Acting in Faith, not Fear
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 NIV
Jesus frequently talked to His followers about the subject of fear. In particular, He exhorted them to not be controlled by their fears, rather respond to fear with faith in God.
Note what He says in Matthew 8:26 (NIV): He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” That is, why are you so fearful that your fear has taken control of you. Jesus had led them into the boat, into the storm and was with them in the midst of the storm.
In Hebrews 11:7 (NIV) we read of the response of Noah as he confronted his fear. “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” Noah’s fear of God and His promised punishment of the world’s sin moved him to build an ark and protect his family. It was an act of faith as it appears that to this time there had never been rain on the earth. It was by faith that Noah acted based upon what God had promised to do. Noah’s holy fear was a combination of fear and faith.
In Luke 12:4-7 (ESV) Jesus reminds us of this Kingdom truth regarding having a holy fear of God, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” And the author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 10:31 (ESV), “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Kingdom leaders are called to respond by faith when facing threats that cause fear. Faith does not deny the reality of these threats, but rather, sees them in perspective of God, His promises and His power. “Nothing is impossible for Him” (Luke 1:37). A faith response results in courage to meet the threat and act because of the greater reality of God’s ability and faithfulness.
What is controlling you today – faith or fear?