Confession: This verse has always brought alternating waves of comfort and condemnation to my heart. I can read it one time and receive comfort knowing that God’s love is the antidote for my fear; that His love surpasses everything that I have ever known about love in this life. And then I can read it another time, and the end phrase with that blasted word “perfect” just nails me in my area of insecurity. The enemy uses that word to make me feel less than, to prompt me to disqualify myself by thinking, “If I was perfect, I wouldn’t have fear in my life. There must be something wrong with me.”
However, when the Bible uses the word “perfect”, it very often means complete, finished, carried through to the end. We all have internal “red alerts” that begin to wail like tornado sirens at the sight of that word in scripture, but it often does not mean what we think it means.
To prove my point, let me share what the Lord gave me as an interpretation of the last part of 1 John 4:18…
The one who fears has not been fully convinced of My love.
Now, before you go running off, trying to figure out how you’re supposed to convince yourself of His love, stay a moment and receive this:
Think of the times that you have experienced a wave of My love. In that moment, you were yielded to me. Your heart was open to me and fear was the farthest thing from your thoughts. In that moment, you were sure that I loved you. You thought of nothing else.
This is My desire for you: that you would walk in that awareness of My love every moment of every day. That you would be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep My love is. That you would know this love that surpasses human understanding. That you would be convinced of My love and be filled beyond measure with it.
This is possible through the power and presence of My Holy Spirit within you. Meditate on the truth of My love from the scriptures.
Seek Me, to know Me, to know My love. Ask for a deeper revelation of My love. Knowledge and experience of My love bring healing within and provide a hedge around your heart. As you become more convinced that I love you, and that I only work for your good, the enemy’s accusations and arrows will fall short of piercing your heart and fear will strike you less and less.
Oh, Father, make me convinced of Your love!!
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:7-10
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:10-12