Summary: Part 7 in series Freedom From..., this message addresses fear and how God has promised to deal with fear in our lives.
Freedom From Fear, prt. 1
Freedom From... prt. 7
Wildwind Community Church
October 18, 2009
If you’ve attended Wildwind for more than a few months, you know this is not the first time I have spoken to you about fear. I have been up front about my lifelong struggle with fear, worry, and anxiety. I shared with you in detail because I want to do everything I can at Wildwind to create an environment here where we understand that frailty, struggle, flaws, and weakness are the things that bind us together – we are all human beings and we all share the human condition. Did you hear me? Don’t just let that slip by. Please realize this applies to you, with whatever shortcomings and afflictions you have. Please do not excuse yourself from this. Please do not think, “Yeah, you say that, but you don’t know what I struggle with.” Please don’t make that mistake. Please do not set yourself apart from the rest of not only our faith community here at Wildwind, but from the human community, as if you have some affliction, some issue, some spiritual condition which renders you beyond the reach of God’s love, and beyond the reach of other struggling people who want to extend hands and hearts to you. Listen, please hear me. No matter your issue, God loves you. No matter your struggle, in fact, BECAUSE of your struggle, you are one of us. Yes you are flawed. Yes you are scarred and wounded. Yes you are damaged goods. Yes, without question, you are part of the community of the fallen. And yes, without question, because of that, you are part of the community of those who are being redeemed, the ones for whom Jesus died, to show us how far love goes, that no one stands so far from the cross that we are out of its shadow, that no one – NO ONE need be lost for a lifetime. Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Knowing the love of the Father – this infinite love that cannot be known and yet which Paul prays we will know anyway – this is what our whole relationship with God rests upon. You will have to come to know this love if you are ever to feel that you are included in the community of those who are being redeemed, and as you come to increasingly know that love, fear will drop off of you like clothing that no longer fits. And until you come to know that love, you can pray, you can read scripture, you can come to church, but you will still walk around with these places in you that are so deeply and desperately broken that you wonder if even God can put those pieces back together again.