by Carole L. Haines
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (Appeasing atonement) for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
(1 John 4:9-11)
God’s love was not just manifested TO us, but IN us. To manifest something is to make it visible or known when it has been hidden or unknown, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way (Strong’s Concordance). I came across a fantastic quote in the book I am reading regarding what motivates us at times. (also doing the Bible Study that goes with the book). THis quote is regarding a lie we sometimes believe.
“You must achieve to be loved. In other words, we must be competent in the context of competition…in order to feel worth and value. We consistently feel inferior. Many of us know the experience of being approved for what we do. Few of us know the experience of being loved for being just who we are.”
(Pete Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS), pg. 78)
God loves us just for who we are, He created us. Now don’t misunderstand me, God doesn’t love our sin, but He loves us. Have you ever been related to based on competition or achievement? I have been related to this way. I am finding that I relate to myself with these horrid expectations. I am also relating to others with wrong expectations. EHS is a “tough love” Study for sure. But I can tell I will come out of this more mature and healed of my past. I will relate to others in more loving ways. I will trust God’s love and view of me above all others, and I will relate to others in healthier more uplifting and supportive ways.
What does this have to do with going from Fear to Love? Well, fear leads us to manipulate and guilt trip. It causes us to harm ourselves and others with wrong ways of relating to one another. Fear also confuses and distorts our view of God. God has revealed Himself though Scripture. He has defined His Perfect love.
“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6 NASB)
God passed by Moses and declared these truths about Himself. They’re His own words. Our freedom comes as we believe God instead of ourselves and the voices of others. Our freedom thrives as we believe How God defines himself instead of our enemy’s lies, our own preconceived ideas, etc. Our freedom to be loved, and to love, come from a right relationship with God and an intimate trust within that relationship.
The more I know God, as He defines Himself, the more I can’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to just fall at His feet in surrender and worship. He is such a good, good Father in Heaven. In this journey out of fear into God’s perfect love, we find that His love is already manifested IN us, not just TO us. His love is there, we just need to do the hard work of removing all else that takes up space so that His love can permeate every crevice of our being. Be Blessed today, Dear Believer. More next time. Let me know if you are enjoying the LIVE Study.