“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid of the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:17-18 (NLT)
I can vividly remember as a child being constantly afraid. My fears involved many things, but one that stands out the most was my fear of being left behind in the rapture. Even as I grew into a young adult, I would become frantic if I was unable to reach a family member or if I thought I heard a loud noise. I usually would begin to pray and ask the Lord to forgive me of any sins, in hopes that I had seconds to spare and still escape this world. Well, for starters, that was not Biblical; and second of all, it was pure torment. No matter how much of the Word of God I could quote, I did not grasp the love of God for myself. I had my religion, but not the relationship with Christ that I desperately needed.
As the Lord began to reveal just how twisted my thinking was, I was confronted with a choice. Face my fears or remain in bondage. Some things in life, we must deal with head first; or in this case, root first. I not only needed a true, love encounter with God, but I also needed to find out what He thought of me. I spent years reasoning away my salvation through the thoughts I entertained in my mind. It didn’t matter what the Bible said….I had convinced myself that I would be the one who it did not apply to. I would be the one left behind, even though I had believed in my heart and confessed with my mouth. I would be punished, even though my sin had already been purchased. It was no longer about the blood of Jesus. I had made it all about me. For insecurity and fear sat on the throne of my heart. And it boiled down to one thing….I didn’t trust God, because I didn’t know Him.
Through much prayer and getting to know the Jesus I had been reading about all of my life, my thinking began to shift. It was not overnight or a one time confession; but it was small, daily decisions. I not only had to fix my eyes on Jesus and what His Word said about the situation, but I also had to remain watchful for the enemy. I had to purpose in my heart not to agree with the lies I had believed for so long. And the amazing thing is, God is always faithful to finish what He starts in us. He not only showed me my sin, but He gave me the tools and power to overcome it. In His presence, I gained the peace I had been searching for and the love that I needed. That I can now look forward to Heaven with excitement instead of fear. And even though at times the enemy may try to regain entrance to my thoughts, I am better aware of how to kick him out and lock the door behind him.