Faith Over Fear

 The beginning of a new year is like a mile marker on the path of life--a checkpoint to show how far you've come. It's a good time to think about where you are on the road to destiny.

When you were younger, what did you expect to have accomplished by this point? When you first got a vision of what God had planned for you, where did you think you would be by now? Are you moving forward--or has the climate of fear in our country paralyzed you and prevented you from making progress?

Many of us have allowed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the subsequent declaration of war to immobilize us. We have allowed fear to supercede faith--and to rule our thoughts, feelings and actions.

But Jesus made it clear that we are to fear God only, and not man: "'I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell'" (Luke 12:4-5, NIV).

Fear causes you to stop thinking about what God has for your future and to focus on mere survival. You live in and for the natural. When you focus on what you fear, you block out God's plans and purposes for your life.

God has not given us a spirit of fear (see 2 Tim. 1:7). Fear is demonic and is based on a lie--in this case that God is unable or unwilling to take care of us. The antidote to fear is the truth. "Get rid of the lie, and the fear will die," evangelist Arthur Burt says.

We must apply the truth of the Word to our situation--and the Word is filled with promises that God will protect us. Psalms 91 and 37 and Isaiah 51:11-16 are particularly comforting passages. Luke 12:6-7 reminds us: "'Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.'"

Fear is the enemy of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (see Heb. 11:6). But when you focus on Jesus and what He is calling you to do, fear disappears and faith rises up in your heart. At the sound of His voice, you'll find you can do supernatural things beyond your own ability. Peter walked on the water when Jesus said, "Come."

Like Peter, many of the women we spotlight in our On the Forefront department have done things far beyond their own ability. You can, too, if you will ask God what He has for you to do in this season--and are more concerned about pleasing Him than avoiding terrorists.

Begin now to focus on His promises. With the new year, you have a fresh opportunity to live by faith and fulfill God's plan for your life.

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