Love Versus Fear

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Perfect love casts out all fear, but what if the fear sometimes comes back?

I am the Erin who Nancy and Dannah write about in the introduction to “Lies Young Women Believe.”

“From the time she was in junior high, when her parents divorced, our friend Erin Davis struggled with panic attacks. They came mostly at night and were spurred on by horrific nightmares. When she awoke, she could barely breathe and had to rely on someone to calm her. As a result she could never sleep alone. She went to college and married her high school sweetheart, a fantastic youth pastor, but she was still plagued by panic and fear" (Lies Young Women Believe, 11).

They go on to write about my deliverance from that fear as a result of an encounter with God’s Truth. 

It’s a true story. I struggled with fear for more than a decade. I encountered God’s Truth and I was delivered.

But, can I let you in on a scoop? Sometimes, I still struggle with fear.

It’s true. Despite the fact that my deliverance from fear has been talked about very publicly, there are moments, when I still feel afraid. Now don’t get me wrong, the story is true. I have experienced freedom from bondage in this area. I know God’s Truth and that Truth has made a huge difference in my life. But there are times when nightmares, and anxiety, and fear knock again on my heart.

As I was reading Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” earlier this week, I was reminded of the only antivenin for fear’s poison…God’s love. 

Tozer writes, “Fear is the painful emotion that arises at the thought that we may be harmed or made to suffer. This fear persists while we are subject to the will of someone who does not desire our well-being. The moment we come under the protection of one of good-will, fear is cast out. A child lost in a crowded store is full of fear because it sees the strangers around it as enemies. In its mother’s arms a moment later all the terror subsides. The known good will of the mother casts out fear…The world is full of enemies, and as long as we are subject to the possibility of harm from these enemies, fear is inevitable…To know that love is of God and to enter into the secret place leaning upon the arm of the Beloved—this and only this can cast out fear” (The Knowledge of the Holy, 99).

Earlier in this chapter, Tozer references a Scripture that God has used over and over to reassure me as I battle against fear.

1 John 4:18a says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”

God’s perfect love drives out fear.

I love the metaphor Tozer uses to describe this Truth.  Can’t you imagine a younger version of yourself lost in the mall? Can you feel your palms sweat and your heart race? But then your mom or dad scoops you up and that fear melts away. The mall is still full of strangers. The world remains a big, scary place. But the love of your parents makes you feel safe. And so it is with God.

Will you let His perfect love for you drive out your fear of all that is beyond your control? Will you let him scoop you up when fear knocks at your heart? Will you nuzzle in to the safety of the promise of His great love for you? I hope so.

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15).

 

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