God Is Not Your Enemy
“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 4:18).
Being controlled by fear is devastating. It is the natural consequence of sin. We first see this in the Garden. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hid from God. When God called out to Adam, Adam responded, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10). When sin entered Adam and Eve, fear took control of their lives. As a result, it became a part of our spiritual DNA.
Paul analyzes the problem this way: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior” (Colossians 1:21). This is a vivid description of the lost condition. Evil behavior, what the Bible calls sin, alienates us from God and causes us to think of him as our enemy. Sin is unbelief. Sins originate with unbelief and are defined as evil behavior.
Things started making sense to me when I realized I was letting sin and fear and wrong thinking dictate how I approached God. When you think He is your enemy, you tread lightly.
Here is the good news: God is not, nor was he ever, your enemy. If you need to be convinced, consider what John wrote: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 ESV).
God loves you, and the grace He lavished on you to provide redemption, the forgiveness of sins, is the proof.
Instead of approaching God out of fear, doing everything you can to avoid punishment, approach God with an attitude of thankfulness. Jesus gladly paid the penalty for your sins. There is no more punishment for you sins. Walk in this love and watch it drive out your fear of God’s punishment.