The last couple of weeks I have been spending one day a week at the M:power Ministry Training Institute in Chelmsford as part of the team doing the training. It has been a real privilege being a part of what God is doing in the lives of the current students. I have been down memory lane as well – I was a student there just three years ago and it was a year that really changed my life. There is something about being intentional about giving God your time that multiplies His activity in your life in an unprecedented way. It is not always comfortable (in fact it often felt like being on a roller coaster), but then He never promised the Christian walk would always be comfortable!
Which brings me to what has been on my heart these last few weeks. Fear versus faith. Absolute opposites. Recently I had to make a decision about a course of action I needed to take. It was taking me a while to make this decision and I wasn’t quite sure why until one day the truth dawned on me. I was afraid to take any action because I wasn’t sure what the consequence of my actions would be. I believe that the Holy Spirit shed light on my fear so that I could deal with it. Once I realised the reason behind my prevarication in making that decision, I knew that I had to do something about that fear. I knew that I had to choose faith over fear. Because everytime you choose faith over fear, no matter what the consequences of your action are, you have already won a considerable part of the victory.
One of the greatest fears I have had to deal with early in my journey with God ( it still surfaces every now and again) has been the fear of loosing someone dear to me. Every time I heard about someone I knew who had lost a close relative or friend, my mind would start to work overtime and I would begin to imagine how I would feel if one of my close relatives died. It didn’t stop there. I would begin to actually feel the sorrow and grief as though I had already lost them. I know you have never done this before but I was allowing myself to be tormented by the thought of an event that had not even occurred yet.
The Bible makes a statement about fear that we don’t often pay much attention to. “Fear has torment,” it says in 1 John 4:18. If you have ever felt fear of anything or anyone, you know that this is true. Fear has the ability to put you in such a state of torment that you are literally stopped in your tracks. Knowing what we know about fear, we should never let it in when it comes knocking at the door. And yet we often do.
The question is though, do we get to choose whether we allow fear in or not? I think we do. Many times in the Bible, scripture tells us to “fear not”. Just as you would not ask a two month old baby to get up and walk (becuse you know it is impossible – two month olds do not have what it takes to walk unaided unless they are freaks), God would not ask us not to fear if it was an impossible task for us. This means we must be able to say ‘no’ to fear.
Another verse in the Bible says that we haven’t been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). So if God hasn’t given it to us what business do we have accepting it? Don’t get me wrong, I constantly face fears like the rest of you, I have just decided I will no longer accept it without arguement because I know my Father hasn’t sent that particular parcel labelled fear. Instead everytime I recognise that my actions stem from fear rather than faith, I stop myself and choose faith instead. Faith involves putting my trust in God even when I have no idea what the outcome will be. It means taking some risks that push me out of my comfort zone. It means allowing myself to be vulnerable and facing the possibility of disappointment. But I don’t want any gifts that the devil is offering me, and that includes fear. I would rather take my chances with God.
The decision I needed to make? I made it and took the action I had decided to take quickly inspite of the way I felt. I was not going to allow myself to be ruled by fear. And guess what? So what if I made a mistake? God is bigger than my mistakes. And the fact that I choose faith in His mercy and ability to make sense of my messes instead of fear pleases Him no end. What about you? Where do you need to choose faith instead of fear today? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In His Precious Name,