Chapter 4: Faith Lived

As I looked over the Bible for the insightful stories of the faith/fear relationship, I was struck by the 40 year journey of the Israelites.  If you can picture with me the final days of their journey as they come to the Jordan River and are finally going to cross over into the Promised Land. The Ark of the covenant is being carried by men to the banks of the River. The River is swollen, the flood plains are full with the run-off, the channel is deep. The promise has been made that the Ark and the people will cross on dry ground. Picture the young man at the front, carrying the Ark with his comrades, approaching the bank looking at the water and then stepping off the shore only to have his foot land on dry ground. What gave him that courage to rest and believe he would not be swept away in the torrent.

As he steps out he must first look down, he would have seen an astonishing display of God's provision and faithfulness already present. A simple reminder, that being, a shoe on his foot. He has had this shoe for all of his adult life, it has never worn out, nor have his clothes as he would have been reminded. Then the memories would have flooded out the fear as he thought of Prairie Chickens and Manna and battles he and his father had fought, the protection, and the very presence of God guiding them by flame and by cloud. What a legacy of provision has been imbedded in his life. And so he steps out onto dry ground.

This is a remarkable event, but in the context of their daily life their acts were based on faith evolved from experience. We all have similar events in our lives commanding our attention to the provision of God and enabling us to have the courage to move through our fear into the Promises of God. Over the years as I have watched people, I have noticed that the barriers exist, the Jordan's are evident in the lives of so many people, it is the fear of stepping out in faith and believing that God is Who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. His Word is sure.
The majority resist, holding to a level of comfort which is designed to either placate the fear or bury it completely under a facade. It is not enough to be an Israelite, to have the name 'Abraham', to be a Christian, this is and always will be a personal, very personal, relationship between your fear and your faith. Only you and God really know how and why you are being held back from His promise and provision.
Faith is not an item you can grasp and hold with your hand, it must be held in the heart and even saying that I sound redundant. You can believe much but have little faith to act. Faith is not faith until it becomes a resolved and courageous action to step out in belief. James 2: 24, " You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only."
We all have fears, and as I have observed, the 'epiphanias' exist, they crop up in conversations, they are revealed in the excuses, the reasoning, the well-thought arguments, the anger, they are showing that the 'obsessio' is there, lying under the surface, carefully and tactfully hidden so as not to reveal the conundrum holding back, shackling the actions of faith and retarding the growth of so many Christians.
I can only draw these things to your attention, hopefully the words which I have and share will cause a twinge and in that I hope you realize that this is where you are at and that you must move and face your fear.
What of your fear? There will be no solution given for your conundrum until you trust God and move ahead with what you have been called to do. The fear creating that obstacle in your life in this present situation may be questionable compared to what the future has in store and if for now you fail to believe, then what will happen when the challenges to believe become greater.
Jeremiah 12:5,
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,in which you trusted, they wearied you,then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?"
This status quo maintained and controlled by stalwart fear of the unknown may be impenetrable by the persuasion of mere words. Reactions to a call to faith can be very quickly quelled by the abiding sense of what is lying in wait. After a time it becomes easier to live with the past and the fears by which we are held, then to step into a future uncertain and relinquish our authority. It is a 'crossover', a 'passover' to live a life in an arena of promise. It is about relinquishing our belief in a right to be free from pain, it is about surrendering to 'God in the boat' and having faith to willingly feel what life brings to our table and live a life  experiencing the fullness of God's love. We will never be free from pain in this life, that is a given. John 16: 33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer (take courage), I have overcome the world."
Jeremiah 17:7,8, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters , which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."
Psalm 46:1-3, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling."


Under The Eagle's Wing - Faith, Hope and Love; the Greatest of These

An Online Book based on 1 Corinthians 13:13