In a previous post I spoke about God wanting to fight our battles for us. We can really trust Him wholeheartedly – His goodness is unfailing. Trusting someone comes through an experience with them. If you are constantly told about a wrathful God who is angry at you – you won’t really trust Him to take your life in His hands. On the other hand, if you continue hearing about a God with the most perfectly good character, you will start trusting Him with your life. In so many places He tells us not to fear – one of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah:
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” Is 41:10
“For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you!” Is 41:13
God wants to help you. He wants to take care of you. He wants you to trust in His goodness and know that He loves you unconditionally – even more than an earthly father could. Listen to Him as He tells you not to fear – He is with you.
“Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deut 31:6
“And he said, O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you! Be strong, yes, be strong.” Dan 10:19
If we walk around with fear in our hearts, we have not become fully acquainted with the true character of God. This fear includes fear of punishment, fear of sickness, fear of death – any fear you can think of. It basically says: “I don’t really know if God loves me enough to heal me or bless me”, or “He is going to punish me for what I have done”.
We must learn the truth regarding the character and heart of God. God IS love (1 John 4:16). He does not just give love, He embodies it. His entire being is love – there is no evil in Him (1 John 1:5). If we really get to know God, we will start trusting in His goodness – and this will become the rock that we stand on.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” 1 John 4:18
Getting to know God, who is perfect love, will automatically drive away all fears you have in you heart. If you know your closest friend’s heart, you will know that they don’t want to hurt you. You won’t fear them. It is the same with God. If we get to know Him as a Father, we will know He loves us and we will never fear Him or what He will do to us.
If there is one thing I dislike, it is when Christians complicate the Gospel to such an extent that it is tiresome to hear. The Gospel should be easy enough for a 5-year old to understand. Just because you have rivers of revelation does not mean that you have a relationship with God. I don’t ever want to reach a point where I feel it is necessary to know more and understand more in order to be more spiritual. If it comes naturally, then by all means – bring on the revelation – but please don’t take my attention away from Jesus! Paul could not have made it clearer:
“For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:2
The rest of this verse is just as fantastic. Paul says that he did not come to the Corinthians with ‘lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom’. This qualifies anyone to speak their heart. You don’t need a doctorate in order to write or speak about Jesus – You just need to know Him as a person. If you know Him, the Holy Spirit abides in you. It is this amazing Spirit that touches peoples lives and softens their hearts, not a beautifully preached sermon. That way, whoever hears you will have faith in God (being touched by the Holy Spirit) – not in human theories, speeches or ideas. It simplifies matters, if you ask me. Now we can just trust in the work of the Spirit, instead of our own limited intelligence.