**This devotional was originally written for and posted on shortdailydevotions.com
“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
1 John 2:28 NASB
Recently I’ve been looking some of my biggest fears straight on. And frankly, I want to run and hide. And then stay hidden forever.
To be honest, my deepest fear has everything to do with the fear of man: fearing what “they” will think of me.
It can feel crushing sometimes, can’t it? God calls us out upon the waters, to do the unknown, unthinkable, or unheard of, and then, as true as we know God to be, we begin to look around. We feel different. We may even feel like a freak.
But oh, the catalyst to freedom this can prove to be… if we let it.
MAN’S FAVOR WILL FAIL
The truth is, when we look to man for our value, we are never protected from shame. Mankind is incapable of perfect love. Mankind is broken, hurting, enslaved by the power of not knowing perfect love, and in this, man is ignorant.
We know not what we’re doing… nor what we’re talking about.
This is not to shame humanity! This is to remind us that we aren’t free in human love.
Darkness doesn’t free darkness. Light frees darkness. And God is light.
Jesus kept this in mind constantly. We could say he was the weirdest one of all. He didn’t teach what the others were teaching. He didn’t live as the others were living. For this, he was constantly and notoriously the object of man’s judgment.
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men… for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25 NASB
“…while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him…” 1 Peter 2:23 NASB
When God calls us onward, upward, and to the unheard of, our catalyst to freedom will be, not looking around, but looking to him.
Abiding in—practicing conscious awareness of and faith in—his perfect endless love is our solution to all fear and shame.
GOD’S FAVOR WILL PROTECT
Do you know that God does not shame? Do you know that? Perfect love does not shame. It only calls us to itself.
For this reason, we can live in a world of fury and judgment all around us, yet be at perfect peace and rest within.
Friends, it is this we must train in!
If we look again at the verses we began with, we’ll see that the ultimate call to trust in his perfect love will be realized when Jesus returns for us.
And it is to this end that every confrontation with fear and shame is for. He wants us to learn to not fall for it.
When he returns for us, he will be coming for us all. Because he loves us all passionately and unconditionally.
Yet, if we are not practiced in trusting his love, we will witness him in all his beautiful glory and will agree with the lie that we should be ashamed before him.
Just like Adam and Eve did. (Gen. 3:8)
And history will repeat itself.
But oh—there is no fear in perfect love, is there?
Rather, perfect love casts out fear, doesn’t it?
Friend, lets let fear be our training ground. Let’s let it become the greatest catalyst to freedom we’ve ever known. Let’s recognize it, call its bluff, and move onward, accepting perfect Love’s sweet invitation to himself.
“…God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment…” (1 John 4:16-17)