It came as it often did, the Voice. Quiet, small and still, and it brought relief.
In early morning’s dark, I’m driving along. Bound for the Land of Milk and Honey where caramel macchiatos, they flow, I say it. “Keep me from deception today. Cause me to hear Your voice, to see what You see, to think what You think.”
And the Holy Spirit, He Who loves to teach the willing, says this, “It’s not so much the deceptions from without that I’m concerned about. It’s the deception you carry within that I’m targeting, that Jesus is coming for.”
Oh. I know immediately where He is going. So I follow, and this is what I say: “Teach me here.”
“The voice you hear that says it’s hopeless? That says you’ll never change? That’s the enemy, and that’s a lie. The truth is that you have the very Spirit of Hope living inside you. Living within your body. Your heart. Your mind and your thoughts, and so you reject the lie. There is always hope for you and for those you love.”
Aha! How simple. How true. And why do I forget this? It’s the enemy’s voice. Too long I have listened, and it has become “seeming” truth. So I reject it.
I reject the lie and turn (that’s repentance) and instead, I embrace the truth. “There is hope for me and for those I love because Hope is living within me. Thank You, Spirit!”
He’s not done. I’m not either, and my ears and heart, they listen. “The voice that says you’ll never be free from all the fear that you carry? That, too, is the enemy, and that is a lie. The truth is that you have the Spirit of Love inside you, and perfect love (remember this?) will always cast out fear.”
Well, how simple. I reject that lie as well and turn (I’m repenting) and embrace the truth instead. “I reject this lie, satan. I don’t believe you any more. I receive the truth instead. The Spirit of Love is living inside me, and I don’t have to fear.”
How wonderful, that in my middle age, God is teaching me. After years of Sunday School, a lifetime of sermons and decades of religious training, God Himself is now turning on lights and exposing the lies that I’ve held.
In all my born days, I never understood or believed that verse, that “perfect love casts out fear.” I’m starting to understand it now. More and more and ever more, I see this, that as I become convinced of His great parental and unconditional love for me, the more and more and more my heart settles. I become more secure. Feel safer. Feel sure that I’m loved. Know at long last that I’m…okay.
And when you know that you know that you know you are loved, what is left, then, to fear? For such a Love ever protects, ever guards, ever strengthens. And such a Love brings deepest healing. Sets us free from all prisons. And such Love lets you love others, too.
Because you’re not fearing. You’re not fearing people. You don’t fear rejection. You aren’t held in bondage; aren’t afraid. And you can love.
Something in my heart, it eases. The fresh air of heaven fills my lungs. How He helps me. There is hope. I am loved.
So are you.