Yesterday at the weekly Bible study I attend, we turned to 1 Peter 3:4 in the Amplified Bible where it talked about
“the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit…which…is very precious in the sight of God.”
Having a gentle, peaceful spirit rather than a fearful spirit has been a goal of mine ever since I became a Christian in 1977. It’s not that I haven’t at times attained it, but the issue is maintaining it even in difficult circumstances.
One of the key ways I’ve discovered to help keep a gentle and peaceful spirit at all times is by continuing to draw close to God. The more I know God, the less afraid I am. The more I’m in the Word believing the truth written there, the less I believe the lies that my mind, the enemy, and fearful souls around me are telling me. The more I pray and listen for God’s voice calming me as I do, the more fears fade.
The problem is that when I’m afraid, I sometimes run from God. That’s because some of my fears invovle Him. When bad things happen, I fear, “Does He even love me anymore?” Then I think, “If I move close to Him, I might discover that He doesn’t.” Next I conclude it’s safer to stay away and somehow try to earn my way back into His good graces. This all happens on a subconscious level. Before I know it I’m wrapped in a web of lies about God and His love and care, and my peace is gone.
As I read on in 1 Peter 3, I saw the promise that I’m Sarah’s true daughter
“if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]” 1 Peter 3:6 AMP
Next to that verse in my Bible I saw the words I had written a number of years ago: “I do that.”
Too often I’ve allowed myself to become “terrified,” “hysterical” and “unnerved” when I moved away from God rather than drawing near to Him.
The answer to times when I’m being terrorized by fear is to draw close to God and His love and embrace this promise:
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror” 1 John 4:18 AMP.
Lately I’m reminded the opposite of fear is peace. I love the definition of peace presented in Philippians 4:7. This is right after we’re instructed not to be anxious about anything but instead pray about everything in verse 6. First comes a promise:
“And God’s peace [shall be yours…]”
Then comes a definition of peace:
“that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is…” AMP
That’s what I want. That’s what I need.
The good news is that’s what God wants to give me to replace my fear. Today I’m willing to draw near to Him and receive it–completely.
Will you draw close to God today and receive His peace in exchange for your fear?
For more about letting going of fear check out Grace Fox’s book: Moving From Fear to Freedom. http://www.gracefox.com/books/moving-from-fear-to-freedom/