Which of these best describe my life? An honest evaluation is hard to do. I’m sure we all want to be described as someone who lives with “faith over fear,” yet how can I know when fear is trumping my faith or when faith begins to be overshadowed by my fear? Consider these questions:
Do I often think about the physical ramifications of my decisions more than the spiritual ramifications of my decisions? Jesus cautioned that we “do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28-29). When we make decisions solely upon the preservation of our physical lives without considering their effects on our souls, we may be letting our fear rule over our faith.
Am I worried about the things about which my Lord has told me “do not worry”? Our Lord gave one of the greatest expositions on worry in Matthew 6:25-34. Worry to a Christian is as pointless and fruitless as a man trying to will himself to grow (cf. Matt. 6:27)! If we trust in God and are seeking after the things that please Him above all, shouldn’t it show in our trust in His sovereignty over the things that might cause us to worry (Matt. 6:33)?
Am I putting too much stock in the words of godless men and their hope that things will change for the better sometime down the road? Solomon said, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap” (Eccl. 11:4). The full context of that statement begs us to ask, “what perfect conditions are we waiting for in order to get busy living and working for the glory of God?” If we are so consumed with fear about what “might” happen, it will keep us from things that absolutely “must” happen (2 Tim. 1:7-12; Gal. 6:1-10).
Am I more interested in preserving my life without thinking about how I may be more devoted to Christ with the life I preserve? It must have been a hard thing for Jesus to see all of His disciples flee in fear at His arrest (Mark 14:50), even when they all swore they would never leave Him (see Matt. 26:35). Yet, the resurrected Jesus made all the difference in these men and their boldness for the gospel. If we trust in the Lord and we lean on the Lord, then how will our decisions for the Lord and for His cause be different in the future? How does our faith in Him today show the growth of our faith in preparation for tomorrow (Jas. 4:13-17)?