Devotion #162

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:18-19 ESV

Fear paralyzes us. It can cause us to stop dead in our tracks and keep us from moving forward. It’s such an intense emotion that it can cause us to rage against the people in our lives, it can cause us to control their actions and decisions, it can cause us to withdraw and hide our hearts. Unmanaged fears can destroy our relationships. Fear has the ability to destroy our peace of mind, so it has the ability to destroy the peace in our marriage. When your mind is consumed with a controlling fear, it can’t possibly be focused on serving the other person.

If we accept and allow the perfect love of our Father in heaven into our hearts, we should have no fears. We are told in this verse that perfect love casts out fear. They cannot exist together. There should be nothing controlling our thoughts or paralyzing our actions. When we understand the true nature of His perfect love for us, our fear should dissipate. Yet, for many, anxieties about situations outside of our control continue linger and grow. And when those fears consume us, they cast out the perfect love promised to us because perfect love and fear cannot exist together.

When we give into our fears, we give power to our fears over God. When our fears consume us, our actions communicate God is not the most important, fear is. When our fears dictate our thoughts and our behavior, we block the peace that surpasses all understanding from washing over us, we intercept the blessings He has for our lives, we put a hand up to His protection and His strength, we say He is not enough. When we give in to our fears, we put all our trust in those fears, and we fail to acknowledge He is the King of the universe, sovereign over all.

God loves you. His desire is for your good—always. Everything He allows into your life is to draw you nearer to Him and to transform you into His image. He will bring you up against your greatest fears to reveal this to you because He wants you to know where darkness exists in your heart, where you still give something else priority over Him, where you have idols, where you don’t trust Him. He wants your obedience and your trust in the face of the most difficult circumstances. When you let your fears dictate who you trust, you are holding up a hand to God and telling Him that He is wrong—that is great wickedness.

Sometimes we can get to the point where we acknowledge our fears, but we downplay the severity of giving in to them, dismissing them because everyone has fears. We don’t see that they are an affront to the King; we don’t see them for the idols that they are. When you give power to your fears, when you refuse to do something because of fear, when your fears control your behavior and thoughts in some way, you are trusting yourself over God. You believe you can control the outcome; you determine that you will avoid the difficult circumstance you fear at all cost. You have placed yourself and your ability to control your fear in a place of greater importance than your God.

To find freedom from your fears, you must recognize that fear is a tool of the enemy to destroy your peace and the peace in your marriage. Acknowledge the control your fear has over your heart, then confess and repent of them. Allow the perfect love our Father in Heaven has for you to cast out those fears.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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