Saturday, 21 January 2012

Perfect love casts out fear!

My world on this continent is flooded with new sights and sounds.  A smorgasbord to fill the senses.  I am learning to walk to a different beat.  There is a new rhythm to my life.  I have found that I have to remain soft and flexible in order to maintain my peace.  Life has a different rhythm here.  If I try to live according to my former beat, I will be out of step and struggling to fit in, but if I remain soft and flexible I can bend and not break, synchronising myself to the current song and entering into a new flow.

Expectations are different here.  There is not the same hurriedness that is notorious with the western world and culture.  It is refreshing to step out of that.  I believe Kenya can be savoured better without rigid deadlines, living within some loose margins. 

For the first couple of months I found my mind frequently plagued with fearful thoughts, nothing big and obvious, just quietly taking up space in the back of my mind, nibbling at my heels so to speak. 

Fear has long been my battle ground for many years, that is, until I met Jesus.  Now fear has become my overcoming ground.  It used to be the ground on which I would lose many a fights, but now it is an area that through the love of Christ, I overcome and conquer.  I love that Christ always leads us in triumph.  (2 Cor 2:14) He is a good One to follow.  A scripture that I have been meditating on frequently, is 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Kitties in Kenya!
The love that it speaks of is in direct relationship to Christ.  It is only His love which is perfect and has such power and ability.  During my transition here, my mind was overcome by the many things that posed a threat here on this continent.  Put another more direct way, there are so many more things here that can kill you.  Lions, hippos, alligators, snakes, cheetahs, hyenas, and even something as small as a mosquito is killing thousands.  There are many things that I have left out of this list, including travelling some of the roads.  A conclusive list would be very long. 
My mind had much to contend with, but God began to reveal something to me.  I had been meditating on some other scriptures for a couple of years found in Rom 8:31b “If god is for us who could be against us”, and Eph 3:17-21 and also Rom 8:31-39.  Through these scriptures I began to see, that regardless of the circumstances, God is always for me.  Even if I was in sin, God’s heart is to restore me, so that there may be nothing to stand between us.  So that I may receive all the goodness and blessings He wants to pour into my life. 
God is always about reconciling the world unto Himself, through what Christ died to give us.  He made a way when there was no way.  So His plans for me are always good.  Over the past couple of years, this truth has been seeping into my heart and soul until it has become an experiential reality in my life.  That truth has now become my very solid ground beneath my feet, on which I stand, unmovable!

Solid ground indeed!

He has proven this word (His Word) in my life.  I have confidence in Him, in this area.  It is no longer open to doubt.  I thank God for that!  Through experiencing that truth in my life, there is a new confidence I have in His love for me and a certainty that He is always for me. 

What He began to reveal to me more recently is that, He is my God.  A god is known to be powerful, my God is known to be omnipotent (most powerful) omnipresent (he is everywhere-always present).  He does things that no man can do, on a regular basis, I might add.  He began to speak to me that He is my God and it is therefore His responsibility to take care of me and quite frankly everything that concerns me.( Ps 138:8)  As God, this is His job.  He is to lead me, guide me, to keep me safe and watch over my life and He has all the power and ability to do that.  Above and beyond that it is also His desire and pleasure to do that.  He loves to be God and to take care of His children.  Although I chose Him, He first chose me. (Eph 1:11, Eph 1:4)

One day when I was wrestling with fear again, He led me to a scripture in Judges 6:11-24, where we find Gideon hiding in a wine press, threshing wheat.  There is so much to glean from this passage but what stood out for me, was that while Gideon was wondering how he was going to do this thing that God spoke, to rescue Israel from the Midianites (“too numerous to count”) the Lord’s antidote for Gideon wasn’t to praise Gideon and tell him you are the strongest and smartest, so go… No, the Lord said to him “I will be with you.”  It was God reminding Gideon, that He alone is God and He would be with him.  That is all you need.  God alone is all powerful and mighty and if He has asked you to go, then He will perform it.

 The Lord reminded me of Mosses, when He called him to deliver Israel from the bondage of slavery from the Egyptians.  Moses gave God lots of reasons why he thought he was not suited for the job or not up to the task.  But God was not concerned about any of his reasons.  God merely replied, “I will be with you.” Exod 3:12 God is up to the task of being God!  He is the one who created everything.  It is by Him and through Him that everything remains.  He is very capable of taking care of me.  In fact, it is His job.  He alone is God.  He is my God.  He alone knows what is best for me, having a clear view of the beginning and the end and His name is Faithful and True.  I can trust Him to do it.  I can trust Him to take care of me. 
 So this is the truth that is now beginning to fill up my senses, to take root in my life.  Once again fear is being displaced, with His perfect love that casts out fear.  Love is taking hold of me in a new and beautiful way, as my heart rests and trusts in Him, maker of heaven and earth.  What a secure place to be.  Praise His glorious Name!  So even though, I now find myself on a different continent, filled with many more dangers, He still remains the same, very capable God.   Unchanging throughout all the ages, through any place or season, He alone is God. He remains able and He remains faithful to be who He has always been and will ever be, my God!