Monday, October 10, 2011

Casting Out Fear

Spirit & Truth # 245
“Casting Out Fear”

By Greg Smith

            When I was a small child growing up in the Henrico suburbs, I played all over our neighborhood.  Times were different then, and my parents let me roam from one neighbor’s house to another in a safe pack of kids that looked out for one another.  We played in each other’s yards and club houses.  We swung on swing sets and used the entire neighborhood for our epic games of war games.  We played everywhere—except for the one place I refused to play.  I was afraid to go in my side yard.

            In my small side yard there was a dark area, shaded by our next door neighbor’s fence and an overhanging tree on one side, and by our house on the other side.  Ivy grew on the tree and ran up the side of the house, hanging in creepy tatters that sparked my young imagination.  Whenever a squirrel or other small animal would scurry through the undergrowth, I envisioned all sorts of frightening things making those noises.  I was convinced that a witch lived in that dark corner of my yard, and my fear kept me from playing anywhere near there.

            Now that I’ve grown up, I’m no longer afraid of witches and monsters.  But I have to admit that there are still some dark corners in my life that fill me with fear.  Perhaps you have some things that scare you, too.  Recent political unrest and trouble on Wall Street have got people fearing for the future.  With fear fueled on the one hand by corporate giants and on the other hand by activist groups like Anonymous (whose tag line, by the way, is the same as the demoniac, “We are legion, for we are many”)[i], many Americans dread the worst.   One of my neighbors is planning what to do when civilization as we know it crumbles within the next few weeks.  

            Perhaps your dark corners aren’t political or economic.  Maybe you fear the dissolution of that relationship that has been so strained in recent months.  Or it could be that the doctor’s report has left you despairing for the future.  Possibly, your children are about to make life decisions that you think would end in disaster.  Whatever the dark places in your yard, God wants to shine His light.

            2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  1 John 4:18 (NKJV) tells us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”
How do we combat the fear that threatens the peace that God wants to put in our hearts?  Seek the perfect love of God.  1 John 4:8b-10 says, “God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  Only through the perfect love of Jesus can your fear, like a demon, be cast into the outer darkness.  Receive His love today.  Let Him cast out your fear.  Let Him set you free.

[i] See Mark 5:9

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