Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional 23 June 2022
TOPIC: Love That Will Not Let Me Go
SCRIPTURE: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
What are you afraid of? What are we afraid of? Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. It can hold us captive and manipulate our lives. It can be repressive and debilitating. Surely if we could take steps to avoid it, we would. Fear can often have such a hold over us that we can’t break free from it. But the Bible is very clear: ‘Do not be afraid’ (Luke 12:32, and Deuteronomy 31:6).
Fear breeds fear. It’s like a knot in the stomach and it numbs the brain. Fear can hold us captive to ourselves, and is used to great effect by the enemy, fear of the unknown, fear of consequences. So, how, then, can we deal with it?
The Bible tells us ‘perfect love drives out fear’ (1 John 4:18). ‘And so we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (1 John 4:16). But maybe we do know the never-ending love of God, and yet it still doesn’t seem to make a dent in the fear.
To be free from fear we must get rid of it, and to do this it has to be replaced by something stronger. ‘The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (1 John 4:18). This can sound harsh. Does it mean that, if we fear, we cannot receive the perfect love of God? No. It means that our perfect love for Him will drive out fear.
Maybe our love for God is tentative and hesitant, it is far from perfect. If our love for Him is partial or superficial, there may still be room for doubts and anxieties. Our love for God through Jesus Christ needs to be absolute and complete, with no room for doubt, hesitancy, or uncertainty. It demands total faith and trust, whatever the circumstances, with nothing held back.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). That means not looking to anyone else or anything that would intrude on His love for us. It is like an unbreakable bond which binds us with Him. ‘O love that will not let me go. I rest my weary soul in thee. I give thee back the life I owe, that in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be’ (Hymn: George Matheson 1882).
We need to hand over our fear, whatever it is, to God. As we allow Him full rein in our lives, and trust Him completely, we can receive the fullness of His love for us, the perfect love of God which drives out all fear and fills us with a peace that is not of this world, but from God. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe” (Luke 8:50).