Living in True Freedom – The Point, Part 2

 “My Journey From Fear to Faith”

Catchy…. You Think? Considering its the biggest realization of truth in my life?  Yeah, it works.

This blog is about new beginnings and all the other stuff I wrote about before, but the “tagline” captures the big picture, cause its backed by the weight of all that pesky “hard-way” learning.

The Prison of Fear

It’s often and truly stated, Fear is the opposite of Faith. I believe it’s also the opposite of Freedom. I firmly believe the truth of this quote, which resonates more loudly now:

“One of Satan’s most deceptive and destructive lies is the idea
that a person apart from God is free.” 
   (John MacArthur)

Fear is a prison. It grips you – holds you captive.

It keeps you staring blankly at walls at 3 am— enslaved to dark thoughts, worst nightmares.

You live on the razor’s edge… where it’s ice-cold and black as night.  Fear blocks you from hope like an iron fortress; where every doorway slams shut with a depressing thud.

It rips away the seams of your nerves and gnaws at the edge of your mind.
It’s the assault of a thousand deafening voices converging in an endless echo.

In the harness of fear, reaching out leaves you shivering, alone, empty.
Anxiety sits on top of you like a bloodsucking parasite. It erodes your life force slowly, painfully.

The Freedom of Love

In contrast…  “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

I will never forget the first time I really heard, (I mean really heard) and understood these words: 

“There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear.”
 (1 John 4:18)

I said them out loud and felt them wash over me like a warm, ocean wave.
I could almost feel them whispered into my ear.

I sensed countless rays of light piercing through the darkness of my soul; I felt weightless, lifted up with the sheer truth of that passage. Then His voice, saying,
“I will never leave you or forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

Next, it was, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:35-39)

How odd that you can read that stuff your whole life, even have it memorized, then POW.
God reaches down. You can’t put that kind of experience into words.  You can try, but words can’t get it done.

Dawn was breaking at a special family gathering. With sunlight streaming through treetops, tears were also streaming down. Joy filled my heart as God’s love and truth finally broke through.

He had NEVER left me – not through my worst despair.  He had been there even when I had felt so alone; I had just been trusting in the wrong stuff.  You can’t fear like I did if your heart is connected to God the right way.  Perfect love CASTS OUT FEAR.  It’s pretty amazing, shocking even.  When the light dawns on you sometimes in life, it really DAWNs.

(Perhaps the wrong analogy, but I wanted to give you the example of when my oldest daughter figured out that the poop goes IN THE POTTY.  That was a big day for us.  The light just WENT ON.  Clearly it’s not apples to apples but the general, “EUREKA moment?”  YES. Ok, Back to my story.)

If I thought it wasn’t a little over the top, I might post some of the things I wrote that day. Reading them again, I feel it couldn’t have been me writing. I know one thing, it was Spirit-led and beautiful. Hope had found its way back, and this time, it was stronger than ever.  I try to remember to re-read those journal entries when I feel doubt, anger, confusion — about anything really.

In short?  There is Bible verse I really get now that sums up this blog in a way.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba Father.”   (Romans 8:15)

I won’t go back to living in fear.  It’s a horrible existence, and you don’t realize to what extent, until the death grip is released and you are finally free.

It’s scary to admit I was there.  Not long ago, having the courage to share all this on the web would have been a joke at best.   That’s sort of the whole point….  Fear holds you back, where freedom… lets you live boldly.  If you ever feel tempted to listen to a voice that tells you that being disconnected from God will make you free, take my word for it.  RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Trusting in God?   PEACE.  JOY.  FREEDOM.

I’ve got a long way to go.  A lot of things yank me backwards.  That’s a big reason for this blog – To remind me what I’ve learned and help keep me moving forward.

Lord, help me never to forget my journey from fear to faith.  

Help me never forget the iron clamp that fear had on my life and the freedom and joy that came when your Perfect Love cast out fear from my heart.

Thank you for freeing me from that slavery; I will spend the rest of my life in gratitude and humble service to you — The Author of Life.

 If I can pray for you or encourage you, connect with me!  Visit me at  trustingforpeace.com or increasingthecontrast.wordpress.com

Comments

  1. What a great journey…from fear to faith and freedom…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing on fear – thanks for your words.

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