Friday, January 25, 2013

Faith & Fear

Fear & Faith
Tracee Persiko


Matthew 16:14-16

New International Version (NIV)

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 

Faith is one of those things that require a response - an expression of our life that mirrors what we believe. If I were to say I wasn’t scared of the dark, but constantly slept with a night light on, my life would speak of contrast.

Faith requires expression. The truth of my life, and the story it is telling, really should mirror what I believe.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks his disciples the question, “Who do you say I am?” He wasn’t interested in what the perceptions of others were, but more importantly Jesus wanted to know what His disciples thought. This question is not just for the disciples to answer. Jesus asks each of us this question as well. However we answer this question it will be reflected in our daily lives.

Our lives are meant to look and sound different after God has entered in.

I wish I could say that I have this down, but it’s an honest struggle. I constantly teeter back and forth between responding in faith and responding in fear. I have fears that paralyze me and keep God at a seemingly controlled distance. I struggle to make decisions that don’t always involve calculated risks.

Faith without expression makes no difference.

I have a lot of areas in my life that speak more of fear than faith. I still struggle with surrendering areas of control to God. I have self-sufficiently protected my own heart for so long that it’s hard to trust him with those areas. Fears can also dictate the lenses in which I see and respond out of. 

I know I am not the only on with this battle. Abraham trusted God, but still slept with his servant Hagar. Moses trusted God’s provision, but took control in the desert anyway. David responded in faith with Goliath, but ran at the threat of Saul.

We all have our fear responses that creep in.

Fear nullifies faith. Responding out of fear leaves no room for trust.

The battle of fear vs. faith is so frustrating. I hate that I respond out of my fear. I hate how it affects my relationship with God and others. I am learning to surrender my fears. I am learning to trust more than respond out of them. I hate that our hearts have been wounded and walls of fear have served as replacements. That is not how life is meant to be known.

In the midst of my fears, God gently whispers, “Who do you say that I am?” I am grateful for His grace that reminds me that He is trustworthy and faithful; His perfect love drives out all of my fears. I desire for my story to reflect who I trust and know God to be. Trust is hard and leaves us sitting in discomfort. But a life that speaks of faith reflects trust in the one who is known.

God is redeeming my places of fear. Choosing to respond out of faith is still more of a conscious choice than not. He is gentle, patient, and full of grace.

Who do you say that HE is?

Does your life reflect that answer?

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