12 Weeks of Prayer Week 4 Day 4
SETTING THE STAGE FOR VICTORY
By Pastor Michael Heil
“There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
I John 4:18
Today, we are living in very troubled times; II Timothy 3:1 uses the Greek word χαλεπός to describe the times we are in. The word means: difficult, hard to take, perilous, and fierce. Terrorism is an everyday threat with demonized people wanting to destroy us. The economy is depressed, and countless people are struggling financially; they don’t know week to week how to meet the bills. Immorality is rampant throughout America, as people march in the street to exalt that which God has called evil. Besides, all these assaults on God’s righteousness, our government, led by evil and corrupt men and women, seem to have no regard for God as they pass laws aimed to persecuting the righteous. Like in the days of Noah, violence is everywhere in the land, promoted by self-gratification, music, and movies. Jesus said about these days we live in, “men fainting at heart from fear, and expectation of the things coming on the world,” (Luke 21:26).
How are we to handle the anxiety and fear so oppressive it overwhelms us physically? I firmly believe the first way to combat this is to make sure our heart is committed to love others. In I John, God tells us perfect love will destroy fear. He said love will "cast it out." We do not cast out fear, loving perfectly will drive it away from us. This happens due to the nature of God's love. Love is not warm, furry, fuzzy feelings, this is the world's idea of love. Love is focused and committed to working for the best in others. When we are serving others, meeting their needs, our heart will turn from its own struggles to the needs of others. That is exactly how Jesus walked on this earth during His ministry. As He walked in perfect love, fear and harm could not touch Him.
I John 4:17 says, in part, “as He is, so are we in this world.” We too can live above fear, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5). The very nature of God, the God of love, is in us. Only when we get our spiritual eyes off Him do we see fear. Let us continually act in the love of God which is in us. Soon fear will not be able to find a dwelling place within us. We will not have to work to overcome fear, it just won't be able to stay