Sounds odd doesn’t it? Believing that fear is better than faith. I mean, who says, “Um yeah, skip the faith. I’d rather have fear.”
Probably no one, unless you’re working with enemy. But no one who considers themselves a believer, a follower of Christ. At least, we wouldn’t admit it.
Yet, I’m willing to bet that almost every single one of us lives out of this belief at some point. I have. Many times. And it makes me sad to think I’ve chosen to side with the enemy over fighting him and standing with my Lord, my victor and my deliverer.
If you, or I, were standing before ISIS, or the next shooter on the hunt for Christians, would we stand for what we think we believe in? Would we face the barrel of a gun, or the blade of a sword, and say, “Yes, I am a believer and follower of Christ. Praise God.”
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? ~ Psalm 56:11
Would our response display a penetrating, deep-seated belief of God’s goodness & faithfulness as we remain bold & confident?
Or would we react with fleeting courage as shallow, thought-based beliefs evaporate in the face of trial?
…for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ~ Luke 6:45b
We might think we wouldn’t deny our faith in the presence of a weapon wielding enemy, but none of us knows for sure until it happens.
And then there are those who faced this very thing yesterday. The news reports say they were targeted for their faith. For being a follower of Christ. And then there are those terrorized by ISIS, day after day. Also, for following Christ. The list goes on and on.
Maybe we won’t face these situations, but what about…
That day when someone made of fun of Christ, or teased another person who was made in the image of Christ, how did you respond? Did you shrink back in fear? Fear of rejection, of ridicule, or of attack? Did you pretend it never happened? Or did you show compassion in some form of response?
I know what I’ve done. And it didn’t look like rock solid faith.
When your friend whispers words of gossip, or maybe it comes from your own mouth, are you convicted? Am I? Do we stop and let others know that we can’t participate in gossip? Or do we fear their response if we were bold enough to say so?
Maybe you think like I tend to, maybe you’re afraid you’ll say something dorky and others won’t like you anymore. Or you’ll say the wrong thing, so you say nothing.
When someone keeps crossing your boundaries, disrespecting your requests & taking more than you willingly give out of love & care, do you say nothing? Or do you buckle and give in to their demands? Maybe out of the same fears above, or out of fear that they won’t behave rightly without your help? Fear that their response will hurt you unless you manage the outcome in some way?
Or what about that time when someone shared something personal and hard in their life and you found yourself with nothing to say. Or you said too much and it caused them pain. Did you notice? Were you afraid of…rejection? Failing?
You see, so often we choose to believe fear is better than faith.
We choose to believe it’s better to surrender to defeat because living in fear is easier than living by faith.
In response to the shooting in Oregon, I posted on Facebook about living in fear far too long. The enemy sought to entice me with convenience, pride, comfort or pleasure.
Whenever I don’t live out of the place where I know deeply how much I am loved and already accepted, I’m preferring fear over faith. Anytime I choose the easy road that succumbs to fears tactics, I believe fear is better than faith.
Friends, we face a weapon-wielding enemy every day. We need to see his barrels pointed at our hearts and minds and believe he’s behind the fear which we resort to.
We need to push through the hard things and take this life-long journey of drawing deeper into the knowledge of Christ.
Here is where our strength is found. Here is where faith grows and we can believe faith is better than fear.
Join me for #31DaystoBelieve as we continue to pursue what we believe and how it impacts our lives.
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May we learn to #livewell.
For learning how to do the hard things, check out Dr. John Townsend’s newest book, The Entitlement Cure,
or the classic by Cloud & Townsend, Boundaries.
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Jolene, yes, I have been just as guilty which makes my heart sad too. Your questions really have me thinking too. Would I proclaim my faith if asked about my faith by ISIS or whoever? I would hope that I would, but I am not 100% sure that I would. Great series, friend!
It’s hard to think about isn’t it? Thanks, friend.
Iron sharpens iron. Good stuff, friend.