Fear – The Antithesis of Love, Part 3

God speaks words of freedom to Israel:

Do not be afraid. Fear is a choice. We are not victims; we are responsible to choose to lean on God’s love instead of fear. Our life is determined by what we choose to fear; to be in awe of circumstances or in awe of God.

David wrote Psalms 56:3, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you”. On another occasion, when he was chased by his son Absalom who was ready to kill him, David wrote “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4). In each scenario there was a choice: I will, I will.

Jesus said, “be anxious for nothing”. Paul echoed similar words in his letter to the Philippians. On another occasion Jesus said, ”Take no thought for tomorrow”. We have the ability to take or discard thoughts. We choose to fear or to identify ourselves with God’s thoughts and be embraced by His love.

It is not sufficient to have academic knowledge about Gods love; we must be immersed in it. When you are tired, it is not enough to study about sleep and its benefits; you must actually get in bed, get under the covers and let yourself get into a deep sleep and wake up restful. So it is also with God’s love, immerse yourself in his love, let it embrace you and you will find freedom from fear.

Stand still! The Hebrew language is full of pictures. To stand still means to be present and accountable. It reminds me of a roll call, where you answer yes when your name is called. We are present and accountable to the God, who has unconditionally presented himself to us through Jesus Christ. Now I choose to be available to God. God has reconciled himself to me and therefore I want to be reconciled to God.

The Father stood at the gate present and accountable, looking longingly for the return of his wayward son in Jesus’ parable recorded in Luke 15. When the prodigal returned home, his clothes stank like a pig, but at the moment of that tender embrace, nothing mattered. The son was present and accountable to the father who loved him unconditionally.

See the salvation the Lord will accomplish for you! The word accomplish conjures up the image of a craftsman, like a potter, a sculptor, a carpenter, an artist or a designer.  God is the master craftsman, the artist, who plans to make his design become a reality in you. Many religious observers worship a deity without a plan, or a design. We worship a God who has a plan for each person, who considers you infinitely valuable. From god’s perspective, you are worth everything, because He loves you.

The Lord will fight for you! The New Covenant rendition of this is that the Lord has already fought for us. At the cross, Jesus triumphed over all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. We are not looking for the victory – we have the victory. We are not looking for the blessing – we have the blessing.

Hold your peace! Don’t fret, don’t be worried, and you don’t need to say anything right away, just rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Lean on Jesus. Cast your cares on him, because he loves you.  And if those cares try to bounce back on you, then choose to not let them attach themselves to you, but keep resting in what he has done. Once we learn to rest in Jesus Christ, embraced by His love, we will also be able to speak in faith. Words of faith always flow from a restful heart.

Move forward! Once Israel came through the Red Sea they stepped into something infinitely greater than what they had come from. With God our path is always from Glory to Glory. We come out of something infinitely smaller and into something greater.

What is the key? Move from “God so loved the world” to “God so loved me”. His love for you is unconditional and transformational – it cannot fail. Fear will have to flee.

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