Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Overcoming fear and choosing faith

I am convinced that one of the greatest barriers to living the life of faith is fear. Think of the spies that were sent out to spy out the promised land and apart from one said it was impossible to enter the land. The people were too big and fierce. Think of Moses who argued with God that he was not able to lead the Exodus. Think of the eleven disciples watching Peter get out of the boat in the storm while they quite contentedly stayed in the back of the boat. 

The currency of the kingdom is faith while the currency of our world is one of fear. Politics are driven by fear. How much of the advertising we see is driven by fear? Fear of not having enough to retire. Fear of illness. Fear of a lack of security. We have to ask ourselves, which currency do we traffic in: Fear or Faith?

Faith according to Hebrews 11 is irrational from a human point of view. Faith caused a whole line of Biblical heroes to do the irrational - leave their homes like Abraham - choose the death of martyrs - build an ark when there was no rain - hid a child like Moses knowing God would rescue him - walk around Jericho and see the walls collapse - be saved because Rahab believed and the list could go on. Why? "Because faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)."

Following Jesus is a step of faith, one at a time. It chooses to traffic in faith rather than fear. It chooses to bet on the uncertainty of following Jesus rather than staying in the comfort zone. It is willing to step out of the boat like Peter rather than stay in the comfort zone like the other 11. It is not without accident that the most often repeated command in all of scripture is "Do not fear." God knows that we naturally choose fear over faith. He asks us to choose faith over fear.

Fear keeps us from giving generously as we will not have enough. It keeps us from taking steps of faith that God lays on our hearts because we are uncertain of the outcome. It keeps us from radical obedience because we love our security. It keeps us from saying yes to God because we are afraid of the outcome. Peter understood something that the other eleven did not when he got out of the boat and joined Jesus on the stormy water. He understood that being with Jesus and where He wanted him was the safest place he could ever be. 

What are you afraid of today and where do you need victory over fear? It is only solved by faith: one step at a time, one decision at a time, choosing to trust. And He is trustworthy. Remember, when Abraham left his home he had no GPS to follow or Google to find out where he was going. He simply chose by faith to follow God. And he became the paradigm for faith in the New Testament. By faith.... 

TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com.

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