Believing: Faith and Fear

Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read Time: 9  Minutes

Believing is a law and there are two types: positive and negative. Positive believing is faith, negative believing is fear. It is important that we understand both kinds for we live according to our believing.

Our believing is the rudder on our ship. If we are believing positively; if we are believing that God will supply all our need, then we will go in that direction. If we are afraid that we will lose our livelihood or experience some calamity we will go down that river. Believing is a law that we see mentioned in God's Word in several places. God set this up so that we could receive His promises; all we need to do is believe His Word and act like we've got. 

If we are not believing God's promises and afraid we will be defeated. The one primary thing that defeats a Believer is fear. God has told us that we are more than conquerors, have all spiritual blessing, have all our needs met, will prosper, etc., but if we are afraid, which is negative believing, we cannot reap those benefits. We cannot tap the resources that God has provided for us in His Word if we are not believing them. If we are believing the world: if we eat this you will get that, if we do this you will experience that, we will receive what we believe. We are where we are today because of our believing. We will be where we will be tomorrow because of our believing.

"Fear is the believer's only enemy. Fear is sand in the machinery of life" (Wierwille, 1979, pp. 37). You can see this all around us. There are some people who just live their lives with all their needs met and all going well with them and they have these great attitudes. On the other hand, there are those that all you ever see is defeat in their lives and that all they ever talk about is what dreadful thing happened to them yesterday or last week. They seem to be afraid of a variety of things. Instead of their lives running smoothly their lives progress like gears encrusted with sand.

We see in John 9 how fear binds people and encases them so that they do not act on God's Word.

John 9
:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, 
        Master, who did sin, 
            this man, 
            or his parents, 
        that he was born blind?
:3 Jesus answered, 
        Neither hath this man sinned, 
            nor his parents: 
        but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
:4     I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: 
        the night cometh, when no man can work.
:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
:6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, 
    and made clay of the spittle, 
    and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
:7 And said unto him, 
        Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, 
            (which is by interpretation, Sent.) 
    He went his way therefore, 
        and washed, 
        and came seeing.
:8  The neighbours therefore, 
        and they which before had seen him that he was blind, 
    said, 
        Is not this he that sat and begged?

This man had never had use of his eyes before. Stop and imagine what that would be like if you were born without sight and then had your eyes healed. Consider the parents; I would think they would be jumping for joy and proclaiming the great miracle performed on their son. After all, parents want the best for their children, right?  However, the pressure that the Pharisees put on the people influenced their decision. This healing caused quite a stir among the neighbors and they brought the man that was born blind to the Pharisees (:13).

:18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, 
        that he had been blind, 
        and received his sight, 
    until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
:19 And they asked them, saying, 
        Is this your son, 
            who ye say was born blind? 
        how then doth he now see?
:20 His parents answered them and said, 
        We know that this is our son, 
            and that he was born blind:
:21     But by what means he now seeth, we know not; 
            or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: 
        he is of age; ask him: 
        he shall speak for himself.
:22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: 
        for the Jews had agreed already, 
            that if any man did confess that he was Christ, 
            he should be put out of the synagogue.
 :23 Therefore said his parents, 
        He is of age; ask him.

They wouldn't say who healed their son because they were afraid they would be cast out of the synagogue. In America we don't think much about being ostracized from our church because the next one is ready to take us in but this is not the situation in Judah at this time. If you were cast out of the synagogue you couldn't buy or sell, people wouldn't talk to you and  you could no longer attend the synagogue. You would be a social outcast and financially ruined. Fear binds people, imprisons people and enslaves them. 

The disciples who walked with Jesus and were there when he did the miracles and healings were also affected by fear. 

John 20
:19 Then the same day at evening, 
        being the first day of the week, 
        when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews
    came Jesus 
    and stood in the midst, 
    and saith unto them, 
        Peace be unto you.

This is the same day that Jesus was raised from the dead. The first day of the week being mentioned here is the Sunday after Passover which occurred on Thursday this particular year (Wierwille, 1981, pp. 303). These same men were shut up behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. They let fear imprison them.

God has more to say about fear:

Proverbs 29
:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: 
    but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Fear ensnares people, binds them up.

Isaiah 8
:12 . . .neither fear ye their fear, 
    nor be afraid

Judah was being enslaved by unbelievers and succumbing to their rule. God was telling them to not fear their fear nor be afraid. Fear, which is unbelief, defeats the promises of God.

Jeremiah 49
:24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, 
    and fear hath seized on her
    anguish and sorrows have taken her, 
        as a woman in travail.

Fear had seized the people of Damascus. When an engine seizes the parts no longer move inside, it is bound up tightly, it no longer functions. Damascus was incapable of action due to fear and consequently had waxed feeble, had become weak. People with phobias experience this kind of fear. They are immobilized by their fear.

Job 3
:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, 
    and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Job had received what he was afraid of. He had great wealth and a large family but he was afraid that his sons were not doing the Word and reverencing God. He was afraid he would suffer the consequences of their disobedience (for the Old Testament times). Fear is believing in reverse, negative believing. It was Job's enemy and caused the destruction of all that he had except his wife and his life.

Where does fear come from? 

II Timothy 1
:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; 
    but of power, 
    and of love, 
    and of a sound mind.

Fear doesn't come from God. It is contrary to God's promises. It must come from another source for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but on the contrary: power, love and a sound mind. Fear is negative believing, fear is wrong believing. We have an adversary, the devil, but greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.

I Peter 5
:8 Be sober, 
    be vigilant; 
    because your adversary the devil, 
        as a roaring lion, [which freezes its prey]
    walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

I John 4
:4 Ye are of God, little children, 
    and have overcome them: 
    because greater is he that is in you, 
    than he that is in the world.

How do we eradicate our fear? How do we eliminate fear in our lives so that we can tap the resources of the more than abundant life?

Remember the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jews? They didn't remain encased in fear.

Acts 2
:14 But Peter, 
        standing up with the eleven,
    lifted up his voice, and said unto them, 
        Ye men of Judaea, 
            and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, 
        be this known unto you, 
        and hearken to my words:

This is Peter talking in the synagogue at Jerusalem after they had just received the holy spirit, the comforter, that Jesus Christ had told them about. They had just spoke in tongues, glorifying God and speaking the wonderful works of God. Here is Peter standing up in the Synagogue talking to the men of Judea. He then goes on to accuse them of the murder of Jesus Christ, ". . .ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23). Is this the same Peter that was behind closed doors for fear of the Jews 50 day ago? What changed this man? People don't generally change this drastically in 50 days. The power of the holy spirit, the gift from God, the comforter (Acts 2:4) changed Peter and the eleven. Later in chapter 4 of Acts they are thrown in jail for speaking the Word. After they are let out they pray for more boldness so they can continue. They are no longer encased in fear and enslaved. They now have holy spirit and believe God's promises that they are to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Since God gave them this promise don't you think He would help them fulfill it?

Unbelief is a result of fear. Fear starts as a thought contrary to the Word of God and then it is harbored and builds unbelief. That is why fear defeats the promises of God. 

Who do you believe Jesus Christ is? Who you believe he is will determine what you receive from God. In Galilee they thought Jesus was a bastard child because Mary was pregnant before she married Joseph.

Matthew 13:
:57 And they were offended in him. 
    But Jesus said unto them, 
        A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, 
            and in his own house.
:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

They could not  receive deliverance because of their unbelief. God uses a double negative here to get your attention. If you cancel out the double negative it is easier to understand: "A prophet is not without honour (is honored), save (except) in his own country". A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own country.

Believing is a law that works like gravity. If you drop something that is supposed to fall, it will fall. If you have faith or fear you will receive it. You either have confidence or doubt. You either trust His Word or worry about the things of the world. You either have faith or fear. Doubt leads to worry which issues in fear which is unbelief. negative believing. Reading the Word of God builds confidence, confidence leads to trust and trusting God is believing Him which is having faith.

Positive Believing Vs. Negative Believing
Confidence   Doubt
Trust   Worry
Faith   Fear

Learn His Word and have confidence in it,  trust Him (He is willing and able) and have faith by believing His Word.

 

_________________
Wierwille, Dr. Victor Paul. Power For Abundant Living. American Christian Press: New Knoxville, OH, 1979.

Wierwille, Dr. Victor Paul. Jesus Christ Our Passover. American Christian Press: New Knoxville, OH, 1981.