For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)
Fear can pretty much dominate most other emotions in our lives. One can endure most anything if there is hope and love present. But fear will kill you both physically and spiritually.
We all deal with the daily fears we have due to our circumstances. The bondage we get into over what bad stuff might happen to us in the future. How our lives can get out of control and seem to be in an endless pattern of pain and darkness. Or the dark despair of bad habits or addictions of all types that we never can shake off.
Do I Get to Claim This Verse?
When we read the above verse, it is easy to think of it as not applying to our specific situation. That we just don’t qualify for the hope that it brings. That we have fallen short of being able to claim that verse.
I remember back, many years ago, when I heard a man preach on the following verses.
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. 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. (I John 4:15)
These verses hit me deeply. They helped me to see that God does not want me in fear. As a Christian, I am to rest in the love of Christ. My daily bread is to know Him, to walk with Him and to be at peace with Him. To know His approval.
Do You Rest in the Love of Christ?
Sadly, most of Biblical Christianity does not live in this place. They live in fear in some form or another. Every day brings another list of things to do so that they do not have to be in fear of Christ and His Judgment Seat. Every day is another attempt to live the life He has commanded us to live. We live in an unbiblical fear of Christ rather than love Him.
And we refuse to admit that. We live in denial of our true motivations.
And we always fall short. And we always feel badly. And we fear His disapproval.
(This is not talking about the normal “fear of God” that a believer must have. That fear is about reverence, of awe, of worship, and of the respect of all that the Lord is in His power and holiness and character.)
Now, I know that many will question this attitude I take here. They only know about duty and works within the Christian life. They have developed a careful lifestyle of do’s and don’ts that has been moderately successful in producing an acceptable Christian performance. They live a life that is acceptable to the church, the Christian University, the pastor and their Christian friends.
Save the BRAG-a-mony
God wants us to love Him. He wants us to rest in Him. He wants to live in us and through us.
To be perfectly honest, God is not interested in what you can do. He is not interested in how “good” you are or how “bad” you are. If you think you are successful in the Christian life because of your performance, you know little of walking with Christ.
He is interested in His Son. He has given us His Son. And NOW, because we are in His Son, as he is, so are we in this world. Are you picking up on this? Do you see the staggering wonder of how the Lord sees us now as His children?
Joy In Heaven
God sees us in Christ. We are loved and accepted in Him now because of Christ. Period.
His Judgment Seat will be based upon those works that He has been able to do through us by His Spirit. Not our strivings and self disciplines. But HIS WORKING. He will reward us for what HE did through us. The Spirit of God producing eternal fruit. The fruit that remains.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
And I ask you, what else is left after that? He creates both the desire and the performance. There is no room for pride there. Only the joyful falling at His feet in gratitude for the amazing gift of His indwelling.
Someone out there might need this right now. Maybe most won’t get it. It may seem trivial and obvious to most of you. It may seem like a “license to sin” to others. It may seem like a way to shirk your duties. To do nothing.
It is your right and inheritance to rest in the Lord and in His love. Allow Him to bring you to where He wants you to be. To develop those actions and works in you that He desires, in His time and in His way.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)