Bible Faith Fellowship: Substance Over Form

Casting Out Fear (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 6)

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Joseph Tokar

Casting Out Fear (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 6) Casting Out Fear (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 6)

Date 2009-11-01
Series Fear or Love, The Choice Is Ours
Sub-series  
Document (PDF) BFF-20091101-CastingOutFear.pdf

Casting Out Fear

Part 6 of "Fear or Love, The Choice Is Ours"

Over the past several weeks I've been preaching about our relationship with God. I started with a song called Slow Fade. The song is about how we lose our strength bit by bit, as we succumb to our fleshly desires and slowly fade into darkness. How easy it is to just give in to the world and do what everyone else does. Apathy follows, and we begin to just "go through the motions" of being Godly, of being Christian, of believing in God. So easy, so much easier then being what God wants us to be.

Read Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT): "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

So we have to seek the narrow gate, we have to wait upon the Lord, we have to bind ourselves to Him so that nothing can separate us from the love that is Christ Jesus. The song, "Slow Fade," starts with the line, "Be careful little eyes what you see. It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings." Is it coincidence that a song about fading away from God, uses strings to bind us to darkness, when God wants us to weave our lives together with Him with the strength of a woven rope?

I ended last week with, so when are we going to learn to rely on His strength all the time? How, or what, is it that allows us to rely on His strength all the time? Or maybe a better question would be: What is it that prevents us from relying on His strength all the time? The answer: fear. Homework for this week was to read 1 John 4, paying special attention to 17-19.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, 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. We love each other because he loved us first.

The definition of the word fear is as follows:

    1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
    2. A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in fear.
  1. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
  2. Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
  3. A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.

Agitation, anxiety, disquiet, apprehension, dread. Anybody feel these things on occasion? Before a test perhaps? Before a game? When your mom says, "clean your room?" How about when you have to pray before a meal, or when you're confronted with a decision about how to act? Godly or worldly? Narrow gate or wide?

Why is it that we are so afraid of what others think, why do we allow the darkness to pull the strings, why do we "Go through the Motions?"

Because we're afraid. We're afraid of what others think, we're afraid of what might happen, we're afraid of so many things. There's a song by Matt Redman called "You Never Let Go" that speaks about God, fear, love and why we should never be afraid.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus:

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

What a fantastic song. Matt pulls together scripture to teach us what fear is, and what casts fear out. We are all familiar with Psalm 23, and we read 1 John 4 this week and this morning. Turn to 2 Timothy 1:7-9 (NLT).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

God promises us that we never have to fear, that we can build our relationship up with Him by waiting on Him to deliver us. Remember that waiting on God does not mean to simply sit like a couch potato and think that God is going to move the couch to where we need to be. Waiting on God is an active pursuit of binding ourselves with Him in so many ways.

Fear is what makes us give in to the second glance, the slow fade. Fear is what makes us go through the motions, without ever really meaning anything. Fear is what drives us to walk away from God when we should be walking toward Him. God's love is perfect, casting out fear and allowing us to wait on the Lord, strengthening our relationship and binding ourselves to Him with a cord that cannot be broken.

So my final questions to everyone are: Do we want to allow darkness to bind us and fall to the second glance? Do we want to spend our lives going through the motions? Do we want to give in to our fear of rejection and fear of the world to follow the wide path that leads to hell? Or do we want to claim the spirit of love that God so graciously gave us, the spirit of power that God wants us to have? How long are we going to sit and do nothing, when we could be waiting on the Lord, strengthening the rope that binds us to Him instead of to the darkness? How long until we fall into the love that is Christ Jesus, knowing that through Him we can do all things, knowing that nothing can separate us from His Love.

Fear or Love…the choice is ours.

Let's pray.