DayBreaks for 11/13/14 – The Greatest Enemy of Faith
Joshua 1:9 (NLT) – This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
If someone were to ask you what is the greatest enemy of faith, what would you say? We tend to think in terms of polar opposites when asked such a question, so one might say “doubt.” I can understand that way of thinking – it has a certain simple clarity to it, doesn’t it? And, there are many in the Christian family who think doubt is a dirty word. I, for one, don’t. I think doubt leads to questioning and truth never has anything to fear from questions. It is doubt that propels people to accept the old standard answers and formulas to find and discover new thoughts and insights. The Old Testament prophets and King David certainly had no compunctions about expressing their doubts to and about God! But, that’s not really what I want to talk about today.
I recently came across this insight: “The greatest enemy of faith is not doubt; the greatest enemy of faith is fear. Most of the world is controlled by fear, petty and big. Petty fears control people; great fears control nations. We could feed all the people in this world if we would stop building arms, but we are afraid. In the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount) Jesus said, “Those of you who make peace will be happy. You will be God’s own.” Yet even Christians are preoccupied with fear and protecting ourselves because we don’t believe what Jesus said. The Sermon on the Mount is an antidote to fear. But we have never seen fear as the crucial issue, only “doubt.”
I don’t think that I’ll ever think of the enemy of faith the same way again. We are afraid that God won’t really will show up or if that He’ll leave us hanging out there all on our own. It is fear of what will happen to us if God doesn’t do something that freezes us: we don’t want to look foolish, to sound foolish and we certainly don’t want to be persecuted or antagonized by those who might mock us for trying to act on faith. Fear, not doubt, is what causes us not to take the first step on the faith walk.
PRAYER: Let us boldly be on the gentle offensive, filled with the certain knowledge that neither Satan nor all his demons will have the victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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