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“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”.
God loves you, and you must know it. I mean it is imperative that you understand that God loves you. Not just the obedient you, or the version of you that has the ability to hold everything together. But he indeed also loves the flawed, vulnerable, indecisive you. The walk of the Christian is often filled with moments from faith to faith. The prize for completing one crazy God-assigned task is another daunting expedition with greater risks and more to lose.
I remember the infancy of my faith-journey with God. It was a time of infinite joy and triumph. Conquering the world was inevitable. And of course, I was confident in my invincibility. I was deeply rooted in my knowledge that God loved me with an abounding love. The more I walked with God, the more I grew. The more I grew, the more my faith grew to soaring heights. Almost without warning, one day I was introduced to the realities of life. Failure, disappointment, rejection, delay. One by one, these elements chipped away at my confidence in God. Was he still able to keep me? Was I still deserving of his love? Were these faith-walk instructions merely a trap to lead me to my impending doom? I found myself not only in a faith crisis, but drowning in the deep well of insecurity… an insecurity of God’s love for me.
Disobedience often occurs because we are unsure whether God’s instructions will lead us to a positive end. We walk in fear uncertain of God’s motives behind his instructions to us. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and for the failure that we are so sure we will encounter. This fear can be paralyzing, but is a sure sign that we are unsure whether God indeed loves us to the extent he says he does.
I just recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA. Similar to Abraham, God instructed me to leave all that I knew and go to a place that he had approved for me. Unlike Abram, I had zero dollars in my bank account and no idea where I would live, let alone what I would eat. I am self-employed, so I had no job opportunity awaiting me. All I had was a direct instruction from the Lord. And the only thing I did know was this: “God, you won’t kill me”. I know this last thought sounds radical, even a bit melodramatic, but it was the truth. That place right there was the place of being secure in God’s love for me. Let’s trace the logic. IF God loves me, then his intent for me must be good and lead to life. Therefore, IF God loves me, he would never give me an instruction without providing for its successful fulfillment in advance.
As leaders, we must learn to become fully acquainted with the love of God. Understanding God’s love to the fullest extent evicts fear and perfects us. When we remain in insecurity, it opens us up for fear and paralyzes us from exhibiting the type of faith required of justified people. Furthermore, as leaders we must ensure that we encourage those who follow us to become rooted and grounded in God’s love for them. When trials, circumstances, and even the enemy attempt to plant fear in our hearts, we must endeavor to remain deeply rooted and grounded in the reality of God’s endless love and intended well being for our lives. Just in case you forgot, God loves you.
God, your love is so amazing. Your heart towards us is sometimes unfathomable. We confess that sometimes fear distorts our view of your heart towards us. We know you to be our Healer. We affirm that you are our deliverer from all manner of evil and despair. When our hearts are overwhelmed, let your Holy Spirit remind us to dwell steadfastly in the knowledge of your love for us. We thank you for all things, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary : 1 John – Walking in the Light
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