My daughter has been writing the exhortation "faith over fear" on cards and notes for the last few months. The phrase calls us to live with faith, belief and confidence in God, more than we live out of fear. It is easy to allow our fears to drive our decisions rather than moving into a discernment conversation with God. Our fears are different, so this is manifested in our lives differently. And it does not mean that we do the hard thing just because it is hard. We follow God first and always. It was not all that long ago that I wrote a blog post titled "Immense Faith" (click for blog post).
We are invited to faith in God every day: in little things and big things. The bigger things may stir more fear. When I come to a fork in the road, when I am stuck, when crisis or conflict comes, or when God calls me to action, it is critical to pay attention to the stirrings of my heart and the Spirit's movement. I need to notice where fear is lurking in contrast to desire, the call of Scripture and the Spirit, and the invitation to trust God Himself.
For a while I have had a sense that God has a work for me to do, a creative work of sorts (actually a few works but I will tell you a bit about the prayer regarding one.) It had been simmering on the back burner of my mind and heart. Monday I was out walking and talking with God, and I sensed God calling me to "engage the work." There are layers to what this would require, but I sensed God asking me to take the next step. The next step felt risky and vulnerable. My immediate response as I walked along the sidewalk, "I am not going to do that!" I actually said it out loud. I demanded that God handle it if he wanted me to engage the project. When I hear myself say "no" to God it is always a red flag.
I was caught in fear, and I knew it. My resistance felt reasonable. Of course it usually does - doesn't it? The next step would require me to show up with courage and vulnerability. And if I made it to the steps that followed there would be more discomfort, risk, and uncertainty, but I want to choose God over my fear. Besides, there is no real safety apart from God anyways. So...I followed God's nudge and took a step. We will see how the story unfolds.
What might require faith over fear as we walk with God?
Responding to a crisis or conflict
Seeking counseling for healing
Setting a strong boundary
Making something new
Loving an enemy
Waiting with patience
Offering hospitality, generosity, or grace
Engaging reconciliation for a broken relationship
Making a sacrifice
Engaging a new rhythm or healthy habit
Seeking discernment for a difficult decision
Where might God be asking you and me to choose faith over fear?
Please add to my list in the comments below if something comes to mind.