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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fear vs. Faith

I once went to a seminar on fear and learned some really amazing things. I would like to share one thing I learned because I really think so many of us homeschool moms make choices out of fear.

Here is what I learned:

Fear is the opposite of faith, but it is actually similar to faith. You "believe" the fear, much the same way that you should rather believe God. Therefore, fear is an expression of faith. You have faith in the thing you fear, rather than in the truth.

Here’s an example of fear in homeschooling (if your fear something else, just replace your fear with what I've written below):

You fear that you aren't able to do a good job homeschooling your kids. You allow this particular fear to speak lies to your mind—lies you listen to and ponder. You begin to have "imaginations" of the future—all the horrid things the fear tells you are going to happen. You entertain and give your attention to this fear/lie. You believe this fear. You have embraced this fear. You have begun to place your faith in this fear rather than in the Word of God, which tells you many things opposite of this fear, such as, "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." And, "For I know the plans I have for you (applies to your children as well), plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." So basically, you are not believing God, but rather believing the fear.

Now you know that God has called you to homeschool and you really don't feel good about not homeschooling, but you have opened the door and made a guest bedroom in your heart for this particular lie. It has become a regular part of your day, your thoughts, your actions, your feelings, your responses—and has possibly robbed you of all joy, peace, and kindness toward your kids. You are controlled to a certain extent by fear. However, you continue to homeschool, but with total fear and unbelief in your ability to do it. If the fear gets total control, you will give up homeschooling. At that point you will have lost control to fear.

How could you have avoided this scenario, and how do you get out of it once you are overcome by the fear?

First, remember that fear is a lie. God tells us throughout His Word that we should not fear. He knows that fear is a controlling horrid thing, and He wants us to walk in faith rather than fear. When fear begins to whisper its dirty lie to you, think WDJD. What Did Jesus Do! How did Jesus rebuke the enemy? Through the Word of God. What word does God give us about fear? Many words. Here are some for you when you are being tempted to fear:

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. Psalm 23:4

But whoever listens to me shall dwell in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33

The entire chapter of Psalm 91 is a great chapter to memorize in your fight against fear.

The important thing is that you believe the Word, not fear. Put more faith in the truth you read in Scripture than in the lie that is projecting a terrible, hurtful, painful, ruined future for you. Do not put your faith in fear. Put your faith in God's Word. God loves and adores you. He wants to bless you—and He promises to do so. His only requirement is faith. We must believe God. We must believe the good things He has for us. Remember that Hebrews says the children of Israel that God so wanted to bless did not enter into the promised land because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3). What was it that they did not believe? They did not believe that God wanted to—and would—bless them, protect them, fight their battles for them, and give them good things and peace. They just didn't believe it. Instead, they listened to fear. "We are going to perish here in the desert!"

Paul scolded the Galatians with these very words:

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?...Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard [faith]?Galatians 3:2

So what do you do if you have already believed fear? What do you do once fear is controlling your life?

Well the first thing is: repent. Yes, if you realize that fear is the opposite of faith, and you have embraced fear over faith in the God who saved you, then you must ask God to forgive you.

Remember, God tells us that if we repent, not only will He forgive us, He will cleanse us of all unrighteousness. So once you have repented, you must believe that you are also cleansed. Sometimes Jesus rebuked the enemy and told him to be gone. We can do the same to fear.

Next, spend time memorizing Scriptures that oppose the fear you entertained. If you aren't sure of any that oppose the particular fear that has gripped you, go to
 www.crosswalk.com and do a word search in their Bible Study Tools area. For example, if you fear disease, do a word search on "disease" and it will bring up Scriptures that you can memorize about protection from disease, such as Psalm 91.

Finally, stand firm in the truth. Whenever a fearful thought tries to take you captive, you take your thoughts captive to the Word of God instead. Speak out loud those Scriptures and stand firm against fear. Do not give ear to fear. Give ear only to the Word of God. Put your faith in God, not in fear. Believe God; don't believe the fear. God has good things for you. God has fully equipped you for every good work. You can do all things through Him. He has great plans for you and for your children.

So let's be filled with faith!


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