“Fear is faith for the things you don’t want.”
Fear plagued me as a little girl. Being shy I was too afraid to talk to the telephone operator. My anxious feelings led to biting my finger nails. I was motivated to stop chewing on them for two weeks by the promise of a pair of white go-go boots. The nibbling restarted though, when my anxiety returned.
My dad used to say, “Fear is the most powerful emotion.” I can testify to its power to immobilize me, to the point of disobedience to God. Due to fear I struggled for years with answering God’s call to write.
When I reflect back on my life, I wonder how many of God’s blessings I missed as result of fear. And I wonder because of my fear, how much others were prevented from experiencing the grace of God displayed through my life. Apprehension can have a rippling effect, influencing those around us, just as it did in Numbers chapters 13 and 14.
God sent twelve Israelites to check out the Promised Land. When the spies returned, fear consumed ten of them as they focused on the giants in the land. Others in the camp then joined in the complaints, saying they’d rather go back to Egypt. Their fear led them to desire slavery instead of experiencing freedom in God’s Promised Land. Amnesia overtook them; they forgot all the miracles God had performed on their behalf. Fear alters our perceptions and prevents us from seeing God’s goodness and what He’s done for us in the past. If we’re not careful, our fear will contaminate our faith.
The fruit of fear is unbelief which may lead to disobedience. We scorn God when we refuse to believe Him and His power, while placing trust in our fear more than in God. Fear can cause us reject who God says He is and His promises to us. If we allow that to happen, we will not see our God-given Promise Land.
Use the following chart to see which rules your life more: fear or faith.
Fear causes us to hide. Faith causes us to be transparent.
Fear causes us to run in the opposite direction. Faith causes us to face and embrace fear.
Fear immobilizes us. Faith moves or activates us.
Fear tempts us to disobey God. Faith encourages us to obey God.
Fear enslaves; keeps us in captivity. Faith liberates and sets us free.
Fear torments us with lies from the enemy. Faith gives us peace through God’s truth.