If life was like a boxing match, you might hear these words every so often:
"Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the Main Event! In corner number one wearing dark shorts, weighing in at a crushing weight, and ready to win....FEAR! In corner number two wearing the light shorts and coming in off of a recent victory...FAITH! This bout will go until knockout - competitors ready?!? - FIGHT!"
Ok, this illustration might be a little silly, but the truth is...life is a little bit like a boxing match in the sense that there is a continual battle happening when it comes to Faith and Fear. The battle is real and both are vying for victory in your life.
Here is the question - who typically wins in your life?
I did a teaching on the subject of faith versus fear with my students recently and I shared two stories in Scripture that illustrate the results when when each wins.
The first story is found in 1 Samuel 13. Saul goes to battle against the Philistines with 2,000 men, but Saul and his troops display a fearful approach to the battle (1 Samuel 13:6-7, 9, 12) and they do not have victory.
The second story is found in 1 Samuel 14. Saul's son Jonathan takes his armor bearer and the two of them courageously defeat a company of Philistines.
Two stories, one with 2,000 soldiers the other with 2.
One displaying the results of fear and one displaying the results of faith.
The result of fear was defeat, lack of movement, and discouragement.
The result of faith was victory, strength, and courage.
Which would you rather have?
In a message a few weeks ago, Pastor Jason King talked about the definitions of fear and faith. It was most interesting to see:
Definition of Fear: Believing that something that hasn't happened will happen.
Definition of Faith: Believing that something that hasn't happened will happen.
What is the difference in these definitions? Nothing! The only difference is perspective and posture of the heart.
If there is one thing that the stories in 1 Samuel demonstrate it is the power of perspective and posture when it comes to faith and fear.
Saul approached the battle with fear, Jonathan approached the battle with faith.
How incredibly applicable this is for our lives. In every situation you encounter in life faith and fear are battling:
Fear comes out swinging - "You can't do it," "It will never happen," "You are going to fail," "You are unqualified," "You are going to embarrass yourself."
Faith counters - "With God, all things are possible," "God will get you through this," "God knows the end from the beginning," "His plan and purpose will come to pass."
The question is, which one is going to win out?
May you and I be people of faith who have more confidence in God than the situations we encounter. When fear speaks lies and rears its head, may we remember the truth of God's word that that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
And may we remember that the difference between walking in fear or faith is a matter of perspective and heart posture - may we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our...FAITH.