I John 4:17-18 (MSG)
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
I have found that has my relationship with Jesus Christ develops that I do not fear death or those things that are eternal. I do not want to die right now. At the end of raising our children, I look forward to the day when the footsteps and laughter of grandchildren fill our now quiet house. However, I know that I will be with Jesus when I do leave this world. I have confidence in His Love for me beyond this place that has been my home since birth. The majors in life I gladly hand over. The things just too big for a human being to handle. BUT! I am still learning to live with confidence in Jesus for all the things that I think I am supposed to handle. It seems that as my faith in God forever has increased – the here and now have been flooded with obsessive worry and need for control. My confidence in God’s Love is not just meant for forever. His Unfailing Love began with my creation, came along when I was born carrying me through this life until that day I cross over into forever. It never ever ends.
I love this translation of I John 4:17-18 where it says, “When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.” This is my mission in life. Every day to move further from self-reliance into total dependence. We are to live fearless lives wrapped in the Love of God. But my human flesh fights the feeling that anyone could love so completely always looking for the end of God’s Love. The place where it runs out or I overstep the boundaries of the Law. It doesn’t work that way. No of it works that way. There is no room in love for fear….when the Love of God given to us is unconditional and completely faithful. Well-formed love banishes fear. I am trying to learn to live in the fact that God’s Love is for me. Everyday. In every way, He loves me and wants the very best for me.
Ephesians 3:14-19 (MSG)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
“This magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven AND earth…” As believers, we must stretch our finite thinking to take in the fact that God has given Jesus Christ dominion over all of Heaven AND earth. We forget sometimes. Okay, maybe a lot. Some never fully grasp the potential of this life handed to Jesus Christ because fears binds their hands while faith fights to free them. The dimensions of Christ Love for us is extravagant and has given us favor in every area of our life if we believe that He is who He says that He is and can do what He has promised to do! In Matthew 16, the moment that Peter identified Jesus as Son of the Living God from his heart rather than his head – the Kingdom of Heaven was opened to him on the spot. Jesus told him that “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth is forbidden in Heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in Heaven.” That is a power that we need the Holy Spirit to help us use effectively. We need faith in Jesus to have it and confident hope to maintain it. Faith opens every closed door in our life but fear holds them shut. We are to live full lives in the fullness of God. Many live careless existences but not care free constantly worrying and fretting about every detail. At first in sin, we could care less cause we feel like a lost cause anyway. But once we are saved rather than stepping out of bondage into freedom, we leave captivity and head into bondage to the Law. Now we feel a need for perfection that God does not require. Carelessness turns to carefulness that causes us to stand frozen in fear because we are afraid if we mess up – His Love will stop. His Grace is sufficient for me. Thank you God for looking at my heart and every intention rather than judging me on what I do and say alone.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT)
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
The spiritual gift that we are given is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us our weakness. He knows God’s Will for our life and will lead us to things and guide us from things if we acknowledge Him in our life. He takes human intuition and aligns it with the Will and Way of God so that when we make decisions there is heavenly advice to glean from. Let’s face it – there are some decisions that we contemplate that are not clearly defined in the Word of God so we pray for discernment, guidance and wisdom. Without becoming tuned into the Voice of God in us that is His Spirit – it is like when you try to listen to music on your phone and the headphones are not plugged in. You see the image and words on your screen but cannot hear anything. We need to hear from God every day. Being married, I want to talk to my husband every day whether he is home or away. My children are the same way. I talk to those who live with me but I also want those who are far away. It is because we have a relationship. It is because I love them with all of my heart. My heart needs them in my life. It desires them. Why would God require anything less in His Love Affair with us? The only difference is that God is not a man that He would lie or change His Mind like regular people do – His Love never ends even when I mess up or walk away. It still pursues me day and night along with His Goodness hoping to overtake me. God has not given me a spirit of fear so I must learn to disassociate with it. I must build a relationship with my helper who is the Holy Spirit. He knows the way to go to find God’s Best and will gladly lead me there if I want to go.
Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
I want Christ to displace every worry and care at the center of my life. Christ cannot be in the center of a life filled with fear, anxiety and stress. Whatever that thing you are so worried about has taken His Place as center stage. The more I know Jesus – the more I find there is to know. The more I want Him – the more I discover that needs to be moved around in my life to make Christ the center of it all. As we do – God’s Peace begins to settle our heart and mind. This comes with complete and total confidence in His Love for us when His Grace becomes sufficient to me. It always was there for me but until I accept it – the Lord will not force it upon me. I wonder how many times I have settled for something less than God’s Best because fear kept from getting there. I do not want to live this way anymore. I was created to fiercely and fearlessly love the Lord My God. With all of me both now and forever. Confidence in forever must make it into today if I want the Kingdom of God to prevail in my life now. Instead of worrying, God help me to remember to pray. When fear begins to rise, teach me to suffocate it with my faith. God you are my go to the first in command of my life. I want your wholeness God. Give me the confidence that EVERYTHING works together for Your Goodness and Glory JUST BECAUSE You love me! (Romans 8:28)
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.