1 John 4:18 – Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.
Yeah, yeah. I know. I haven’t blogged since July. Oppps. I just couldn’t get my spirit to relax enough. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I talk about a few things pretty consistently, fear, trust and faith being among them. But, just now, I realized I was missing a much bigger picture.
So this all makes sense, let me explain to you Mo’s Cycle of Apostasy (my 6 year old would love this…yay baby theo-geeks!). At first, Mo is loving God and trusting God and everything is hunky dory. Then, God asks her for more faith and trust. Uh oh. What do we do? Next, Mo questions everything she has ever heard from God. Ever. After all, she’s not the “spiritual one” (I’ll explain that in a moment). After that, Mo feels awful and pleads with God to forgive her. Lastly, to prove that she really, really, really DOES believe God, she tries (sorta) to trust Him again. Yeah, my blogs do read like that don’t they?
Apparently, I’ve been missing something pretty important.
I know I’ve used this verse once or twice before, but it just hit me right this second what it means for my life: “If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”
This shows that I have not fully experienced His perfect love.
Things I have said many times on my blog – I don’t do trust or vulnerability and hope and expectation are the two things that scare me more than anything; actually, that’s only partly true. My deepest and greatest fear in life is that I can’t truly hear from God.
When my brother and I were growing up, he was known as Pastor, even from the age of 5. He was the “spiritual one”. Learning new things came easier to me and I had (correction, have) a pretty extensive vocabulary that I like to use because words are fun. That made me “the smart one”. I know that no one meant anything by it, but for the longest time, my brother did not see his own intelligence and I spiritually hid out. I couldn’t hear from God, so I was not meant for big things.
I’d be lying if I said that this fear doesn’t creep up on me now and again, but that’s kinda my point. I have not ALLOWED MYSELF or AVAILED MYSELF to fully experience perfect love. Why? Because it scares me. It’s part of the reason that, every so often, I “get too busy” to do any writing.
Ok, have you seen Despicable me? In the first few moments of the movie, Gru comes upon a child who is crying because his ice cream fell on the ground. The super villain makes a balloon animal for the boy, gives it to him (much to the boy’s delight) and then, just because he can, pops the balloon. THAT is what I have come to expect from people in my life. It makes a little bit of sense if you know me. That sort of thing has happened to me. It’s happened to everyone.
So, what is keeping me from letting God love me? Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” God isn’t going anywhere…right?
Apparently, that’s something else I’ve had trouble with. All of that leads to me freaking out whenever it seems as though the things I’ve been praying for are on their way because, why oh, why would God answer my prayer? Because, I asked.
*back to perfect love*
Human love is complicated. It’s messy and very often conditional. Sometimes, love can be heartbreaking. But, that’s how we do it. God is the very personified definition of love. All those things in 1 Corinthians 13 are who He is. Perfect love casts out fear.
So, that is my mission. Experience perfect love. I challenge you to do the same. Maybe, I’ll chronicle the journey and we can move on from fear to faith and from panicking to peace. Little by little, day by day, I will make a conscious effort to embrace the fact that Daddy God loves me. Me. Flawed me. Just as I am me. Imperfect me. Child of the One True King me.
I’ll let you know how it goes.