As we delve more into God’s law and its ultimate purpose of restoring broken relationships, first with the Father and secondly man to man, we begin to see that all healthy relationships are based on love that begins with the Father (I John 4:16-19). Godly love (agape) is an outgoing concern away from self. The more we are motivated by a Godly love – God actively working through us – the less we are concerned about ourselves.
When Godly love is absent then the void is filled with its counterpart. The opposite of love is fear. The Apostle John makes this clear in I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” The Greek word for “casts out” means to “drive out.” If love drives out fear, the corollary is that fear exists where there is not perfect (complete) love.
Fear is an all-encompassing word for feelings of danger or gloom. While we all experience acute situations that cause us alarm such as a fast-approaching train or an intruder in the house, these are brief, acute situations. The chronic fear that affects us all is anxiety or anxious concern.
Christ spoke directly on this subject in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6: 25, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…” Christ continues telling His children not to be anxious or to overly worry about their lives in Matthew 6. 26-31. The Greek word for anxious can be traced to a root word meaning “divided.” The inference is a mind filled with anxiety is a divided or distracted mind. Christ strengthens this thought in the Parable of the Sower: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Matthew 13: 22). Our anxieties, if unchecked, make us unfruitful. They literally surround us like thorns and strangle us.
Anxieties prevent us from living the spiritual life the Father has asked us to live by obfuscating the purpose for which we have been called. Just as ill-intent organizations and governments obscure their true identities and intents by hiding themselves through multiple corporations, Satan obscures our purpose through a haze of anxieties and doubts. He does not want us to clearly see the great and faithful God we serve. Through these tactics Satan “divides” each of us individually and collectively. This often results in God’s people looking at life through translucent or even opaque glass causing division among God’s people.
The most important aspect regarding anxiety is that no one is immune – no one. The conversion process requires each of us to recognize and confess these fears. God will reveal to us and liberate us from the anxieties that are blocking our relationship with Him. He is fully capable through the power of His Holy Spirit of mercifully perfecting His Love in us.