Why fear is not the answer

Photo © 2jenn - Fotolia.com

 

There are many Bible verses about love.  How it is patient and kind, how it covers a multitude of sins. That will have to be for another day, for the scripture brought immediately to my mind was 1 John 4:18, which tells us that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Looking at that verse closer we see that…

There is no fear in love

Why is there no fear in love? Because God is pure love. “There is no unrighteousness in him.” (psalms 92:15). And there is nothing more “un-right” that fear.

Now; there may be some “religions” that teach and preach a god of fear. A god, who, at any second, is about to swing down his arm of judgment and crush his “unrighteous” followers like the gnats they are made to feel like.

That is not my God.

No, my God is a God of deep, flowing love. My God is a God whose deepest desire is NOT that we become His unthinking minions for the sake of His mighty power, but that we become people who follow His example of loving deeply so that others might see and be changed by His love flowing through us.

My God is a God who calls us to be like Him alone. Who wants us to be so “enfolded in love” (Ephesians 4:18), so wrapped up in the love that only He can give that people will first have to make contact with love before they reach us.

but perfect love casts out fear

Imagine that you are a house. You are, of course, a clean and tidy house. All pretty and smelling great…that is until you become infested with the “fear” bug. It starts out so very tiny, hardly noticeable. But instead of doing what 2 Corinthians 2:5 says and taking that ungodly thought captive before casting it out, you do nothing, and therefore, it is allowed to grow and multiple.

In a short time, your home (while still pretty underneath) is no longer “clean and tidy.” You realize that you have a problem, that fear has covered your life so completely that the essence of you is no longer visible. So you call in the big guns. That’s right, the Orkin man!! He comes with (insecticide) guns a blazing, and he casts out, (gets rid of) each and every fear bug.

Before you know it, you are clean and tidy once more and are more watchful for the little bugs that might ruin your view.

Perfect love is like installing a guard in front of your house so “fear” will no longer be allowed entrance.

For fear has to do with punishment

Fear isn’t for the now but for the future.

If we are afraid, that means that we think that we will be adversely affected in the future. But God never told us to live in the future. Matthew 6:34 tells us “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” We are not supposed to live in fear of what will come, but to trust God to sustains us today.

I once heard somewhere that the word FEAR stood for False Evidence Appearing Real. I love that acronym. Something like 98% of the things we fear NEVER happen.

So why are lives wasted fearing? Some of the reasons might be;

  • We are not reading the Word on a consistent basis. As we read, we are storing instruction that God will then bring up to us when we need it, like when we are tempted to fear.
  • We are not spending time worshiping God. There is something about worship that drives out fear and replaces it with peace that will not allow fear entrance.
  • We are watching the news too much. Studies have shown that bad news sells. Fear sells. That is why the news is filled with the stuff of nightmares…stay away, the important stuff will filter down to you.
  • We are choosing to feed our fear and not our faith. What we spend time thinking about is important.

whoever fears has not been perfected in love

We live in an age where fear is on the rise. When those terrorists killed all those people in Paris, my first reaction, I am embarrassed to say, was to want to kick out every “potential threat” from America and to close all of our borders.

Why? Because I have four children and one grandchild and I feared anything happening to them.

But them my beautiful and intelligent daughter (well one of them) reminded me that this is not how Jesus would respond. That He taught us to love our neighbor. That He never taught us to be suspicious or fearful of him.

We have to be careful of allowing this fear to take a hold of us. Not to allow this fear to take up residence in our though or it will control us. And in case you are wondering if that would be a bad thing, …

Hitler was abetted by the tremendous fear of communism taking over Germany.

After the war, and into the 1920s, Germany experienced violent strikes. There was fighting, rioting and deaths. Communism in Germany was abetted by its international stature; it saw Germany as the next country after Russia most likely to turn communist. Trotsky, Lenin and others put effort into mobilizing their forces to expand their revolution into Germany.

Hitler capitalized upon that fear. He found a ready response in the German people, who were more afraid of communism than what he stood for. (jewishhistory.org)

Wow look at that last sentence…Hitler, rose to power because the people “were more afraid of communism than what he stood for.

Bonhoeffer knew that Christians were not meant to be controlled by fear and wrote, “When holy scripture speaks of Jesus, it proclaims that people are free from all human rules, from everything that pressures, burdens, or cause’s worry and torment of conscience…Discipleship is Joy.” 

So who was Bonhoeffer?

 He was a man that though he was born into a privileged lifestyle, did not allow the lure of comfort to define who he was. When the Nazi’s took power and demanded that every Pastor swear an allegiance to Hitler, most Protestant German pastors (out of fear) quickly did. Bonhoeffer, however, did not.

He was one of the founders of the Confessing Church. He swore allegiance to Jesus alone. He was not afraid to live for Christ. He was part of a plot to kill Hitler (weighing murder against the thousands of lives lost) and was captured and killed only a few weeks before the concentration camp was liberated. Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not allow fear to take the reins of his life. He reserved those for God alone.

Where does this leave us

The recent terrorism in the world today is prompting the rise of Politian’s who are consistently feeding into our fear. May we learn the lessons of history, before it is too late.

Fear should not make our decisions for us.

If you have been fearful, I urge you to bring it to God and ask Him to replace your fear with His peace and ask Him to guard your heart and mind.

Ask for His guidance alone on who to vote for.

Allow God full access and He will get you where you need to be.

One last thing

When a group of children were asked about love,  a six-year-old child had the best response;

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate. – Nikka, 6

And a little child shall lead them…..

You are amazing

You are a miracle!

It is amazing how you were formed in your mothers womb totally without any human hands.

You were amazing from birth.

Live in light of that!

Live in light of the fact that you were created and loved deeply by the One who hung the stars and aligned the planets.

Let every day of your life be a testament to the awesomeness that is you.

Shine your light! Live out loud! 

Don’t let the cares of this world carry away your joy.

The world needs to see it.

So stir up your joy (sing a song loudly, dance with beat in your own head, etc) and pass it on.

Have an awesome day!!!!

How God used the Dr. Who TV show to show He cares about our details

loveis

I have four children one of them is currently in college in Scotland studying geography. She is my oldest child. I can’t really call her child because she is on the latter and of her 20s.

At the beginning of the year we had a conversation about God. Now let me just preface this by saying she was raised in a Christian home though it was not always she knew the values that I held, and gave her life to Christ at a young age.

She has not always had it easy, she’s been through many traumatic things, and as a result came to believe in the deistic God (a God that created the world and is somewhere there but is not active nor cares about the details of the believer’s life).

This was not only heartbreaking but very confusing to me because she had seen time after time after time how God was in the details of my life. How God seem to order my steps in perfect unison.

I remember when we have the conversation about her beliefs I said, “Okay I respect your beliefs, but I will be praying that God will show you that He is indeed in the details.”

And in true God-of-the-details fashion He showed up and showed out.

So the thing is is that my daughter is a huge Dr. Who fan. She has every book, poster, blanket, teapot, shirt, and DVD ever made (while that may be a bit of an addict exaggeration but you get the picture).

So when she found out that they were giving tours of the set of the show Dr. Who (called the Tardis) in the month of November, she quickly bought a ticket.

A ticket she bought for was for a Thursday.

And while later she realized she hadn’t checked her email in a while. As she did so she saw the letter from the people at the Dr. Who experience saying that they were not going to be able to give a tour on that Thursday. The interesting thing as they said that if she replied to this email by this certain date at a certain time (let me just stop here to say it’s interesting that they gave a time limit because usually, at least in America, they give a date you have to apply to not a time) that if you replied they would reschedule you for a Friday.

She looked at the time and realized that she was an hour late to replying on time. Because they were all booked up for it every other day that month, she sadly resigned herself to the fact that she would not be able to see the Tardis before coming back to America.

I told her to not give up, and to see what God could do. I told her that God is in the details and knows how much she wanted this and if it was His will would give a to her.

I told her to email the people that sent the letter and tell them that she’s an American in Europe and this would be her only chance to see the set and ask if they could please squeeze her in.

A few days later she told me an excitement that she’d heard back from the company, and after some wrangling decided that they could fit her in on a Wednesday.

So to recap: she was supposed to go on Thursday, they were originally were going to reschedule for Friday, but because she missed the email she was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Why is that important?

Because after she found out she started thinking about grad school and realized that she wanted to go in Europe.

There were only two grad schools in Europe that taught her what she was learning. One of the grad schools was in Scotland where she was but the school that had the best program for her degree was in Cardiff, Wales.

Cardiff, Wales also happens to be the place where they film Dr. Who.

She got an idea that she should look up and see if the university has any days for international students to tour the campus for the graduate program.

They had two days a year where they did so.

One of the days was a day where she wasn’t going to be in Europe anymore. And the other day… You guessed it.

The only other day out of the whole year, that they were doing tours for international graduate students at that university, that happened to be within walking distance of the Dr. Who set, was on that same Wednesday that she was scheduled to take the tour.

Now remember she was going to school in Scotland and had to take an overnight bus to get there. She was missing one day of class and would have not felt comfortable on to miss anymore to go on the tour.

But our mighty God. Our God is the details. He designed it so that after taking a tour of the set and the whole Dr. Who experience, my daughter was able to walk over to the University and tour the school on a day designed to receive her.

God is in our details.

He cares about every aspect of our life. He is with us he is present and he loves each and every one of us with abandon.

God used the Dr. Who experience to allow my daughter to experience his love.

You can trust him with every detail of your life.

Ps…I got permission before sharing my daughters story