Faith vs. Fear

Faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certian of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.  This is the Biblical definition of faith.  Being sure of spiritual truths even when we can’t see physical evidence. It’s knowing the wind is there even when we don’t see the tree branches moving.  It’s believing that we have been healed by his stripes even when the symptoms still plague us.

Faith has one mortal emeny.  The one enemy that will passionatly combat against it indefinitely.  An epic battle that will continue until we learn to subdo it.  The mortal enemy of faith is fear.

Fear. “An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” “A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.”  That’s the general definition of fear.

I find it interesting that both faith and fear both believe in something.  They both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet.  Each one holds a belief about something and it’s that belief that prompts us to choose a particular action or path. We can either be motivated by fear or motivated by faith.

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My husband is a high school teacher.  We credit his many years of teaching for the reason the man has such a buff immune system.  While the kids and I are all passing around the latest germ and sickness, he’s over there healthy as a horse.  He always seems to avoid the latest germ that invades our house.  Yet in the winter months when numerous county school systems close due to illness and flu, he’s paranoid.  Total Monk sized germ-o-phobia kicks in. Last time this happened, I looked at him and just laughed.  He was choosing fear over faith.  Faith and fear were dueling in an epic showdown in his soul and he was allowing fear to win.

See, both faith and fear believed something about that flu bug.  Faith understands that by His stripes we have been healed and continues to claim those stripes over any symptoms that might arrive.  Fear, on the other hand, instantly starts to worry.  Any possible symptom instantly sends you down the “I believe I might have the flu” path.  Then our emotions get out of control and things just go crazy.

Choosing fear is paralyzing. What things in your life have you always wanted to do but haven’t because you are afraid of something?  Afraid of spending the money.  Afraid of leaving your kids for the weekend.  Afraid of what people will think.  Afraid of (fill in the blank).

spiritsoulbody-3We know from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that man is a delicate ecosytem consisting of soul, body and spirit.  Your spirit is the part that becomes the new creation when you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  It’s the real you.  The you that will go to heaven someday.  The body is the earth suit that you walk around in.  Your skin and bones. It’s what will return from dust to dust and be buried in the ground. The soul is your mind, will and emotions.  And it’s this part of the trichodomy of man that causes us the most problems.

We are called as Believers to “live by the spirit.” (Galations 5:16)  Yet we as humans are constantly driven by the rudder of our emotions. This is not living by the Spirit.  This is living by the soul.  We absolutely can not live by the Spirit when we are allowing fear to dictate our path.

When we allow fear to overcome our faith, we are doing just that.  Living by the soul.  So when my husband was freaking out about the flu germs, I had to gently remind him that he was choosing to live by the soul in that moment.

Unknown copyIn Galations 5:22-25 Paul tells us, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the single nature with it’s passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Notice.  Faith is listed as a gift of the spirit.  All of these gifts are freely given to a Believer when the spirit of God takes up residence in their soul.  This means we have the ability to overcome any emotion when in our right mind** by chosing faith.  Chose faith over fear because you always have faith.  It’s a gift. (Especially when you don’t feel it!)

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

The reality is that we have been given faith.  Not fear. Yet both believe in a future that hasn’t happen yet.  So for which future are you going to choose to believe?

Now, I’m not an advocate of blind faith.  In my own walk to find healing, I heard so many Christian leaders talk about your faith will make you well.  That isn’t always true.  Your faith will take you on the road God has for you and will sometimes make you well.  I believed and stood in faith that God was going to supernaturally obliterate the tumor that had wrapped itself into my vocal cords.  Every doctor’s appointment I expected with certianty the doctor was going to say, “What tumor?” Yet there came a time in my journey where I had to face the facts.  Without medical treatment, I would die.  At any moment, my larynx could stop working and I would suffocate.  You don’t hear news like that and don’t have an epic battle between faith and fear going on in your soul.

Here’s what I learned.  I had to make a choice.

“Faith isn’t denying the reality of your circumstances.  Faith is denying those circumstances the right to remain in control of your life.”  Dutch Sheets in The Power of Hope.

I came to an impass in my journey towards healing. Was I going to go to my grave waving my flag of faith saying, “I have been healed” and continue to refuse treatment?  Was that fair to the two precious children and the loving husband I would leave behind?  Or was I going to suck it up and acknowledge the reality of my circumstances?

I wrestled with this for days.  I felt like allowing the surgery was negating the last 2 years and the faithful stance we had taken over the tumor.  But it came down to this.  Faith isn’t denying your circumstances.  It’s not ignoring the symptoms or the things that happened.  Faith is not boldly moving forward with life saying “I’m healed anyway so it doesn’t matter.  Just keep living life” like so many “name it and claim it” people say.

I have learned that having faith for healing is simply letting faith win over fear.  It’s believing for an outcome we can’t see and letting our only evidence be God’s Word.  Faith is not letting fear overcome us or our circumstances to dictate how we feel.  I have joy and peace and patience.  Not because I feel them but because God gave them to me as a gift of His Spirit.

When you take this stance on faith and believe things you don’t feel, you are going to feel like a liar. You’ll probably feel like a liar for a while. Saying things like “I am joyful.” when you’re full of sadness and regret.  Or saying “I have faith” when you feel full of fear and worry.  But the spiritual reality is that you are joyful, full of faith, patient and kind even when you don’t feel or act like it.  This is living by the spirit.

So whatever giant you are facing today that is causing this epic battle between fear and faith to rage with in you, remember this.  Both fear and faith believe for a future outcome.  Which one are you going to stand upon?  Which one do you want to see happen?  And if you’re faith doesn’t feel strong enough yet to stand on it, don’t trust your emotions.  Your spiritual reality is that you have all the faith you need.

Copyright © 2019 Dacian Keaton Ministries.  All rights reserved.

** Note: I said we can over come emotions when in our right mind.  The Lord designed our bodies to work in certian ways.  This is a “right mind.”  But when there are chemical imbalances or things not firing the way they are supposed to we are not in our “right mind.”  There are legitimit chemical and biological issues in the brain that can prevent a person some feeling the fruits of the spirit.  Things like anxiety or depression are real medical conditions that can be treated with medicines and we should not be ashamed if we need them for a season.  I think of an anti-depressant as a cast on a broken bone.  It helps rebalance and reset the parts of our body that interact with our mind.  So please do not think I am saying that because the Spirit of God reigns in us we should never expereince depression, anxiety or any of these other mental health issues.  It’s not true.  In our right minds, these emotions can be controlled.  But unfortantialy things happen that prevent a “right mind” sometimes.

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