“Perfect love drives out fear!” For me these words from 1 John 4:18 are some of the most freeing in all of Scripture. If we are honest with ourselves fear can control much of our thinking and our lives. Since the first family walked away from the Father’s love in the garden of Eden we have struggled with the stronghold of fear. We fear the future, not fitting in, not having financial security, failure, etc. These fears become a vicious task master robbing us of true love and life and leaving both mind and body imprisoned in a dungeon of despair.
The Christmas message is one of LIGHT breaking into darkness with a transforming love-freeing us from all fear. Jesus, the gift of the Father, is the “perfect love” sent to destroy the power of fear in our lives and bring us back to the world of love we were created for. Our minds are powerful and what we focus on we will become. That is why Paul said, “don’t be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2)
For the last 63 days I have been doing a spiritual exercise to help renew my mind and overcome the foe of fear. I was inspired by books and podcasts by Dr. Caroline Leaf. As Patty and I prepare for our move to South Africa fear can covertly creep in and try to rob me of living in perfect love. Why 63 days? Studies have shown that after repeating an action for 21 days-a pattern is formed in the mind that will begin to control they way the brain responds. If you think about and practice something for 63 days a powerful transformation will take place in your mind. Below are the steps I practiced for the last 63 days. Since I am a visual learnerI would either draw a corresponding picture in my journal or visualize each step in my mind.
- Carry my fears to the foot of the Cross of Christ and lay them down before Him. (1 Peter 5:6-7).
- Acknowledge, confess, and receive forgiveness from Christ’s perfect sacrifice for sin. (1 John 1:9, Psalm 32).
- Kneel before the thrown of Grace and give thanks for all Christ has done through the cross making me complete in Him. (Psalm 103:1-5, Colossians 1:15-23)
- Visualize Christ picking me up and carrying me into the Father’s house of perfect love. Spend time with hands lifted high in praise and worship. (Romans 8:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, Revelation 4-5).
I challenge you to do the above for 63 days and watch how the Spirit of Christ will fill you with transforming peace and perfect love from heaven. The exercise has helped me identify the lie of fear that targets my mind and has given me the spiritual tools of thanksgiving and praise to overcome the attacks. We have been called through the cross to live in the abundant love of the Father’s house where fear has no place and praise and peace reign!