'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Fear and love are incompatible. One cannot exist permanently in the presence of the other
Many things and issues can cause the presence of fear. Memories of the past can preoccupy - if they are bad memories - and cause a kind of subconscious fear. This can be ruling our lives, and keeping love out without our awareness of its effect.
Memories can be our master. Or memories can be our servant. As our master, we cannot love as God would have us to, whether it is love for Him, or love for others. Fear resists the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love. Therefore, fear resists the Spirit in us, and bad memories which are the source of fears, can “quench” the Spirit.
There is a right and a wrong function of fear. World despots, and rulers have always known and made use of fear. Fear got results. Even if only temporarily. Many religions are held together by fear of one kind or another, and to one degree or another. It is the first principle of control. If someone fears enough, they can be controlled. This seems to be true with some Christian organizations. Fear of God is only the “beginning” of wisdom. If one does not move past the fear of the Lord only, knowledge and understanding is effectively blunted (Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:10).
When first coming to God through Christ in repentance, there must be enough fear and awe of God in order for us to realize who God is. Without this initial fear, one can begin a relationship with God and Christ that is not legitimate. Who God really is, and His legitimate rights over us (remember, it is HE who made us…), should create a fear that progressively moves to awe, respect, wonder, worship and finally the love and adoration that cast out fear.
Although not a perfect analogy, it is much like the proper relationship between a child and father. If it is to be a successful relationship for a lifetime, it must begin with a healthy fear of parents in a constructive atmosphere, leading to respect, and eventually to a lifetime of honor and an ever-deepening love - each for the other. Where this is not the case, the parents and the child will reap what they sow.
Sadly today, we are seeing the whirlwind. A world without the fear of the God who created it, sacrificed for it, and died for it, will also reap the whirlwind. The world is fearful. It is becoming more so. It has no fear of God. In the main, it has rejected the Love for God and of God that could cast out that fear.
But the good news is that fear can be driven away!
The only real way that fears can be driven away is by replacing it with something permanent. Its like the elementary science lesson with an empty bottle. The only way to drive the air our is to put something else in. As the Apostle John said, fear causes a kind of torment having to do with punishment, or bad consequences, and dread. Our life “bottle” must be filled with something that will permanently force the “air” of fear out.
But for the truly conquered Christian, who has first feared to disobey God, and has turned to Jesus Christ His Son for forgiveness, that person can grow more and more toward perfection in love until all fear is driven away. Then there is no need ever again for fear. There will finally be perfected love. We will finally realize that we have been made perfect in love. Because we will never fear again.
As we progress, what happens involves learning to be loved by Christ, as much as us learning to love Him. The more we grow in this mutual love, the less we will fear. As this mutual love grows, fear - all kinds of fear - is slowly driven away. Driven away - out of reach from our fears of the past, of the present, or of the future.
Fear God first for Who He is. This will lead you to awe, respect, obedience, and worship - and to be made perfect in love.
Then your fears will flee away.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. We love Him, because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also.” - 1 John 4:18-21 (Amplified Bible)
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