While reading Psalm 27 I found myself camped out in verse 1.
Ps 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ESV
I was struck by several words that kept reverberating in my mind. The first one was “light;” as used here it means a “luminary” in every sense of the word. Its meaning is like “concrete;” firm and solid in its illumination. Like in 1 John 1:5, it refers to the “truth.” There is nothing in Jesus but the truth, the Word of God. Then I thought about “salvation,” and when I studied it, I was reminded that while indeed it does mean deliverance, it also means “liberty” and “prosperity.” Then David says that God is his “stronghold,” his strength. The full meaning of the word as used here is a fortified place; a fortress, a high tower (Psalm 144:2).
Think about that for a moment. Jesus is our “all illuminating truth” that “frees” us from the bindings of this world, giving us total “spiritual” prosperity and a “fortified” place (a refuge) that protects us from the enemy. That was the message that hit me this morning … and all it takes on our part is to believe that what God said is true.
But that’s the hard part isn’t it! We know in our mind what the Word says but in the midst of the enemy’s onslaught it’s hard to hang onto that Word. After all, that’s what the onslaught is all about… stealing the truth!
Then the Lord gave me the secret to hanging onto His truth so that we will always be prepared to face and conquer fear. He said it all goes back to our faith, the true Biblical faith that hasn’t changed since Adam and Eve were in The Garden. True Biblical faith, He said, is based on one thing … At its core it’s “relational.”
Sounds too simple if you just let the words roll off your tongue… Of course it’s relational. But stop and ponder that thought. None of us really ever puts our “trust” (our faith) in anything we don’t really understand. Oh yes, you trust your car and the pilot of the airplane and the mechanics that inspected it. But when we come face-to-face with those challenges that are personal, those one-on-one attacks of the enemy, we really want to know who or what we’re putting our trust in.
David figured that out and what he did is the same thing we need to do. Put our trust in the only “One” who can be truly counted on to be our “truth,” our “liberty,” and our “refuge.” But we aren’t going to be able to do that if we aren’t intimately familiar with that “One.”
Like everything in our Christian Walk, conquering fear (the enemy’s attempts at establishing strongholds in our mind) is all about faith in God’s promise that He will deliver us from fear. “IF” we have faith in His promise. And the key to that is to make sure that at the core of our faith is a relationship with Jesus; a constant personal, ever developing relationship. Because if we have that, we have the one sure thing that will put fear on the run… love!
Yes, that’s the secret to conquering fear. John, the one who “loved” Jesus, told us so:
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. ESV
If we focus on our relationship with Jesus, we can’t help but be filled with love for Him. And that love is what we can stand on when fear comes knocking on our door. I know… right now – this very day… it is knocking loudly on my door, and I have a choice to make. I can forget the “truth” and buy into the “lie,” or I can stand on the truth because I “love” the One in whom l place my trust … the One with whom I have a “deep” and “eternal” relationship.
Yes, when you get down to the bottom line, perfect love does cast out fear! And now we have the key, so let’s not forget where we keep it!