I wrote the piece below several years ago. I wrote it to counter some of the name it and claim it attitudes but the context of the piece is about fear. I was identifying it as the greatest enemy of the church. I myself lived in fear all of my life, although no one would have known it, I hid it very well. Even the first ten years of my Christianity I was still very much enslaved to fear on the inside. Then the Lord led me to Philippians 4 and had me camp on it for about a year. He would not let me leave the Scripture " Be anxious for nothing." Before the year was over I had identified my fear as sin and that was the breakthrough for me. It was not fear itsself that was the sin it was the living in fear that was the sin. Fear in the natural is something to be overcome. Truly brave men are not those who do not fear but those who overcome their fear and do whatever it is despite their fears, they have victory. I pray that the piece below speaks to you on some level.........bro Frank
Philippians 4:6-7 (ASV)
6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
In Chapter 3 of Job, we see Job overcome with grief. He is overwhelmed with the circumstances of life and we might say, “who could blame him?”. He has lost all his children, all of his possessions, he has lost his health, in short, he has lost everything. He is so dismayed that he cries out to God, mourning the day that he was born, wishing that he had died at birth, wishing he had been stillborn. While many of us may never sink as low as Job, many of us can identify with certain aspects of Job’s situation.
There are Christians who have lost children, there are Christians who have lost every penny they had, there are Christians who have devastating illnesses, all of the these afflictions are frequently seen in the church and it is common to men for we live in a dying and corrupt world and Christians are part of that world.
Those who claim that these things happen because of a lack of faith or sin, are simply ignorant of the Scriptures and actually operate in fear, not faith. Yes, sickness is a result of sin, the sin of Adam. While we as Christians dwell within the corruptible flesh(we will be raised in incorruption on that glorious day) we will suffer and we will die just like all men. Can sin sometimes cause physical illness? Yes. Is that always the reason? No. Consider Epaphroditus, a close friend and Disciple of Paul. His sickness almost led to his death. Why would Paul not simply lay hands on him and heal him instantly? Was Paul lacking in faith? Was Epaphroditus?
To take the, “name it and claim it,” nonsense to its logical conclusion, then we, as Christians would not physically die. The fact is, if you are over a certain age, then you are dying, all we as adults are dying right now. The certain truth is this, bad things happen to Christians. We will have trials and tribulations, this is promised to us. If you were a first century Christian, then very bad things were going to happen. As we know, most of the original followers of Jesus were badly abused, tortured and killed.
What was their problem? Bad confession? Lack of faith? Secret sin in their life? What nonsense. These were glorious saints who, because of their walk, because of their faith, because of the danger they represented to the enemy and his kingdom, came in for special attention. As it was then, so it is now.
Would anyone argue that the Apostle Paul, author of two-thirds of the New Testament, was a man lacking in faith, walking in fear? Yet, we know his life, how he was shipwrecked, how he was often flogged, how he was often impoverished and had to go hungry. And despite all of that, he had discovered what true faith was all about, he had discovered that the opposite of fear was faith, and he had overcame it and was able to be content in any situation.
Job says in 3:25, 26 “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, I have no rest for trouble comes.”
We see here, that while we know that Job was a Godly man prior to his trials, that he had things that he greatly feared and dreaded. Fear is the enemy to all Christians, not the circumstances of life. The reason for this is because circumstances are mostly out of our control, yet fear is a choice. To live in fear is to deny God in your life. Notice that I did not say that to, “ fear is to deny God,” but to, “live in fear.” Look at the difference between Paul and Job. Because of Job’s fear and then circumstances he was not “at ease, nor am I quiet, I have no rest,” as opposed to Paul who had learned to be content in every situation.
Just in case you think I am being to hard on Job, chapter 3 is not the conclusion to his story, praise God. Perhaps you are living in chapter three yourself right now, or know someone who is. Someone who wishes they were never born, someone who has sore trials that has come upon them and are really struggling. Job actually makes the greatest confession of faith in all the Scriptures, “Even if He slays me, yet will I trust in Him.”
What a remarkable turnaround. Job has had a revelation of God. God shows Job that He is maker of the universe, that he laid the foundations of the earth. God is revealing Himself to Job and Job is getting a handle on the God that he serves, despite his circumstances. But, the central fact is this, Job is communicating with God.
Therein lies the key, the secret which is no secret. Relationship with Jesus, walking in His presence, talking to God, genuine communication is the key to an overcoming attitude. Not one of us will overcome the slightest trial in our lives outside of the presence of God. If fear is the opposite of faith, if we live in fear, how can we walk in the presence of God?
Are you tired of living in fear? Lets call fear what it is, it is a lack of trust in God. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, trust and commitment. How can we be committed to a God in whom we do not trust? When we do not trust Him, then we are calling Him a liar. If we step outside of trusting Him, then we begin to run our own lives, making our own decisions. When a Christian makes a decision, based on fear, disaster inevitably follows.
Is your trust based on circumstances? Do you sleep well at night because you have a lot of money in the bank? It’s not particularly hard for a man of means to say that He trusts God in the area of finance, that’s not to say he does not, yet only circumstances of trial truly expose the man of trust. Only when the storm comes, and the man of God is still standing after it do we truly know that his foundation is Christ.
When we humble ourselves, when we acknowledge our fears, not deny them like the, “name it and claimers,” when we draw close to Jesus and make a conscious decision to turn it over to Him, only then can we overcome it. Yes Lord, I have a disease, one that may even kill me, but I am turning it over to you, you will be my peace because I trust you, my life is in your hands.Compare that attitude with the so called “faith,” movement who would deny that they even have a disease, and make no mistake about it, they do that out of fear, not faith. This is true irony.
The truth is that we walk in victory despite our circumstances. No matter what happens to us in this life, no matter what we lose, be it our health, our wealth, people close to us, loved ones, we can lose all these things but we cannot lose God. This is where our peace and our joy comes from, not from circumstances, but from trust, commitment, the very foundations of our relationship with Jesus. Staying close to Him. For when we walk in His presence, when we refuse to let circumstances cause fear and rob us of our peace, then we hear God speak.
That small still voice will guide us through everything in life. As long as you operate in fear, you will quench this voice, the very voice that may say,” today I will heal you, today I will restore you on this earth, today I will prosper you, today I will use you, or, today I am taking you home.” He is the author and finisher of our faith, not circumstances.
I urge you brothers and sisters, the next challenge that comes your way, and believe me, it is coming, determine in your heart to expel fear and anxiety from your heart. Determine in your heart that you will believe the report of the Lord, you will rest upon His promises. This is not a feeling that will come over you, it starts with a conscious decision to trust God. Lets begin to be different from the world.
If you get a bad report from the doctor, rejoice in the fact that your life is in God’s hand and that it will be Him that determines the outcome of your life or the life of your loved one. Not one single Christian is leaving this planet one single second before it is ordained by God. The steps or a righteous man and woman are ordered of God, not the enemy.There is not a power in the universe that can wrestle you out of the hand of the Lord. We are bought by a price, we are servants of the most High God, it is Him that determines how long we stay on this planet.
I am 43, perhaps the Lord has a 44 year plan for me? Then so be it Lord. For what He wills He brings to pass. Yet, He may have an 80 year plan for me, and nothing can change that. A report from the Doctor cannot change that, hell and high water cannot change that. I am not in danger from the enemy, I am safe in the arms of my Savior. You must believe that today. This is where your trust comes from, in beliveing the Word of God and knowing that He bought you with a price and that you are His and His alone.
No Doctors report can change that. No loss of Job can change that, no loss of loved one can change that. No threat from the lying enemy can change that. Rest in that, not that you have a predetermined view of healing, but simply rest in trust, not fear. Trust, or faith is the substance of things not seen. It is when we do not know the outcome, but trust anyway that we exemplify what true faith is. To trust in Him is a concious act of the will. We must acknowledge that to live in fear or to be constanlty anxious is a sin. Repent of it and exercise your will in obedience to the Word of God. Let your emmotions follow your will.
Let your emmotions be subject to you, bring them into captivity, your thoughts and emmotions. God would not have called us to anxious for nothing if it were not possible. When we do this, then the peace of God indeed guards our hearts and minds from the assualts of the thoughts and emmotions that would lead to fear and anxiousness, a state which is pandemic in the world today.
Psalm 3…….Lord, how they have increased who trouble me. Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me “There is no help for him in God,” selah. But you oh Lord are a shield for me. My glory and the One who lifts my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept, I awoke for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise O Lord , save me O my God, for you have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone, you have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon your people.