image design modified from Paul Carlson’s original.
We know that perfect love casts out all fear since there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). But, one thing I have not thought much about is that fear casts out love. If we bring fear into the equation, love is going to leave. I have been thinking about with regards to my parenting. Whenever I discipline one of my daughters about something they are doing wrong and when it brings about fear in them, love will be driven out. What a scary proposition!
I love my daughters very much, and the thought of driving out love in them is not anything I want to entertain. One of the reasons most kids rebel during their teenage years is that the same methods that installed fear in them are not as much a factor anymore. But those motivated by love will continue to obey.
This is what God would like to get to with His children. If you love me, you will obey what I have commanded (John 14:23). Fear is not a motivator in God’s kingdom. He does not threaten us with hell though it is a real place. He does not coerce us to follow because of potential bad things that would happen otherwise. There is no fear in love. God is perfect love, therefore He cannot motivate with fear.
We need to receive a constant in-filling of His love that no fear will be in us. Then we will not be able to give fear to anyone else.
We pray to spend time with God, to receive His love, to know who we were made to be. God does not allow us to sin because we did not pray that day. We didn’t wreck our car because we missed our devotions that morning. God is merciful. He is not looking for ways to hurt you. Instead, He is a loving Father, and He is looking for every way He can bring blessings into your life.
God is full of love and in Him we will experience no fear. Ask God to reveal more of His love to you.