Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fear or Faith?

If my memory serves me right, there was a reality show called Fear Factor. I only watched it for seconds as I flipped channels. People's fears were being tested to the max--eating worms, laying in tubs of snakes, falling from heights. I never understood the point in giving attention to our fears in such ways. Dollar signs, I suspect...anything for Hollywood and attention.

Well,
Micca takes us on a much deeper level in chapter two, "The Fear Factor", of her book, An Untroubled Heart. After you read this, see what others have to say also at Lelia's.

God does not want us to live in fear. Rather, it is His desire for us to live fear-free and faith-filled. Micca tells us that "'fear not' is stated in the Bible 366 times. That's one 'fear not' for every day of the year, with one extra left over for those really hard days." God is faithful to remind us to not live in fear. Shall we not be equally faithful to live in faith and not fear?

I was not surprised to see Micca quote a scripture I memorized some time ago. It's one of the most "popular" on fear. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT, NKJV, and ESV include the word fear with or instead of timidity. "You and I were created to live by faith, and in God, we have all the power we need for a faith that is stronger than all our fears." (emphasis added) "Most of what we worry about never comes to pass but we insist on tormenting ourselves anyway." How ironic, huh? It seems so senseless as we just worry in vain.

Worry causes: torment, temporary insanity, sleeplessness, reduced productivity, lack of participation in life. Living with fear means missing opportunities, wondering why, living below the mark, and stumbling. "Confidence in a faithful God unlocks the gateway to overcoming the fears of betrayal, loneliness, rejection, and the unknown."

No worry, know faith
Know worry, no faith

It is a hard and touchy question, but one I've often presented...if we worry, are we really trusting God? What kind of faith do we have? Do we have faith on a certain level? Do we worry on a certain level? I also pose the question, can worry become sin? I believe yes! If we worry to the extreme on an issue, then we are giving that issue more thought, more energy, more attention than we are giving to God. So what does that mean? It becomes an idol...anything we place above God. We may not be stating the worry is more important that God but by consuming our thoughts and hearts, it is saying that.

Grace.

"The truth is my biggest obligation is to maintain my relationship with God." God doesn't expect, nor does He want, us to do things on our own or in our own strength. It is only through His power, strength, and grace that we can do anything. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 The things that are impossible with people are possible with God. Luke 18:27

I about fainted when I read this: "Is there someone in your life planting doubt in your heart and mind over something you're already doing? If so, don't listen. Don't look back. Keep your eyes on Jesus and keep walking on water." Well, yeah. Whether directly said to me or not, I have many someones who doubt what I'm doing, that is believing God for restoration. I do not hold this against anyone. I know all wish me well and just want what's best for me. Maybe others are afraid to encourage me for the possibility it might not happen. Maybe divorce and multiple marriages are so rampant that it's hard to believe with me that this is God's will per His word.

I also know one of the "someones" is the great doubter and deceiver of all--the enemy. By no measure does he even want a marriage restored and God's glory shining. So, I will keep my eyes on Jesus, knowing I'm standing on His word, and will continue to walk on water with Him. Remember when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and he began to sink? I refuse to sink. I refuse to take my eyes off Jesus. I will trust that when He sees my eyes wonder, He'll send one of His helpers to encourage me in my stand and belief for restoration. He's done it for 21 months.

"God never meant for you and me to be strong in and of ourselves. We were meant to show His strength in our weakness as he provides for our needs." The prophets who by faith...from weaknesses were made strong. Hebrews 11:34 Power perfected in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. The enemy is sneaky. He is the father of lies but also the father of fears. He knows fear can inhibit and freeze us. He tries to convince us of many fears: God doesn't have time for our issues, He isn't powerful enough, He's too busy, we have to do it ourselves. "We fear that if we bend our will to conform to God's desires, He might send us to some remote wilderness as a missionary." I had to chuckle as that is so true for many of us. If I give into His desires, what will He make me do? What will He ask of me?

Ironic that Micca brought up her incident with a snake, which is my worst physical fear, even more than heights. She leads right into correlating that to the biggest snake of all--satan. How true that we will continually encounter the enemy throughout our entire walk with Jesus. The closer we walk with God, the more we are active for Him, the hotter satan is on our trail. If we are lukewarm and inactive in our walk, then satan isn't threatened and therefore there's no need for him to be after us as much. Our Christian journey is marked by trials and temptations, providing opportunities for us to shine for Jesus.

Of course, I love my man James as his short book is poignant and powerful for every aspect of our lives. Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 Flee...f.l.e.e. I envision that to be instant and fast, immediate and rapid. He has no power over us. Rather, we have the power of Christ, the power of His blood. He can tempt but He can't conquer. James goes on to say: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 It's imperative that we sandwich the two sentences in verse seven with verse eight. Submit to God...resist the devil...he will flee...draw near to God. We are protected when we submit and draw near while resisting. See the encompassing circle of protection.

Walk out of His care. Walk into this fear.

"Faith in God's provision is our anchor that secures a life free from fear." (emphasis added) P.R.O.V.I.S.I.O.N. If we believe and trust His provision, then why shall we worry? Over what is there truly to worry? Nothing, with His provision.

Don't let anyone - friend, foe, family, satan, anyone - tell you that you can't walk on water when you are already walking on water. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep walking on water. I've had plenty of people think I can't walk on water; it won't happen as they are viewing it from human eyes but by supernatural eyes. I will continue to walk on water with Jesus and one day another person will also walk with us also.

Keeping My Eyes on Him
Stepping Out of the Boat
and Walking on Water,


© Copyright 2008

15 comments:

by-HIS-Grace said...

Paula,
what a gift of GOD to share HIS Word and Love with others. There is no Fear in GOD, Christ has seated HIS followers with Himself in heaven at the right hand of the FATHER. Completed Work! I am hidden in my Lord Jesus there now.

Tammy said...

Love this:No worry, know faith
Know worry, no faith

I must confess,I watched fear factor it was a love/hate relationship,my eyes were closed most of the time.

Andrea said...

An awesome word! I think many Christians deal with fear, or at the very least, a lack of courage. Thank you for sharing this truth today. Truly, the Lord would have us filled with faith! What an awesome God He is, able to do exceedingly above all we can imagine. Many blessings to you.

In Christ's Love,

Andrea

Laura said...

I'm with Tammy--love the No worry, Know faith thing! that's awesome. Having just gone through your whole house experience, I must say that you have been a true example of letting your faith overcome your fears.

I'm proud of you, Paula-girl!

Love you,
Laura

Lelia Chealey said...

The closer we walk with God, the more we are active for Him, the hotter satan is on our trail.


Loved that Paula!
love ya,
Lelia

Tina said...

Ditto to Tammy on the know faith, no fear...Love that!

We may not be stating the worry is more important than God but by consuming our thoughts and hearts, it is saying that.

I needed that, wonderful insights Paula

Blessings,
Tina

Liz said...

Paula,
You could have written this chapter, Girl! Not that I read it (since I am not official in participating this go-round) but I have watched you walk in some faith since I "met" you in blog land! And don't take your eyes off Jesus, and I would never discourage your hope for restoration...just praying right along with you!
No worry, know faith
Know worry, no faith
Amen!

Heather said...

Man, am I a worrier. I may come by in naturally, as in my mom is one too.

How hard to fight that inclination. And yes, many times it has taken my eyes off of Jesus.

Thanks for your insights!
God bless,
Heather

Abba's Girl said...

I think fear is satan's favorite weapon. Fear cripples many Christians in their spiritual walk as well as their natural life.

Heather said...

You were talking about your counselor, and how you wanted accountability and that type of thing from a counselor.

I wanted to share a post with you from last year, in February. My counselor called me on something and challenged me. It was really good. I think you might like it. It was one of the times that I pretty much wrote exactly what happened in my session.

http://hkudlaontheroad.blogspot.com/2008/02/rebuke-in-love-and-re-direction.html

Love you, and hope this encourages you!
Heather

CathM said...

Paula. I feel very encouraged by this post as I continue to battle through to move from ‘a place of fear’ to ‘a position of faith’ in an ongoing and difficult personal situation... thank you for this God inspired word :)

Sharon said...

Whewwwwww that was reallllly good my friend, I could not stop reading it, there was no distraction that could stop me on this one. well probably because I relate, relate on the part of Worry and the causes, But when you wrote No worry, know faith~~~~Know worry, no faith! I got it! Fear is satan's favorite weapon absolutely. This has helped me alot and I see what I am doing in my walk, I am sure anyone reading this is or will be doing the same, Amen!
Great Job
Have a beautiful and Blessed day my friend

Great Paula fix, just had to mention that :)

Carol said...

Girlfriend that was rockin. (how's that for some californiaeze) I had to read Brett the part about worry becoming sin. Such a powerful truth, and so well said. I know I've done that very sin, on way to many occassions.

I too love the No worry, know Faith - Know worry, no faith. I had a window decal on my car that said No Fear Know Jesus, Know Fear No Jesus. I had it on there until it just wore off. The cool thing was the way it was in the window was I could read it in my rear view mirror a constant reminder.

Haven't posted mine yet, but I'll be doing a combo post for the next one.

Never take those eyes off our Jesus, restoration is in His Hands.

I love you
Carol

andi said...

Loved the play on words: no worry, know faith
Know worry, no faith!

God is teaching many through what He is teaching you!

Melanie said...

The worrying is something I have always struggled with.. I know it is not what God wants, but my "humanness" struggles all the same. Love the verses you shared and thoughts on this topic. Thanks!