Thursday, March 7, 2013

Faith for Overcoming Fear

And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him. 14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.  –I Samuel 14:12-14 (KJV)

As I read this passage where an Israelite named Jonathan, along with his armor bearer, defeated 20 men, I am amazed at his courage and fortitude.  At the time, the Israelites were being oppressed by their enemies the Philistines.  God’s people were also being led by an inept king named Saul, who was Jonathan’s father.  Jonathan grew weary of waiting for the enemy to attack and so he decided to take the fight to the enemy.  Such courage is born of faith in God and a firm conviction that with God victory is possible.  I can only imagine what Jonathan was thinking as he approached a group of soldiers who outnumbered him ten to one and would gladly have hung his head on a pike.  Few men would have undertaken such a challenge, but Jonathan was a young man of faith and integrity.  He believed God would bring a victory.

What sort of struggles are you facing right now?  Are you at times cowering in fear or are you walking forward in bold and confident faith?  I confess in my own life there have been times when I have not only cowered in fear, but I wanted to hide under the covers of my bed curled up in a fetal position.  Fear will have such an effect on us.  Should fear take hold in our lives the result is spiritual paralysis and physically exhaustion.  Being afraid all the time simply wears us out and stalls our forward momentum.  I see a powerful lesson in Jonathan.  He grew so tired of being afraid that he decided to rise up and face the enemy. 

Understand that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ confronts fear and drives it out of our way.  The faith Jesus spoke of, the kind which moves mountains from our lives (Matthew 17:20), is faith unfettered by the chains of fear.  Faith in Christ overcomes the fear of stepping forward into a deeper walk with the Lord and greater devotion to Him.  The world is filled with people who desire to walk daily in spiritual victory, but they allow fear to hinder them.  Let me challenge you to begin thinking in terms of faith rather than fear, of seeking God’s will rather than your own, and of confronting challenges rather than avoiding them.  As Jesus said, “And nothing shall be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20b).” 

You are a beloved child of God.  We have been given new life in Christ and the divine guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Do not allow fear to keep you from moving forward in faith.  Perhaps a new ministry is waiting.  Maybe a long desired educational goal is possible.  A loved one who doesn’t know Christ needs His loved demonstrated.  The possibilities are endless, but the Lord knows which ones are intended for you.  Do not delay; move forward in faith.

God bless you today.