From Fear to Faith
Many of you may personally know, and others may have personally observed while in the park this summer, my intense dislike of bees. Don’t get me wrong I value the purpose of bees on this earth, the role they play in pollinating, or their importance in the food chain, but I do not value their presence in my hair, or when they encircle my person, or their insistent desire to share my meal when I'm eating outside. I am the one who disregards all logic as my brain shuts down to flee any situation where I am anticipating their insistent presence and potential threat. Fear colors my judgment in those moments and it recently drove me to attempt to get out of a moving vehicle that I was driving in reverse! Not logical, not my finest moment, and truly embarrassing.
A few Sundays back we looked at Genesis 12, in all of its entirety, while in the park. We see “The Call of Abram” as God invites him to pick up everything and head on to a place he did not know. In addition to the invitation was the promise that not only would God bless Abram, but would use Abram to bless those around him. I would venture to say, without personally knowing Abram, that this was a significant and life-changing event. I would also like to assume that he was most likely never the same after encountering God’s invitation and promise, but as we head farther down into the chapter we see famine and uncertainty throw a curveball into Abram’s faith journey.
Stress from the external pressures (severe famine) and anticipation of the unknown (would he be killed because of his beautiful wife?!?) seem to have impaired Abram’s memory of God’s invitation and promise. I think all of us can relate to Abram in his experience of fear. That is what fear does. It neurologically inhibits our brain’s ability to act rationally and moves us into survival mode. No amount of reason or logic will be accepted by any human when their brain switches gears into this mode. This is where faith comes in. Faith is the act of trusting God. I believe true trust leads us to true rest and true peace. It says, “God I believe you are able, reliable, do what you say, and are strong enough.” It’s out of this place of trust, dependence, and connection that our brains learn to overcome the experience of fear and all its related associates (doubt, anxiety, insecurity, etc.). It moves us into a place of declaring, believing, and remembering. How do we practically apply this as we navigate our own faith journeys? Practically speaking, full-body worship is our strongest method as followers of Jesus. It not only provides the oxygen and movement to get blood flow back to our brain, but it also throws in the element of recounting and reminding ourselves of who God is and who we are in His care. At times it might seem like succumbing to fear is a failure and highlights our lack of faith or worth in living out God’s call on our lives, but we can see from Abram’s story that that doesn’t line up with God’s heart towards us. Abram made many mistakes in his humanness and he still made it into the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11) and was even known for his faith; mistakes and all!
Where are the places in your life presently where stress from external pressures or the anticipation of the unknown are impairing your ability to receive the invitation of God for your life and the promises He has for you? Are there any places where you feel you’ve failed in your trust of God or don’t trust His heart and intentions? Take some time this week to sing, dance, pace, shout over those places, believing, declaring, and agreeing with all that God has said, remembering what He has done, and looking to the one who can move mountains and raise the dead.
Lastly, we weren’t meant to walk this journey alone, who is someone you can invite into this space to pray and believe with you?
Learning to keep walking in faith with you,