1 John 4:18 (KJV) 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.
This Sunday we had a guest speaker at our church and he ministered on anxiety being the start of fear. In my personal studies I have been reading on the root of rejection, which in turn happens to be rooted in fear. I loved how he brought out this verse in particular, Proverbs 12:25 (AMP) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good (encouraging) word makes it glad. In the King James Version it says the it will make our heart stoop. When I become anxious my chest will become heavy and the first thing I do is start to breath different. My husband will often ask, “Why you breathing so heavy?” Of which I cannot answer because in that state I do not make any sense.
1 Peter 4:7 (AMP) The end and culmination of all things is near. Therefore, be sound-minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer [staying balanced and focused on the things of God so that your communication will be clear, reasonable, specific and pleasing to Him.]
All I can do at that moment is just pray in the Holy Spirit. What brings on anxiety? For me, it is when things happen that I was not prepared for. It could be a change in plans. My biggest one is questions that I was not prepared to answer and they expect me to know the answer when they ask the question. Or so I think. If I have to reply that I do not know, I feel like I have let them down. It’s a perfection mechanism that I put in place so that I would not be rejected, but really it is a bad one.
So why did 1 John 4:18 hit me a little different this Sunday? I mean, I do not hate anyone.
Saturday we held a yard sale, at our home, to get rid of some inventory that has been piling up in my husbands online store. A woman walked up with her grandson and he wanted to look at the Skylanders we had for sale. She asked if they could remove the ones from the bundles, because he had some of them already and she did not want to buy them again just because they were bundled. I explained to her that this was inventory from our online store and there was a lot of research done to create the bundles by my husband and that I could not remove them from the bundles. She scowled and replied, “So you can unbundle them, you just don’t want to.” I looked at my youngest and told him, “Go get your daddy.” My husband came up and she explained what she wanted, he told her he would work with her. When he tried to leave, I looked him in the eyes and said “Stay.” They left with over seventy dollars of Skylanders from us and the little boy left happy.
She exposed a part of my love walk that needs to be perfected. So when I heard perfect love casts out fear, anxiety is the root of fear, the root of rejection is fear…oh, Amanda, you have not conquered fear. How can I get to perfect love? I do not know if I will ever get there, but one thing I do know is that I am making progress. Then I remember the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-15 (AMP), Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you.
I may not achieve perfection in my love walk here, but that does not mean that I do not need to keep pressing towards the goal. My prize with be waiting for me in heaven where I want to hear “well done good and faithful servant.”
How does anxiety show its signs in you? How do you deal with anxiety? I would love to hear from you and pray with you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.