Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from Fred Carpenter
“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 NASB
Today we are talking about fear. Not the kind of fear that suddenly grips you with terror, but the kind that lurks below the surface of your conscious mind. The fear we equate with terror comes on us in an instant, like a life-threatening wound from a gunshot. The kind of fear we are talking about today is more like a slow moving disease. It’s the kind of fear you may not even be aware of, or have forgotten was there, until you’re faced with a challenge (or an opportunity) that reminds you of its power.
This is the kind of fear every one of us inherited as a son of Adam. This kind of fear can rob you of peace and joy, and keep you from running unencumbered toward your destiny. This kind of fear can bring the flow of your life to a standstill, just as a dense fog can bring the vibrant flow of traffic in a busy city to a dead halt.
But consider this, according to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog, covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less than one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into about 60 billion tiny droplets. Yet when those minute particles settle over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from sight.
So little water. So little real substance. So much effect. When a dense fog covers a city, the traffic slows because vision is impaired and people are afraid of hitting, or being hit by, something. And so it is with the human soul. When we are controlled by fear, our vision suffers, and we make choices (whether consciously or sub-consciously) to avoid hitting something, or being hit by something, that we think or feel might threaten our well-being.
Have you ever been there? Maybe even today? The good news is that as quickly as the sun can dissolve the fog that blankets a city, so also the perfect love of God can cast out fear. That’s it. The solution to fear is knowing God’s love for you, not just knowing about it, but being thoroughly convinced of His love for you. Particularly in the area where you experience fear. And how does that happen?
It happens objectively as you allow the truth of the word of God to saturate and transform your thinking about God’s love. And that comes from time with Him in His word. (“know the truth, and that truth will set you free” – John 8:32 NASB)
It happens subjectively as you give Him the reins of life so He can walk you (and walk with you) through the circumstances He has orchestrated in a manner that reveals His love for you, and through you. (See the principle of obedience in Malachi 3:10 “test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts).
The Apostle Paul was able to live the amazing life He lived because he was gripped by the love of Christ. “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15 NASB
When God’s love invades and explodes in our soul, there is no room for fear!!!