Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fear: Your hard taskmaster... Faith: Your freedom creator.

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:31)


How would you answer that question: "Why did you doubt?"


I can think of about a million different reasons why I've doubted God lately. Each time I doubted I had to go back and seek the Lord for renewed perspective and insight trying to find the answers to questions like,

"Who did you say you were again?" (comforter, provider, healer, restorer, etc.)

"What were your promises again?" (to always be with me, to protect and sustain, etc.)

"What are you up to again?" (hahaha....yeah....I'm always asking God that one, it seems)


My faith was strong until....(fill in the blank).


In the verse above (Matthew 14:31) Jesus knew the answer to his own question but he wanted to have Peter search his own heart and look inside of himself. He wanted Peter to wrestle with that question for a minute, "Why did I doubt? I had faith and all of a sudden I stopped? I was WALKING ON WATER, and I started to sink. What happened?"

Recognizing where your faith gets weak is only helpful if, in recognizing it, you choose to stop yourself in those places and build your faith back up in who God says He is and what He says He can do. Don't stay stuck and don't get yourself in to a mind cramp of "Oh, I went and did it again! I'm some kind of a failure of a Christian" or some other kind of nonsense. NO! None of that. You are wonderfully and beautifully made and God has a plan for you. Get back up and get back to that place of faith. (I'm the only one that beats myself up, right?) ;)

You have an choice: Faith or fear.
  • Faith says "YES! God can and WILL take care of the problem at hand."
  • Fear says, "Ya know, I'm really not so sure about THIS one...maybe THIS is the one problem He won't handle...this one might just be too big for Him." (sounds ridiculous, right...but that's ultimately what we're saying when we are living out of fear)
Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
  • Faith says, "I will hold unswervingly to the hope that is set on the promises of God, knowing that HE is FAITHFUL."
  • The other option is fear and fear is a hard taskmaster.

FEAR.
"Fear is a hard taskmaster. It leaves us exhausted and drained, uncertain and off balance. It keeps us looking over our shoulders for the next trial to begin, wondering if we'll have enough inner reserve to carry on. Fear is self-perpetuating. It grows as we feed it with time and attention. Fear is the chief enemy of the feminine soul. It robs us of our ability to nurture those around us. Fear thwarts our receptivity. It intercepts our love for others. It debilitates our faith. It is Satan's trap, binding us to self-absorption." (I found this on a paper in my basement while I was cleaning today. I have no idea who said it but I know it did not come from me because I do not write this good!) :)
The opposite of fear of faith. It pleases God when we operate out of faith, He rewards those who live out of faith, and He moves on the prayers and actions of believers who come to Him in faith. Do you believe that? If you do, it's because you have faith. :) Hebrews 11:6, says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Do you want to move a mountain? I mean, REALLY move a problem the size of a mountain? Start by believing you can, by the power of God that is within you. This is not about faith in yourself. This is about faith in a God who can do ALL things and has ALL the resources. The possibilities are endless when God is on your side.

Isaiah 8:13 says, "Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty, for He is God, the Holy One. If you fear Him you have need for nothing else."

FAITH.
"The opposite of fear is faith. Real faith, real fear-shrinking faith, comes from a personal, vibrant, satisfying relationship with the God who is more than a match for anything that intimidates us." (This was written on the same paper in my basement. I am certain I cannot take credit for these words of wisdom either, but I do not not know who to give credit to. Sorry.)
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
"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." Isaiah 41:10

Will you make the choice to live a life of freedom today? Let your FREEDOM RING!!! Choose to live a life of faith. When you find yourself operating out of fear stop yourself. Lay your fears at the feet of the Lord and trust Him to be a God that loves you, strengthens you, helps you, provides for you, protects you, and will work all things out together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. You are treasured by the MOST HIGH God. And if you are not completely convinced of that today you can click here to get some added reassurance. YOU ARE LOVED more than you will ever know!!!

1 comment:

KING said...

I like. I was just thinking about Faith in my bed room. And immediately fear was in my front...I went on google and searched 'faith over fear'. Your weblink came up...This is a beautiful words you have put down. You can check out this audio it really helps.
Audio link "http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?seriesOnly=true&currSection=sermonstopic&SourceID=sevbc&keyworddesc=Faith+Over+Fear&keyword=Faith+Over+Fear"

I know for sure in my heart, if i can overcome fear, i can do great things in the name of Jesus. I see it in my dreams.