Freedom from Fear

Hate is not the opposite of Love. Fear is.

What keeps us from loving? Is it really hate?
I contend that it is not hate. I contend that fear is what restrains our ability to love big and wild. 

1 John 4:18 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.
When my daughters were small, they loved  the beach. Ashley was overwhelmed by the sound of the ocean. She would turn away from the sight and sound of the waves. It created a fear in her that couldn't be reasoned with, so she would stay on the beach no matter how hot it got. 

Casey on the other hand had zero fear. She would charge out into the surging surf and venture way, way, way out. She would go so far, that I would have to have the lifeguards call her back in. Several times, she almost got caught in some undertows.  I became a one woman quick reaction team.  She was afraid of being called back to the shore.  She also was afraid of getting pulled under or the water being over her head. 

In both cases, my daughters let fear interrupt their love of the beach. Both of them paralyzed. One was afraid to venture into the water for refreshment. The other afraid of coming to shore for rest, but at the same time afraid to stay in the deep water.

Fear kept one in the hot desert. Fear kept one in a constant state of anxiety.

Fear is enslaving. Love is freeing.

Let's use the ocean as a picture of God's love.

Are you parched? Dying for some refreshment?

Ashley was afraid to go into or look at the Ocean. It was overwhelming to her senses and kept her stranded on the beach away from the refreshing, exhilarating water.

If we are afraid of going close God, we cannot truly experience or know His refreshing, unfathomable Love.

Perhaps the opposite is also true.

Are you paralyzed? Can't move forward; can't go back?

Casey would fearlessly plunge into the Ocean without regard for its depth, power and might. It got her into some seriously sticky situations and at times made her pretty angry and paralyzed with fear.

If we are fearless  instead of awestruck by the Lord, we become anxious or angry when He does not behave as we would like. At times we even blame God for our precarious, defeated situations.  We shake our fist and tell Him we can't love Him for letting us get into this big mess. The punishment we face from those bad decisions was never His doing; it was ours.  After all isn't it true that He so that we should not perish (i.e.,be lost, destroyed through violence, suffer destruction or ruin)?

God's love is so immense for us. He draws us with lovingkindness.  He desires for us to live in the tension of his tenacious love for us.  We are to be people of deep love for him and faith in him. We can neither settle for the shore, nor fear the depth of the ocean.

We do not have to be slaves to fear.  

Perhaps these song lyrics say it better.

"No Longer Slaves"
Johnathan and Melissa Helser 

You unravel me with a melody. You surround me with a song of deliverance from my enemies until all my fears are gone.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
From my mother's womb, you have chosen me. Lord you have called my name. I have been born again into a family. Your blood flows through my veins.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.  I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
I am surrounded by the arms of the Father. I am surrounded by songs of deliverance. We have been liberated from our bondage. We are the sons and the daughters. Let us sing our freedom.
You split the sea so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love. You rescued me, and I will stand and sing...
I am child of God.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55: 22

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

This says the Lord, your redeemed, the holy one of Israel; 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go."  Isaiah 48:17  


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