Have you ever been so convinced of something, that you made a decision and took action and then wondered how or why you did that? … How could I have been so sure then and wondering why now? What can cause this to occur?
Fear is the enemy we struggle with when doubt is given a resting place. Is there something today that you are confused over or being tormented about? Perhaps a vital relationship that is in trouble; your spouse, child, parents – something is amiss and you are ready to walk away. In these moments there is only one remedy; open the Word of God and search out an answer (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus spoke in various places about His Kingdom and what it is like (Read Matthew 13). Yes, our faith-filled friends can come alongside to encourage us, but in the end we must search and find for ourselves. We must discover faith that overcomes fear.
Consider the disciples during the last week of Jesus life. Place yourself in their shoes: think about what they walked through in the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. They had come to a place of believing, knowing that He was the promised Messiah, yet they struggled through feelings of doubt and fear. They saw the miracles He performed to rescue people from sickness, disease and death, yet they doubted at times… “Was He really who He said he is?”, they thought. They faced this kind of fear often while journeying with Jesus and especially after he was crucified. They were in constant threat of persecution, arrest or even death. Self-preservation was all they knew up to this point in life; it is our natural course. Yet, down the road, something would happen to cause them to become fearless (Acts 4:31), in the face of threats and death.
The battle between our natural-man and the new-man, seated in Christ, is what reveals our faith. The ability to overcome our natural fears is found through our identification with Christ Himself, living on the inside by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will come to you…” (Please read John Chapter 14.) Remember, growing our faith through wise choices is important.
If you are facing fear today, of any sort, remember that Jesus has come to give you life in Himself (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit living inside of us gives us the ability to overcome fear. There are practices that will help you become strong in your relationship with Him. Reading His Word daily and surrendering your life afresh to Him each day is the starting point. Without the power of God’s words to renew our minds, we will be subject to our own human weakness and Satan’s devices; we will succumb to double-mindedness as James tells us (James 1:6-8). The way to lay hold of stability in our thinking is by building up our faith through the scripture. Pray, talk to your Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did, and as He taught His disciples to do (Matthew 6:9-13). Confess any sin He shows you, turn from it and make things right. You will find closeness with Him greater than what you can share with any person.
We have an enemy that plays with our minds, attempting to destroy our faith and separate us from the love of God. Once you’ve entered God’s Kingdom you gain power against the workers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Have you discovered yet, how real they are? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re still thinking that dark thoughts come from your own shame, but they actually are planted; sown by your enemy. Satan has a host of “workers of darkness” that come to destroy faith.
There’s a couple of songs we sing that reminds me often of how much we live in a culture filled with manifestations of the enemies success in deceiving people into fear, doubt, shame, and sin. I’m thankful for these lyrics that remind us how to counter-act the schemes of the enemy, how to fight our battles, that fear is a liar, we are no longer slaves to fear, and of the relentless, reckless love of God in seeking after us (Read Luke 15). He rescues us if we let Him; that’s what the cross for Christ was all about.
Today, if you hear His voice, surrender to it. Do not harden your heart because of past pain, experience or failure. Come into the shelter of His arms and find rest. He will hold you there. There will still be battles until we get home to Heaven, but we will learn how to fight them and like Jesus disciples, we can become fearless in His name and by His power at work in us.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Acts 4:31 ESV And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
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