Faith or Fear?
I am excited to continue our series entitled “All in my Head.” During this series we have been discussing mental health. Part 1 taught us how we deal with Being Overwhelmed. In Part two, we learned how to deal with Toxic Thinking, toxic thinking leads to toxic living. Part three we studied Fear of the Future. We learned biblical applications that we can apply to our lives in this area that will help us overcome the fear. My hope during this series is that we can equip you with some tools to help you fight the battles in your mind, so that you can walk in peace and victory that Christ purchased for us! Today’s Topic, the Fear of Stepping Out, or the Fear of Being Obedient to what God has called us to do.
Our first scripture for this session comes from the 2nd Book of Timothy,
2 Timothy 1:3-7, 3 “I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline”. I like the passage in NJKV, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.
Today I want to share three insights that will help you to overcome the fear that may be holding you back in your Christian walk.
1) Live by Faith, Not by Feeling,
I believe we miss so many opportunities because we are waiting for things to line up internally before we step out; In other words, we miss out because we are waiting until we feel equipped, rather than believing and trusting that God has already equipped us! It never fails, almost every time I preach on Sunday morning. I am nervous and I FEEL ill-equipped many times. I question if I know my sermon well enough. I question how it is going to come out. Then I step in front of all these people. On the outside I may look like I have it all together, but on the inside my heart is racing. I am nervous and my face feels red, but all the while in mind and heart I’m preparing!
- See I know the Spirit of Almighty God lives down inside of me! I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!
- I know that God has an unending well of wisdom that I can draw from!
- I know that I am an ambassador for Jesus and everywhere that I go I bring the Kingdom of God with me!
- As I begin to stir up the gift that God has placed down inside me, I feel that fear begins to flee and the power of God comes upon me!
See, we miss it so many times because we are waiting for things to line up internally before we step out; but the reality is we experience the power of God WHEN we step out! Fear waits to FEEL equipped, but Faith says I KNOW that I am equipped by God!
- Faith takes hold of eternal promises.
- Faith says I KNOW that God has given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind so I am going to walk in it.
- Faith in this promise empowers us to step over the threshold of fear!
The more we stir up and fan into the flame those gifts inside of us, the more the fire of God will consume the fear in our lives!
2) Live by God’s Promises, Not your Perception,
I wonder how many God given opportunities we miss because we are waiting for the perfect circumstances?
- Fear will say, everything needs to align perfectly before you step out.
- However, faith does not always wait for the perfect circumstances.
3) Faith Focuses on God’s Presence Not the Problems,
Journey Students, I want to change your thinking. Do not buy into the lie that you must be outside of God’s will if you’re experiencing a storm (problem/hardship) in your life. Problems can be an indicator that we are living outside of God’s will, but not always!
Mark 4:35-41, 35 “That day when evening came he said to his disciples, Let us go over to the other side. 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Quite! Be still! The wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? 41They were terrified and asked each other, Who is this, Even the wind and the waves obey him”!
- You see, Jesus commanded the disciples to go to the other side.
- The disciples were being obedient, Jesus Himself was in the boat when the storm hit!
- You could say they were right in the center of the will of God when the storm hit!
- Do not think that when you are walking in the will of God and using your gifts, that you will not encounter storms!
- There are going to be storms!
It is not the absence of storms that set Christians apart in this world; it is who’s in the boat with us during the storm!
- As we go through storms, we do not need to fear because Jesus is with us!
- He guides us, strengthens us, and empowers us. He goes before us and nothing comes to me that did not go through Jesus first.
- As we focus on His presence and not the problems, He gives us His power, love, and the soundness of mind to face those problems head-on!
- Maybe you are fearful to step out and do what God has asked you to do.
- Maybe you are fearful about the next season in your life.
- Maybe you are fearful to begin using the gifts that God has placed down inside of you.
- Maybe you walk in fear in general.
- I want you to know that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.
- I pray that You would begin to tap into what God has for you.
Remember this, God is serious when it comes to this matter called fear. It keeps us from walking in our true potential. Fear keeps us from using the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has placed down on the inside of us! As long as we are controlled by fear, we will not experience all God has for us.
I love you Journey Students,