Living by Faith: Fear and Faith are Rivals

Faith is fought in the trenches of what we hear and see.

Faith and fear are rivals.

Living by faith in this rivalry is one of life’s biggest fights.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12

“Fight” carries interesting depth of meaning.

  • From its root, we get the English word, agony.
  • A grueling conflict.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 1 Samuel 17:8-11

23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. 1 Samuel 17:23-24

Enemies often stand and shout at you.  Vs. 8

Enemies often defy you.  Vs. 10

  • to confront with assured power of resistance
  • to challenge to do something considered impossible

The rivals, fear and faith, fight in the trenches of what we hear.  Vs. 11, 23

The rivals, fear and faith, fight in the trenches of what we see.  Vs. 24

Interestingly, fear is faith in the enemy.

  • Every moment of fear proclaims the strength of the enemy.
  • Every moment of fear is a reduction of confidence in God.

Dr. Larry Severson said, “It’s not necessarily what happens around you that is of concern.  My interest is in what you allow to happen in you.”

The good fight of faith is shaped in the trenches of what we allow ourselves to hear and see.

We are determined to filter our hearing for that which builds faith for the good fight.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:14-17

We are determined to filter our seeing to see that which builds faith for the good fight.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.  Hebrews 11:27

Be encouraged to wage war on your fears and live by faith with the following five strategies.

  1. Worship the Lord in song.
  2. Read the Bible out loud.
  3. Turn off non-faith sounds and sights.
  4. Gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.
  5. The testimonies of the God’s strong action.

These actions will help us win the faith fight for what happens within us.

  • I’m powerless – He is all powerful
  • I’m not enough – Jesus is enough
  • I can’t –            He can
  • I will never change – Being transformed from glory to glory
  • Death – He that believeth on me shall never die
  • Shame – grace
  • Fear – faith

Let us hear and see the Word of God.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  1 John 5:4