January 7, 2013

Are You Walking in Fear or Faith?

I have a huge confession to make.  In 2012 I would have answered that question fear! Hard to believe?  It’s true!  In many areas of my life, I have operated in fear rather than faith.  There have been times when I walked in fear with regard to my children, friendships, work and even seemingly insignificant day-to-day moments in life.  Because of this I have not been experiencing the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10.
Let me give you a really silly example of what I’m talking about.   I bought something at a local store and decided I needed to return it.  Now, this wasn’t a small purchase; it was expensive and after taking it home, I realized it wouldn’t work in my house.  In the meantime, I found something that I loved and that would work beautifully in my home, but I needed to get the money back on what I originally spent before making that perfect purchase.   So, what’s so scary about that, right? Keep reading and you’ll understand my concern.
The problem was I had lost my receipt.  I’m usually really good about this but in this case, I was not.  So I procrastinated and procrastinated taking the item back for FEAR they would either not let me return it and get a full refund, let me return it but only for store credit or let me return it but at the newly discounted price (Since I had put this off so long, the item was now on sale!) Can anyone relate to this?
What I should have done was pray about it and trust God for the outcome. Instead, I worried and fretted over it for the longest time. Then one day in my quiet time, I ran across a very familiar passage of Scripture. 
God impressed upon my heart that rather than praying and exercising faith in God, I was living in anxiety and fear.  How absolutely silly to be fearful over something that (in the grand scheme of things) was so trivial!
So I paused right then and prayed.  I asked God to forgive me for worrying rather than praying and trusting, and then I simply asked Him to intervene and fix this situation that was completely out of my control.  I then put my faith into action and drove to the store to make my return. 
You’ll never guess what happened … God took care of it.  The store allowed me to return the item without the receipt and all was well.  I then went and purchased the item I really wanted!
I told you this was a silly illustration about fear, but God often uses the everyday things of life to teach us big spiritual truths.  That day I realized how often I am motivated by fear rather than faith in the big and small things of life.  Now I am still a work in progress, but I have resolved that in 2013 and beyond, I want to be known as a woman of faith, not fear!
So I invite you to join me during the month of January for this new series – Walking in Fear or Faith?  We’re going to go back to the “beginning” and take a look at some of the great heroes of faith in the Old Testament and learn from their walk. 
Just to remind you of those great heroes of faith, read Hebrews 11:1-12:2 and if you have a few minutes make aBy Faith List.  Download the By Faith List and note all the things these great heroes of faith had to do by faith and the result of their faith.
Now look back at verse 1.  What is faith according to this verse?
  • Assurance of things hoped for
  • Conviction of something even when it isn’t seen (believing without seeing)
The Greek word for faith in this passage is, pistis, which means conviction of the truth of anything, trust or belief, the character of one who can be relied on, the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ.
I am looking forward to learning from some of God’s original faithful ones – those who did not waste their time walking in fear, but rather chose to walk trusting and believing God.  They had the conviction that God was the creator and ruler over all things and that HE was their great provider!  We’ll take a closer look at these great heroes next week.
Until then, ponder these questions …
  • Do I display fear or faith in my life on a daily basis?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • Where in my life is it most difficult for me to exercise my faith?  Why?
Will you commit to stick with me during this series and discover how to live in faith and not fear as a way of life?
I pray each of us will have a hopeful walk in 2013.  A walk not based on feelings or fear, but one based on complete faith in our faithful God.
So … what will you choose today?  Will it be fear or faith?
Jacqueline Heider
Women’s Ministry