Thursday, October 30, 2014

Freed from Fear

The last couple of days I've been thinking about fear, learning about fear responses at university and how long-lasting they can be, and hearing about fear and how there are some who believe that unless we (and I heard someone say this so I'm not making it up) are scared of Jesus, we are worshiping the wrong God. 

Say what??

I've been going over how Jesus talked to the people - not to the religious folks because they are a different breed altogether - but the regular folks. And His disciples. 

Know what He said to them? A lot?

"Fear not."  "Don't be afraid." "You are loved." "You are worth more than many sparrows." Want to read them? just start reading the gospels. They are there.

This same theme continues throughout the New Testament. "Don't be anxious [read: fearful] for anything, but in everything ... let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds by Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6,7). "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear, for fear expects punishment." (1 Jn. 4:18). 

"Happy Jumping Child" photo courtesy of
chrisroll at
I think that people are so afraid of believing how great God's grace is because they want to feel like they have control over their own lives. They want to believe that they can affect their own outcomes by what they do. While this is true in some situations of cause-and-effect, it is completely backward from the way of grace. The way of Jesus-AND says, "Repent / live right so that God will be good to you" .... and the way of grace says, "The goodness of God leads you to repentance / live right." 

The love and grace of God is so great!! He made a way through Jesus so that we didn't HAVE to be afraid! 

Let me ask you something. Do you think that the little children were afraid of Jesus? Do you think they cowered in fear away from Him? Of course not!! He was (and is) loving and joyous and fun! He exudes peace! What's not to love? Where He is, fear flees, because HE is that perfect love. It's HIM. HE does it. 

We humans want to think that we can do something to influence or manipulate the way things turn out. That's human thinking. God took the initiative. This is HIS baby, HIS salvation. He gives it to whomever He pleases and He takes responsibility for finding new and unique ways to let us know - on a regular basis - how much He loves us. 

If, that is, we are willing to listen. He loves us whether we realize it or not. He cares for our needs whether we are aware of it or not. He does it because that's who He is. And the more we realize how deeply He loves us, the less fear will have a hold on us. 

How freeing that is!! How freeing it is to know, know, KNOW that He loves us - every moment of every day, and He accepts us fully and freely because of what Jesus did! 

It is not dependent on what we do. The cart (instead of being in front of the horse) is behind the horse! What I mean is that we aren't doing things for Him anymore so that He'll be nice to us, but we realize how much He loves us and has given us forgiveness and freedom ... and we WANT to do things for Him without expecting anything from Him in return because He's already done it all!! 

That's grace-based living. That - in a glorious nutshell - is the gospel. 


  1. I was at a meeting tonight in which a fellow said that, whereas he aw not a "Bible-thumping, Jesus-preachin', Church-going Christian...", he had a vibrant relationship to his God and just lately realized that his God wanted him to be "happy, joyous and totally free!". That's it, right there.

    Someone else told me that right theology led to right living. I pointed out that satan himself knew all the "right" theology and if Matthew 4 is any indication, had the Bible totally memorized as well, but this all this had not led to any type of heart change in him. It is only in loving relationship that any real change happens......

    1. So true, Neil! And a loving relationship is impossible in the presence of fear - for fear automatically leads to distrust, and therein lies the logical problem!! Love and fear (one of the expressions of which is distrust) are mutually exclusive!

      As John said (and I quoted in my post) - "Perfect love casts out all fear." and earlier John said, "God IS love." (emphasis mine). We are now living in the Age of Grace - where that love is what draws us in, and truth be told, is a much better motivator than fear EVER was.

  2. AHHHH. .big gulp of FRESSSSHHHH air! Love this! Jesus loves me this I know!! He is GOOD!! He loves to give His kids good things!! yay GOD!!!!

    1. HAHA!! I recognize you, my friend. Drink Him in as much as you want!!

      God IS a GREAT Dad and He DOTES on His kids ... and the more we KNOW His love (i.e., experience it for ourselves, become aware of and grateful for it), the more we will love Him in return!!