Will I act out of Fear or Faith? This has been a topic crossing my mind the last several weeks.
The truth is that what hinders my acting in faith is often because of my fears.
Fear of what someone will say.
Fear of how a person might react.
Fear of not being liked/loved.
Fear of messing up and looking ridiculous.
Fear of being laughed at/made fun of.
Those are some vulnerable statements for you from my head. But the truth is, all of those fears hold me back sometimes from jumping out in faith. God has helped me make huge strides in this in the last year - like going back to school- but there are still many little fears sitting in my head that hold me back from being all the me He has created me to be.
And I am working on letting my faith be bigger than those fears.
It is easier said than done. But as I have begun studying this word fear in the Bible to see what God has to say to me about it, it has been refreshing to read His words.
He knows the very amount of hairs on my head.
He feeds the birds.
He calms the oceans.
He moves mountains.
He parted the Red Sea.
He holds every tear I cry.
There is reason upon reason and verse upon verse to remind me I need not fear when following Him. And yet I struggle with this. I pretend I'm not afraid, but how many times have I held back because I didn't believe in myself? Or because I was afraid of what others around me might do or say? This is something I am working on whole-heartedly this year.
Noah had listened the the ridicule of others instead of stepping out in faith and building the ark?
David had let the laughs of the Philistines stop him from fighting Goliath?
Ruth had stayed in her comfort zone instead of going with Naomi back to her homeland?
Moses had run from the burning bush rather than stand in awe of it?
Abraham had refused to leave his homeland?
Joseph gave in to exhaustion from fighting against the bad happening to him?
Rahab did not hide the spies?
The stories in the Bible go on about how these common people acted out of faith rather than fear. All the while being ridiculed by others around them, and often times not even seeing the results of their own faithful decisions.
These stories can be found in Hebrews 11, often times referred to as the Hall of Faith. When the day is done, I want my name to be in that same hall. It doesn't mean I won't mess up or make the wrong decision sometimes. If you look at all of those people, along the way their bad decisions were recorded along with their good, but in the end, their faith was bigger than their fear.
I am reminded of some of my childhood bible songs.... I am weak, but He is strong. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Deep and wide. Father Abraham had many sons. Be a missionary every day. The wise man built His house upon the rock.
And the list of those songs go on. Simple truths taught to me at such a young age that somehow as I grow into an adult more every year seem further from my mind. It's good to have a little song session every now and then (my mom, by the way, was an expert at that. to the day she lost her speech, she was always singing something- sometimes silly, but often times full of truth to teach us. I now realize it was just as likely to remind herself of those truths.)
I'm far from being an expert at this, but the more I learn about it or see it in myself, the more I feel compelled to write it out and share it. That alone, for me, is an act of faith, if I'm being honest. But I am tired of letting fear win over faith. Probably there will always be some sort of thought dangling from the tree branches of fear, but with faith, anything is possible.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for an assurance about what we do not see.....
By faith Abel
By faith Enoch
By faith Noah
By faith Abraham......"
And by God's grace may the words be said "By faith , Rachael...." Not by my own strength, but by His. One day at a time.