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  • Sanyade Okoli

Whose Children are They Anyway?




1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.


My teenage son has been asking me for months to go to the gym and I have been reluctant; “posting” him with one story or the other. He has now come up with a plan that is very difficult to rebut but I am still reluctant. It has finally just hit me why that is. I am scared!


I am scared that something bad will happen to him at the gym - he may hurt himself using a machine, he may catch coronavirus, someone there may try to harm him; just something bad “sha”!


It has been in my sub-conscious but, in a quiet moment with the Lord on the matter, He shone His torch on the root issue - I don’t fully trust Him with our children, MY children. I have seen bad things happen to other godly people’s children - sickness, accident, death, all sorts - and so I am scared something bad will happen to mine.


I know He is a good God. I love Him to bits but let’s face it, all too often He does things that we don’t understand. He appears to us as somewhat "unpredictable", leaving us feeling insecure in one way or the other.


But then, I know He is good. I know He loves me deeply and I know He has good plans for me. I also know that the same applies to our children. So why do I fear? I know that this fear that I feel is not of God and is not healthy.


I asked the Lord to speak to me about the issue and He reminded me of the original title of this piece - Perfect Love Casts Out Fear. He highlighted this verse to me the other night in another context but He is saying that it is also pertinent to this matter.


I decided to meditate on the scripture and here’s what I took from the exercise.

  • There is nothing that can come our way that God wouldn’t give us the grace, strength and wisdom to handle if we lean on Him.

  • He will never ever leave us nor forsake us.

  • God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

  • Fear is from satan. He whispers little lies in our minds that, when they take root, causes fear to grip our hearts.

  • We fear because we forget that God made us with His love, for His love.

  • His love exposes the lies, reveals His truth and pushes out the fear.

  • When we have a true appreciation of who we are (beloved children of the Most High God), whose we are (the perfect God who created the heavens and the earth), and who He is (a good and faithful God), we shall have no fear.


As I studied the scripture the Lord also reminded me of His Son. Something bad did indeed happen to Jesus but it was for good, our good. I sensed the Lord saying that He cannot guarantee me that nothing bad will ever happen to my children because that wouldn’t be true. What He can guarantee me, however, is that:


  • He loves my children

  • He is good

  • He is faithful

  • He will work all things out for their good; even when satan tries to “chance” them.


He reminded me that there is absolutely nothing that can happen to them without His knowledge and Him allowing it to happen as they are hidden in Christ who, in turn, is in Him. As He said this last line I literally felt a peace and assurance in my heart. 😊 Then satan “tried me” by getting me to think, “Oh God, are you telling me this now because something is about to happen?!” and a wave of fear started washing over me again. 😥 Our minds are truly battlefields! 😅 In response to this question, I heard the Lord whispering to me, “Trust Me! Just trust Me! I am a good God and a loving God. If you truly knew who I was then you wouldn’t have all these concerns.” He then urged me to go back and study all He had revealed Himself to me as being (see https://www.justasiam.ng/post/giving-life-to-prophetic-words for more context). Again, I felt reassured. I decided that should satan come back at me, I shall simply wield the sword of the spirit at him - the written and the revealed Word.


The Lord also gently got me to see that another antidote to this fear is submission. Though we (my husband and I) have dedicated our children to God both collectively and individually on many occasions, there are still some quiet reservations. Concerns that God will “mess it all up!” That He will do the wrong things at the wrong time! Because we know better than God, right?! If God will just leave it all down to us everything will be perfectly fine, right?! If only!! We can’t even organize our own lives perfectly talk less of our children’s. 😅


I guess we’re going to have to let go, right?! We’re going to have to recognise that though we are responsible for our children, we are not in control of their lives. We’d like to be, but we’re not! I can’t even control one child to completely focus during one 45-minute online class so why am I kidding myself that I’d be able to control much else in their lives?! 😊


Hmmm... There’s only one answer! I am going to have to hand their lives completely to God and leave them there - in His hands. I can’t come back the next day and ask for them back. I have to submit my will for them to His will for them. I have to trust Him completely. I have to allow His love for me and our children to cast out all fear....


As I finished this piece, God just kept reassuring me of His love. I am beaming now as I write. 😊 His love has cast out the fear I felt about my son going to the gym and he shall be going any day now with his friends. I shall simply pray for him and his friends and leave them in God’s most capable hands.


So, back to where we started. The antidote to fear is love. Believing that God truly loves you and yours and allowing that love to percolate through every area of your heart. Allowing His perfect love to cast out all fear in your life. After all, before they were your children, they were His!


Postscript

God is such a trip! 😊 At the end of drafting this piece my youngest daughter came to sit with me. She then asked me, “Mama, what’s that song I like again about slave?” She was referring to No Longer a Slave https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k. The chorus goes, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God!” 😊 You and I both know that was not a coincidence! God is the absolute sweetest! What a way to reassure me of what He had been saying. Once again, I am beaming as I write..... 😊


Post Postscript 😊

This article is not what I had intended to write as I started this piece with the opening scripture. Clearly the Lord had something else He wanted to speak to me about. A few days later, this word proved to be just what I needed to help me work through “a certain situation”. 😅 God is truly mindful of us! I will have another shot at writing what I had original intended sometime soon. 😊


Reflections

  • Ask God what your conscious and sub-conscious fears are regarding your children.

  • Ask Him to show you the root of those fears.

  • Ask Him to show you the underlying lie(s) you have been believing.

  • Ask God where you learnt the lie(s) from.

  • Ask Him who you need to forgive and forgive the person(s).

  • Ask God what His truth is.

  • (Re)dedicate your children to Him.


Some scriptures to hold on to….


“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” Psalms 36:5-9 NLT


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV


I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. Isaiah 54:13 NLT


For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. Isaiah 49:25b NLT


We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust Him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously. 1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT


But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and My power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV


Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV


Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV


There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NKJV



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