When the storm breaks, some are dumb with terror and some spread their wings to soar on the wind ~ Elizabeth: The Golden Age
I believe fear is a brutal task master that requires a crippling tax. It causes people to make choices that are not in alignment with their own will. It has a way of putting you on the path of the very thing you want to avoid.
In Proverbs 10:24 it says, “What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.”
Wicked means guilty one, and dread, fear and terror. Righteous means vindicated by God, and desire, longing. See Blue Letter Bible BLB
Dread is looking back at what we fear will overtake us and like a batter who keeps their eye on the ball, a person who is filled with dread is poised to make contact with the object of their focus. Fear can only exist when faith is absent. Faith is staking our belief in what is not seen but promised by God for us. While fear is belief that what we dread has overtaken us because of what we see.
But overcoming the temptation to indulge in fear creates a resistance that elevates like the wings of a plane. When we take the opportunity to release ourselves instead to trust God with what we long for we open our focus to endless possibilities. I believe God has actually designed us with an imagination to actively partner with him in faith. We tend to limit imagination to the realm of creativity for fun or income. But imagination is, I believe, our God given ability to see the unseen good God has for us to activate by faith as we surrender our thinking to God’s thinking.
Agreement with God is an Act of Your Will
Proverbs 10:24 is a glimpse of the reality of faith. Righteousness and wickedness both have their origin in what we believe. What is wicked in God’s sight begins with our thinking. And what is righteous in God’s sight begins with our thinking. According to the bible, “no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” Romans 3:20, and Righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 3:22.
Righteousness is the aspect of the kingdom that is entered by coming into agreement with the mind of God. It comes by faith, which is not dependent on feelings. “the kingdom of God is… righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”, Romans 14:17, BLB: Holy Spirit – the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son Peace, joy and love are fruits of union with the Holy Spirit. “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” Galatians 5:22-23 Love, can be a feeling but it also can be an act you choose even without a feeling – a choice, just as is faith.
Fear is an emotion we can use as a prompt to check our thinking.
How can you tell when you are in a state of faith? Take a look at what you are feeling. It is possible for things to be going terribly wrong in your life while you are still inexplicably in a state of joy and peace. You know that your life is manifesting joy and peace when their existence doesn’t make sense in your circumstances. Joy and peace can not exist when your circumstances are supplying you with evidence of what you would naturally, according to human nature, dread, without a focal point of faith that comes from a mindful choice to cultivate belief in what God says.
Dread, even just the temptation to dread, can be a useful alarm for checking what you are thinking. Being in a state of faith is Righteousness in God’s sight, Romans 3:22 and God does not lead us to fear.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” Hebrews 10:38
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 This last one has been a life verse for me.
One verse that has been particularly powerful for me recently in maintaining my foothold of faith when I’ve been tempted to dread has been,
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7
Follow in the Footsteps of Faith
Remember that the model for walking in faith is Abraham, “He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” Romans 4:17 He is the father of those, “who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had” Romans 4:12
We walk in faith by “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
God cares for you. Stay in a place of faith. Let God’s words occupy the territory of your mind. God has so much grace and mercy for those who approach him with confidence in God’s own words about himself and who he says we are. Hebrews 4:16
God wants to fulfill our longings. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2Corinthians 1:20 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 I will come to you and fulfill my good promise …11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord” Jeremiah 29:10-14
God instructs us to bring Heaven to earth through prayer, “Your kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
5 Steps to Replace Fear with Faith
Over the years, the practice of staying in a place of belief for every challenge I am confronted with has produced a huge deposit of peace and joy in me. But on those rare occasions when I am crying out on the edge of despair I take the knowledge I have of God’s faithfulness to bring a wonder in every situation and apply it.
Here is how I do that:
- Ask God for a promise. We have open access to a whole bible full of promises God has given us to claim. So open it up and ask him for one
- Thank God for his faithfulness to bring you a promise to hold onto! As you feel your heart begin to take courage, pour out praise and worship. Get excited about the realization that God is giving you his plans to agree with!
- Ask God to give you a vision for what these words are declaring his plans for good are. Sing the words and meditate on their meaning in a conversation with God about what he is showing you. Actively participate in the activation of faith which is assurance of things hoped for and unseen. Hebrews 11:1
- Take that promise and stand in the gap with it. Go before the courtroom of heaven with your petition in a state of confidence because God has taken you to these promises. He is giving you his promise as the legal basis for your petition! Hebrews 4:16
- As you go out from those prayers and step into life, purposefully look for evidence of the changes your prayers have brought and celebrate! Faith looks with anticipation for its fulfillment. Keep your eyes open for the manifestation of the thing you are trusting God for. And continually refresh a state of thankfulness in your heart.
The amazing privilege of faith is authority to bring heaven’s domain into earth’s reality. Take advantage of it. It pleases God 🙂
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6