1 John 4:17-19
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day – our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love – love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” 1 John 4:17-19 (The Message)
What has ‘the run of the house’ in your life? What emotion or feeling drives everything you do? What lives in your heart the most?
Far too often I allow fear to run my mind and determine my decisions. I fear potential circumstances. I fear what others think of me. I fear the unknowns in my future. I fear I am not good enough.
Fear manifests itself in more than just an anxiety or uneasiness. It can be what drives us to pursue the unattainable perfection. It can be what keeps us mulling over that last heartbreak or disappointment. Fear can be what is holding us back from that step of obedience we know we must take.
Although, fear can show itself in our lives in a thousand different ways, the beginning of fear comes from one simple place.
The root of fear is the lack of love.
Conviction pours over me when I realize that all of my fears stem from the places in my heart I haven’t allowed God’s love to reach. Not because His love can’t get to me, but because I won’t allow Him in to those tender places that my deepest fears live.
Fear is an illusion of losing control of certain aspects of life that only God sovereignly maintains. Fear says, “You can’t trust anyone but yourself, so take control of your life or find failure, pain, disappointment, etc.…”
God’s love says, “You are not in control. I am. I love you more perfectly than you can imagine. I knew you before you had a name, and know your entire future. Not only do I know you, but I’ve got control, so leave your anxiety behind and trust me. My love will carry you.”
Today, and every day, I must determine what voice I listen to. Will I allow fear to cripple me, or will I allow perfect love to free my soul to obedience? What will run my life? Some days I feel like I am free to allow my Father’s love to rush into every cave and crevice in my heart and wash away all my fears, doubts, expectations and anxieties, allowing His love to fill me completely so I can live fully. Other days fear has such a grip on me that I feel I am paralyzed. I instinctively raise the walls up around my heart, not allowing anything in…or out.
We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, ESV). His perfect love is waiting, and when we accept His love, little by little, day after day, we continually allow our strong God to drive out our deepest fears because in Him we find endless security and unconditional love.
When God’s love fills us full, there will be no room for fear. Allow Him to enter into that broken, tender place that you keep locked away. Don’t allow fear to have the final say, Love is ready to usher in peace.
You may have accepted Christ’s gift of love and salvation years ago, but what areas in your life have you been keeping from Him, afraid of exposing? What area in your life needs to be redefined by love instead of fear, pain, and anxiety? God’s Word can drive out any fearful thought, what promise from Scripture can you dwell on today?
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18a (ESV)