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Fear is likely our first reaction to the pain we experience in life and relationships. When we are powerful enough to choose to respond to pain with love, we win the battle between love and fear. We also gain the connection with others that we need.
We Were Created To Connect
Luke 10:27-28 (NLT) The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
We Desperately Need Vertical and Horizontal Connection. Luke 10 tells us of a test presented to Jesus by a Jewish lawyer. He asked Jesus to tell him how to have eternal life. Jesus flipped it on the guy and made him take His own test. Cool, huh!?
Then Jesus applauded his answer. In other words, the guy passed. His answer, Love God, others, and yourself. Eternal life is a relationship first. Before it is a place, a prize, or an honor it is a relationship. You, my friend, were created for connection.
However, most of us live without real connections. Rather, we learn to manage our disconnection.
How To Recognize Your Fear Infection.
Pain has Taught Us a Lot. Mother said, “Don’t touch the hot pan.” We did. . and it hurt. And through this, we learned: “I don’t like pain. I will stay as far from pain as possible.” The lesson is true, BUT not all of it is the truth. For example, the same heat that causes pain, when used to cook meals, can also be the satisfaction we experience from enjoying a hot meal.
Very few people have pet rattlesnakes and those who do use force and distancing tools to deal with them. However, relationships are much more complex than a life with rattlesnakes. Yet, the tools we use are the same: control and distance.
The idea that ‘only one person gets to be in control’ is a lie. Control is how we manage unhealthy relationships. I may learn all kinds of new coping skills, but the second I get scared, or the moment fear shows up, I will bring out the tools I know: control and distance.
Fear and Love Have Different Agendas and Strategies.
1 John 4:18 (NLT) Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
We see here that the tools fear uses are punishment and control. The powerful subject is being powerless to punishment. That may be punishment in the form of rejection, distance, no connection, a bad connection, or a fake connection.
We also see here that FEAR and LOVE cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So, take a moment to consider the most critical relationship in your life. Is it occupied with fear? Or, is it filled with love? Is it about who is in control? Or is it about keeping a “safe” distance? If it is, something has to change.
Fear is Your Enemy when You are afraid. That fear you are experiencing has stolen your power. BUT…
You can change it! YOU CAN CHANGE THAT RELATIONSHIP. It may take time, but the moment you choose to live in the power that is YOURS, the minute you take responsibility for YOUR LOVE in that RELATIONSHIP. Things WILL change. FEAR and FAITH, FEAR and LOVE cannot inhabit the same space at the same time. God has given you a gift.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.
God is not afraid of sin or sinners. Even though sin, sins, and sinners cause God incomprehensible pain, He is not afraid. God chooses to RESPOND to our behaviors, mistakes, and failures. He doesn’t REACT.
How To Realize Your Powerful Cure.
1 John 4:16 (NLT) We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Fill ALL Voids. All voids must be filled with God’s Love. Where there is a void, darkness will fill it. All voids must be filled with Light. Do you trust God’s Love? What is the evidence that you are loved by God? Where are the conversations in your life, of His Love for you?
Most people do not believe that God loves them. We tend to believe that the most abusive relationship in our life is how God displays His love for us. We think God is controlling, ready to punish, and quick to break off the connection.
LIES. LIES. LIES
Satan has twisted God’s boundaries into the lie that God controls you. He has twisted God’s discipline, for your victory, into punishment. He has twisted God’s continual pursuit to overcome the distance into the belief that God wants to keep us at a distance.
EVERY Dark Void in Your Life Must be Consumed with the LOVE of GOD FOR YOU!!!
All voids in your relationships must be filled with your Love. All displays of love are spiritual warfare against the enemy. Scared people will show you their worst; loved people their best. So make your love powerful and unquestionable.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT) For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Choose Unconditional Love and Acceptance. Learn to choose Love and not fear. Unconditional acceptance says, “I control me. I don’t try to control you with tools like punishment, disconnection, etc. My priority is a real connection. I want US to THRIVE!” This does not mean you have to unconditionally accept one another’s behaviors. But rather, it means that you do not control one another.
Unconditional love says: “No matter what you do, I am going to pursue the goal of connecting with you.” A powerful person says, “I am going to be okay, no matter what you do. You can hurt me, but you cannot make me turn my love off. I am relentlessly going to do what I have to do to protect my connection with you, no matter what.”
The battle between love and fear will always rage in this world. Choose to proceed from a place of love and let God fill the empty places inside.
Talk About It…
- Have 3 people in your group read 1 John 4:16-19 from different translations, highlight any words or phrases that you find interesting. Then, Discuss your selections with the group.
- If we are created FOR connection with God and others, why do we struggle to connect?
- What are some ways that we often try to control people in order to protect ourselves?
- What are some indicators that a relationship is being driven by fear? Do you believe you can change your fear-filled relationships into fearless love-filled relationships?
- How could we reclaim the fears in our life with God’s Love for us? What are some proofs of God’s Love for Us?
- How could you fill our difficult relationships with LOVE? How could you remove any doubt of your love for someone else?