Wednesday, February 10, 2016

From Fear to Faith

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

This week Michael writes that we all struggle with living out what we say we believe, especially in a crisis. In the normal course of life, we have our Theology in order. However, in the midst of a trying time in our life, when the pain is acute and we're confronted with situations that try a person's souls, the trauma of life leaves us suffering from anxiety and from post-traumatic stress disorder. How do you become a man or woman of faith instead of a person of fear? God never honors fear. He always honors faith. The most frequent commandment of God is, "fear not." The thing that impressed Jesus most was the Roman Centurion's believing faith. He said, "Lord, just say the word, and my servant will be healed." Jesus said, "I have not found such faith, no not in Israel." Faith based decisions are doing what God has commanded. The number one command is, "Fear not."

Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 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. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

How do we turn from fear to faith?  We often listen to the devil's accusations. Satan is by definition “The Deceiver" and the Devil is by definition “The Accuser." His barrage of lies and deceit says, "You're not good enough; you don't measure up; you're a sinner, and you are not deserving of God's mercy and grace." He reminds us that we constantly miss the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and that in my sin nature flesh dwells no good thing. The key to turning from fear to faith is to turn from the devil's lies unto the truth of the Word of God. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Philippians 4 says, "Don't be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Anxiousness and fear is a choice. To turn away from anxiousness, we must turn our hearts toward God in prayer and thankful gratitude. When God called Moses with a voice from the burning bush to deliver the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, Moses said, "Who, Me?  They won't believe me and that the Lord has sent me.  And even if they did believe, I can't speak in public."  One of the greatest fears of most people is speaking in public. The Lord said to Moses, "Don't be afraid for I am with you.  It's not by your might or your spirit or your intellect or eloquence of speech.  It's only in my power", says the Lord.  God says, "I am with you, I've got this ... I will give you my words to say."

Deuteronomy 3:22You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.”

Do you truly believe that God is bigger than your problem?  Is God all-powerful and all-knowing?  Is God really able to deliver? Is the Lord always faithful to deliver?  Not if, buy when the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects His people of faith to be the reliable ones who have built their lives upon the solid rock of the Lord God Almighty, not on the shifting sands of fear and anxiety. In the times of  crisis and in the heat of the spiritual battle, when we come to the limits of our own understanding and face our own weakness ... turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, for the Lord thy God is with you ... surely he will uphold you with the power of his mighty right hand.

Psalm 46:1-3God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”

Are your decisions based on faith or fear? What is the root cause of your problem?  Fear based decisions are always the root cause. You never solve a problem by focusing on the problem. Problems are solved by focusing on the solution to the problem. The solution to the problem is “faith in the Lord and in his Word”. Shall I lift up mine eyes unto the hills?  From whence cometh my help?  My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth - Psalm 121:1. Therefore, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths – Proverbs 3:5-6. How do  you know if you're making a fear based or a faith based decision?  Make the decision that requires the greatest amount of faith in God. The challenge is whether or not I really believe that God is able to deliver, that God is at work within me to will and to do of His good pleasure. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said, "Even if God allows us to burn in the fiery furnace, we will not disobey God by bowing down to your idol." 

Allow God to prove His power in our weakness. Faith says, "I can't wait to see what God has in store for me." We're not sufficient to meet the crisis ... our sufficiency is only in Him. Move from fear to faith. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9.

May God richly bless you,
Your brother in Christ, Michael


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