Love Drives Out Fear
April 1, 2021, 8:00 AM

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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. 1 John 4:17-18

I remember it like yesterday. We were having a blast at a house party thrown by my friend, Micheal. A few of us were getting up to no good, but with no parents around, we figured we were in the clear. And that's when it happened. It unfolded just like those cheesy 90's teen movies always do.

Out of nowhere, the loud music cut off. People stopped dancing. Every conversation came to a screeching halt. All heads turned to the unexpected visitor standing in the middle of the living room - Micheal’s dad. I still remember the angry look of disgust and disappointment on his face to this day. From the top of his lungs, he yelled, "GET OUT! GO HOME! NOW! YOU AREN'T WELCOME HERE!!!" Fearing for our lives we got the heck out of dodge as quickly as we could.

I wish I would respond to the fears I experience with the same ferocious display I experienced that day. Through a display of boldness, to have my anxiety bolting for the door. Kicking my concerns to where they belong, to the curb. Calling out with all authority to my doubts and reminding them that my heart and mind aren't their playgrounds. Shouting loudly to my fears that they "don't have to go home, but they can't stay here!"

Sadly, when fear makes an appearance, I often entertain it. I allow it to plop down on the couch and put its feet up. I let it pick the music, so its crippling tunes of horror, panic, and dread continue to play in the background of my days loudly. In essence, I act like the "cool parent" saying, "I'm going to have fears anyway, so if they're going to cause trouble, at least it will be under my roof." Instead of tossing them out the door as Uncle Phil did to Jazzy Jeff (for all you young folks that's a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reference) I order them pizza, which only fattens them up, making them harder to evict.

The author of 1 John reminds us of the power Christ's perfect love possesses. It's not timid or meek. It doesn't shrink back. And it sure isn't accommodating to our fears. His perfect love kicks down the doors and tells our fears that the party is over. The fear of judgment gets booted. The fear of man goes fleeing. The fear of failure retreats. All of our worries get put on notice that they are unwelcome guests who are encroaching on a territory (our heart and mind) that Christ lays claim to and authority over.

Breaking out in praise puts fear in its place. So, today, think about this: what fear party does Christ's perfect love need to shut down in your life? What fears have you allowed to party in your heart and mind for far too long?

Prayer: Father God, Your love puts my fears in their proper perspective. If You are for me, who can stand against me? I will tell my worry it isn't welcome. I will shout, "get out!" to my concerns. Lord remind me time and time again where my security and standing come from, and that is You. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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