Think about some of the fears that you may have. Some of those fears include the fear of man, the unknown, rejection, flying, commitment, certain animals, abandonment, change, failure, success, confined spaces, open spaces, and the list goes on. One of the most popular fears in North America is public speaking. When is the last time anyone died from public speaking?
Admittedly, there are some fears that are healthy. When I was in the navy, before I went flying, I would preflight my aircraft. I was not scared to go flying, but I had a healthy respect for the inherent dangers involved in flying military aircraft. Many of the fears that we experience however, are fears that the Bible warns us not harbor. What are some of the irrational fears that you may experience?
The Bible clearly commands us not to harbor a spirit timidity. Since fear is an emotion, how do we overcome fear? The Apostle John gives us the key,
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)
John tells us there is no fear in love. When you experience God’s love, His perfect love, then fear is cast out. The phrase “cast out” literally means to throw without concern for the result. You may ask, “How can I experience this perfect love?” John gives us the answer,
We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
You can experience perfect love when you realize His love for you. You aren’t loved because you’re valuable, you’re valuable because God loves you. An understanding of His love for you gives you confidence that your destiny is secure and that you are safe in His love. The Apostle Paul expresses this confidence in his letter to the Romans,
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
The evidence that you have appropriated God’s perfect love is demonstrated in your love for one another,
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)
When you have confidence of God’s love for you, then your heart is filled with gratitude and a healthy reverence toward God. When you have a healthy fear, or reverence toward God, then you do not fear the things of this world. It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man. You are able to comprehend the depth of God’s love for you. Allow God’s perfect love for you to cast out your fears.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5