Unshakeable Faith Part 1

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What is shaking your world right now? What do you fear?  We live in a shaky world and we’ve all experienced fear in our life. Fear very often produces a very real and felt manifestation. It’s that  sensation that we feel from our hair standing on end to the very tip of our toes. You know the feeling! It’s the internal security system the Lord has wired us with that produces that rush of adrenaline that propels us to action to remove ourselves from harm’s way. But living in a state of fear is not part of God’s design. (2 Tim 1:7)  Fear can be real or imagined, irrational, abnormal and even paralyzing in our lives. Let’s look at how we can stand firm in shaky world.  Hebrews 12:28 encourages us to remain steady when things are shaking:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

In the Bible fear is defined as an emotional and intellectual anticipation of harm or what one feels may go wrong. It is being anxious or timid. But it can also mean a very positive feeling of awe or reverence for God, which may be expressed in worship.

Faith is belief in truth, a reality, a firm persuasion or confidence, to trust. It is what enables us to stand firm and live unshakeable in a shaky world because of the object of our faith is the One who does not change, who created all things, sustains all things and is sovereign over all things.

Join me over the next few days as we take a look at three types of fears we deal with and three examples from Scripture on moving from fear to faith.

Fear #1 — Vain Imaginings — Read: Numbers 13:26-14:10

Vain imaginings are those fears and worries we have created in the landscape of our minds alone. We have imagined ourselves into a frazzled frenzy! As a Mom I have become an expert in this area of fear. Sometimes a vain imagining can be a real concern or circumstance we are facing, but it becomes a vain imagining when we begin to imagine all that could go wrong and begin to act on this belief as if it were fact.

What do we find the Israelites doing in 14:1?

In this passage we find the account of the Israelites as they are preparing to enter the Promised Land. The spies had just returned from exploring the land and were giving their report. As you read this account keep in mind that the Israelites had seen God part the Red Sea and swallow up an entire Egyptian army on their behalf. They had experienced the provision of manna and quail from the very hand of God each day and had seen the glory of His Presence as he followed them day and night by cloud and pillar of fire. Now they are poised and positioned to enter the Promised Land that God had prepared and promised to them.

According to Numbers 13:31-33 and 14:3-4, what are the two fears expressed by some of the spies? 

They express a fear that they are entering a land that devours its inhabitants. The people are stronger and they seem like grasshoppers to them. They are fearful they will fall by sword and their wives and children will become prey.

In Numbers 13:32 and 14:2  we see two responses that are feeding these vain imaginings.

Some of those who returned from exploring the land formed their own report based on their fears and lack of trust in God. They spread a bad report, I call them the gossipers. But I think Joshua and Caleb would have mentioned if some of their own had been “devoured” by the “giants” living in the land. And did anyone really call them a grasshopper or perhaps was this a conclusion they arrived at in their own imaginations?

How often do we find ourselves doing the same thing? We project our lack of trust in a situation and arrive at a conclusion before the event has even come to pass. We listen to all the voices around us instead of tuning our ear to the One who knows and controls all things.

We also see the grumblers in this story. The grumblers have vainly imagined their wives and children plundered and themselves having fallen by the sword. Often I find myself doing the same thing, especially when it involves a circumstance out of my control.

Contrast the response of gossiping and grumbling spies with that of Joshua and Caleb.

 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them. —Numbers 14:6-9

 What do you notice that is different about their response?

Joshua and Caleb encountered the same people in the land as the other spies.  But instead of allow their fears to take root and run wild, they choose to trust and believe God.  He has promised this land to His people. He has brought them through the Red Sea, surviving in the wilderness and through the long journey to this land.  Their eyes are fixed on the One who is in control of all things.

Our vain imaginings all come down to a control and trust issue. Do I believe the Lord is sovereign, loving, good, merciful, caring and always desires what is for my good and His glory?

What are you facing today?  Instead of letting your imagination run wild, run to the feet of Jesus. Pour your heart out to Him.  Talk out all you are thinking and feeling about the situation and then rehearse and walk out the truth of who God is! Move from fear to faith, by placing your trust in the One who is fully trustworthy and acts on behalf of those who love and believe Him.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

—Psalm 111:7-10

Let’s come back to our verse from Hebrews 12:28:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

How does it encourage us to stand firm in a shaky world?  Take a look at some of the definitions from this verse in the original language:

Receiving – to take into the mind.

Kingdom – Christ’s rule and reign in our hearts and lives, clothed with power and dignity.

Cannot be shaken – unshaken, unmoved, not liable to overthrow; firm, stable, enduring.

We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, one that is firm and stable and secure. God is our Rock and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of this foundation for our lives. We have to receive it as ours. We have to take up our places as daughters of the King. I’ve taken the passage in Hebrews 12:28 with the original word definitions in mind and written a prayer that I use often to remind myself to move from fear to faith:

I will remember moment by moment that Christ rules in my heart and over my circumstances. My world may be shaking, but I am standing on the rock of His power and protection!

So when you are faced with a fearful circumstance that tempts you to let your vain imaginings run wild choose instead to:

  • Be grateful and praise God for who He is and what He has done in your life.
  • Be mindful that we are just passing through this world and those things that are eternal cannot be shaken or removed.  We are secure in Christ!

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 ©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com

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2 thoughts on “Unshakeable Faith Part 1”

  1. Pingback: Unshakeable Faith Part 2

    1. Thank you, Susan. My world is certainly shaking right now. Your encouragement/exhortations are balm for my soul. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
      Connie

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