“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.]”
1 John 4:18
I just love 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified version! “Love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” Perfect love, God’s love, gives fear the boot.
Fear stands at the doorway of our destinies and dares us to step inside. It bullies us into believing that if we step across the threshold we will fail, or worse yet, God will fail us. Fear holds a “Danger! Keep Out!” sign over our pre-ordained adventures and pokes drain holes in our Spirit-filled confidence.
What if . . .
Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”
The fear of rejection and the fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. It is an insidious force that has stymied the dreams and sabotaged God’s promises for many of God’s children. That’s what the great leaders in the Bible had to overcome. That’s what you and I must overcome if we are going to move forward and live bold.
Several years ago, the movie The Patriot was filmed near my hometown. It was a movie about the Revolutionary War, and several of my neighbors auditioned to become extras for the film. My neighbor Mike was one of those. He had lost a leg due to cancer when he was in his twenties and wore a prosthetic limb from the knee down. “Surely they’ll pick me,” he said with a quick wit. “I’ve already got a fake leg! I’ll be perfect for the war scenes.”
But they didn’t pick Mike for the battle scenes. Rather they picked his 9-year-old son, Michael, to be the stand-in for Benjamin Martin’s (Mel Gibson’s) young son Samuel. For months, Michael wore his hair long with extensions, slipped on Italian knickers and knee-high stockings, and acted the part of a colonial American boy. He traveled to rural South Carolina where part of the movie was filmed and received an education in the production of the silver screen. Michael saw how producers and makeup artists made something appear real when it wasn’t.
The movie was a bloody reenactment of the horrors of the Revolutionary War, which I would have normally shied away from. But we were anxious to see Michael’s acting debut. I had to cover my eyes during several of the gruesome guts and gore war scenes. However little Michael didn’t even bat an eye. Why? He knew it wasn’t real.
During one scene, Mel Gibson pummeled a British soldier and landed a hatchet square in the middle of his bloody forehead. Once again, I quickly covered my eyes. Michael watched nonplused. His comment?
“That’s not real. That guy walked around with that hatchet in his head for three days. We even ate lunch together and he had that hatchet with fake blood glued to his head the whole time. It isn’t real.”
Michael knew what was real and what wasn’t real . . . and that removed all fear. Oh, that we could do the same. Anxiety, worry, and fear wrap you up in yourself, trapping your own thoughts in a suffocating stranglehold. When you know the truth of God’s love, rather when you actually believe the truth of God’s love, it removes the paralyzing fear that holds you hostage. The truth not only sets you free, it becomes the wind beneath your sails to take you on exciting adventures God has planned.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I am afraid. I worry. I am weak-kneed. Help me to trust in Your unfailing love and give fear the boot right out of the door of my heart. I know that You have my best interest in mind…all the time. Help me to trust in Your sovereign goodness and move forward with confidence.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Think of a time when you were afraid to do something that you knew God was calling you to do.
What was the result of moving forward?
Or maybe this question is for you: What do you think you missed because you didn’t?
Is there a particular fear that you need to give the boot today? If so, click over to my Facebook page and leave a comment (not a message) and say, “I’m giving fear the boot.”
More from the Girlfriends
Have you checked out my new book yet? If I could only write one more message for the rest of my life, this book would be it. Yes, it’s that important. Click over to www.takeholdthebook.com to watch a video, read a first chapter, and learn more. I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.