1 John 4
1 Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) came as a human being is from God,
3 and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God – in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah(anti-christ). You have heard that he is coming. Well, He’s here now, in the world already!
4 You, children, are from God and have overcome the false prophets, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7 Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God.
8 Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love.
9 Here is how God showed His love among us: God sent His only Son into the world, so that through Him we might have life.
10 Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah (sacrifice) for our sins.
11 Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for Him has been brought to its goal in us.
13 Here is how we know that we remain united with Him and He with us: He has given to us from His own Spirit.
14Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as Deliverer of the world.
15 If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God.
16 Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love; and those who remain in this love remain united with God, and God remains united with them.
17 Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment.
18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
19 We ourselves love now because He loved us first.
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 Yes, this is the command we have from Him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
I often wonder, how to begin to comprehend God’s Love. Myself, being a creature that taps the shoulder of fear without realizing it, grabbing it’s hand and making deals. Fearless in this world paints a picture of fierce boot strap pulling. Fearlessness requires a total shut down of human emotion for us. That is, in our own strength. Fearless, often looks like foolishness, indeed it can be. Most often this kind is the ultimate; fear of fear itself. God made us with emotion, feelings that have cause and effect. Fear is a reaction, not emotion. Yet I often don’t know how else to describe it, so I say “I feel afraid.” Fear is ultimately about control, or rather our inability to deal with our lack of it. There is only One who has all control all, the time – God. So as I acknowledge fear inside me, I am in turn questioning God’s promise, that He will do no harm but only good and what’s best for me and those I love, for everyone, all the time. No one on earth can do this, noone human. There was One human who did, Yeshua. Never did He harm. Never did He react in fear. Never. I must remind myself that often I may hurt feelings, have my feelings hurt, but there’s a huge difference between hurt and harm. God makes many things hurtful, but nothing harmful.
When I was very young, I was attracted to the glow of the burner of the stove. I love(ed) anything that produced heat, perpetually cold, I was drawn to things of this nature like a moth to a flame. My mom had just removed a pot of boiling eggs from the stove, there before my eyes was my opportunity – to see what the glow was all about, just how hot that heat could be. An hour later, I sat with big tears rolling down my newly educated cheeks with throbbing fingers now extended with blisters. It was too hot for my skin. God did not design the flesh to withstand that much heat on the surface of any part of my body. My fingers taught the lesson. I could have reacted in such a way of fear from that point on. I could have refused to ever deal with glowing red burners again. Praise God, I was taught that such fear would limit my ability as a wife and mother forever if I blamed the burner for the effect of the heat on my fingers. I did not ever touch a glowing burner again on purpose, but praise God my family has enjoyed many a meal from those same fingers since. Yet, God made the reaction of fear to do us good. I learned, heat, is good, the glow of burners are good, but I’m limited to what I can do with both. Fear teaches and reminds us of our limits. God is Love, because He has no limits. None. God placed the choice to fear inside us to teach us. Everything that rubs up against Truth, goodness, – teaches.
The disciples called Yeshua, Teacher, for good reason. Since the beginning of time human beings have been “touching (testing, curious but foolish) the glowing red burner” of God. We seek to learn where He ends and begins, and learn every time He has neither of these aspects to His Being. Except to say He is, – the Beginning and the End, of which, we will never in the sinful flesh be able to find. Hence we are instructed often to fear God. Lesson? Only fear Him who can change all the “rules” to get what He wants. He can turn gravity upside-down. He can make light dark and dark light. He can turn hatred into profound love. He can turn envy and jealously into graditude. He can turn sorrow into joy. He can turn hard-heartedness into compassion. Sin into victory. And vice-versa. There is nothing He can’t do. These are the tangilibility of God’s love. But we, we are extremely limited and for the most part, can only go from the positive to negative. Insecurity in our hands turns everything into a battle. The more we try to make ourselves feel secure, the more we do the opposite and take many people down with us. Insecurity is the most profound instagator of fear.
Look at the song Christ the Solid Rock:
My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus love and righteousness.
Human security is achieved only in these 10 words. Not in ourselves, but God. He alone can drive out fear. For all of fears reactions in us, we have one hope – Yeshua. That when He said, “It is finished.” on that cross, then proved it by rising up stone cold dead back to life, that the limitless power of Himself shall always be the sure thing. It’s the only gamble worth taking. I say gamble, because we are so limited, we most often can’t see the goodness in hurtful things. Not because there’s any doubt God wins every time. Often I’m afraid God’s good will harm me. Yet every time I am afraid in such ways, I’m confusing hurt and harm. My comfort level is always being challenged. Nothing challenges our comfort like pain. I must remember, no heart has broken more than God’s. No one has hurt, physically, emotional, mentally more than Yeshua on the cross. No one. God is the only one who can handle sin and its effects. I can’t, we can’t – ever. The effects of sin is death and pain. Doubt, insecurity, jealousy, envy, strife, hatred, and the like are all effects of sin. Reactionary responses in defense, on our part, are the hallmark of fear.
Then, why not just do away with such reactions within us when we become saved? Because purity is the goal of God for us. Refinement, – fire is painful. Yet it is effective in teaching. We are continuous learners. Only able share the lessons, not teach them. We know this because we know we can talk (preach/teach) for hours on the harm of sin, but the lesson is best learned in experience. Who among us with children doesn’t know this well? And, oh, how we fear for them!
Yet we learn best from Job. Who sacrificed on behalf of his children, just incase they sinned. It was never a question they would, and thereby suffer it’s effects. Jobs only hope was built on nothing less than God’s love and God’s righteousness. What animal did Job sacrifice? The animal of fear. Dangerous, cunning, sneaky and sly. He put his fears to the fire for refinement. The only way for us to do this is to put down fear and pick up faith. The only way we can is with the Spirit given us at the time of our rebirth in Yeshua. This is why only followers of Yeshua can put fear in its place. Without Him we are reduced at best to denying our insides, and seeming faith-filled when really we’re fear-numbed. This is leprosy at its core. Where we are cut and bruised by fear but don’t know it.
I’m saved because of the powerful incomprehensible love of God. Who is the only caster out of fear. I can only accept such love in the dose of His Son. In this way only have we been created to do so. Every time I “feel” fear, I ask myself “Abba, show me where I don’t accept You, what You say, what You do, what You’ve done or Who You are.” Fear is the red light to doubt. Red lights are meant to stop us – wait on God’s evaluation of our state. Not ours, His. He’s the teacher, we are the learners. Forever this is how it shall be. The tangibility of Love, is this process. Nothing more, nothing less.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡