Be Anxious About Nothing
Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, is well known for his heavy-handed leadership and abuse of power during his reign. He commanded invasions, had friends executed, and sent world leaders into exile. What you may not know is despite his powerful image, privately he was terrified of lightning. Every time it would rain, he got scared. Some historians believe that he was also very afraid of the dark. People in the grip of fear often become channels to others of the internal, dark torment that masters them. Caesar basically shared his personal hell on a mass scale. Sound familiar?
1 John 4:18 says “Fear has torment.” Fear is the polar opposite of God’s love. Notice I didn’t just say ‘love’ because too often the human version of love is ‘diseased’ with varying kinds of fear. For example: I love you provided that you please me or do what I want you to do; I love and accept you until I change my mind and don’t - so make sure you’re working for it, or else everything can change in a moment. That’s not love. That’s abuse.
God tells us in the full verse of 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has torment, so the one who is afraid is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].” Now don’t be condemned for a second if you’re struggling with anxiety or fear. God isn’t saying you’re not accepted. He’s telling us that His love is assigned to eliminate and eradicate any and all fear on the inside of you. That’s great news. Jesus wants you fear-free, full of love, but completely fear-free. Praise God!
Did you know fear, otherwise known as anxiety, causes fatigue and digestive problems? Fear can cause depression and compression of your breathing. That’s awful. God doesn’t want that for you. Anxiety can be a root cause of high blood pressure, muscle pain, headaches, and a host of other disorders. Now you could get a pill from the doctor to eliminate some of those symptoms, but you haven’t touched the problem, have you? Fear is still lying beneath the surface like a pressure-triggered bomb waiting to blowup and steal your peace.
There are more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible, in one form or another (more than enough to cover everyday of the year!). Jesus said, “Stop being afraid” (Mark 6:50). In Luke 12:32 Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid or anxious ...”. When you look at His words it’s really a command. Jesus is saving our lives with His instructions, the question is, am I listening and obeying? God the Father said, “Fear not for I am with you always” (Isaiah 41:10). My ability to “fear not” really comes down to my trust level in God. You can increase that by listening to His Words, knowing His Words, and actively applying His thinking.
My friend give love permission to evict any and all fear, anxiety, and worry out of your life. Where do you start? Simple. Meditate morning and night on God’s promises because His Word carries the DNA of love. Let His love do the heavy lifting. That’s how Joshua became a great leader and overcame fear. God instructed him when he was nervous and anxious about taking over the leadership of Israel from Moses, “Be strong. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you” (Joshua 1:9). The verse right before that was all about self-feeding on God’s Word and promises. Praise God it’s a new day for you - no fear here!
Pray The Word:
Thank you Father God for your Word. There’s power in Your Word and it’s the force of Your unfailing love. Your love casts down all fear, so here at the foot of Jesus’ victorious cross I confess and lay down all my fears, worries and stress. In the place of all my anxiety I ask you to fill me with Your love, Your courage, and Your precious Holy Spirit. You’ve made me free through Jesus - free from fear, and free for love. I commit to continue to bring any cares and worries to You, lay them down, and receive the power of Your love in place of the torment. In Jesus Name, Amen.
It's a blessing to be able to tune in to the daily message from Pastor Stephen Marshall, especially while I am on home-quarantine during the Covid virus crisis. I thank God, and his faithful servant, Stephen, for this ministry/mission. I need to focus on conquering fear and anxiety during these unprecedented times, and every other day. God bless Stephen, Pam and your loved ones.