Last week I began to share the secrets of victory in moving from fear to faith. Again we very much live in a fear driven society. Last week we were considering our need to look by faith to God and to build a relationship with Him through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. A second important aspect of moving from fear to faith is the need to lay hold on God’s Word.
Consider with me for a moment what Joshua’s experience must have been when he took over from Moses after watching Moses lead Israel for 40 years. We see in the first chapter of the book of Joshua God really encourages Joshua in the face of a very fear producing event (his promotion to replace Moses). We read these words from the Lord, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you”, (v.5 NIV). Then God gives Joshua the instructions he needs for success starting in verse 7, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (v.7-8 NIV). The Word tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Joshua needed to hear and receive the Word in the face of the huge challenge of leading Israel into the Promised Land.
When we lay hold of God’s Word we will begin to move from fear to faith. When you read the Word you will find your faith growing. But if you don’t read God’s Word your faith won’t grow. You see when we read and meditate on God’s Word we discover that God has always adequately provided for the needs of His people. When we read God’s Word it influences our thought processes and actions. Before I knew Christ some of my friends called me “spaceman”. I didn’t have that nickname because I was planning on becoming an astronaut but because years of drug abuse had toasted my brain. But when I started studying and memorizing God’s Word an amazing thing happened. God brought healing and recovery to my memory and my brain function.
So when we study and meditate on God’s Word it reshapes our thought processes and ultimately our actions. But if we don’t’ read and meditate on God’s Word what then is influencing our thought process and thinking? The world and a cultural system that is totally opposed to God’s values.
One of the most powerful verses that I used literally hundreds of times as a licensed professional counselor for 15 years in Michigan is found in the 4th chapter of the book of Philippians. Paul writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (v.8-9 NIV). This verse is one of the single most important psychological verses in moving from fear to faith. How do we think on these things? Do we see that which is true and lovely and pure on the nightly news? Do we see that which is admirable and praiseworthy coming to us from our TV programming and from our computers? No, we find these things in God’s Word when we take the time to meet with God though His Word. It is as we meet with God in His Word on a regular basis that our thoughts and actions are changed. So my question is are you walking in the Word? Because if you are you have the greatest resource available to help you move from fear to faith.
Pastor Rich Sivo