Fear or God
We have a tendency as human beings to focus so much more on bad news. And the way the world we live in runs, you’d be led to think that only bad things happen. You never turn on the news and hear about the great things that happened in the world, because that’s ‘boring’. Instead, we’re spoon-fed natural disasters, financial crises, terrorism. So we’ve become believers in bad news as opposed to believers in The Good News.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6(NKJV)
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. – 1 Peter 5:7(AMP)
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22
I read something in John Bevere’s ‘The Holy Spirit’ that really caught my attention. He said, “Fear is faith in the devil.” As Christians, we’ve alienated faith, put it on this pedestal as something hard to achieve, ‘Job-like’ faith. But the truth is, we put faith in something everyday. The question is: where do you put it?
It’s easy to desire ‘Job-like’ faith and to quote the scriptures above, but there’s more to faith than just reciting verses.
Here are two things I’ve learnt about faith:
- Faith is an active thing. What you DO is what you believe. Faith is action in spite of circumstance; once you let fear determine your action, you’ve put faith in the devil.
- Faith comes from God. The Greek word translated to faith in the Bible is ‘Pistis’, which literally means “divine persuasion”. This divine persuasion (faith) in God can only come from God.
We have to intentionally seek God’s face in order to receive the assurances of His Word.
In Philippians 1 Paul shows us decisive faith:
“This is in keeping with my own eager desire and persistent expectation and hope…” – Philippians 1:20
The words, “eager desire and persistent expectation and hope” come from one Greek word, ‘apokaradokia’.
- The Greek word apo means “to intentionally turn”,
- Kara means “head”,
- And dokia means “to stretch forward”.
So, apokaradokia means, “to intentionally turn your head and stretch forward.”
Paul decided in his spirit that it didn’t matter what his situation looked like: even though he was in prison, he would lean forward, believing in God.
This is where the importance of leaning on the Word, meditating on the Word and praying by the Word comes in.
It’s not easy to look past our circumstances, but Jesus died so that the Holy Spirit – our helper – would come to live in us. But in order for The Holy Spirit to manifest in us we have to know Him, and that is only found in relationship and in knowledge of who He is in the Word:
“So the faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” – Romans 10:17(NKJV)
For faith to come, we have to lean into God, we have to chase Him and persevere, no matter our circumstance.
One thing about the great men in the Bible is they found pleasure in their trial. It was – and is! – an opportunity to learn more about the goodness of God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face a trial of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4(NIV)
Putting fear over God is putting faith in your circumstance and in what we can see. But no matter how we’re feeling, we have to decide to turn to God and to know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. Smile and rejoice because your trial is the beginning of your testimony.