Living on love is a fabulous lifestyle choice. I’m not talking about eros, the Greek word for romantic love. I’m not talking about philos, the Greek word for brotherly, or friendship love. I’m talking about agape, the Greek word for God’s love.
Many people stress a healthy, active lifestyle for a better future. I totally agree. They should learn about agape then they’ll stress the agape lifestyle. How do they correlate? In tons of ways!
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear…” 1 John 4:18a
Love gets rid of the human body’s, mind and soul’s worst enemy, fear. Fear is debilitating! Look at the second half of that verse.
“…because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect (mature) in love.”
Fear has torment. This is word fear is the Greek word phobos. We get our English word phobias from this word. It literally means to strike terror in someone. It’s the kind of fear that constantly arrests your attention and manipulates every situation until you are tormented day and night by it.
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Job 3:25
Not one preacher I’ve heard at the pulpit talks about this verse in the context of what happened in Job’s life. Job let fear in the kind that torments us. Job’s “snare” was fear. Yes he loved God and yes he was faithful but he allowed the hedge of God’s protection to be punctured by fear. Fear destroyed his life and allowed the Devil in. In coming posts we’ll discuss how a figure of speech called the idiom of permission affected the Old Testament writers and how God’s love for us has never changed not even then.
Today, we must perfect love. How do we do that? How do we live on God’s love? First get rid of fear. How do you spot a perfected (mature) believer? Look for someone who does not have fear because they live by faith. Most psychologists will tell you to write down all your fears and discuss the origin of them etc. How many self-help books, including Christian ones, focus on the problem of fear? If you read a book about spousal abuse, are you not suddenly very aware of every kind of abuse in your life? Everywhere you turn you’re thinking about it. So what are you focused on?
If that’s the way the world does it, you can bet the answer is in the opposite action.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
What is the definition of renewing your mind? Putting the Word of God in mind and acting accordingly. So what does it say about our thoughts past, future or otherwise?
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8
Does it say in that last verse to sit in a circle and discuss all the the things you fear? What about getting up and confessing your fear in front of fear-loaded group of people?
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
If the devil is trying to convince you the fears are real, resist!! There is more power and authority in a believer’s baby-toe than the adversary has in his whole fleet of evil workers. Resist using the powerful name of Jesus Christ.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17
“Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
What could we possibly have to fear? God, the maker of the universe called you before the foundation of the world to be a child of His. Why should we allow the adversary one inch of space in our mental day? He tries to hit your wallet. Hit him back with God’s Word.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19
When he tries to convince you, you’re not good enough. Hit him back with the Word of God.
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” Ephesians 1:4
Love is freedom from the bondage of fear. Embrace it. Seek it. Learn how to operate in it. We all long for our chance at this kind of lifestyle but it isn’t something that floats down to us. We must swim out and take it. We must act on our believing.
God bless you today!