Fear vs. Faith
Why it matters which one you allow through the gates of your soul
A familiar verse to many is faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). So how do you hear or receive the Word of God into your hearts so that faith is present? Most of the time it’s through your senses or the gates of your soul:
- Eyes (reading or watching faith at work).
- Ears (listening or hearing the Word of God spoken or activated = testimonies).
- Mouth (praying scripture or saying God’s truth aloud).
You probably know that faith is a spiritual force, but do you realize that fear is also a spiritual force? Fear is everything opposite of faith.
We want to focus on good, God, Jesus, faith and hope; but the reality is, we live in a fallen world that compels us to look at the bad, the works of Satan, fear and despair. Why? Because since Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan over God, the world turned upside down.
John 10:10 says, the devil came to kill, steal and destroy. That’s his passion, his mission (fear). In that same verse Jesus says, “I have come to give you life, abundantly (faith).”
Fear is Satan’s destructive power; faith is God’s creative power.
Your creative power or destructive power is produced by what you say. “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5 NIV). “Death or life is in the power of your tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).
Back to John 10:10 – Jesus came to give you life – and not just any life, but His life. Your life is in what you say. God’s Word is life.
Speaking God’s Word, putting it in front of your eyes and ears and speaking it out of your mouth, brings abundant life.
That’s the life Jesus wants for you to experience in the physical realm by faith.
You are created in God’s image. You were made to be like Him, to imitate Him. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents” (MSG).
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19 NLT). Jesus imitates God.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
King Solomon, the wises king to ever rule the earth, shared God’s instruction to you, His child –
- “My child, pay attention to what I say.
- Listen carefully to my words.
- Don’t lose sight of them.
- Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
- for they bring life to those who find them,
- and healing to their whole body” (Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT).
Just as faith comes by hearing the Word of God through your eyes, ears and mouth, how does fear come?
Fear comes by hearing the words of the world.
(Watch What in the Word – Dealing with Fear with Kank and Sally.)
All you have to do is turn on the television and watch it for a few minutes to experience fear.
- We live in a fallen world and the stories the world tells are generally negative.
- The news is 90% about the bad things happening in our world today.
- Then there are the fearful commercials offering medications for all kinds of terrible diseases. If you allow the images on screen to enter your thoughts, the next thing you know, you’re wondering if you have it, if you’ll get it and how you can prevent it.
- And the entertainment industry is full of fearful stories with images that will keep you up at night.
Fear utilizes your eyes, ears and mouth – or your soul gates.
Fear or faith grows in your heart as a direct result of what you allow to enter into your heart.
As you think about that fear, it begins to grow. The next thing you know, you’re talking about it all the time. Fear grows as you speak about those things as if they were already happening.
A 38-year-old man died suddenly, and people were shocked. How could a healthy, vibrant, positive and powerful person become ill and die in a matter of weeks? During his memorial service, some of those closest to him revealed the young man often jokingly said, “I’m not going make it past 40” and he didn’t. To most people, the young man seemed like he had it all together, but inside he could have been dealing with immense fear.
The next verse of wisdom from King Solomon says to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT).
When fear knocks on your heart’s gate, and you entertain his opportunity, you begin to invite fear into your life like a welcomed guest. Fear eventually becomes the guest you wish would leave. (Check out video interview – No Need to Fear with Josh Baldwin.)
Satan is fear; it’s what moves him.
Satan cannot do anything to you without from fear, just as God requires faith to act on your behalf. “In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you” (Isaiah 54:14-15 NIV).
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV). So then, we could say fear is the material or stuff that makes up things unwelcome or undesired.
Think about the night Jesus walked on the water toward His disciples out at sea in a boat (see Matthew 14:22-33). The disciples saw someone or something walking toward them on the water and it instilled terror in their soul. They thought it was a ghost. Jesus told them it was Him, and Peter challenged Him saying, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28 ESV).
Peter walked on water toward Jesus, but then as he looked at what he was doing – a word of the world that says no one can walk on water – the undesirable thing began to happen.
Fear becomes doubt and unbelief when given permission to pass through your soul gates.
Fear began to overtake faith in Peter’s mind. “But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted” (Matthew 14:30 ESV).
Fear is the opposite side of faith.
Hebrews 11:1-6 is a word picture of faith in action (NIV).
- Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
- This is what the ancients were commended for.
- By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
- By faith, Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith, he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith, Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
- By faith, Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased 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.”
THINK AND PRAY
What changes do you believe you need to make in your life to better guard your heart? What things are you allowing into your soul gates that bring fear? What things do you need to open the door to more often that brings faith to the forefront?