The Terrorist Lays Down His Gun
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear
A few years ago, I recorded a radio program about the fear of God. Now, I remember thinking to myself, “No one wants to hear about the fear of God these days.” But I just felt God nudging me towards that message.
So, I did it. I wrote it, I recorded it. And a few months later, I received an email from a man in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is what he wrote:
I was at a peace conference in Goma and in my hotel room I turned on the radio. I heard a program about the fear of God. And I realised that with no fear of God in the hearts of people there will be no peace! No peace at all! I don’t know if this was a revelation from God … but my heart was beating, coming far away, God was speaking to me. I have been on the battle field for 13 years now and I don’t know how many people have died because of my gun, but what I know is that I decided to lay down my arms in that hotel room.
I’ve never forgotten that email. He gave his life to Christ and ended up fleeing to another country in fear of his life. The bit of his email that keeps ringing out for me is where he says, “without the fear of God there can be no peace, no peace at all!”
You know what, he’s absolutely right. When we just carry on as if anything goes, when we live our lives for ourselves without any respect, without any awe, without a right sense of the fear of God in our hearts, we are going to make a hash of it. A complete mess of our lives and a complete mess of the lives of the people around us. The people we hurt through what we say and do. Through the expression of anger and disapproval on our face. Through our failure to love them, the way they need to be loved.
And the crazy thing about this ‘fear of God’ thing, is that once we yield our lives to God, once we say, “Lord I’m sick of making mistakes. My way doesn’t work. I want your way. I want your wisdom. I want your help.” Once we do that, all the fear in fact goes away.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. (1 John 4:18)
Yes there is a terrible judgement that awaits those who rebel against God. Terrible. But when we come to a turning point, as Safari Murinzi came to a turning point in that hotel room, the fear goes away.
When we choose to live in God’s love, that perfect love casts out all fear.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.
By Bernie Dymet.
‘If you yearn to live a life of meaning and purpose, joy and peace, then Christianityworks is for you: full of life-changing, practical Bible teaching to help you live out the victory that you already have, in Jesus Christ. Taking you deeper into God’s Word and Closer to Jesus. Delivered to your inbox daily.’ Bernie Dymet.
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