Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Haan said, “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future.”
His words are so very true. Many of us never move forward toward our true-self because our false-self keeps us locked in fear of the freedoms and challenges of living out of our true-self! Such has been the case for every one of our lives, if we’re willing to speak honestly!
And the Bible gives us an even better view of victory over fear of the past and the future than our Buddhist friend! Listen to Paul’s words about the past and the future…
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us, therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
Philippians 3:12-16 NASB
And John adds even greater truth…
“By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:17-19 NASB
In Paul’s words of seeming pure faith, he reveals himself as very courageous in the face of fear. He’s failed massively in his past. Yet he’s committed to moving forward.
The result of Paul’s faith-based courage in the face of fear gives us the vast majority of the New Testament Scriptures! His faith in God’s forgiving grace moved him forward, overcoming fear, into the future. And the result is obvious: Over the two millennia since Paul’s death, literally billions of people have come to a saving relationship with Christ through Paul’s letters and writings!
Then, as we read John’s words, we discover that it’s not a personal strength of will that moved Paul to faith-based courage. It was the very love of God that empowered Paul and empowers us to overcome the fears our false-self uses to keep us from moving forward.
Love does indeed trump fear! If you live by faith in God’s promises, love will conquer your fears.
Hear the words of Marianne Williamson about our fears…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. . . . You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson (1-Feb-1992) Hardcover
(Harper Collins: 1992), Pages 190-191
Click Title To Purchase
So often we stop the forward movement that Paul experienced, we never experience the genuine confidence that enflamed John’s life with Jesus’ pure love! And we settle, feeling inadequate, weak, and impotent!
Fear has trumped love in many of our lives for far too long. Are you tired of feeling inadequate? Impotent? Watered down? Lacking confidence?
Don’t let the false-self fool you into believing that you can do this alone! Only in Christ will you find the “love that will not let you go!”
Let’s Allow God’s Love to Trump Our Fear!