Thursday, October 29, 2015

Love > Fear

After God kept showing me Psalm 139 over and over all summer and after sitting through the first two days of the Declare Conference, I ended up spending over an hour reading Psalm 139 in a number of different versions.  The next morning I did something that was completely out of my comfort zone.  I got up early and went to an exercise class called "Revelation Wellness."  It was by far the best workout I have done.  It addressed all the areas of my body:  physical, emotional, and spiritual.  I love when the instructor told us to do something with our arms that felt a little strange, and she called out, "It's okay.  King David was even more undignified than this when he danced before the LORD."  It just really spoke to me how the physical movements were tied to Scripture and getting all the anxiety out of our bodies.  Just what I needed!

When the Declare sessions started a bit later, I bought some DVDs to be able to do this kind of workout at home.  On an impulse, I decided to buy the T-shirt too.  "Fear NOT."  That is just the message I needed.  Not only is that a good reminder for me on a day-to-day basis, but it also captures all that I had been learning at Declare.  When I look at that, I think about how many times God tells us not to be afraid in the Bible.  "Do not be afraid; I am with you."  I think He knew how easily we would forget so He put it in there frequently to remind us. 

When I got back to the table and pulled on my shirt, I discovered two little black bracelets wrapped up in my stuff.  Now I am sure this was some sort of bonus gift for my purchase or something like that, but I was the only one around me that had them.  I thought the shirt was pretty cool, but the message of the bracelet resonated beautiful deep within me.  Love > Fear.  So simple, yet so very powerful.  Love is greater than fear.  The more I thought about that, the more I realized that summed up everything God had been teaching me.  God is Love.  He doesn't just have love or give love or show love.  HE IS LOVE.  He is the very definition--the very essence--of everything love.  He is Perfect Love.  1 John 4:18 tells us, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."  There it is right there.  Love drives out fear; love is greater than fear. 

So everything I had fretted over during the summer, every time I feel like I am not good enough, every anxious thought--  those all boil down to fear.  Fear of failure, fear of not measuring up, fear of the all stems from fear.  I am beginning to see how fear is also equal to a lack of trust in God.  If I trust Him fully, then I do not have to worry about all the rest.  He's got this under control.  He did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity, but He gave us power and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)  Fear does not come from God.  Love does.  Love is greater than fear.  I have worn this bracelet every day since I got it.  When I feel things spinning out of my control, I glance down and see Love > Fear.  God is bigger than anything I am facing, and I do not need to be afraid.  It goes back to my self-message I have shared several times this month:  I am enough.  He is more than enough.

Sometime after returning from Declare, I started seeing an advertisement pop up in my Facebook newsfeed.  I truly laughed out loud the first time I saw it.  I am pretty sure I started seeing it after I had decided to do the 31 Day Challenge, but before I had actually posted anything.  Here is this company that I had never heard of, advertising a shirt in my newsfeed that coincides perfectly with the theme of my series.  Plain as day, there was Psalm 139:14 being promoted.  What can I say?  I decided I needed another shirt!  Why?  Because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Of course, companies don't make products just for me, but these two shirts and the bracelet could not have been any more tailored to my mindset.  All three of them remind me of the lessons God has been teaching me and my journey through Psalm 139 as well as the process of daily writing.


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