Faith or Fear?
We must put all our energies and prayers into being free from intimidation. We must know who we are as a child of God. We must die to ourselves to gain and grow in perfect love. Pride and reliance on ourselves will keep us from really experiencing God. What must we do? Begin to see ourselves as children of God. What does this mean for us? Our faith is not in ourselves or what we have done. Faith comes from God alone and from hearing His word. The more we grow in faith in God’s word, the more perfect we become in Him. We become righteous and holy when we are born again; then He becomes perfected in us through sanctification and following Him daily. This is how faith is perfected and grown.
We must see ourselves as a child of God. Fear will weaken our faith and darken our vision of who we are in Christ. Only faith and belief in God and the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us through and bring more freedom. Fear continues to weaken us until we begin to die to ourselves. The love of self brings fear. Why? Because we are putting our faith in ourselves and not in God. God must be the object of our faith. The One we trust for all of life. Trust in self will never build faith and growth as a saint. We must die to ourselves so faith can complete its work. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me.” (Galatians 2:20 ESV) We no longer live, but Jesus Christ lives in us! Our life is lived by looking at Him and living in faith, and trusting Him. We have no room for fear. Fear must go because we have been crucified with Christ.
We did not labor to get faith or salvation. We were given a free gift because we believed in Christ for salvation. Our faith in Christ only came by hearing the Word of God. As we heard the Word our faith grew to know and trust in Him. We are not righteous for what we have done; we are righteous only by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. By believing in Him and acting on His Word, we are saved.
This is why all our fears are crucified with Christ. Our relationship is secure by faith and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are saved by believing in Jesus as God’s Son who died on the cross for our sins! “For by grace you have been saved through (the channel of) faith…” (Ephesians 2:8 ESV) (Italics mine) Faith is the channel. And for faith to continue to grow, we must hear, study, and receive from God. We must live by faith and not by fear. We must continually receive from God to increase our faith. We can only overcome fear by faith in the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ! This shows that faith is a work of God and not of myself. I can’t die to my sinful nature on my own, Jesus died for me and put to death my sinful nature, and now I have a new nature in me. I can overcome anything when I believe what Jesus has done for me, and I submit to him and be led by the Spirit. My freedom and growth will come in God’s timing and by increasing my faith.
God has killed my sin by the death of His Son on the cross. Jesus was crucified, and his crucifixion was my death to sin and me. This is why I can operate by faith and freedom from sin. We must decide daily to die and put our fleshly desires and fear to death. Our body does not define our life because we are dead to sin and alive in Christ. We are defined by what Jesus has done for us on the cross and what we can do now. We can live and believe and walk in faith.
[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park.]