Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear. – 1 John 4:18
How does perfect love cast out all fear? Perfect love would be imagining all realities with God. So if you’re with him now, you’ll be with him tomorrow, and you’ll be with him on the day you die. And for all eternity. There’s no negative reality there. How could you fear? All realities are positive. We call that hope.
How do we fear God? Fear is focusing on a potential negative reality. If we fear God we focus on a potential negative reality. We fear him by realizing that he can allow time apart from Him in his universe, because he controls it. We fear him by imagining those realities without him [in the universe that he governs] and preferring those with him. We prefer his love as opposed to his wrath.
If I fear something bad, then I would be directed towards something good. If I’m scared of spiders, I won’t lead a hike through a cave a night. That will minimize my chance of encountering one. My dad is terrified of lighting, so he may not go on a walk if it’s cloudy outside. While definitely over-the-top, he’s probably not going to get struck by lighting. That’s exactly how I think we should fear God. We should take steps to insure that he’s with us, and minimize the chances that we’ll be apart from him.
If I acknowledge the power of God, and fear time apart from him, I guide myself toward his will. The love of God is good. But the wrath of God is bad. I fear God by acknowledging that time apart from him is negative, and avoiding that. But if God is all-powerful, then he would also have control over the darkness. It may be the absence of his presence, but he created light and darkness. And would we even know light without the presence of darkness?
We can choose to love him, fear him and have a personal relationship with him, or we can choose to live apart from him, in darkness.
And his mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him. Luke 1:50