In early January 2020, when I was praying about COVID-19, I felt God was saying to me that a spirit of fear was going to try and enter wherever this virus went. I didn’t fully understand this word as people outside of China were largely not yet engaged on the impact of this illness, and we had no idea how big it could get. However, It didn’t take long to start to see fear being shown all around me, as people who had lived through SARs responded to this new threat.
At the time I spoke to the people in my networks about the word the Lord have given me, which was mostly based on this verse;
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I mainly focused on the first part of this verse where God’s perfect love drives out fear. I was calling people to keep their focus on God whose love is perfect. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the Lord meant us to also consider the second part of the verse, especially now as this disease has now spread to pandemic proportions. Not so much to proclaim this disease as some sort of punishment, but in thinking about fear as the antithesis of love.
Ultimately, we fear because we don’t trust. We don’t trust because we really don’t understand God’s perfect love. Because of this we can have warped ideas of who he is. Such as the stern father that carries a big stick around waiting to give us a whack if we misbehave. Rather, he is the God who loves perfectly and longs for us to come back to him and sit inside of his perfect love.
I encourage you to seek God for fresh revelation on his perfect love.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is an unprecedented season to live through and I think it affords us a remarkable opportunity to cast out fear, and reach out in love to those around us who are vulnerable, and anxious. Please keep focused on God’s perfect love and seek opportunities to show his love to those around you in this challenging time. Listen, pray, stay alert and show God’s perfect love!