We often hide behind our fear while telling ourselves and others we are in faith. Sometimes we hide behind fear and blame whatever our troubles are on the devil, our rebukes doing no good whatsoever.
The phone bill
Back in the days before cell phones we had land lines. With land lines, if you called outside your area there was an extra charge based on each minute you talked. If you called someone a long way away it cost you more.
I couldn't pay the bill that first month, and the phone company let it go until I couldn't pay the second month as well. The total of about $600, which is the same as $1600 today. A relative was in trouble and I spent hours on the phone giving guidance and support. Our phone was shut off. Bye bye phone because I didn't have the money to pay it.
Where was my faith? I thought I was "believing the Lord" for the money to pay the bill, but no 'miracle' money came in to pay it. I was helping someone, giving good and godly advice - why wasn't the Lord there for me? What happened?
The truth is
I was afraid to call the phone company to work out a payment plan. In part, I didn't feel like I could truthfully tell them when I'd have money to pay them. I didn't know if they would demand it all at once, or if they would accept payments over a few months. I was afraid of what might be. What they might say. What I couldn't commit to. So I didn't call.
All this time I was 'believing the Lord' for the money to pay the bill. Later I learned if I had called they would have worked with me on a payment plan. My fear was for nothing, and what I thought was faith, was really me hiding behind my fear.
I've seen people do this with doctors. Afraid the diagnosis would be horrible news, or cost them money they didn't have. In some cases people died because they wouldn't go to a doctor because they were afraid of the office visit charge and any tests that would be done.
I've seen people delay home repairs, car repairs, and more because of fear what the total might be, so they 'believe the Lord' and think prayer will move God to do something. They never think that maybe the Lord wants them to deal with their fear and trust Him. Then when something worse happens, they are forced to deal with it and unfortunately, suffer the consequences of their fear-fueled delay.
Going through the fear...
I wish I knew then what I know now about II Peter 1:3-4, as I mentioned last week. "All things that pertain to life and godliness have been provided...."
We are all growing and learning. Back in the early 1980's I didn't know all things that pertain to life have been provided. I had not yet learned to make that tough decision in the midst of pressure, to stand and ask the Father to reveal His provision, based on His Word.
The difference between having the phone cut off in the 1980s, and Chris and I about 15 years later having a miracle provision as a man took our cows to sale when our truck broke, is that I learned to go through the fear, learned to deal with the circumstances.
I learned the Father's provision is most often just on the other side of the fear.
There was a lady in our church with an 11 year old son. Her son got sick with a bad fever, and for her, money was scarce. Even when she had it, she didn't like to spend it. After the fever lingered for a few days many of us urged her to go to the doctor, but she was 'believing the Lord'...
After another week went by her son became so weak something was clearly wrong and we insisted she take him to the doctor. Her fear for his life became stronger than her fear of the doctor's bill. The virus had gone to a heart valve, and he needed immediate open heart surgery to replace the valve.
The bill in about 1989 was $65,000 to put a mechanical valve in the boy's heart. When sitting next to him you could hear it click as his heart pumped blood. His mom was thrilled that because of her income and that he was a child, the hospital would use charity funds to pay the bill - she didn't owe anything.
We were amazed that she so rejoiced over this, when all she had to do was at the first be willing to pay or make payments for a doctor's appointment and all that trauma could have been avoided. And because of her actions, he beat her to heaven by several years - glad they are there now, but he should still be alive and living a good and fruitful life like his sister is.
All that because his mother didn't have the faith in her Heavenly Father to go through the fear to see His provision on the other side.
The two blind men...according to your faith be it to you...
People want God's provision, but it is according to faith, not according to fear. Faith requires a revelation from the Father for the situation. Fear argues against logic, fear argues against common sense. Fear only delays an action that then causes much more difficult consequences.
When Jesus wanted to turn water into wine, He first had them collect and then fill 6 stone water pots, THEN the miracle happened. When Jesus wanted to fee 5,000 men plus women and children, He organized to have them sit down in groups of 50s and 100s, THEN the miracle happened.
Fear asks why bother gathering the stone pots. Fear asks why go to the trouble of organizing the people into groups of 50s and 100s. Faith doesn't appear wise to those in fear. But faith deals with the natural circumstances realizing provision is on the other side of the fear.
And that is where the test of our faith is focused. We will pick it up there next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org