Face the Fear
According to 1 John 4:18, perfect love casts out all fear. We are called to be imitators and heirs of Christ Jesus-the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2). Fear is contrary to faith and vehemently contends with faith. God is love. That is well established in (1 John 4:6-7). Every part of the Godhead is love. Christ is the only part of the Godhead that is visible or has ever been physically seen. Colossians 1:15 affirms that He is the image of the invisible God and first born of all creation. His face i.e. identity, image and expression are a barometer for our own growth and faith. We must understand that God has given Christ as the benchmark for our own spiritual growth. Two things are imperative here; God is love and Christ as our sign, wants us to become like Him, also perfected in love. The action of loving God and one another makes his love become perfect in us. Thus, we fully take on the divine nature of Christ and become fully fused with Christ as one.
Fear is derived from the Greek word “Phobos” from which we get phobia. Phobos means fear or horror. There are innumerable phobias or fears in our world. It’s a morbid paralyzing feeling with no foundational basis. People have a fear for just about everything that exists. Hydrophobia is the fear of water, pogonophobia is the fear of beards, ablutophobia the fear of showering, etc. Absurd as these sound, they control and enslave men, irrespective of standing or position. It is an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, evil etc. It is an anticipation and expectation of something negative usually based on irrational feeling rather than factual reality. It operates on false alarms or delusions of danger. Fear is such a powerful force. It directly confronts faith. Where fear prevails, there is no peace but stagnation, paralysis and turmoil. Many baseless thoughts and feelings surface and control or influence a person. Fear thrives on ignorance. The absurdity and arrogance of ignorance is nowhere better displayed than when fear is at play! Without God’s word you are ignorant and your faith suffers, but the Bible lists at least 360 “fear nots” in scripture. For every day of the year that fear raises its head, there is a “fear not” scripture to oppose it. Jesus in Luke 8:22-25 asks a pointed question when fear arises in the midst of a storm, “where is your faith?". Faith or fear determines what operates in your life. Economists today say that even the markets react to bad news i.e. fear controls the economy rather than faith (which controls the financial system). Thus, the richest man in the world in his day, Job, said, “the thing that I feared came upon me” Job 3:25-26.
How do we fight fear? In the assurance of scripture. We do not shrink from it but face it and overcome it in faith. We need the face of the one that stood in faith to defeat fear permanently. Understanding the scriptural basis of faith and fear makes a difference. Paul said to his spiritual son Timothy in 2 Timothy1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The Spirit of God in us is an anti-fear serum. 1 Peter 5:6-11 is insightful. Firstly, humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, His control (structure, order, systems, etc.) setting aside self-righteous pride. Be minded to appreciate that God works it out for the appropriate time, which may not agree with your timing. Then cast all your fears unto Him, knowing that he cares and will be watchful over you. Relieved of your worries, cares and fears be mindful of the pretending devil masquerading as a lion. Resist him, standing resolute in your faith, but assured that the God of all grace, after you have suffered a little, will “complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”- this the Law of process. He will bring you there in his own time. The import of that scripture is, the devil has no love but pretends to be what he’s not. He imitates God (why don’t we imitate Christ and be more powerful than the adversary?), he deploys fear in his pretenses, but you must stand firm in God to resist him & win. So be steadfast in your faith, grow in your faith and know that what you face is not unique to you alone. There is grace abundant for your help and the same grace will restore you.
God is love. He wants us to love and be perfect in love. Perfect love casts out fear. When we attain the state of perfection in love, fear is cast out of us, completely. Even if we have not attained that state, the work of Christ Jesus is enough to rely on. We adopt His perfection as ours, thus we can have the expulsion of every stagnating, paralyzing, immobilizing feeling that does not allow us to become fully “witnesses” of the finished work. Note that the Holy Ghost came at Pentecost to people who were trying to muster and master their love for one another over their differences. The power of that early church was rooted in love. No wonder they grew exponentially.
Finally, remember that in the state of love, you will be like Him. Having the mind of Christ, peace of Christ, power of Christ, presence of Christ and the person of Christ. All devils, fears and phobias will be driven away because of Jesus!! Be bold, be confident because of Jesus. Now you can sing “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God” and chime in on “my fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in your love."
Shalom & Selah
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