Perfect Love Casts Out ALL Fear
These past few weeks God has been talking to me about fear, love and identity; as Christians we are not meant to have any fear and fear only comes because we do not know our identity in Christ since we were saved. As my husband so aptly put it; a person’s identity is moulded completely on the worst image or the biggest sin that person believes about themself. Note that this is a belief system built up in the mind, thus the importance of renewing the mind with the truth. The reality is that once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our old self dies immediately; it is forever gone; God never brings up your past again because as far as He is concerned it is washed away by the blood of Jesus and it no longer exists, only Jesus within you now exists. Our identity is now moulded by Christ. (wait for the blog post on this one)
This all came about as I decided that this year will be the year of facing my fears – unfortunately I didn’t know my true identity so I had fears. One of them was waves – you know; the ones in the ocean. They freaked me out; my sister will testify to numerous times of being clung to and pulled under the waves by me. So, I decided that I was going to do surfing lessons. My husband laughed when I told him, he looked at me and asked; “You do know there are BIG waves?” Duh, of course I knew. I told a few people about my impending surfing lesson and most of the responses were the same; “You need to take authority over that fear.”, “You need to bind and break the spirit of fear and trauma” so on so forth, everything was about attacking the enemy back and fighting principalities and powers. This didn’t feel right to me, the enemy is defeated, every time I turn to fight the enemy my eyes are taken off God, this wasn’t the way I wanted to overcome that fear so I asked God for help and in my spirit I kept getting that perfect love casts out all fear. So I asked God to make me love surfing, I asked Him to make me love the ocean that He created and to really make me love the waves.
The day finally arrived and I found that nervousness was replaced by excitement as I stood on the beach with my surf board; I expected the lesson to take a while on the beach before we got into the water but after five minutes of teaching we were sent into the water and guess what - I loved it! I loved the entire lesson! The next day was exactly the same, I loved it! The love I felt didn’t mean that nothing came against me – I was whacked on the back of the head by a fibreglass board, I got dumped, I had water go up my nose, I fell and scraped my butt, I got hit in the chest by my board and I had blisters on my feet but not once did any of these events bring fear or stop me from being in the water and amongst those big waves– I still loved being out there. Surfing will not be my sport – quite frankly I suck at it but I’m so glad that I did it and found a love for God’s creation.
Another thing I was fearful of was talking to strangers! I’ve always been the quiet one, I’ll sit and watch everyone and I’ll only really talk to people if I have to, I’m extremely shy. Again, I asked God for a love of people and these past two weeks I have gone out and started talking to strangers – about little things and sometimes about big things. You know what I learnt – it’s not that hard to talk and listen. I was under so much pressure from previous teachings on how you should evangelise, and when I did role playing scenarios during training sessions on evangelism correction always came because somehow I didn’t do it right or I forgot to say something and this brought feelings of unworthiness; that I could not be a preacher of the Good News because somehow I’d mess it up. I kept saying to the Lord that the Bible makes it sound so easy so why is it so hard to step out and touch people. He just said it’s because the church has made rules and formulas and doctrines out of how it should be done instead of just following two commandments – Love God and love your neighbour. Once you start loving people it becomes easy to share the Gospel. It’s called Kingdom Living but that is an entire blog post on its own.
Amidst all this I had two more fears to deal with – what other people think of me and safety for me and my family.
Our neighbourhood has been under attack by both some young youth terrorizing the area and by thieves breaking into homes, cars and stealing motorbikes. One night someone banged on the window right next to my head, it scared me so much and set off that fear receptor, then we had someone jump the fence and then our dear neighbours got broken into. So every single bump or noise in the night had me up and on the defence. My daughter’s fan fell over one night and I started shouting as if my life was in severe danger because I had thought someone broke in. The afternoon after the neighbours were broken into I was pacing my kitchen coming up with plans and strategies for prayer walks, fighting the enemy off etc – yep I went straight back to what I shouldn’t have done – fight the enemy and take my eyes off God.
My ever so patient husband just sat at the table and gave his head a little shake (geez, did that infuriate me) but after a couple of deep breaths I silently asked God what He wanted me to do – He said pray a blessing over the thieves! People only steal because they believe they need something they don’t have. They too need to be loved. God asked if I trusted Him enough to keep my family safe? Do I believe His Word that nothing will harm us or do I go into panic mode? Psalm 23 says that yes, we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death but we won’t fear any evil, because God Himself is with us, right beside us, protecting and caring for us until we come out the other side. His protection is sure. Logically, if someone were to break in and steal our goods everything could be replaced, we don’t even have much but it can all be replaced. If we are killed (not that I’m wanting this) we all know where we are going, so really what is there to fear?
Isaiah 54:17 says no weapon formed against you or your children will prosper. That includes sickness, disease, physical harm, rejection or any other plot of the enemy. Once I decided to take God at His word that we will be alright the noises got amplified but I dismissed them and carried on as if nothing was happening. There are still noises but now they are few and far between. God’s given us an idea on how to impact the youth in our area and we are excited to start doing it – I know opposition will come but I’m clinging onto Mark 5:36 “Fear not, only believe.” And knowing that God’s love never fails and His perfect love will transform lives.
Lastly, I’ve always been concerned about what others think of me and these past few months I have had the worst things spoken about me from people who don’t even know me, that was hard to take but a lot easier to deal with than when I decided to stop allowing other people’s expectations of me control me. I’ve pulled out of many things I have been expected to do and I’m now doing what God is telling me to do. People are disappointed in me and feel as if I’ve let them down but hey they need to take that up with God. I’m finally excited again about following Jesus, I am now feeling like I felt when I first came to the Lord three years ago – all I had to do was let go of the law, step down from man created positions and expectations and step into God’s grace and the plans that He has for me.
Are you currently struggling with fear? Has God helped you overcome fear? I’d love to hear your testimonies :)