Friday, March 12, 2010

Fear Not

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 NAS)

Fear Not Household pests are such a nuisance and sometimes it irks me just to think about them. I particularly dislike lizards and when asked to catch them, I would feel the chills down my spine. Inside me, I would exclaim, "Eek! Not again!”

Lizards are found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, and in temperate regions such as California and Arizona. According to getridofthings.com, there are about 155 species of lizards found in North America. While lizards are generally harmless, house lizards tend to elicit some surprised and scared reactions from people, especially because they look scary at quick glance, owing to their reptilian heritage.

There are many fearsome and frightening things in life which each of us may view as scary in different degree, depending on our susceptibility to fear. Whether it is the result of our past experiences, the way we have been brought up, or simply natural instinct, such fears often cannot be written off as and when we feel like it. Much like household pests, these things that cause us fear may never go away. Pests like the lizard although may be grasped with hands, always remain, even in the kings' palaces (Proverbs 30:28).

Not all fears however are bad. If we do not fear punishment, then lawlessness will prevail. This is because we are all born in sin and our first choices are seldom to do what is right (Psalm 51:5). If our loved ones or the people we know fail to understand what it means to fear getting burned, then they will not stop playing with fire. Fears can therefore sometime serve as a guide to direct us to the right path, so that we may not fall prey to the devil's trick into thinking we can hit the mark by our own efforts (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).

The Bible states clearly that fear often involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love, for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). If we have done rightly, we should not fear the ones who can kill our bodies but are unable to kill our souls; rather we should fear God who is able to destroy the soul and body (Matthew 10:28). Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).

We need not fear or anxiously look about us if we are assured of His presence with us. God will strengthen and help us; He will uphold us with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). Whoever therefore confesses Jesus as the Son of God knows the love which God has, and he abides in God and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, and with perfect love, we can stand confident in God without fear (1 John 4:15-18).

We should therefore rejoice rather than fear, because God is present to help. If we bring His presence into every situation we face each day, there is no reason for us to fear because God is with us, who or what then can prevail against us (Romans 8:31-35)? If there be people who contend with us or are angered at us for our faith and belief, they shall be as nothing (Isaiah 41:11). Notwithstanding the things that give us the creeps, therefore, let us acknowledge our place in God. Let us have full confidence in the knowledge of our dominance over every living thing that move upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). Let us who fear, fear no more, but seek God and exercise perfect love through confessing Christ, and abiding in God.

Dear Lord, we acknowledge Your dominance over all things. Help us therefore not to fear created things or the people who is angered against us for believing in You. Grant us Lord the ability to exercise the perfect love that casts out all fears. Guide us in our walk with You Lord, that we may not fall prey into thinking we can make our mark by our own efforts. Strengthen us with Your righteous right hand Lord, and teach us to fear You, that we may gain wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One.

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