There is a battle within each of us. A battle between faith and fear. Faith inspires you to keep moving forward, while fear paralyzes you from taking future steps. One says ‘maybe this will be awesome’, while the other says ‘this could never possibly work.’ Which voice are you listening to?
There’s an old fable called The Two Wolves.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you – and inside every other person too,” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then he asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The voice of fear is within all of us. We all hear from the negative committee that meets in our head. We all feel the uncertainty of the future and the threat of what could be. Some of us are consumed by that voice, and some of us aren’t. What made the difference? Feeding it. When you feed that wolf it grows stronger and louder. Fear grows to consume us when we feed it our thoughts and surrender our actions.
365 times in the bible we are told to not fear, that’s one for every day. Yes, including today. Today is covered. Literally, this day is already covered by God. He has already gone before you and nothing will touch your life that hasn’t already passed through his hands. He is in the details and sovereign over everything concerning you.
Why is God so intent on telling you every single day not to fear? Because it is the greatest threat against the life you were created for. This is how the enemy works to hinder your purpose and causes you to live little when you were created to live BIG. Fear. The threat that lives in your head and never even has to appear for real. What a cheap and easy trick of the evil one. He doesn’t really even have to do anything to hold you back, he just has to make you think about it. And when you think about it, you feed it. The wolf of fear grows bigger, and soon this powerhouse of a woman, this spirit carrying, almighty masterpiece that is YOU, is left in inaction and rendered incapable because of the voice of fear that was fed.
The opposite of having fear is not to have no fear. It’s not to never hear the voice and never feel anxiety. It’s to have faith. Faith is not a blind assumption that everything is always going to be perfect for you. It’s not some supernatural power to never shake in your dang boots when you’re about to do something that terrifies you. Oh honey, faith will still let you shake. Faith will let you jump shaking. Faith will let you go afraid. Faith will strengthen you to do it scared.
Fear says “this bad thing will happen and I won’t be okay.” So of course, when you listen to that voice and feed it with your thoughts and actions, life closes in, opportunities are wasted, you sit it out, and the BIG life you were created for is exchanged for something so much smaller. All because the voice of fear convinced you something bad was going to happen and you wouldn’t be okay.
What does faith say? Is faith then the opposite? Does faith say, “nothing bad will ever happen to me”? Oh, if that’s what faith says, my guess is you’ve been disappointed. That kind of faith is tough to reason when the storms of life hit. God never promised bad things wouldn’t happen. He never promised you would be insulated from the hardships of this world or protected from the struggles. He did however promise he would be with you, he would never leave nor forsake you, and he would use everything, even the bad things, for ultimate and eternal good.
So, here’s what faith says … “This bad thing might happen, and even if it does, I will be okay because God is for me.”
Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is FAITH. This is faith in action. FEED THAT!
This past weekend we slept in our new truck top tent for the first time. Maybe you’ve seen our photos on my personal social media of this glorified, industrial looking box that sits on the back of our truck bed and opens up like Inspector Gadget. A tent pops up on the top and you sleep about 7 feet up in the air. You crawl up into the tent through moveable floor panels, then replace the panels to make your solid sleeping surface.
Yeah, it’s pretty cool and my husband waited for over a year to have it made in Montana. So, we camped this weekend. We both got situated, laid down, and it hit me … FEAR. I can’t get out. My husband is laying on top of the only way out. Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breathe and there’s this war raging inside my head and my chest. Alarms are blaring as fear starts telling me all the ways I’m trapped, and stuck. Flashbacks of my cave adventures gone wrong flash through my mind.
Laying there, I know it’s ridiculous. But fear is often ridiculous, and it rages on. Finally I say to my husband “I’m kind of struggling with claustrophobia right now.” (It was an understatement. I really wanted to say DUDE, GET ME OUTTA HERE!) He calmly says, “well that’s silly, there’s a zipper right by your face.” Yes, 3 sides of the tent zip open completely for full escape, I just couldn’t see the zipper.
I never used the zipper, but just knowing it was there calmed the crazy inside of me.
This is what faith does. Faith calms the crazy. It says “there’s a way through this if you need it.”
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
The problem becomes when we hope for the wrong thing. We hope for life to always be easy, but easy isn’t good for us. Easy causes our muscles to atrophy and our strength to dissolve. We hope for comfort, but comfort creates glazed over eyes and shallow breaths when we’re supposed to be breathing in life deep with eyes wide open. We hope for the wrong things, then we’re disappointed when they don’t happen. But when our hopes align with God’s promises and we know there is a bigger picture we do not yet see, then we can have confidence IT WILL BE. We can be assured of all the things we do not see and know with certainty God’s going to make it happen.
So today, we feed that! We feed our faith that God is working in supernatural ways behind the scenes in the unknown. We know there’s always a zipper. God has already made a way, and if we need it, he will be there to guide us to it.