Perfect Love Casts Out Fear! My, how I know that to be true!
You see, I was raised with the spirit of fear, 'he' is very familiar to me! I feel that God has delivered me from so many ties that bind and has brought me oh so far from where I began... but isn't it just good to know that He is never satisfied with us being just a little freed?! He wants us Free - completely, utterly, entirely - Freed from all the bondage and lies of the enemy... He wants to be our only Stronghold!
"The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 NIV
I am blessed to have a husband, and a Lord (two different People) who BOTH love me unconditionally - and yet are willing to push me to step out of my comfort zone and experience a greater freedom that I have yet to know and/or walk in. Sometimes they are gentle and kind... and sometimes (BOTH of them) are easily on my nerves and find me stubborn and unwilling. You see, the enemy can trick me into thinking I have come far enough! I am more free than I was before... less afraid of things and more willing (uh... usually!) to step out than a few years ago... and yet - still - they want me to have more! See - I forget that maybe they DO know... but to me - in my own thinking - (which is heavily influenced by the one who would have me bound) I have come quite far and feel pretty good about things - just the way they are!
After all - I drive myself, I take road trips on my own, I sleep when my husband is driving on the highway, I have flown, I do public speaking, I have been on a boat, and a ferry, I married a man - trusting him with my heart... and I gave birth - and lived to tell about it... you see - these were fears I had that could have easily stopped me from truly living! Jesus told us He came that we may have Life, and Life ABUNDANTLY! When we allow ourselves to be bound by fear - we simply do not know that abundance of living that we are missing! I still battle with fear from time to time - but overall I normally feel like I know where it comes from, I know how to do battle against it, and I am good to go...
And then one of my Men (either the LORD or Dave - or both - which can be exhausting!!!) will attempt to push me to yet another cliff and see if I will trust them. How is that we can even know that our fears are not of God - and are irrational - and yet we can still hold on to them like a security blanket and not want to let them go!? I have a few biggies left... fear of heights, fear of water (actually being ON the water - or worse yet - IN it - unwillingly), and of course - that old familiar fear of man/public opinion that we all battle from time to time!
My husband decided that - as a family - we were going to go on a short weekend getaway! He had it set in his mind and would not make room for my fear to come along! He had planned the weekend, took the day off of work, and booked a hotel... we were - as a family - going to go to Seattle Center and have lunch in the Space Needle. It would be great... we'd have a blast and remember it forever. "It will be FUN!" he insisted. 'Hmmm... that's ONE word for it,' I thought.
The thing is - I knew that I would go... and as bound as I may be... I am determined not to pass on these irrational fears to my daughter! So the thought of having a Break Down in public - in front of my kid - was enough to be willing to press through it. I asked for prayer and planned on going... hoping that I would find courage to at least ride up the elevator to the Observation Deck. I still wasn't so sure about staying long enough to have lunch... but I thought if I made it up - who knows?! I was planning on living Life Abundantly - one small step at a time!
It was a gorgeous clear blue sky day in Seattle... we arrived in time to walk around and enjoy Seattle Center... I was stunned to notice that I was not even nervous... I would not allow my thoughts to give over to fear, but had little battle left to do once we were there! We checked in, and began to get on the elevator - when I began to pray in the Spirit. It was really more out of habit - trying to battle the fear, when I realized - "hmm?! I am really still not afraid!?" It was a confusing realization and I quickly stopped praying and just felt His Peace and was able - as one friend prayed - to see all of His beauty as we rode up to the top! Needless to say - we enjoyed walking around outside the O-Deck and taking a ton of pictures. Our waitress said that it hadn't been this clear for weeks! You could see forever... Lunch was indeed a family memory we will all cherish and as we took the elevator down, I was thankful for the blessing of Peace... of Perfect Love that truly did cast out Fear! (I did - however - feel a wee bit nauseous by the end of lunch - with the room spinning and all!) I made it up and back down without irrational thoughts or staggering fears to stop me from living Abundantly that day. No small steps were needed!
While I am not ignorant enough to think that the battle is over... I have yet one more testimony that I can recall and remember... one more reason to remind myself that God is for me... that He will not leave me or forsake me... and that His Perfect Love - truly can - and does - cast out all Fear! From SkyCity... to the Depths of the sea... His Love is enough!
I pray you will find Him pushing and pulling you to step out and experience more of His Love in the days to come! May He be kind, and gentle - and ever so insistent on your Freedom and your Abundant Living!