Day 18: There is no FEAR in LOVE!
Dear His Beloved,
So much of my spiritual life was halted by this four letter word that seemed almost justified at times.....FEAR. Fear of what people think.....of course, you should be conscientious, right? Fear of being led astray, so the moment someone said something that didn't agree with my theology they were out the door. Fear of trusting people because of my string of life events that assured me you shouldn't trust anyone. Fear of God not showing up as evidenced by my resume of back up plans to assure my stability in the event He forgot about me. It is interesting that fear can become so much a part of your life that you don't even recognize it as fear....but rather we choose more palatable words like I'm just being responsible, or protective, or considerate or stable.
It is interesting that the life of Jesus at times defies them all. Responsible? He told fishermen to leave their jobs and families behind and follow Him....a man they didn't even really know. Protective? He sends His disciples directly into a storm. Considerate? Jesus tells them to let the dead bury the dead. Stable? He was basically a homeless man preaching the Gospel. So we worship a homeless man on Sunday and turn our nose up at another on Monday, right? Today we would label someone a lunatic if they acted with such foolishness.
Sweet friends, we have to be rewired that we can not be driven by what is responsible or stable but purely by the voice of God. If He says Go, we go regardless of the cost. If He says give all you have, we give despite our savings. If He says leave your job, we leave even if there isn't a plan B. It sounds irresponsible, right? The truth though is that He didn't promise to make us comfortable or responsible, He asked us to die. And in dying we would find life!
Fear is not of God. As a matter of fact, He states ......Perfect love cast out FEAR! (1 John 4:18) So if we are bound to fear, we have not been made perfect in love and we are obviously clinging to our life more than His. It's a sign....we need to move closer or we need to let go of something.
There are many areas that fear can grip us and halt us from every stepping out of the boat or pursing the Kingdom of God on earth or living our calling, but today I focus on this one area of fear....fear of being deceived.
I heard someone say that if you live in fear of being deceived you already are.
I have learned as I have grown spiritually that Jesus was more inclusive than exclusive though the religion on me most of my life caused me to operate out of exclusivity. If it didn't fit with my "theology" or agree with the image I sought to portray, then it was out. If it fit, it was in. Heaven forbid someone mistake my desire to help the hurting and broken to mean that I could be hurting or broken. Because I was so fearful of being led astray and so certain of my own beliefs, I spent most of my life in the shallow end of the pool never going deeper. I missed the greatest parts of being a believer because I chose to play it safe in the shallow end where it was COMFORTABLE. Sweet friends, there is deeper water. There is more. When you seek with your whole heart you will find it. Jeremiah 29:13
As they say, don't toss out the baby with the bath water. There is so much wisdom to be gained from those that don't see just as you do. Don't let fear of being deceived keep you from truly tasting the Kingdom of God on earth. There are gifts and sacred treasures that every Christian denomination offers even if you don't agree 100% with their theology. Because of my history of tossing it all and missing the "meat," I now love to read the very people that others talk about. I want to know what has lead them to their thinking and if they have seen something I am missing. I get great delight out of seeking truth and exploring deeper and allowing the spirit of God to show me truth. Some times I don't agree with what I find, and sometimes I am surprised that I do, but I always find some treasure. I believe God honors our pursuit of truth.
Don't let fear keep you perusing a menu when there is a meal to be TASTED!
Ask Him to show you more, be open to it and watch what happens when perfect love is poured out over your fear. There you will find freedom!
Love Your Life,