By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Hebrews 11:33 -34 (NLT)
Hello! I’ve been gone for longer than I would’ve liked, but now I’m back with more insight to share with you. This blog is a little long winded and you may not be able to finish it in one sitting. However, I encourage you to finish it. I want to share my testimony with you in hopes that it helps you draw closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, with all of the formalities out of the way, lets get into it.
What is Faith?
The Bible defines faith as “the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
For me personally, Faith is my saving Grace. Don’t get it twisted I understand that Jesus is my Savior and he died for my sins. When I call Faith my saving grace, I am speaking about how Faith has taken my life to ANOTHER level.
Having faith has kept me sane. I’ve seen and gone through things that no one should ever witness especially at such a young age. I’ve also been in several situations that seemed hopeless where my back has been against the wall, but my faith wouldn’t let me quit. Most of these were instances where I was believing God for His promises. My faith wouldn’t let me give up on God.
Okay Storytime…in 2016, God told me it was time for me to move out of state. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I felt so strongly within my spirit that the Lord was telling me to go. He didn’t even tell me where. Sound familiar? The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 (NLT)
Anyhow, I visited a few places that year including Parsippany, NJ and Miami, FL but those weren’t it. I applied to jobs all over and got called for interviews in Charlotte, NC. I didn’t know a thing about Charlotte outside of the fact that I considered going to college here but ended up staying closer to home to make sure my mother was well. This is a lot…I know…but stay with me. Long story short, in September of 2016, I TOOK A LEAP OF FAITH and moved to Charlotte, NC from my hometown Chicago, IL which is approximately a 760 mile (12-hour drive) distance.
I moved away from everything I knew and loved to a place God showed me. I know what you’re thinking…God must have taken really good care of you. He did! But not in the way that one might assume. We must get out of that genie in a bottle complex when it comes to the things of God. Just because I (FINALLY) got in alignment with the will of God for my life, that didn’t automatically require God to grant me wishes or have all of my dreams come true. While I had everything I needed, I was still BEYOND uncomfortable.
So many things went wrong in that first year, but God never failed me and by His grace my Faith didn’t fail. To begin my company didn’t give me any relocation money and rushed me to move. I ended up using all my savings and still having to borrow money from my parents. On top of that, I had less than three weeks to get to Charlotte and start work. My car got hit three times within the first year I moved to Charlotte and a bunch of other discouraging things happened but I’m sure at this point you get the picture.
During that time, I had a lot of people call me crazy for moving to a city I’d never even visited to please God. I would like to say that it was just crazy faith! Folks looked at me and said that I must have lost my mind. They were quick to let me know that it doesn’t take all that and questioned whether it was a God thing. However, I’m still standing and those who doubted me are standing still. God has me in a better position that I could have imagined. Was it easy? No, but God has been faithful.
What is fear?
I would call fear the antithesis of Faith but that wouldn’t be accurate. I’ve heard some folks say that fear can be defined as faith moving in the opposite direction. However, that just doesn’t seem to provide enough insight. You see, fear is a spirit. In 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) the Bible tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Based on this verse we can conclude that fear is a spirit that God has given us the power to overcome.
But why would we need to overcome this particular spirit? Well, to begin, fear is a liar. It has the tendency to mask itself as logic. In my personal experience, it has masked itself as many things such as concern. It comes in many forms but it’s a spirit. It’s not a godly spirit either. It’s not your friend. It didn’t come to play with you, but it does plan to play you. Fear plays for keeps. Fear has been used in my life and in the lives of my loved ones to cripple them. Fear has kept so many people I know from pursuing purpose and some from even pursuing Jesus. The enemy often uses fear to steal purpose, but God has given us everything we need to overcome fear. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NKJV)
Okay, time for another short story. In my past, I allowed fear to keep me in a toxic relationship where I was verbally and physically abused. Unfortunately, I had become abusive to my abuser. I was in that relationship, engaged to be married, for about 5 years. Why would anyone be in such a bad situation for so long??? Well since you asked, a huge reason was I had become paralyzed by my fear. My ex-fiancée often told me that no one loved me but him. I believed that lie and feared being alone/unloved. Another thing I feared was starting a new relationship. I had spent so much time trying to make this toxic thing work and the idea of starting all over scared me. I would have to be vulnerable with a new person and hope they understood me? Ugh no thanks!!! The last thing I will share is that I feared the outcome of a public breakup in this social media age. I was so young and impressionable. I didn’t want to be wrong and I didn’t want to be made fun of because I stayed in what others could see was a failing relationship for so long. At the tender age of 21, I ended that abusive relationship. It took me nearly 5 years to become fully healed from that experience. But it wasn’t until I started truly living for God that I experienced freedom. I say this with tears in my eyes, don’t let fear hold you hostage in a bad relationship – romantic or otherwise…BREAK FREE! Pray to God for wisdom, understanding and healing. Then GET OUT! God has better for you on the other side of this if you would just trust and believe in Him.
Faith Vs fear
Fear creates a fog, but faith shows you the step by step passageway. Faith says you have everything to gain. Fear says you have everything to lose. Faith is expansive. Faith makes room and shows you the endless possibilities available to you when you get into alignment with the plan God has for your life. Fear limits you. Fear makes you shrink back by boxing you in with lies, doubt and confusion. Faith will have you leading meetings you aren’t qualified to sit in. Fear will have you sneaking around, living in the dark, ashamed of who you are, disloyal, dishonorable and looking foolish. Faith will have you living your dreams, pursuing greatness, living in purpose with character and integrity.
Who will you believe? Faith or fear? I pray that you will choose Faith every time.
One of my favorite speakers Dr. Myles Munroe has said “where purpose is not known abuse is inevitable.”
If everything has a purpose, what is the purpose of Faith and fear? Who do you think sends Faith? Who sends fear? I believe that God sends Faith to help us get to the next level in our journey with Him. I believe the enemy sends fear to make sure we don’t take the next step to get to the next level.
God allows fear because He can use your fears to push you into purpose and out of your comfort zone. And “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (ESV).
Unlike fear, I don’t believe Faith is a spirit. Faith is a superpower that is given by God and needs to be activated daily. Without Faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). He gives us each a measure of Faith, but we must exercise our Faith in order to get to the next level, whatever that may be.
God sent me to let you know that it’s time to become all you were created to be. In order to do this, you must choose Faith over fear and sidestep anything that dares get in your way.
The Word: By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Hebrews 11:33 -34 (NLT)
The Story/The Lesson: Faith will have you living the blessed life and fear will have you living a stressed life. Release your Faith and get ready to receive all that God has promised you!
Bonus: Believe it! God will make a way! Let’s activate our faith in Jesus by praising Him in advance for what He is about to do. Listen to Made A Way – Travis Greene (Lyrics) . Also, here is a short prayer to help you in your journey as you begin activating your Faith.
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