"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
I love Joyce Meyer. She was the first person to teach me about the gift of righteousness, and that I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
However, she has come out with a new book "Do It Afraid", and I find that this is a little troubling.
We have a wonderful promise, an affirmation of how powerful God's love is in our lives. God's love is so powerful, that when we allow His love to perfect us, it casts out fear, throws it out of doors, so that it is not allowed with us.
Consider Paul's prayer to the Ephesian Christians:
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love ... " (Ephesians 3:17
We need to let Christ Jesus be at home within us. We should not think that we need to keep doing something so that He will stay within us, nor should we entertain toil and strife. Such self-effort makes Jesus not feel at home.
If Christ lives in us, if God is for us, who indeed can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Why should we have any trace of sense of fear in our lives?
Consider what Paul wrote to the Philippians (and he wrote this while sitting in a jail cell):
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
We should not have fears, tremors, tumults, upsets be any part of our lives. There is no reason we should tolerate fear in our lives at all.
Instead of telling people "Do it afraid", we need to deal with the deeper issue. Why are people afraid?
1. They do not know their identity in Christ. In 1 John 4:18, John writes that those who fear have not been made perfect in love. However, what does perfect us in His love?
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)
"As He is, so are we in this world." God the Father sees us in Christ. We are no longer in ourselves, we are stuck in our dying fleshly ways, nor are we to fall victim to the dead, fallen thoughts of the world. As Christ is, so are we in this world!
Consider also God's exhortation to us through the prophet Isaiah:
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
We need to know that the LORD is upholding us, He is holding onto us, and He is doing so with His right hand of ... righteousness!
There's that wonderful word, that wonderful status that I have been writing about for the last few days. Because of all that Christ Jesus has done, we are not just righteous, we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). Recall that Christ is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). This is truly amazing. When we understand that before God, we are justified from all things, and that because of this supernatural, eternal gift of righteousness (Daniel 9:24)
Let's not settle for living life afraid. Let's rest in God's love for us, and Let His love cast out all fear!