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Child of Love; Not a Slave to Fear

Child of Love; Not a Slave to Fear

 

Over vacation, I had the blessing to spend some quiet time alone listening – listening for that still small voice of God & I had a chance to worship in the pews & allow another pastor to do the speaking … Spirit responded with a word for us

 

God reminded me over vacation of profound advice a mentor once gave to me,

“You are your best self when you realize how much you’re loved.”

 

This reminded me of another profound insight I’d been given by another mentor,

“We operate from two motivations: Love or Fear.”

 

Those two ideas have come alongside a lot of what seems to be going on lately.

In our world, In our country, In our church, In our own lives.

 

It seems that much of what is wrong today grows out of being motivated by Fear

Selfishness & Materialism, Prejudice & Hatred, Apathy & Protectionism, & Violence.

 

It’s very easy for us to fall into a kind of Slavery to that Fear.

It may even be that our circumstances & culture encourage us to give into Fear.

 

Meanwhile, there is great good being done today by people motivated by Love.

Selflessness & Service, Peacemaking & Reconciliation, Compassion & Empowerment

 

So, I studied & prayed further & started applying it. I started applying it to us.

I started to think about an all-church transformation series called: SoulShift

 

This contrast between Fear and Love seems to match the Shift Slave to Child.

Much about being a Slave comes from Fear. Being a Child comes from Love.

 

Many of us live lives of Slavery and Fear and without even realizing it.

So many of our decisions & our behaviors are the result of Bondage to Fear.

 

Pause & Consider what it means to be a Slave; to live in Fear and Bondage.

And then ask: Am I bound by Fear & anxiety, or am I living as God’s Child?

Bondage means only pain & suffering. Being a child is mercy, grace & love.

 

But what makes a Slave stay a Slave? Think of our own nation’s history of Slavery.

The answer is simple: The Fear of Punishment keeps a Slave a Slave.

 

That fear keeps them bound under a false identity: a false identity shapes behavior.

Slaves hide, fear judgement, cower to their master, & speak only when spoken to.

 

When we live as Slaves to Fear, we’re consumed & deny our true identity in Jesus.

But there’s no room for Fear where there is Love; Love as a Beloved Child of God

 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,

because fear has to do with punishment. – 1 John 4:18

 

Remember what we said about punishment a moment ago?

The Fear of Punishment keeps a Slave a Slave.

 

When we claim our identity out of a fear of punishment, we remain Slaves.

Only when we shift from Fear to Love can we can shift from Slave to Child.

 

The life of a Slave is endless thankless labor that grants little to no self worth.

We might think of the life of a Slave in the 1800’s in the South:

 

Their identity; their very self-worth, was defined by their Master.

The Bondage of Slavery, means our identity comes from a False Master.

 

False Masters lie & rob us of our True Worth as a Beloved Child of God.

Those lies rob us of the Transforming Power; the Image of God in us.

 

Slaves have No Power. They have Little Value and No Real Identity.

They are commodities to be bought and sold, ignored, dismissed & humiliated.

 

So we make ourselves Slaves to Work, Appetites, Other People, & Our Own Sin

Whether by our own Choice or just Circumstance, we feel Bound in Fear.

But that Bondage is NOT what Our Heavenly Father has in mind for us!

He calls us His Own Children; even Heirs; Heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven!

 

When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit
that we are children of God.
– Romans 8: 15-16 nrsv

 

He can free us from our Bondage to Fear. He has already paid the price!

He longs for us to become intimate with him, to discover that we are not Slaves.

 

What does our Heavenly Father ask of us in return?

Simply that we Love Him and Each Other.

 

When we finally shift from seeing ourselves as Slaves to seeing ourselves as a Child

We will discover our True Worth, our True Power, & our True Purpose.

 

Remember how that someone once said this truth to me,

“You are your best self when you realize how much you’re loved.”

 

When we realize how much we are loved we become free to operate out of Love

Remember this? “We operate from two motivations: Love or Fear.”

 

I’m going to ask you to start doing something that I challenge myself to do:

Begin to consider whether your thoughts, beliefs & actions are from Fear or Love.

 

When you begin to struggle with something or someone, or think hard thoughts,

Seek the underlying Fear motivating it, then pray & strive for Freedom thru Love!

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