Kingdom Principle: Fall forward in Love, rather than being frozen in Fear.
Falling forward sends us to our knees.
|Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11||Luke 1:46b-55||1 Thessalonians 5:16-24||John 1:6-8, 19-28|
What motivates you more – love or fear?
- Do you not steal from your work, because you love your boss/company or because you don’t want to get caught and fired?
- Do you remain faithful to your spouse/friends because you love them or because you fear what life would be like without them?
- Do you have good hygiene because you love yourself or because you fear the ridicule and rejection of others?
Many times we fail to look closely at what truly motivates us to do the things we do – in fact we often simply assume that our motivations are good if the results are good. This revels our focus is on our intentions, rather than convictions. However, only God’s motivations are always pure – and His motivations are always rooted in Love. (Eph. 3:17) As seen above – the same “right or good” outcomes can result from very opposing motivations… If you based you goodness on your actions – no stealing, no cheating, no lying but all these things are rooted in fear, then as we learn in 1 John 4:18 – there is a lack of love in you, because love drives out fear. This is the upheaval Jesus brought to the Pharisees. (Matt 22:34-40, 23) True identity is not based on your actions, rather it is the actions of Jesus Christ which reveal your identity.
When the Angel of God appears, we often hear him say, “Do not be afraid”. This exposure to pure love can cause or evoke fear in us. It is our impure motives and nature which is being drawn to the surface as fear, and only forgiveness can overcome such fear. Love is an act of revelation and will always demand a response – the angel is bring two messages simultaneously, 1) coaching the receiver how to go forward, as well as 2) describing what is being evoked in their presence. For the Angel of God always comes with a message –and this message is not based on what you have done, rather it is that God is giving you the message to go forward. Therefore, when the angel says “Do not be afraid” – yes it is because there is Angel before you, but more importantly it is a call to not let fear take root in you.
In order to fail forward in love we must move in obedience. For Love and Obedience must not be separated. (John 14:15, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6) We don’t know much more about Mary than that she was young, favored and responded favorably to the Angel. There was doubt, fear and confusion, but this failed to freeze her… rather she fell forward on her knees. This obedience can come only from faith and a belief that God can and will do all he is able to do. When our faith is anchored in God, we move from a stance of living loved.
It is God’s sustaining love that fulfills the commitment to Israel for the line of David’s throne. Jesus is to be born of Mary not based on what she has done, but because who she is and her response to God’s love. David is not chosen to be King – not based on what he has done or will do (both good and bad) rather based on his response to God’s love. Both Mary’s and David’s soul and spirit were obedient to the presence of God. All to often we like the Pharisees focus our obedience on acts of the body. But this is not true in the lives of these pillars of love and grace. Their soul and spirit was touched by the love of God and responded with submission. God said that love will never leave His Kingdom, therefore if you are in the kingdom you are in God’s love.
A lack of love is our only limitation in this world. Therefore, are you feeling weak, overwhelmed, alone or defeated. These are lies of the enemy in order to prevent you from becoming an overcomer.
Here is how to let Love take root and motivate you in all things:
- Take your focus off of your fear… Stop asking Why? and What if…?
- Believe that nothing is impossible for God… Start asking How Lord? and say Here I am….
- Accept God’s love and forgiveness for all the past fear-based failures
- Ask for God’s love and faithfulness to lead you forward into things unknown.
- Remember, Do not be afraid – don’t discount what God shows you for the future
- Live in Obedience of Faith – walk forward not because you can, but because he called.