do to you? Likewise, when you love God with everything you are, you will sense that there is nothing He won’t do for you. Your reverential fear of Him will become health to your bones, your life will be permeated with perfect love—no room to fear or doubt.


“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11, KJV).

Reverential fear of God will not cross a line such that would erode your secure relationship with Him. This “line” is kept by the Mediator, Christ Jesus. Our belief of Him is the gage, the compass needle of our faith, which, by grace, guides us directly to Our Father…the Source and Substance of life itself, Who over-abundantly loved us first. To understand this better, prior to Christ the door to Heaven was shut. After Christ, the veil was torn, the Door opened, and you and I have access to God’s Heavenly throne. What would life be like without Him? Love is the very presence of God, and indeed the Holy Spirit of Him—we can touch, appropriate, be filled with God’s love at any time. Love is extremely powerful. Remember, you follow—your life falls in line with—the One you love. Consider these verses…


“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, KJV).
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23, KJV).
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18, KJV).

God is with us. God does not ask us to love out of nothing, to give to others out of a dry well, to conquer fear with no weapon. Rather, He continually fills us with His love—ever-flowing waters, so that our cup overflows. He gains the Victory, through Christ, on our behalf (1 Samuel 17:47).


Fear is created by a digression from this vital connection. Like a creeping disease, fear is the symptom and stench of the enemy at work, who corrodes our temple when we forget or neglect to magnify God and appropriate what God continually wants to give us. We can get so distracted by life’s demands that we neglect maintenance and try to function on autopilot rather than on God’s grace. In this dysfunctional state, we wander and form the subconscious habit of staring down at our natural reality, which overwhelms us. We feel lost as Christians. In truth, however, Satan has no authority over a believer. And, worldly circumstance is highly subject to change, particularly at the hand of a faithful God. So wipe the slate. Start again. Look up to God for your help. No problem on earth is permanent, but our Relationship with God, through Christ Jesus, is.



FEAR VERSUS FAITH


Paul wisely instructs us to “think” intelligently and actively on things that are “lovely” (Philippians 4:8). He does not tell us to meditate incessantly on our problems. Before we discuss love in more detail, let’s address fear and faith…which act like opposing hinges on the door that we swing back and forth between our own existence and God’s. One direction keeps us perpetually in the dark, while the other way provides full entrance into God’s beautiful light which we so desperately need.


Our natural response to life-threatening situations is to fear, run, and hide. But the Bible’s frequent directive is to, “fear not,” to move forward and face such things, for we are engaged in a lifelong battle and the Lord is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9b; Hebrews 13:5c). Be brave—diagnoses, world or local news, family circumstances, the future, funds… Christ is the one and only Victory to be found, the world and centuries over (1 Corinthians 15:57, Revelation 21:6-8). God is on our side, so why fear?


Let’s study the disciples as they faced their fear…


The natural law regarding a body of water is that it is unwalkable, dangerous and unpredictable, and anyone who would dare to step into it by faith would do so at the cost of his life. But God parted it, Jesus walked on it, and enabled Peter to survive the spiritual/physical follow of such nonsensicality. “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Jesus asked after He saved him. “Truly, you are the Son of God,” all the disciples concluded as they witnessed the psychologically straining event (see Matthew 14:22-33, NIV). Peter lived for only one reason—God was with him. And the same God is with us.


But why do believers need to face such outlandish events? It seems so unfair! Well…let’s consider that if we had no impact against darkness, we’d have no resistance from it either. Also, look closely at the following elements of the disciple’s intense trial:


  • What was used as a teaching instrument? Natural storms and spiritual defiance.

  • What fruit was produced? Faith in the all-powerful Son of God, over human fear.

  • What was the result for God’s Kingdom? They entered the “Paradise of Galilee” (a garden, like Eden), and the healing and salvation of lost souls was on the other side (“Gennesaret,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Matthew 14:34).[1]

The pathway to ministry is nonsensical, so to take bold steps in it, one must face the heights of fear, of being thrust wildly into harvest, and elevate one’s faith in God over fear, unfairness, and ambiguity. We cannot possibly understand it, but we can witness it. We can come through such events via a genuine love for God and a dependency-relationship on Jesus Christ. Again, we may never understand it this side of Heaven, but that does not mean God will not use it. He most certainly will.


Read Mark 4 and 5.


In this account, Jesus slept in the boat during the life-threatening storm—again, we see Him illustrate the polar opposite of the natural human response (panic). Jesus’ take (complete rest, reliant upon God’s constant watch) was counterintuitive, yet it was victorious over crisis! The disciples all got to the other side of their fear, their faith was bolstered, and, par for the pattern, Jesus drove demons out of a man there (Mark 5). So as a realistic result of the supernatural nonsense, Jesus’ ministry continued to spread.


God is vast, overwhelming in power, and He makes bold moves.

Be calm.

 

SEEDS, STORMS, AND FAITH OVER FEAR = MULTIPLED MINISTRY


Looking at the context of Mark, chapters 4 and 5, this hurricane-like event begins with Jesus talking in detail about “seeds”—a seemingly unrelated topic. These chapters end with Jesus raising a dead girl and healing a sick woman. What is the correlation between dead seeds, vicious storms, near-death experiences, and ministry? This is the biblical pattern of being “born again from above”. In the very manner that God causes abandoned seeds buried in the ground to emerge as healthy plants that produce fruit to feed the masses, He produces disciples. Elementary when we look at a corn or wheat field. Traumatic when we look in the mirror. Solved when we look in the Bible.


God does the exact thing with a person that He does with a seed,

which dies then ultimately rises again, grows, and produces food/fruit.

God does all of this Himself in ways that are difficult to describe,

except for their documentation in the Bible.


“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest” (John 12:24, AMPC).

Fallen seeds, colossal storms, and the test of faith over fear are the methods God uses with His disciples to grow His Christian ministry on the earth.


FEAR IS LIKE AN INVASIVE WEED IN AN OTHERWISE

FAITH-FILLED, PERFECTLY-CULTIVATED GARDEN

DESIGNED TO YEILD THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON EARTH.


Our foundational passage is 1 John 4:7-20. The Gospel of John is a Book about love—the fuel of the will, the balm that heals us, the miraculous sap that ensures we survive God’s methods intact. It has been established that we are the seeds—fallen, abandoned, scattered, alone—which God miraculously raises up to produce Kingdom fruit. But in the dark ground—for an indeterminate amount of time—our faith in God MUST overcome our fear. “Belief versus unbelief” is not a game that we can take lightly here—in the face of fear, our own indecision can nearly rip us apart. Faith is crucial. Faith literally becomes the Rock that pushes us back up through the soil. Faith in God is the Church’s proper defense mechanism throughout the whole process of life. Even if we almost lose our faith, God is faithful to raise it back up—and our lives with it. This is the exemplification of the Risen Christ.


LOVE IS HOLY POWER


Love is integral to faith. It is the sap in the Vine that God alone sources. Love produces buoyancy during the storms that carry us along. Love creates a spiritual shield that defies natural probability. All of this is directly in line with God coming to the fallen earth in the form of a baby boy, to powerfully and eternally save those who would do one, simple, cynically-defying act: BELIEVE, like a child.


Against all odds, life is miraculously sustained

by the One Who created it.

Love has everything to do with it.


Believe in God’s Love, it is cohesive. For God-following love to manifest in our lives, one must believe the Source of it exists, that He is good, and that He is accessible by common man within the span of his everyday existence. To achieve a victorious life, God must be close to us, and we to Him. He must be present in the midst of all spiritual, natural and human-generated problems and conflicts. Through these crisis points, God shows Himself the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and He rewards in an instantaneous, yet enduring, way.


If we love God, we want to please Him. Hebrews 11:6 is commonly read: “Without faith, it is impossible to please [Him; God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is [exists] and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASB Lexicon). Strong’s digs a bit deeper into the original language of this verse and we might interpret it as follows:


“When separated from faith or faithfulness, one is powerless to please or to approach God. It is necessary to believe/entrust that God pays wages to those who seek [Him] and demand them [from Him].”

Ekzéteó (pron. ek-zay-tay-oh; to “seek”) means a “binding resolution”—the bottom line.[2] We must be rooted and grounded in love to keep our faith in our Lord intact. Through the direct channel of holy love, forged by Christ, God pays us our wages (misthapodotés; pron. miss-tha-pa-da-tase; “rewards”) in qualities and quantities that are sourced by, and measured of, Him (as derived from His character—good and boundless). God is considered “generous” because He literally gives us “pieces” of Himself as our reward. Christ Jesus forms a cord (similar to an umbilical cord) between us and God in Heaven. God gives us Himself to live on—direct access to all His strength, power, light and goodness. But we must have, and exercise, faith, hope and love—these three (1 Corinthians 13:13). We are to “use” God even more than He “uses” us.


Jesus is the Seed of God,

fallen to the earth; crucified, dead and buried in the ground;

Who rose again on the third day; and has made a way

for the fruit of the Spirit to miraculously sustain us.


It is HE that God provided as the food for us to live on.


We are not disconnected.

Our life experiences mimic His pattern very closely today.


If you want peace, love, goodness, ease, light, happiness and joy.., if you want anointing and FREEDOM FROM FEAR, draw on Jesus. Use the connection to the throne of God that Jesus built up like a highway; this umbilical cord or lifeline, this path of direct and bold access to God, is absolutely unbreakable (Ecclesiastes 4:12). These are the blessings raining down, the “wages” that God alone divvies out FROM HIS OWN CHARACTER AND BEING to those who believe that He sent His Son to redeem us. The Fruit of God’s Spirit are not merely wishful thinking—they are ours. Jesus shows us the pattern, and has created a way to live life with God that is unstoppable. Those who come to God, through Christ, and who ask for these good things to survive, who, based upon Jesus’ work on earth, EXPECT God to provide for them abundantly—do receive God’s Own Life, and that everlastingly. This love is the substance upon which we are made.



GOD NEVER RUNS OUT OF GRACE.


The Seed is so powerful that this type of fruit, of food,

never stops giving life to those of us who need it.


So, what is the problem? I’m a believer—why do I still have so much anxiety? We merely stop asking. We stop receiving. We stop knocking on the door (Luke 11:9-10). And what a shame this is, for Jesus waits attentively just on the other side and God has NEVER stopped providing for us. Jesus instructed it would be, at times, extremely difficult (read John 6:48-68). When we feel cut off, we have somehow gotten directionally confused in the dark, cold ground. We have shut the door; Christ has not. We have neglected tending our souls and our Relationship with God and have opted for some cheap substitute that cannot nutritionally sustain us. We must take responsibility for our part; we simply need to turn around in our will, open the door to the light, and embrace God’s bounty. We need to turn back toward God as our Provider, our Designer, our Gardener, our Sun and Shield. He is Real. We need to turn away from our selfish pride and our elective blindness. We cannot live unless we appropriate fruit and wages from God. It is on us to open the Door (Christ) and enter into God’s rich, prepared, generous abundance.


There is no other Source.


“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20, NIV).

“Here I am! Here I am!” Jesus says—waiting for you continually. Can you hear His voice? Can you imagine such a statement, the pleading expression in His eyes? If you are lonely and underfed, chances are, you have left Him lonely, too. Just reach out—He is ready and waiting for you.



GOD IS GARDENER. GOD IS PROVIDER.


The “bottom line” (ekzéteó; pron. ek-zay-tay-oh; to “seek”) of the faith exchange is that God pays our way here in full—and that miraculously. God Himself provides exactly what we need to live. Modern man, just as man of old, will die if this truth is circumvented (Exodus 20:3). God alone provides means, relationships, resources, jobs, talents, desires, and energy. Dreams and goals and visions must be Godly Sourced (in alignment with Him and His wages/good qualities) to be sustainable. They cannot be artificial, but must be based on Truth. There is, in an unbelieving sense, “not enough” food, clothing, housing, money, systems, safety nets, opportunities, or ways out of issues for 8 billion people (and all the animals)—there are not enough of these things without God’s grace in abundance.


God has provided for mankind since creation.

All He asks in exchange is for us to

BELIEVE in the One Whom He sent.


“So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide [Jehovah Jireh]. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14).
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Genesis 1:29, KJV).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener” (John 15:1, NIV).

An agrarian society is in touch with biblical parables on seeds and can readily understand and receive parallels between human life and a seed planted in the ground; such people engage fully in the prayer which becomes necessary between planting time and harvest. Their survival is dependent upon it—as is the food chain of the entire modern world. And no wise farmer would place a seed in the ground without at least some measure of faith in the effort. Mankind might be able to plant a seed God has provided, but mankind has NEVER generated it from nothing. He has never owned the mysterious command for a seed to sprout newness from decay, to grow in the right direction out of the dark, to withstand storms and multiply itself in spite of its own delicacy, and to create a nourishing substance that is healthy for a person to eat and live on. Also, more is provided to replant in the next season. Hope is required! Look at the life that results from burying something in the ground in its dead state! The same is with you and me. Through this natural example, God is painting us a picture, showing us a detailed map, pointing to a replica of what He does with us over the span of our Christian lifetime, and its pivotal crises and dormant, isolating times.


No matter what chaos has happened to “bury” you, your life isn’t over.

Through these biblical illustrations, God is telling you,

He knows what He is doing with you.

You can trust Him with your life when all seems lost.


“The LORD will indeed provide what is good, and our land will yield its increase” (Psalm 85:12, BSB).
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creation…” (James 1:16-18, BSB).

All good things that sustain life come from God, in both the natural form and in the Heavenly, supernatural form (Genesis 1:29). God coming to the earth as a child, as a Divine Seed, was planted here, was crucified, buried, and resurrected here, and has fed and sustained millions here, and in the ever after. Love exists, Life exists, because God exists and He has a GOOD WILL. Jesus is our proof and evidence, the Divine Seed Whom God sent so we can see and understand His methods of redemption and use (Mark 10:28-30; Galatians 3:16).



LOVE AND FEAR HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON


For simplicity and necessity’s sake, love and fear are starkly divided by John (1 John 4:7-20), and we would do well to keep it that way. “Anxious Christianity” begs a correction in one’s belief system, for love is positive and is equated with peace, joy, hope, health, caring for others, and contentment (see Galatians 5:22-23). There is LIFE in these things. Be it unto you as you have believed (Matthew 8:13)! If you are full of God—and as a believer in Christ Jesus, you are—God is positive!


In contrast, fear manifests itself negatively, in a myriad of life-draining, self-defeating ways, such as:


  • Anxiety/Worry

  • Insomnia

  • Body/Muscle Aches

  • Headaches/Migraines

  • Distraction/Mental Fog/Inability to Concentrate

  • Short Temper/Anger/Hostility

  • Negative Thoughts/Words

  • Depression/Hopelessness/Regret

  • Lack of Energy

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Jealousy/Envy/Greed/Fear of Lack

  • Bitterness/Self-Centeredness/Extreme Loneliness/Feeling Abandoned

Fear dips us down toward the recesses of death. Fear drains us of our will. Worry gets us out of balance and into extreme reactions or extreme inaction. It drains all of our energy out on the floor and prevents us from being sealed and branded in the Holy Ghost.


In today’s climate, we are seeing an epidemic of fear and “out-of-balance” living portrayed in the media—and yet, God still says, “Fear not, for I AM with you.” The answer to modern issues is just as it always has been—seek the love of God—freely accessible to whosoever will, through belief in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Love God with everything you are, and there will be no room for fear, or for the enemy of God to drain you. Love is healthy and results in an energetic, buoyant, balanced life. Love protects us from disease. Love adds to our happiness and propels our hope for tomorrow!


1 John 4:18a (AMPC) tells us, “There is no fear in love.” There is NO fear in love—absolutely none, no exceptions. The two—fear and love—could not be further apart in entity, source, spirit or result. They are like two sets of train tracks that run close for a time, but end in two drastically different destinations. John is indicating that Christians, just like a seed in the ground, have a choice to make. One way or the other. It helps to know, since there is absolutely no trace of Hell in Heaven, there can be absolutely no terror present in love. The basis for this truth is that there is none of Satan in common with God, and Jesus laid down His life to signify the eternal divide (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-16; John 19:28-30; John 10:9, NIV).


Because of the work Jesus has done, you and I

do not need to live a moment in fear.


We have been freed.


We have been given constant,

direct access to God Almighty, Who is love.


The Door to God is wide open! Enter His gates with praise!


In this study, we have determined that anxiety and worry are, at their root, fear—a paralysis of the mind; the bait of the enemy; a constant expectation of loss and disappointment. Christ came to separate us from all evil. Expel fear immediately! Fill up with love. If your hope is in God, you CANNOT be disappointed for God doesn’t fail at anything!


The common problem of a worrying Christian is found deep inside the soul—what direction is the seed of your new life going to sprout in? It must be upward, toward the sun and the Light of God, toward goodness, faith, hope and love, toward the lovely things. Sinking further into the darkness causes spiritual confusion and makes for miserable, conflicted saints.


Fight the good fight of faith.

If you are alive, you are worth the effort.


The message, command, promise—the will of God is clear: LOVE. The Word of God instructs that fear should not be entertained (see James 3:9-11). In fact, Jesus says this, “I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16, AMPC)! This “back and forth” is like a seedling wavering back and forth between faith and doubt. It creates weakness, a fainting, and downgraded countenance. We are not to wilt from internal indecision or a lack of fortitude—rather, we must once again choose to live in faith (love) over fear. You do have power over the forces of darkness!


“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19, KJV).

George MacDonald, a Scottish storyteller, instructed in his writings that even after Christian rebirth, whatever is still left of self would have to die again. It follows that the choice to live must also be made—again. A kernel of wheat must grow on the stalk initially, but once it falls to the ground and dies, it must also choose to grow up a second time (from out of the midst of its aloneness and shock), and that far more fervently than the first stage.


"[God] has redeemed my life from going down to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light! [Elihu comments] Behold, God does all these things twice, yes, three times, with a man, to bring back his life from the pit [of destruction], that he may be enlightened with the light of the living" (Job 33:28-30, AMPC).

Remember, agrarian societies are in touch with many seasons of growth—planting, yielding, reseeding. It is not that your Christianity has failed. No, it is that you must make the same foundational choices in your new cycle of life, no matter your age. We are to actively choose, as many times as is required, Who we want to spend our time with—now, and during our eternal destiny—and this is to be a distinct choice, clearly lived out in our day-to-day private life (see Deuteronomy 30:19; John 10:10). The strength and quality of this choice will show in our attitude and countenance—in every stage of Christianity.


How can one soul go in two directions and live?


No better than one seed can sprout in two directions

and have the energy to survive.


Make a DECIDED choice today to live in love, not fear.


When our perceptions of the love of God and fear of the world become blended, often due to relational neglect (not spending quality time in the presence of God, not appropriating all of His love that we require), so do our consequent experiences of the two. It creates an external storm—a hurricane, a tornado, the friction of cold and hot. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he...” (Proverbs 23:7, AMPC). In other words, what we entertain, we become. The spiritual conflict must come to the surface, which is why Jesus stated, after He lifted Peter back up, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” It is extremely taxing on a human being to become both an expert at worrying (about the fallen world) and loving God. But rest assured, Jesus will reach down His hand to you and pull you toward Him—you will come up strong and calm. Do not fear!


1 John 4:18a (AMPC) states: “[F]ull-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” Every trace—gone. Here we see a distinct line of separation between fear and love, where the two do not mix at all. They are entirely oppositional. Moreover, the love of God is the only substance and force that has the power to remove fear from the human mind and cure it of all negative habits of thought. It is like God healing the seed from all disease, strengthening the plant, and causing it to grow and thrive. “Full-grown, complete, and perfect love” is to describe the state of our heart, soul, and mind (Mark 12:30-31).

When the heart, soul, mind, and physical body are cured in such a fashion, then life and death—with Christ holding the dividing line—can be decided upon in entirety. Choosing Life means we believe in Jesus to save us; we live how He wants us to live; we believe in God’s goodness and omnipotence and EXPERIENCE THESE THINGS, like payment of a believer’s wages.


Right now, you and I can choose the following states of thinking and being:

love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance),

kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility),

self-control (self-restraint, continence)

(Galatians 5:22-23, AMPC).


Fear, anxiety, worry, torment, restlessness, and hopelessness are not on this list; therefore, they are not inside of us either. Contrast this list of the Fruit of God’s Holy Spirit with the list of ways fear manifests itself above.


What type of atmosphere have you created for yourself,

and God—Who resides in you?


Is it full of faith? Or full of fear?


What you are full of documents who you are following. This is why the Word of God warns us that anything not of faith/love, is sin! Fear (including anxiety and worry) is clearly not of faith. Fear presumes God will not come though. Worry provides no way out of a problem—it is designed to confuse the DNA of the seed. This tainted, intrinsic thinking has absolutely nothing in common with God, His Character, His Promises, or His Love. God will come through for you.


God’s command, “Fear not,”

is incredibly important to keep.


The only way to keep it is with the love of God.


We are to be stewards of God’s gifts to us. If we properly love ourselves, we genuinely and actively care for our own selves, the state of our souls, and the direction of our own lives (see Mark 12:30-31). We oversee and competently manage the gifts and talents God has given us. We act as faithful custodians of our heart, soul, mind, body and spirit that we have been given by God to use to produce Him fruit. We are God’s home, His temple.


“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, NIV).

Dying to self, like the seed fallen to the ground, is part of this process, but it is the “evil” self we are to die to; not the holy, regenerate self. Thus, “dying to self,” while extremely important, cannot be taken to such an extreme as neglecting the good things God has given us. We are not to disease or afflict or abuse ourselves. We are, like Christ, to lay down our lives, but in Godly, life-giving, life-generating service, not in spiritual defeat, certainly not in agreement with the enemy! We are to cooperate with God’s timing, and stay in the Word of God as the truth always prevails. God Himself enables us to stand in the truth.

1 John 4:18b (AMPC) unblurs the lines between love and fear, correctly and clearly:


“Fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so the person] who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love…”

We must choose.


Choosing God (and His love) is a very positive, uplifting, strength-filled decision. There are times when we are exposed, sifted like wheat, with the seed being stripped of its outer shell (see Book of Job; Luke 22:30-32). We all have times of weakness and difficulty—yet Christ is our strength and our breakthrough! He has already prayed for us, that our faith would hold. Love, and more unity with God, are the result of severe trial.


As Jesus’ followers, we are not meant to stay in the torment that the enemy throws against us. If you are a Christian, yet suffering from worry or anxiety, check that you are receiving love from God on a regular basis.


The love of God is the most valuable and precious of all cures.


We all get battle fatigue—we need God’s rest in the midst of storms. Receive love, power, and goodness—your believer’s wages from God, in the fullest measure. He knows you need these things to overcome and to thrive, which is why He gave you Jesus! He is always working, even during dormancy, so never quit. Never give up. Keep your hope and faith in God. Engage in the reception of God’s pure and holy love—it is health and energy necessary for life. Once you call on Christ to cast all fear out of doors…


“…[N]ow these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV).

Grow in love. Just like a plant needs the clean, bright and warm sun, and pure water, let God embrace you. Let Him clean you inside and out and free you from all confusion, fear, and all disease. Jesus’ robes provide the safest landing place. He will cause you to grow in His love, beautifully!


“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls]” (Matthew 11:28, AMPC).

May God bless you.




SCRIPTURES TO CONFESS:


There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection] (1 John 4:18, AMPC).


In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee (Isaiah 54:14, DARBY).


But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore, everyone who acknowledges Me before men and confesses Me [out of a state of oneness with Me], I will also acknowledge him before My Father Who is in heaven and confess [that I am abiding in] him (Matthew 10:30-32, AMPC).


He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)? And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him (Mark 4:40-41, AMPC)?


Jehovah is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Jehovah is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid (Psalm 27:1, DARBY)?


Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36, NIV).

Fear not, little flock, for it has been the good pleasure of your Father to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32, DARBY).


Do not fear, O Daughter of Zion! Look! Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt (John 12:15, AMPC)!


Fear not, for I [am] with thee; be not dismayed, for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:10, DARBY).


Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me (Hebrews 13:5-6, AMPC)?


And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers) (Acts 2:43, AMPC).


Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers (Acts 9:31, NIV).


For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of wise discretion (2 Timothy 1:7, DARBY).


 

TRANSLATIONS and REFERENCES:


Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org


The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB, Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.


Darby, Public domain.


King James, Public domain.


Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[1] M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain. Retrieved November 24, 2023 from https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/eastons-bible-dictionary/gennesaret.html [2] Helps Word Studies. 2212. Zeteo. Accessed November 23, 2023 from https://biblehub.com/greek/2212.htm

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