Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Nothing to Fear
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
Long ramblings continue on...
‘Tis the season. Horror films. Headless Horseman. Haunted Houses. All filled with every gruesome fear imaginable for one purpose – to heighten and surface absolute terror and fear. FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTO IT (that would not be me), it's all for “fun” and pure “entertainment” as long as it happens to someone else. Tell, not touch. It’s staged. It’s safe. It’s secure. It’s all timed for a split second to make us think that it’s not safe and secure, thus the rush, but somewhere deep within, we know it’s all an act so we’re ok. We chose to feel this way. In fact, we paid money to feel this way. We can’t understand it or explain it, we just like it and are drawn to the rush. For one night, or a couple of hours, we can heighten the fear, then turn back to our “real lives” and think “better them than me."
Then, it REALLY happens to you. Your worst nightmare not only comes true – it’s nothing like the movies and it doesn’t end when you walk out. There is no walking out. No door. No window. No end. Nothing ever compares to our own nightmares playing again and again and again.
Home loss, job loss, parent loss, child loss, spouse loss, health loss, sanity loss, divorce, bankruptcy, disease, abuse, abandonment, rejection, death, depression, or any other personal torture of body, heart, spirit or mind…or at the very least, fear of any one of these becoming a reality in our lives. We keep telling ourselves "credits roll, this too shall pass, etc." but it never ends. It is complete torture and you'd almost rather be one of those horror victims just to escape your living nightmare. If you don’t live it in the day, you dream about it in the night. No one escapes fear at any point – it’s part of the human condition that we both run from and run into, are repulsed by and drawn to. The thoughts may depress, the reality may destroy.
Fear is very, very real, I don’t contend otherwise. What I do contend is that we’re often looking at it from the wrong perspective – again from man’s view (results) instead of God’s view (conquered). Famously, Roosevelt said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. I don’t think we even have fear itself to fear – because it’s not just mental (we more fear what we can't understand or control, which includes the supernatural side of life), it’s spiritual – when did we forget that? Oh, the lie we have been fed and swallow whole – that our God is not greater! We KNOW in our head that He is, but don't completely abandon to the TRUTH that He is greater. Fear tactics are only a vehicle to get our sights off of faith and into flight – to run FROM the dark, instead of run INTO the Light. Fight the good fight instead – but only in the Holy Spirit: the ONLY one who can conquer all fears of all people at all times.
I went from watching a Program on Horror to the Psalms of Honor. Literally, 2 minutes later I was listening to the Psalms. David spoke of both his fears, then almost immediately of his praise. Again and again and again, back and forth: it was a constant reckoning of humanity to Holiness, spoken in truth. This is it - spoken prayer of praise is the conquering weapon against fear! WHAT IS THE FEAR THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FREED FROM: either has happened, is happening or you fear will happen? IF YOU HAVE FREEDOM, YOU HAVE A CONSTANT REMINDER OF YOUR WEAPON OF PRAISE - not comdemnation of nightmare, praise!
I also found it interesting that a number of these “houses of horror” seemed to focus in three things (not exclusively, but generally): complete loss of control (vulnerability), torture and death. I think that the cross was carefully chosen to be a way of taking on every possible fear known to man, absorbing it into the Son of Man in the most tortuous death process in the history of man, and conquering it completely in man for all Eternity – all at the exact same time in this Sacrifice of God’s Son. Believing that the Cross did exactly as God said that it did will never mean that we will never again know fear in our lives, for again, it’s a human condition and emotion. But a relationship with Jesus though the way of His Cross – gives us somewhere to claim VICTORY over our fears when they do arise. Fear is the vehicle for separation; Jesus is the victory through restoration. Holiness became horror to bring us from horror to Holiness. Life to death to Life. Truth remains Truth regardless; Truth is only known and lived in us when we believe.
On this week when we’d rather ignore fear or condemn fear – why not fight fire with Fire? Perfect love drives out all fear. Praise shuts the mouth of the enemy (the fire of fear that spreads and abounds). Instead of running from one fear right into another one, why not bring it right back into the face of the father of lies and LIVING PROOF of VICTORY over the fear. Use the opportunities that come up to PRAISE the God who IS perfect love and the Savior Who drives us to “be not afraid.” This is not a week to “fear” in anyway – not any part of it. This is a week to PRAISE and let God be God over all. The only way to “be not afraid” is to “be abandoned” to Him. All of me to all of Him in all ways and at all times; nothing out of His Sovereignty, Love, and Truth.
Enjoy Him, Michelle
Written by Michelle Pack