Saturday, April 21, 2012

No More Fight or Flight: Feed on His Faithfulness

Believers will still face the temptation to react in fear and anger. Yet everyone of us most avoid the temptation of believing that God then becomes angry with us and turns us away, or that He is present to remind us when we sin, fall, and fail.

The Holy Spirit never convicts the believer of sin, but of righteousness:

"When he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

"Of sin, because they believe not on me;

"Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

"Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16: 8-11)

The Holy Spirit convicts the entire world of sin, the one sin of not believing on God's Son Jesus Christ. For those who believe, including His disciples, the Holy Spirit convicts of us righteousness -- for we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21). The judgment is for Satan, the prince of this world -- who is judged forever more at tehe Cross.

So, fear and anger, the overwhelming wrath that seems to choke at us, that is not who we are anymore. Every believer has received a new identity. We have the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 2: 16), and He now lives and moves and has His being in every believer (Colossians 1: 27, Galatian 4: 9). We walk in love (Ephesians 5: 8)as children of light, and God is Love (1 John 4: 16), so we now live in Him!

His perfect love casts out all fear (1John 4: 18). We are tempted to fear the extent that we are not renewing our mind (Romans 12:2) to the truth of who we are in Christ. But without a doubt, His love has been perfected in us:

"No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." (1 John 4: 12)

Now, some have mistaken this verse to mean that we have to love God in order for Him to love us. John responds to this error succcinctly:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

"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.

"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4: 16-19)

We believe that God has loved us (The one work required by us, John 6: 28-29). Therefore, we have Christ's identity in the world, for we are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1: 6). This boldness then sweeps over us, grants us the power to enter the throne of grace. The fear that torment us, that God was angry with us, is cast away. He primed the pump of our hearts, for God poured His love into us, that we may in turn pour out our love to others.

So, we have boldness, no fear, no flight, but rather than let us feed on His Word (Matthew 4: 4), Spirit and Truth. Psalm 37: 3 puts it best:

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed.

Which is more properly translated:

"Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness."

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