It’s been a week. One week. On one hand it seems like a moment and on the other it seems like a year. This week I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions – from great fear to great joy. From worry to peace. From sadness to joy. From white-hot anger to acceptance. It’s like my emotional chart has an up and down wave that just keeps going. Yet I have not been tormented.
I’m not saying I haven’t been afraid. I have.
Yet God’s presence has been so close to me that I have felt much more peace than fear – hope than despair – strength than weakness.
Last time I fought this nasty little disease, it was all hands on deck in the most aggressive, in your face fight I could manage. Many drew their swords with me and we demolished the stronghold of the enemy, set a camp all around me and we fought for an extended season. It was the right battle plan for the right moment.
But this time is going to be different. My faith has to mature beyond the “actions” of warfare to a new “position” of warfare.
I’ve already mentioned about how brave and strong feel like weak and afraid. I know that strong and brave are important, but they are not enough for the season I am about to enter.
Somehow I’ve got to get to fearless.
According to I John 4:18, there is only one force in all the universe powerful enough to drive out fear – and that is God’s perfect love.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Why is it we’ve been given permission to draw boldly into the presence of His perfect love, yet we often miss this mark? I think we tend to run from God rather than draw near. We fear His rejection, believe lies about His character and try to cover our brokenness with fig leaves and religion. (I’m talking about myself, of course.) We fear punishment.
“The one who fears is not “made perfect in love.” I want to be “made perfect in love.”
I won’t get to fearless by simply acting brave – I need to experience more of God’s love. I must somehow get my full attention on His face and simply remain steadfastly in His presence. I can’t be distracted by the threat of cancer, the side effects of chemo, the costs of treatment or the fear of death.
So I’m working on a battle plan that looks more like Sabbath and less like war.
I’ve been challenged to consider ahead of time how I will respond to a frightening comment, a bad report, a sick day, or even just being plain old worn out. I also need to make some proactive decisions like choosing to worship rather than worry or pray rather than complain. (Maybe I’ll even simply lay down and take a nap!)
(Sorry – couldn’t resist to lighten it up a bit!)
The enemy’s “game plan” is to keep me fearful. But if I study God’s “game plan” and predetermine to pursue His perfect love then all the rest of the battle belongs to the Lord. He will fight for me.
My friend Ali just sent this to me (2 Chronicles 20:12 and 15-17). I believe it’s a confirmation – check it out!
“…We can do nothing to stop this huge army from attacking us; we don’t know what to do, so we are asking for Your help.”
“…Do not fear or worry about this army. The battle is not yours to fight; it is the True God’s…Stand and watch, but do not fight the battle. There you will watch the Eternal save you…Do not fear or worry. Tomorrow, face the army and trust that the Eternal is with you.”
I am so grateful for all your prayers, comments, love and support. You are causing me to “square up” with God’s voice and His love. I pray that you too would encounter His perfect love and become fearless in every way.