“From Fear to Faith” describes exactly what the Lord is teaching me in this time, once again, and teaching all of His people.
“For without faith it is impossible to please God!” Hebrews 11:6
If you followed any of the “Wilderness” posts, you will remember reading about how the Lord took the Israelites through the wilderness to humble them and prove what was in their hearts. Well during the time I wrote those posts, I was literally going through what I wrote.
REST OF FAITH
All through the wilderness, God was aiming to get the Israelites to have unshakable faith in Him. He was aiming to have them believe Him over their own feelings, circumstances, will, desires, etc. He wanted to find them in a faith position, where they believed that He was who He said He was, and that He would actually do what He said He would do—deliver them and bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey!
But the promise of Rest in the land of Canaan was under a condition—-a faith condition!
We read in Hebrews 3:17 the end of that whole matter, though, which says:
“And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?”
How did they sin?
“And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Heb. 3:18-19
Except for Caleb and Joshua, all the people died in the wilderness because even after miracles and being led and provided for by God Himself in the wilderness, they still did not believe Him and trust that He would bring them into the Promised Land! And they did not enter into His rest by faith in Him!
They were discontented there in the wilderness, and they desired a change in physical conditions. But the Lord was not going to change the physical conditions until the change took place in their hearts! There was a deeper issue here, one of the heart. The circumstances and physical conditions were merely a tool in God’s hand to humble them and prove what was in them—-either fear or faith!
THE CHALLENGE TO OUR FAITH
Do we realize that our every day life is a challenge to our faith in God? We so easily place the issue on something, someone, or some circumstance—– instead of placing it on the matter of believing God! What we face each day is simply a matter of believing God!
- appliances break
- car breaks
- schedule is held up
- plane is delayed
- job is lost
- marriage is failing
- not getting your way
These are all simply a matter of whether or not we will believe God over our own feelings, desires, thoughts, reasonings, and will!
It goes without being said that it is easy to believe God when things are going our way and the sun is shining and things are flowing in a most harmonious way in our lives! 🙂
But when the sun is not shining, the waves come crashing, the rain won’t stop—-then where are we found?
In Fear or Faith?
In Hebrews, we read that there remains a rest to the people of God—–if we hold fast to our faith and belief in God!
“ Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:11-12
We are instructed to labor to enter into the rest of faith in God, lest we fall in an evil heart of unbelief!
And notice, the famous verse about the Word of God comes right after this instruction—— it is to say to us that the way we will know if we are believing Him, and if we are in His rest—-will be whether our thoughts match the Word of God or whether they are of our own self. If we are doubting God, questioning His love and wisdom, and then we read the Word of God—and read how He is sovereign, and how He is the Lord…….. that Word will divide between soul and spirit, and will reveal to our own hearts that the way we have been thinking is NOT of the Spirit of God—-but rather from our own human soul!
If we are to enter into His rest—we must labor in spirit to align our every thought to His Word—- and believe it over against our own feelings, thoughts, circumstances, desires, will, reasonings!
I took a position of faith 2.5 years ago and immediately I was tested on that position and have been tested in all types of ways relating to the position of faith I took. I see myself in the wilderness like the Israelites were, being challenged on this one thing on every side–“Will I believe You?”—-The Lord has been seeking in every trial to get me past the realm of my own soul—feelings, thoughts, reasoning, will—-onto the ground of a steadfast spirit where there is complete faith in Him and rest, because I believe that He is Lord of All! I had not believed Him, I did not remain steadfast in spirit against all the impossible situations and circumstances I faced.
How do we know and believe and understand that He is God?
By faith and rest in the Lordship of Christ.
Jesus is the Lord of Lords. He is the first and the last. He is EVERYTHING. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is the owner of Heaven and Earth. He is sovereign over ALL things. “The Lord shall reign forever and ever” Exodus 15:18. The Bible is all about Him.
We are given free will to choose each day to deny ourselves and to follow Him.
- WHAT IS DYING TO OURSELF, REALLY?
Ourself—or the soul life—- is what we are called to deny and die to.
Included in this soul life is:
- human wisdom
- own will
- natural human personality
The soul is the flesh—- the human part of us that is totally owned and governed by satan and his host of wicked spirits. It was the soul in Eve that the serpent appealed to—- and it was the soul that sinned, and ultimately forfeited union with God. The soul of man can be most impressive—most zealous for good (Pharisees)—-most educated, developed, talented. The soul of man can have such brilliancy in mind/thought/reasonings. The passion of the soul can be so on fire that it stops at nothing to accomplish what it most desires.
The soul is what this world operates in—-and it is what this world is governed by—-HUMAN desires, HUMAN will, HUMAN feelings, etc.
The soul or flesh is also that realm where pride, anger, idolatry, envy, slander, fornication, adultery, etc. all spring from. (Gal. 5)
So then, dying to ourselves means that we purposefully do not follow our own thoughts, feelings, desires, and will in this life. Instead, we follow Christ, and what He thinks, what He desires, what He wills. We leave behind the things of this life, in order to take hold of eternal life.
We give the Lord His rightful place in EVERY area of our lives—-we give His Word FULL authority to direct and lead us and guide us into what He would have us to think and do in life. We do not trust in our own understanding about things, but instead we seek to understand through His Spirit indwelling us. We stop striving for perfection, and instead we accept by faith the finished work of Christ on our behalf. We count ourself dead, according to Romans 6, and alive once more unto God! We live for God, not ourselves.
The Lordship of Christ brings with it into our very life the rest and peace and joy of God.
There is freedom in surrender to Him as Lord—-freedom from :
If we are submitting to the absolute Lordship of Christ in every area of our lives, then we will seek to know what He says about:
- how we treat others
- how we are to conduct ourselves
- what our priorities should be in this life
As the Lord takes His rightful place in our lives, and as we submit to what He says about things, and we obey Him, that is when we grow more and more grounded in Christ, and we experience His perfect love that casts out all our fears!
When once the Lordship of Christ is accepted and held to by faith, the next thing we have need of learning is the principle of the undivided heart for God. We can’t have an undivided heart for God if we have not first submitted to His absolute Lordship!!!!!
Undivided heart & Personal Interests
We can be so blind to what we are really living for. We don’t even realize when we are blindly walking in spiritual defeat and stuck in a place of misery, all because of our own personal interests.
The Lord as Lord in our lives calls us to the place of an undivided heart for Him. He calls for a singleness in heart that is directed only at Him in all things—–all for Him—for His glory.
As we die to ourselves and completely abandon ourselves to Christ Jesus—— our selfish desires and pesronal interest in this life start falling off one by one.
How can you know if you have personal interests or if your heart is undivided for the Lord?
If you have personal interests, and trial and harship come into your life, and things that you hold dear such as family, $, possessions, health, etc. are TAKEN—– you will waver in faith, question God, doubt his love, and feel as though your whole life has been taken from you.
If you have an undivided heart for the Lord, and trial and hardship come into your life, and things you hold dear such as family, $, possessions, health, etc. are TAKEN—– you will NOT waver in faith, but will have your eyes focused on God and His lovingkindness, and you will trust that whatever He is allowing to be taken is only for a greater purpose of His, and you will have faith that as long as you still have Him—- anything else can go. The only thing you are not willing to lose is HIM!
If you have personal interests, you will ALWAYS see things in light of how they AFFECT YOU.
If you have personal interests, you will be controlling because you have your own will and desires that you are trying to secure for yourself.
When you have personal interests, you are not able to believe and trust God because you have personal interests at stake, and you fear that they will be taken if you actually trust God—and that is not something you are willing to allow. You don’t trust His love because you are holding onto whatever it is more than Him, and if that thing is taken, you think it is because He does not love you.
If you have an undivided heart for the Lord, you will be submitted to His Lordship, and understanding that whatever comes into your life is sovereignly watched over by Him, and when something happens, some trial or harship comes, you will be on the ground of faith, and you will not be shaken because you are not CONSIDERING ANYTHING ELSE EXCEPT THE LORD AND HIS WILL IN IT!
When you have an undivided heart for the Lord, He is free to change and use you for His own purposes, because you won’t be considering yourself or how things affect you!
You can rest when you have an undivided heart for the Lord, because you trust in Him and His goodness, even when hardship comes, because you know and believe that He has a purpose in it.
You will not fear the worst happening with an undivided heart for the Lord because you hold things loosely in your hands, and understand that the Lord may give or take away—-but it is not for you to hold tightly onto because He is everything—and not that thing you hold. He matters, and He never makes a mistake in our life. He is faithful–no matter what.
THE REST OF FAITH—THE RESULT OF HIS LORDSHIP
When once His Lordship is settled—and we are abandoned to Him and Him alone—- and we experience trial and hardship, where our hearts are being tested as to whether they are divided or undivided—— we will see our personal interests being let go as we surrender to the Lord in all things! His will becomes our will-— and we rest in faith as we look to His sovereignty and Lordship in every area of life!!!
In order to be rid of fear–I must surrender to His Lordship, and let go of all personal interests—–and focus my heart and mind solely on Christ and what He wants. And as I come to know Him more, and His love—- my fears are cast out and I am at rest in Him. Then my heart will bubble over with Joy, faith, love, peace, gentleness—— The Holy Spirit is free to grow in me the fruit as long as my self is in it’s proper place!