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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis

PERFECT LOVE


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 (NIV)


The underground in London is many-layered, with the Jubilee line at the lowest – almost seeming to be in the bowels of the earth. To get there, one has to either ride in the elevator or climb countless stairs, or a combination of both. People everywhere, some knowing where to go, others lost in the maze.


Not being a fearful person normally, I was unprepared for the fear rising up within me as I climbed very steep stairs from the lowest underground. The stairs are situated along the edge of a wall, with one direction on one end of the room and the other direction, opposite. Good thing as it was difficult enough dealing with the fast-paced climbers in my row, going in the same direction.


The only way I could manage those stairs was to not look up, nor to the other side, because doing so caused me to see what I was up against. A mountain of gargantuan size going at a very steep angle. I was essentially horrified. I forced myself to look at the feet in front of me - only those feet of my daughter. One step in front of the other. As I focused, the fear dissipated; any distraction and I had to refocus to get a grip on the fear trying to grip me.


Eventually we all made it to the top and I was elated thinking a fear (of which I did not know I had), was conquered.


As it is with the love of God. His love casts out all fear. His love is Jesus. Walking in His love, we have faith to move mountains, love for our enemies, humility to subdue nations and gifts to serve the masses.



God’s perfect love is perfecting us – every drop of sin, every fear, every ounce of doubt. God is working in us and will faithfully complete what He has started to do (Philippians 1:6). Where one wants to crumble and doubt, God gives the faith to press on. When darkness looms, His light shines so we can confidently take that first step.


He (David) said to them, “Is not the LORD your God with you?” 1 Chronicles 22:18 (NIV)


It’s as if we forget God is with us. Fear takes over and we listen to fear rather than to God. In every-day life, we follow Him and follow completely, but when a hair-raising situation arises, we acknowledge and follow fear.


Why?


Plain and simple - lack of trust. Lack of faith. Lack of Jesus in every area of our life.


May our first response be to trust and follow God because we know He is with us. The disciples struggled with this too. Having just been with Jesus and watching Him feed five thousand, they had a sense of awe and wonder of their beloved Teacher. They knew Jesus, and they had Him in their midst. At this moment, He had them go on ahead in the boat and He was to catch up with them.


Yes, a great squall arose. Tumultuous waves. And these were seasoned fisherman, for the most part. If anyone knew the Sea of Galilee, most of these boys did. They were terrified.


They had just left Jesus. They knew He was with them and could be with them wherever they went. And yet, in the moment, fear took over. It won. Even when they saw Him (not knowing it truly was Him at first), they didn’t recognize him. Fear had caused them to be irrational. It was when Peter really saw it was Jesus, did he ask to come out and go to Jesus. But, while he started out in confidence, fear gripped him. He took his sight off Jesus and began to sink. (See Matthew 14:22-33)



God allows circumstances for us to grow in our faith; He gives us opportunities to place our trust more in Him. He is perfecting us. Storms come, stairs go. Illness happens, jobs get lost. Each scenario is training ground for us to choose Jesus and not fear. Choosing to trust and not cave to fear. Choosing to believe God is with us in no matter what circumstance.


May we be reminded God is with us in our storms and on our stairs. Our job is to keep our eyes fixed straight ahead on Him – and perfect Love will drive out the fear.


PRAYER


Father God, thank You for presenting opportunities to choose to trust and not fear. I do want to follow You and not my own thinking or the fear which can grip me. I place my trust in You as You continue to perfect me in Your love. In the name of Jesus. AMEN






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