Sunday, August 2, 2009

Faith is not Fearless


"Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church." Acts 12:5 (NKJV)
"And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel." Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished". Acts 12:13-16 (NKJV)


How many times have you heard preachers say that the opposite of faith is fear? Well, that may be true of the modern meaning of faith (a fearless confidence and positive attitude), but it is not the opposite of Biblical faith. If Biblical faith means ‘trusting obedience’, then the opposite is ‘mistrusting disobedience’. A person may fearlessly take risks in "faith" to set up a thriving, successful business and claim it is the blessing of God, but actually be living in mistrusting disobedience to the Creator!

Sometimes as we listen to God and hear His word (faith comes by hearing the word of God - Romans 10:17), He will speak to us clearly to do something that we do not want to do. We are fearful of taking that course. If we fearlessly do something else with what seems like great "faith" we have no faith at all. But if we apprehensively, timidly and even, fearfully, start to walk in His revealed way, even in great weakness and difficulty, we have much faith!

In the passage here the church is praying for Peter to be released from prison. They are fearful and locked away in Mary’s house. James has just been martyred and Herod was harassing the church. Their prayer was far from what we would call "full of faith and belief". When Peter really was released and turned up at their door they could not believe it and were amazed. Wasn’t that what they had been praying for? Did God answer their prayer? Yes! Was it a faith-filled prayer? Well, I would say they prayed in faith , even if that faith was the size of a mustard seed. They prayed because they loved and trusted God in the midst of persecution. Did they have fear? Yes! Wouldn’t you in their situation? But, according to the Biblical definition, they had faith.


The boy falls off the cliff and clings onto the overhanging tree,
His father reaches out his hand and says,"Son, trust in me".
The boy has faith and reaches out, but fear still lingers on,
Yet when he's in his Father's arms that fear is finally gone.


"Father, give me the strength to trust You and obey You, especially when You ask me to move into areas I find scary. Though my heart may tremble with fear I will trust you and walk more and more boldly into your destiny for my life. Thank You Father that you are totally trustworthy. Amen!"

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