I am quiet certain that fear is one of the greatest weapons the enemy uses against God’s children. It keeps us from stepping out in faith and doing the things God puts in our hearts and minds to do. Fear is what keeps us from witnessing freely to those around us. It’s what keeps us from serving the Lord in areas that take us outside of our comfort zones. Fear is one of the primary reasons we are hindered from boldly pursuing the Lord’s specific calling in our loves.
Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of what others might think. Fear of loosing everything. The laundry list goes on and on and causes the anxiety level in us to increase.
A couple of months ago I was in conversation with a very successful pastor. We were talking about knowing the will of God and stepping out into it, in spite of the “risks” involved. His words were both surprising and encouraging. He said if I waited until I was 100% secure in the decisions I made…it would not be faith. If I waited till all fears subsided before I stepped out and did what I knew the Lord was wanting me to do…I would never accomplish anything.
I began to realize that fear is not the absence of faith, unless we allow it to be.
Paul said these very practical words:
1 Corinthians 2:3 (NASB95)
3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
This short, simple passage has become dear to me. Here is the great apostle Paul, one of the boldest men in the early Church saying, when I was with you, I “felt” nothing but weak and fearful. The greater truth is this, in spite of Paul’s “feelings”, he continued to operate in faith, boldly preaching, teaching, and in this case, confronting the Corinthian Church with the Word.
My friend, fear does not have to mean the absence of faith. Faith (trusting, believing, adhering to the principles of a faithful God) does not have to wait on our feelings to line up with the task before us. Sometimes the greatest faith is exhibited in times of the greatest inner most fears. The key is we never let our fears and insecurities keep us from doing the things God has told us to do.
Most of the people we hold up and admire the most…are just like the rest of us. The difference? They have moved ahead in spite of their fears. They believed the scriptural encouragement to “fear not” in Isaiah:
Isaiah 54:4 (NASB95) 4 “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
So my encouragement to you this day is to not let fear defeat your faith. Instead, let faith move you in spite of your fear. Fear is not the opposite of faith, doubt is. Fear is merely an emotion stirred in us by the enemy to keep us from moving in the faith we already have. Therefore, cast that spirit of fear down in the name of Jesus, and move ahead in faith for the reward for which is sure to come from the hand of the Father.