Before time began, before God created the heavens and the earth, we were with God. We knew God. Our spirits were housed within Him, for He created us. This is a very simple truth that is so utterly profound I don’t know how we can survive without it.
The one thing the devil has on us is fear. We are terrified of pain and suffering because our mortal bodies were not created for such things. So whether the pain is emotional, physical, or spiritual, deep down we are afraid of it. Each one of us has experienced pain, and that pain has begun teaching us lessons from an early age.
Usually, the lesson is something along the lines of don’t look, don’t touch, don’t feel. These are very basic messages that came in infancy and onward, but powerful enough to impact us for a lifetime. That is why it is so very important that we stay grounded in Biblical truth in order to combat the fear that comes from the devil.
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.
1 John 4:18
The devil uses the fear of pain as a punishment to try to control and manipulate us. Often times it works, because we believe him over the Biblical truth from God. We must ask ourselves, where are we growing our roots down into? Are we being rooted and grounded in Christ’s love, or are we bypassing that healing relationship and growing roots down into the fear of pain and punishment? The world will gladly foster those roots and help them grow strong within us.
I admit I had been terrified of the world, and especially of Satan’s plans for me. I was taught well to fear and obey him more than I was ever taught to fear and obey the Lord. It was conditioning that began well before I had the mind to understand the difference between right and wrong, yet even now as a believer that fear keeps me in its grips like no other.
How can a believer in Jesus Christ succumb to such fear of the devil when we have such a powerful weapon of truth to fight against him? It’s simple: we have submitted to a spirit of slavery without even knowing it, and because we refuse to see it, it rules over us.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
That is why we must return to the core Biblical foundation that is largely ignored. Before time began, we were with God. We knew Him, and He chose us. He called us out and we answered His call. Without that understanding, we will continue to question our existence and purpose and be flung to and fro by the waves of destruction that come from the deceitful scheming of men, instead of bearing up against the attack as mature Christians.
Let’s look at some key verses in the Bible that help us understand this truth.
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
Here we see very clearly that God chose us before the foundation of the world to be His children. Our lives are not random. We were created out of love by God the Father Himself. It was His will to create children because He has such much love He couldn’t help but share it! If you have children then you understand how much love God has for us.
he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In heaven, God helps us to understand part of the bigger plan that He asks us to be a part of to unite all things together at the end of the age. In this verse you see that He makes some of the mystery of His plan known to us, so we can make a free will choice to participate or not.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
At this time that we are chosen, we are given an assignment in part of His bigger plan for our time on earth. This assignment reflects the need He has at that moment in correlation with the spiritual gifts and talents He blesses us with.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Part of this assignment is a specific call. Here we see that He set Jeremiah apart to be His prophet. If you read further in this passage God reveals to Isaiah that is has already fully equipped him for this particular call. It has been appointed before time.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: Isaiah 6:8-9
When God sends out a call, we must respond to Him. He does not send those who decline His invitation. We must like Isaiah say “I will go Father”, otherwise He will choose someone else.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
Jesus makes it clear that being called does not mean being chosen. You have free will to say no. Not every spirit who is called forth and invited to come to earth and participate in God’s mysterious plan is willing to accept. Coming as a spirit to live in a body is tremendously difficult, but God has equipped us with every spiritual blessing we need. Ephesians 1:3
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
When we come to earth, our spirits are then dormant and we forget this time before with God the Father. However, at just the right time He reveals the Gospel message to our souls, and when we believe He quickens our spirit to come alive in Christ and we are sealed with His Holy Spirit.
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:9
What a wonderful gift God the Father has given us to invite us into His plan to unite everything in heaven and earth under Christ’s authority! No matter how badly we have botched things up with our fleshly desire to follow after Satan, we cannot surpass the plan of a loving Father. It was always His plan to give us this wonderful experience, and so while we are here let’s make the best of it.
Let us not allow suffering or the fear of pain to condition our minds to believe that this temporal experience is all there is. Instead, let us run the race that was already marked out with us, believing that we have been fully equipped before time began to persevere to the finish line.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.