One topic that arises in counseling often is the idea that we as human beings have head knowledge of concepts and beliefs, yet we lack heart knowledge on many truths that God has told us. Simply stated, your head knows but your heart has not caught up with your head yet.
For example, many of us know that we are made in the image of God. The Word states that fact. Other believers tell us all of the time, yet when we look in the mirror, we are painfully aware that our heart has not yet caught the vision. Many of us understand with our heads that our identity is found in Christ, yet our heart has not even remotely begun to grasp the depth of that knowledge either!
I am convinced that one of the major blockages to our hearts receiving more of God’s truth is fear. There are so many fears that we can pick up and carry inside of ourselves and God knew that. It has been noted that there are 365 places in the Word were it tells us not to fear. God knew we needed one for each day of the year to meditate on. One of my favorite scriptures on fear is:
So do notfear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So with that being said, one of the tools that has been helping many over the past few months has been applying 1 John 4:16-18 to their fears. I love this scripture in the amplified version of the bible because it reveals so much more depth and truth.
1 John 4:16-18 Amplified
16 We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
Verses 16 and 17 lays out for us that He loves us, we are His in this world, and He is in us. Verse 18 is an action step where we apply the love in order to expel the fear. For instance, if everything in your life is pretty good right now, you may be waiting for the shoe to drop. If you are unfamiliar with this expression, it means that you are just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. This indicates that you have fear of future trauma. The surest path to destroying that fearful thought is to apply the love of God to it.
Many people preach that the opposite of fear is faith. That is true, however, the opposite of fear is also love. When we recognize in our thought life that there is a fear running rampant, the first thing we need to do is apply the love of God to that thought. For example, if you have fear of future trauma, you must apply the love of God to that thought. It’s good to say to yourself, “This thought is definitely NOT from God and His Word say’s that there is no fear in love (dread does not exist).” “only good and perfect gifts come from the Father of lights.”
James 1:17 Amplified
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Fatheroflights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].
We do live on this earth and there will be situations that occur. That is when we must apply love to any fear thoughts or negative believe systems that we are ruminating about. God takes all situations and works them for our good if we allow Him the latitude to do so (Romans 8:28).
As the little (and not so little) fears pop up in our minds, going forward, it’s so healthy to take a moment and apply love to the fear and allow God to straighten out the areas that are not full grown and mature in our heads and hearts yet. We need to tell ourselves, “This is not from God.” Then throw it away like the rubbish that it is and replace it with a love thought.
If you have not made any goals for 2018 yet, may I boldly suggest that this be one of them. why not take the month of January and focus on 1 John 4:16-18 and meditate on these scriptures daily until they are firmly planted into your heart.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your life giving, mind renewing love. I ask you, Holy Spirit, to illuminate to me the fear thoughts that rob me from knowing your perfect love, which in turn steal my peace and keep me from fully knowing my identity in Christ. Take me on a journey in 2018 of abolishing my fears in your perfect love.