Fear and Faith

cupped flower seedling

Mark 4:26-29 (AMP) – And He said, The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, And then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and [a]increases—he knows not how. The earth produces [acting] by itself—first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he [b]sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready. 

 

Most of us are probably familiar with the scripture in Hebrews (11:6) that tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Taking that all by itself it can be quite a stumbling block because there are so many ways the enemy can accuse us of having inadequate faith and therefore not being pleasing to God.  Over the weeks and months we’ve looked at a lot of scriptures and discussed that this journey of revelation of what it means to be our Heavenly Father’s Daughter is about understanding what He is for us.  He’s not trying to make this an obstacle course, where only the strong survive!  No, Jesus said He came so that none should perish.  It’s the Father’s heart that everyone find their place in Him, and everything that is being done and has been done is based upon the foundation that He loves us and is for us and wants amazingly wonderful, abundant things for us.  The enemy, however, is after just the opposite.  He wants us to be separated from our Heavenly Father and if he can’t keep us from a salvation experience in accepting Jesus as our savior, his next target, an unceasing one, is to keep us from understanding who we become when we are transferred from darkness into light.

There is so much for us as children of God but a foundational area we must become grounded in is overcoming fear and becoming women of faith.  Fear is pretty easy to identify, but faith has become so convoluted by the enemy and religion it’s made it difficult for us to see it how God intended it, which is simple.  God’s way for us is always simple and I mean that it’s not complicated.  As I said, God’s not trying to put us through obstacle courses, nor is He requiring we all be members of Mensa to come to Him.  In fact, just the opposite, He said we needed to come to Him in the simplicity of a little child.  When you’re grown, sometimes it can be difficult to take on the simplicity of childhood, but that is what we are to do and that is how we need to view what God asks of us.

I love the scriptures in Mark 4 speaking about the farmer as Jesus is giving us an example that I think we can all understand.  I come from a family of gardeners.  My Mom loves to garden and she’s gardened my whole life.  We’ve had small gardens and HUGE gardens over the years and this is how it works (in it’s simplest form), you prepare the ground for the type of vegetable you are going to grow, you plant the seed…and you wait.  That’s it.  The only part we can do is prepare the soil and stick the seed in the ground everything else happens without us.  Now yes, we water and we weed (which is also applicable to our faith) but the seed cracking open, the little roots coming out and the seedling breaking the ground, the growth, the ripening, the bearing of fruit, none of that happens by our efforts.  So according to Mark 4, what does the farmer do after he’s planted his seed?  He waits!  He gets up each day, he goes to bed each day over and over again and while he’s going about his daily life his seed is springing forth, growing and increasing and Jesus says, “he knows not how…”  Our faith is the part where, even though we don’t know how, we know that the seed planted is growing and increasing until it’s mature and ready to be harvested.  That’s faith, trusting that what God says He will do and be is exactly who He is and how He is behaving.  That is what God is saying we have to have to please Him; trust that He is who He says He is and is doing what He has promised to do.  The confidence to go to bed each night with peace in our heart and get up each morning with that same expectation that everything that needs to happen is happening for that seed to become what it was designed to become.  That’s where the watering and weeding come in.  In order for us to have that expectation we need to read the Word, His promises to remind us what He is doing and pluck out the doubt that satan tries to plant with our seed to choke it out or strangle it.  Our job is to keep up our trust through the power that comes in God’s word.

Now the opposite of faith is fear.  We have fear because we aren’t able to trust God.  The reason we doubt God is because we have believed or we believe a lie that the enemy has told us about our Heavenly Father and we live our life based upon the lie versus the truth.  We all have them, we all live them.  In our farming scenario, a farmer living in fear would behave very differently than the farmer Jesus described.  He wouldn’t plant his seed and peacefully go to bed and rise each day, no he would daily be inspecting the plot of earth where the seeds were planted, he’d be testing the soil and watching the horizon fretfully for the right amount of rain and the right amount of sun at the right times.  He’d be pulling up the little plants to look at their roots and check their growth and then try and replant them back hoping he hadn’t killed it.  He’d freak out when bugs showed up or the plants just didn’t seem to be growing fast enough or increasing quickly enough.  You get the idea, he’d be all over that plot of land and by the time they finally reached harvest he’d be a stressed out mess, with a mediocre harvest and already worrying about the next thing.  I have to believe we’ve all been this kind of farmer.  Maybe it’s our kids, or our job or our finances, any number of things really.  This is what your life looks like when you are living out of fear vs. living on faith.

Faith and fear do not coexist.  You can only have one or the other and that is why Hebrews says it is impossible to please God without faith.  Who is pleased when someone doesn’t trust them, is constantly looking over their shoulder and telling them what to do and how to do it?  I hate that!!  Imagine how God feels about it :)  If He loves us (and He absolutely does!!), and if He’s the creator of all (which He is!), then He’s the expert of all, why in the world do we think we need to get involved in the process?  We’ve believed the lies of the enemy and he doesn’t tell us what it is we are actually doing, we’ve all been led to believe that worrying is natural, if we’re good mother’s we worry about our kids.  God says godly mothers do not worry, they trust.  Godly mothers pray the Word over their children, they shower them with love and affection, they tell them how amazing they are and how proud they are of them (regardless of their mistakes!!), just like God tells us (which is a far cry from what the world pressures us to be).  How can God see us this way?  Because God knows the outcome, He’s proud of us based on who we become in Christ and everything He sees and says is based on that person, not the messy, troubled broken person we are in the middle.

I encourage you to think about the areas where you have fear and study the versus in Mark about the farmer.  Let the Holy Spirit reveal God’s faithfulness to you so that you can go to bed at night in peace, rise up in expectation and go to the Word to water your seeds with faith and pluck out the weeds of doubt and fear the enemy will be trying to plant.  Like I said, it’s simple, but again we know simple isn’t always easy and waiting is probably the very hardest part.  But we’ve studied that God has told us not to be anxious and He knows we need all of these things so when Jesus said that the farmer sleeps and rises and all these things are happening and he doesn’t know how, that is what He wants for us, to enjoy our lives, have faith (trust) in Him and when the harvest is ready we are there to reap all of the goodness that our Heavenly Father grew for us!!

A Daughter’s Prayer – Abba, I want to be a faithful farmer.  I desire to do my part and prepare the ground of my heart and plant the seeds of Your word.  I desire to go to bed in peace and rise up in expectancy.  I desire to water the seeds with the water of Your Word and pluck out the weeds that the enemy tries to plant of doubt and skepticism.  You have shown Yourself to be faithful and true to Your Word and I certainly do not know better than You!  I pray that the Holy Spirit would empower me to be patient when my seed is growing and be excited about what You are growing in and around me.  I choose to live a life of faith and forsake a life of fears.  Jesus came that I might have life and have it more abundantly!  In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

2 thoughts on “Fear and Faith

  1. Kari:

    It was nice to meet you in person recently.

    I too, pray that the Holy Spirit within will empower me to “become patient while the seed is growing”; and to follow the path I am meant to be on, and to recognize it. Thank you for the inspiration.

    ~ Richard

  2. We sing a song in our church and some of it goes like this:
    There is a longing in our hearts, Oh Lord,
    for you to reveal Yourself to us
    There is a longing in our hearts for love,
    we only find in you, our God.

    Lord save us, take pity
    light in our darkness
    We call You, we wait:
    Be near, hear our prayer, O God
    Waiting hard to do..well written Kari!

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