Am I living by faith or fear?
Even when we are fearful, our faith should overcome our fears.
1 John 5:4 Amplified Bible:
Whatever fears we believers are battling, they will only be conquered by faith. Faith only comes by hearing, believing, trusting and relying fully on God’s Word and the God of His Word.
We all battle fear. For those who claim to never deal with fear or have never been fearful, perhaps they always tell the truth as well.
Where is my focus?
The C. S. Lewis quotes below were from the 1940’s. At that time, the focus was on the atomic bomb and fear was overtaking many. Today, a spirit of fear has overtaken many for many reasons, including many of us who claim to be the fearless faithful ones.
C. S. Lewis quotes:*
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air rads, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”*
“In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.”*
“…It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.”*
“This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They make break our bodies but they need not dominate our minds.”*
The insightful words of C. S. Lewis challenge us, just as God’s Word challenges us.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
The only One we are to fear is God. This is a healthy fear, not the crippling kind or the fear that terrorizes. This reverential fear involves worship, honor, and respecting God’s Word over every other word that incites fear. For the sons and daughters of God, His love overcomes all our fears, both in life and in death.
For believers (those of us who claim to know, love and follow Jesus Christ), we can only conquer fear with faith.
Faith comes only by hearing and hearing the Word of God.
Faith works by love and as we receive our Father God’s perfect love, His perfect love for us casts out all fear (Galatians 5:6; 1 John 4:18). We have to receive and remain in the love of God to live free of fear.
God demonstrated His love for us through His son, Jesus, and Jesus is the Word of God in human form (Romans 5:8; John 1:14).
If we as believers claim to have faith in Jesus, we must have faith in God’s Word. If we as believers do not know the Word of God and are not living by the Word of God, how can we expect to have faith at all(?), much less faith that conquers all our fears (Luke 4:4).
Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. After all, it takes absolutely no faith to believe for provision, healing, protection, or any other need, if you already possess it or see it. Hebrews 11:6 states that without faith it is impossible to please God. Romans 14:23 reminds us that whatever we do that is not done in faith, for the believer, this is sin. Wow – that’s one to ponder.
For all of us who say we are believers, our faith is being tested like never before.
As a believer in the Word of God, and as a follower of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are to live as victorious overcomers by our faith (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 1:17).
If we live fearing death, we will never truly live free.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
These are Paul’s words but they should be true for all of us true believers too.
Do I really believe this?
Does my life of faith tell this story?
These words prompt Joyful Jenny to check my own faithful self. After all, this is what the Word of God should do. Have I arrived at being the most faithful and fearless follower of all? No, but, I am pressing on toward that upward and high calling every single day.
Let’s be listeners, readers, learners, students, consumers, followers, doers and lovers of the Word more than ever today (John 10:27; James 1:22). If we want to live truly by faith over fear, this is the only way. And may we keep casting all our cares on the One who loves and cares for us, and
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
Help us, Holy Spirit, to be full of faith over fear for such a time as this. Amen.
*A special thanks to Pastor Chris Hodges at Church of the Highlands for sharing these C. S. Lewis quotes during our First Wednesday worship service. Thanks also to John Maxwell for sharing these quotes several weeks ago while speaking to pastors and leaders at a Grow conference. Both were powerful, inspiring and very challenging messages about where our faith and our perspective needs to be for such a time as this.
You can view or listen to the First Wednesday worship message by Pastor Chris Hodges on 9-1-21 at: http://www.churchofthehighlands.com.
Connect to John Maxwell and his wealth of leadership knowledge, encouragement, and inspiration at: http://www.johnmaxwell.com.
For resources and inspiration for leaders who want to grow their full potential and impact, check out: http://www.growleader.com.