What’s your greatest fear? Maybe for all you archery hunters it is arrowing a big deer just a bit back and not knowing if you will recover it. Maybe for you fantasy football fan it is your biggest point gainer to get injured or under perform. Maybe for you parents it is for your kids to do something that would bring embarrassment to the family. Maybe it is getting laid off from work. Whatever your greatest fear is, I’m sure it isn’t trivial to you.
Fear really is an idol of the heart.
That went deep fast, but it is true isn’t it? Fear tries to trap us, it tries to define us, it tries to scare us into doing what it wants and not what is best. Fear is an idol we often bow down and serve because we aren’t sure people will like the truth or that we can handle the truth, so we run to fear and do something stupid out of respect for fear.
We feel like fear will be easier, more comforting, less harsh. We are wrong to feel that way. A contemporary Christian song out has a line in it that says, “fear is a liar.” We would be more right to look at fear this way.
Here is the solution to fear. It starts in realizing that God loves you and admitting that you struggle with fear and trusting that His love can conquer your fear.
We all want to be known. But we have a couple fears that are born out of this want.
Just look at the world today, well first you’d have to look up from your cell phone. Take a look around, look at how many people are looking down at their phones. They are wanting to be known. Many of us turn to social media, did so and so like my post, did so and so comment on my comment, in order to be known. I’m guilty too.
We also look to perform well, or dress well, or speak well, or to be well educated so others will take note of who we are. We like to put labels on ourselves and put adjectives before our accomplishments, we chase after accolades from our spouses, children, co-workers and friends and other community acquaintances.
Here is the truth about being known, We all want to be known, but we are fearful to let anyone truly know us. Why? Because to be known and to be rejected is well, almost unbearable. To be unknown and not be noticed is lonely and hard to understand. To be fully known, warts and all, bad life decisions and all, successes and failures, good times and bad times, private faults and personal thoughts and yet still loved is quite unthinkable, outside of the love of a faithful spouse or God.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
God calls the church his bride. He knows her. He knows her fears, he knows her tears, he knows her mistakes, he came not to condemn her but to rescue her and save her. He took her sins and bore them for her, so that she might be set free from the fear of penalty and payment for her sin. Jesus removed the penalty of sin, death, and he promises one day to remove the presence of sin from her life. Jesus loves the church even though he fully knows her faults.
We can cast off our fears on Jesus. He isn’t afraid and he doesn’t want us to be either. One of the most common commands Jesus gave while on earth was Do not fear, do not be afraid. Why? Because he knew us. He knew we would need to be reminded.
Jesus knows what scares you, you can’t hide from him, he knows what terrifies you, call out to Him, He will rescue you. There isn’t anything that you can do today to make God love you less, and there isn’t anything you can do today to make God love you more, Psalm 86 and Psalm 136 talk about God’s love for us being steadfast. That is unending, unchanging, love, a love that will not cease to be.
If you want to be at peace, if you want to live in a world where you can face your fears with the truth, if you want to live a life with purpose and meaning and do all you do for the glory of God, rejoicing and reveling in being able to overcome your fear because you know the truth then hear God’s call today. Understand how much you need him, believe that what he says in John 14:6 is true, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to Father except through me.” Jesus knows you, and loves you, decide to be known by God and to accept His love for you today. Let His love overwhelm you, produce an awe in you for Him that leads to a life of worship. Fear not, you are loved.
by David Kelly