I heard a story recently of a single woman living alone, who woke up one night to see someone in her bedroom. She was beaten, and left to die. According to her account of the story, she did die. A few moments later, she regained consciousness, and she was sitting outside her fence, battered, bruised and hurting terribly, just as the police drove up to rush her to the hospital.
What happened between being beaten, and her making it to the fence without a blood trail (as the police discovered) was a mystery, until she saw a vision. Jesus lifted her up, and carried her to the fence. Now that is love.
The mystery of this scripture verse now comes into view: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
There are millions of people today living in fear, more specifically, fear of death. Most people take medications out of fear, they run to doctors and hospitals, even checking themselves into hospitals because somewhere in the back of our minds we are convinced that doctors are our best line of defence to save us. Even doctors now admit that they do what they can, but only God can heal. I know this very well, because I have walked this path. One of my most recent experiences is being diagnosed with a large heart. Two separate doctors gave me two separate hypertension medications, saying it will keep my pressure down, and reduce the size of my heart. I believed them, and rested in my faith in their diagnosis while taking a pill that bears the instruction that I would be on them for the rest of my life.
When I went to the pharmacist, I told him what the doctor said, and he quite succinctly replied that there is NO medication that can reduce the size of my heart. In other words, I need a miracle. There have been many occasions where the decision to do something is rooted in my attempts to save my own life.
But listen to what Jesus says: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
I made a conscious decision to forego medication, and trust God for my healing. After all, His sacrifice was enough to heal any disease or remedy any condition. Truth is, I would rather die in faith than live in fear. But in that moment, I still needed to conquer fear and that was when I was introduced to the power of God’s love.
In the story I told earlier, when I heard it I wept because in that moment… the same love, and passion that Jesus demonstrated on the cross, and on the way to the cross was evident in a story so recent. This is not something that happened two thousand years ago. I am sure there are many more stories like this out there that have not yet been heard by the masses, but the fact is God loves me.
Being home alone can be a frightening experience, and some of the thoughts that have fuelled my fears are thoughts of blacking out with no way to call for help, and falling in the bathroom as I have heard so many people have and dying without being found. The knowledge that an invisible God will make Himself visible and tangible enough to do what it takes to save my life when there are absolutely no other human beings around was liberating. It is in recognizing that true love that I started to experience the freedom we can have in knowing God. Love leads to truth, and truth leads to freedom.
But how do we define love? The best definition I can find is this:
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
God is love, and love is God. Makes sense now to say that love has power, because God is all powerful, so love must bear the same characteristics. But what does love really look like? Let’s ask Paul:
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-9, 13)
If you knew, in this exact moment, how much the Father absolutely loves you, it will vanquish every trace of fear from your life, guaranteed. Love has the power to heal and transform you. It is the power that defeated the enemy at the cross. It is the one thing the devil cannot replicate. It has the power to unite heaven and earth, and redeem all of humanity. It has the power to erase sin, and pronounce the vilest sinner the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. There is no greater force on earth, and if you have never experienced this love, tell the Father you desperately want to.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
There is great power in love, and only those who truly experience it can affirm this truth. Love is exactly what this world needs today.
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