Don’t you love it when a scripture changes your life? One of the verses that has impacted me – especially in the area of fear – is found in 1 John 4:16. I write about it in Having a Mary Spirit and I thought I’d share it with you as we start “Word of God Speak 2014.” It’s my prayer that you find scripture that changes your life as deeply and profoundly as God’s Word has changed my own…
Because of Jesus, perfect love has come. The power of fear in our lives has been destroyed. All we have to do is receive the gift. How do we do that? Well, this may sound kind of silly, but one way I do it is by falling backward onto my bed.
On those difficult, overwhelming days when I’m struggling with fear—when the heat waves of my failure obliterate my awareness of God’s perfect love—I make a conscious choice to both repent and then believe I am forgiven in spite of what I feel. And not just forgiven, but cherished. Beloved. Protected. Held close with a love that far surpasses anything we could ever experience here on earth.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us,” I say, repeating 1 John 4:16 with the italicized emphasis, throwing open my arms, and falling back on my bed. There I lie—safe and received, welcomed into the forgiving arms of my heavenly Daddy. When I get up, I purposely take with me that delicious sense of being loved and cared for. Fear loses its grip on my heart as my mind delights in God’s grace.
“In this way, love is made complete among us,” verse 17 says, “so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment” (emphasis mine). The only way to experience the perfect, dread-banishing love that casts out fear is to know and rely on what God tells us He’s already given.
For when we trust His love—when we take the plunge and fall backward into joy—we no longer give way to anxiety. We are “made perfect in love” simply by resting in the One whose perfect love drives out fear.
—Having a Mary Spirit
READ: John 3:16
REFLECT: Read this familiar portion aloud, replacing the words “world” and whoever” with your name.
Note: This post is an excerpt from my devotional At the Feet of Jesus, which pull readings from Having a Mary Heart, Having a Mary Spirit, and Lazarus Awakening, as well as unpublished outtakes from all three books!