Fear? Or Faith?

Are you afraid? Am I afraid? And should we be? Maybe it’s a fear of heights? The dark? Spiders? Snakes? Sharks? Or maybe it’s a fear of something more serious and life altering. A fear of death. A fear that nothing will ever work out. A fear of being alone.

We have powerful scriptures to quote, such as: God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We have beautiful songs like No Longer Slaves that proclaim we’re no longer slaves to fear. But are we? Are we really free from fear?

When you were a kid, if you had the bravest, fiercest, most kick butt dad on the block, who would you be afraid of? No one. But the Bible portrays the Creator God as our Father. So if an earthly Father would make you feel unafraid and secure, how much more would our Heavenly Father, THE ONE who holds the world literally in the palm of His hand, make you feel completely secure and fearless?

Why does fear come so easily to us? Even in the knowledge of God, fear seems to abound.

What do you dwell on?

“Do not be in awe!! Do not be afraid!”

It can be so easy to dwell on the natural. To dwell on what we can see, and what seems obvious. But while yes, we do live on a physical, natural earth, that isn’t the whole story. We also have a spiritual, SUPERnatural side to life. And we are to put our trust in GOD, and HIM ALONE.

As I’m reading through the Old Testament, I’m amazed at how many time God has to tell the Israelites, “Do not be in awe!! Do not be afraid!” If He’s constantly telling you not to do something, LISTEN!! because it’s got to be important.

In who or what is your faith?

Fear is the opposite of Faith. Perhaps that’s why God constantly says to not be afraid, because without Faith, it is impossible to please Him! We cannot even be saved! ┬álet alone live a victorious life, without Faith.

As a child, for I don’t even know how long, I lived in constant fear. Not because home life was bad, it was great. But because I didn’t have my Faith in God, I was always worried about bad things happening. I was afraid of bad things happening to me, to my family, to my friends. Let me tell you, it’s a terrible thing to live with! Living that way, there was just no peace.

I came to the point where I just thought I cared too much. Maybe I loved people too much. Which lead to what I’ve talked about in previous blogs where I “lost love” so to speak. If I didn’t ‘love too much’, I wouldn’t ‘care too much’, therefore no longer worry.

But that wasn’t my problem. Loving too much wasn’t the issue at all. My issue was, I wasn’t trusting that we are all in the Loving arms of the Father. I wasn’t trusting that He would take care of us. If I had, I wouldn’t have lived in constant FEAR, but would have been living in constant FAITH.

What are we to do then?

Last summer, I found my Faith at an all time low. I’m not even exactly sure what all happened, just that it did, and it was the worst. After I realized where I was, I began on a journey to get my Faith back. A friend gave me an idea to read through the Bible, something I had never accomplished. I’ve been through the New Testament and some of the Old several times, but never from start to finish. I’m so glad to say I only lack a little over two books left and I’ll have finished the old Testament!

I tell you all of that to tell you this, I’ve always HEARD about the importance of reading the Word, but I’ve never actually, truly, KNOWN the IMPORTANCE of the WORD. It has made such a tremendous difference in my Life, in my Faith, and in my Walk with God. Daily reading, not out of religious obligation, but out of Love and Devotion to God, simply wanting to get to know Him more.

Now it’s not easy to read daily. I mean at first you think, ugh this is so hard. I had no desire to read multiple chapters. It takes discipline. Buuuuut after a while, Reading the Word, combined with Time in Prayer, has become one of my favorite parts of the whole day!

They say you are what you eat. Are you feeding yourself wholesome foods, low sugar intake, and abstaining from junk foods? Or just anything you can get ahold of? In your spiritual life, are you feeding yourself God’s Word? Are you praying and talking to Him daily? Are you building your Faith, thinking positively and only believing what God says? Or are you feeding on negativity, doubt, fear, and despair?

So the question is, Fear? Or Faith?

Pride And Salvation

I have recently discovered something I didn’t know I had. It’s something I’ve always feared. Something I’ve always despised. Something I’ve never wanted……PRIDE.

How could this happen? Where did it come from? Here’s the thing about Pride, or any other sin for that matter. It’s sneaky. It doesn’t show up where you expect it to. We often think of Pride in the form of arrogance, you know, those people who act all important, like they’re God’s gift to mankind. But that’s too obvious. And anyone looking for that kind of pride within themselves may miss other less obvious areas Pride likes to take root in.

PRIDE: In The Form Of Judgement

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11

We have to be so careful, not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. In doing so, we might not only be humiliated as in the previous passages, but we will subconsciously be judging people while we’re at it. How often do we judge people or think of people based on appearance, social status, what they can do for us etc. Man looks at the appearance, but God looks at the heart. But I have come to the realization that I have thought of people differently. I haven’t loved people the same as God has called us to do. I have judged people based on the very outward things that God says not to judge by.

PRIDE: In The Form Of Self-Righteousness

This one hits me really hard. I’ve always been a perfectionist. Whether playing video games, instruments, or making decisions in life, I don’t like to make mistakes. I don’t like to make a wrong decision. But I’m afraid I’ve allowed that mentality to enter my spiritual life as well.

But when I sin, I get mad at myself, because it is yet again a reminder that I’m not perfect, that I need a Saviour. And as a perfectionist, that bothers me. And on my journey of seeking the Lord, it REALLY bothers me that I’m bothered that I need Him. As humans we have this tendency to want to be independent. We want to better ourselves and not need anyone. “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” -1 John 1:10

Not only that, but I have this idea that I need to ‘Pay Back’ what Jesus did for me on the cross. This is such a dangerous idea. I can’t pay it back. I can’t be good enough to get into heaven on my own. I can’t do enough ‘good’, or just sin less. If that were possible, Jesus wouldn’t have had to even come.

We are to obey the Lord and not willingly sin, but that comes after we’re saved. We don’t have to clean up and get our lives together and then come to Him. He wants us just as we are. The cleaning and renewing comes after He’s saved us.

Sin is wrong. And we shouldn’t be trying to sin, or freely sin. But when we do sin, when we do mess up, we have an advocate with the Father. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9

We are each on an even playing field. We have all sinned. We all fall short of God’s Glory. And none of us can save ourselves. It’s only in our faith of the Lord Jesus that forgiveness of sins even possible. Period. Which makes us totally helpless on our own. We are totally dependant on Christ and Him alone. And as that soaks in, let it keep us humble and never become so prideful that we ever think we have done anything of ourselves.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.” John 3:16

“For you are saved by grace through faith. It is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: it is not of works, so that not anyone can boast. For we are His workmanship, as we have been created in Messiah Y’shua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we would walk in them, the good works.” Ephesians 2:8-10