Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fear to Freedom

Fear is the beginning of knowledge.  I hope you're not still at the beginning.  If you are, if you've just realized who God is and how amazing he is, I hope you won't stay at the beginning, I hope you'll go deeper and realize that the more you get to know him, the more your fear moves to freedom.  Consider for a moment that you were not designed to 'fear' God.  When Adam was made, the perfect image bearer of his Father in heaven, there was no fear.  He just hung out with his Daddy.  The beginning of knowledge, apart from knowing the perfect love and security of dependence on God, was the knowledge of good and evil.  Remember Adam only knew good until he ate from the wrong tree.  Oh, to go back to the tree of life.  Well here's the Good News, Jesus is the tree of life and in him there is no fear, he's the tree and we're the branches and we get to rest in him.  Perfect love - that is the expression of love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is where the tree of life is found and it casts out fear.  People had to be cast out of the perfect presence of the Lord because our broken nature wants there to be something other that a perfect loving God.  But Jesus has redeemed us so we can return to a place where fear is removed and we can come boldly before His throne of Grace.  We now get to share in the perfect expression of the Trinity because he's come to adopt us into that family.

As you get to know God more and more as your Father, something in this statement "the fear of the Lord" changes, the meaning gets redeemed to a greater purpose.  The word used both in the Hebrew and the Greek don't just mean to be afraid, it also means to revere, to be in awe.  Once you start to realized that you no longer have to fear the wrath of God, because he poured out his wrath against all sin on Jesus, your motivation for life changes.  Now you start to live in the redeemed meaning of 'fear of the Lord' which is to be in awe of Him.  Isn't it awe inspiring that when you look around and see everything he created just by the word of his mouth shout about how amazing he is.  Isn't it awe inspiring that he would do something so unimaginable in giving up the life of His Son in order to rescue us.  Of course people under the Law were afraid of the Lord, because they knew their was no way out on their own.  But we've had the perfect revelation of love handed down to us in Jesus, and the old way is finished.  We're not trapped in the cage any more waiting for the lions of wrath to be released.  

All kinds of things keep us bound in the prison of fear; our failures, our shortcomings, lies we've believed about God and ourselves, religion, regret... but it's not what we were made for and it's not what Jesus gave his life for.  You can continue to live a life where you pay lip service to knowing a loving God who has lavished his grace and mercy upon us, all the while living under a cloud of darkness worrying that he's going to remember your failures and give up on you or you can really live and rest and accept the promise that his love is greater than your fear.

Listen to the strong language Paul uses in his desire for the church at Colossae, who were being fear-motivated in following Jesus,  
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who ha qualify you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption , the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:11-14)

Could the kind of hope Paul has for his friends in Colossae possibly come true if motivated by fear?  John didn't think so, he said, 
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in loved abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected in us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as his is so also are we in this world, there is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.  We love because he first loved us.  (1 John 4:15-19)
God has given us his son to reveal what he's really like, how great his love is.  He's given us his son to transfer us from the fear of living in the domain of darkness.  He's given us his son to qualify us for our inheritance.  He's given us his son for power, joy, endurance, patience, thanksgiving, redemption and forgiveness.  You won't experience any of it if you continue to believe the lie live in fear that any of it is dependent on your performance. But you'll get to live a life experiencing more and more of being in awe of your father in heaven if you abide in his love. So I hope, like John and countless others who have walked out of a life of being afraid to "come to know and believe the love that God has for us", you will moved beyond the beginning of knowledge - fear - into a life of freedom, resting in the promise that God will look at you and see Jesus spirit joined to your and say, this is my beloved son or daughter in whom I am well pleased...

No comments:

Post a Comment