How Do I Cast Out Fear?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18 NKJV
As you read this how many of you are dealing with fear in some area of your life today? Fear is just a weapon of the enemy designed to erode our faith and cause us to walk in less than God intended for us. Most of us know that we are supposed to “Cast our anxieties upon Him…”, but we stumble in our attempts to actually cast those fears off us and onto Him. We know that God has provided a way for us to walk free of fear, the question becomes “how do we do accomplish that”? The standard answer comes from the truth of the verse above.
We recognize that Jesus is that perfect love which can cast out fear, but then we think “How do I actually make application of that to my life filled with fears”? Here is the struggle; Jesus is that perfect love but what do we do with that fact so that we cast out our fears? It is as though we have received a truth in the form of a square peg, but we are round hole receptacles. What usually happens is that people realize there is a truth there, but since they can’t apply it to their lives. They move on and feel as though the Word of God (while true) does not or cannot apply to their life. Perhaps you have felt this. The good news is that the Word of God itself gives us the key to making that square peg fit into the round hole.
That key comes from an understanding of what “perfect love” means in 1 John 4:18. Yes, it is true that Jesus is perfect love. But there is more to it than that. The first key is in realizing that another word for “perfect” is “complete”. If we look at 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified Bible, “complete” is the word that is coupled with “perfect. So perfect love is love that is made complete! What is “complete” love? We find that it is explained to us in a verse that precedes 1 John 4:18.
If we read 1 John chapter 3 and 4 we find the main theme from these two chapters is that we are to love one another! Over and over this truth is established in the verses that lead up to 1 John 4:18 tells us how to alleviate fear. Now, look at this specific verse which precedes 1 John 4:18. 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (NIV)
If complete love casts out fear then here is what complete love is: it is the action of loving others in Jesus. If you have fear in your life than the very act of demonstrating love to others is the act that will drive out fear. One of the first things that God ever spoke to me was “if I would take care of the needs of others, He would take care or my needs”. This is what is meant when we are told: “perfect love casts out fear”. By loving others we are “completing” his love and that completed or perfect love is what drives out fear in your life. Be watching today for opportunities to demonstrate that self-sacrificing love of Jesus to others. That action will drive fear from your life and resolve the issues that gave birth to those fears!
J Todd Hostetler