Fear and Faith Two
(Or – Continuing to stand when you really just want to scream!)
By Fred Pruitt
First of all, thanks again for writing, because I am always glad to hear from you, even if it is because of “problems,” and you not wanting to “bother” me, etc. I do appreciate your consideration of me but at the same time, dear, that is why I am here! If I didn’t want to be “bothered” I would not write all these things and post them on the internet for all the world to see. It isn’t a bother, dear! Do not think it is, please.
It isn’t any great feat on my part to know almost instantaneously how and why you have fallen into the pit of fear again, but I’m with you there because I have stumbled into that pit more times than I can count, myself.
This is where you get to grow up a little more!
In a nutshell, what do you think fear is?
I’ll tell you how I am seeing it. First, as an emotion or feeling, “fear” is a neutral attribute of our soul and reasoning mind. When I say neutral, and I say it about the whole array of emotions, I mean it is neither good nor evil, but can be used by both. Fear is good when it causes us to instantly react in getting out of imminent danger, for instance. It gets our attention and gets us moving. But that is not the kind of fear you are confessing.
Another “good” kind of fear comes as temptation, meant to exercise us in trusting God and what we do not see and not trusting in appearances, feelings or worldly wisdom that we can see and/or rationalize. I find that I am exercised almost daily right here in this issue — whether to continue to believe God or to succumb to the enormous pressure of “how things seem,” and by the Spirit we are walked through all that to the other side and another fresh seeing of Christ All in all — in me, in the circumstances, in whatever problems that come in the day, we see only Christ manifesting Himself in and through everything, always with the purpose of “saving many people alive!” (Gen 50:20).
And the last kind of fear is where it consumes us and we cannot get out from under it. It eats up every hour of every day. For me I would jump when the phone would ring. “What gloom awaits me today?” was my regular mental attitude for a while. It was like the enemy had won.
He had not won, but I forgot that for a while. (We’re talking years, not 15 minutes!)
Do you know that I found out that fear was not my problem? I had battled irrational fears for decades and had truly believed “fear itself” was my problem.
My problem was unbelief. That is why this is such a key issue, not one for the head but for the heart. Now, don’t despair at this, because this is really GOOD NEWS if you will have it. The reason this is GOOD NEWS is that you are not stuck in your situation, you are not stuck in unbelief, but in fact have been led here in God’s perfect timing and you are receiving His own particular attention in bringing you out of your inner hell and causing you to be able to recognize the Heaven within you and begin to live from there, rather than living by the voice of the accuser who rests not night and day, accusing accusing accusing! (Rev 12: 10-11).
Any voice that puts you in that kind of fear that sends you spiraling downward is not from the Father. It’s the voice of the scoffer and accuser. Not the Holy Spirit. Do you really believe God would humiliate you and would refuse your cries of help? Of course not!!
And that’s where you have to make your stand. This is not “mental believing.” By that I mean that you somehow convince your conscious mind to “believe” something it cannot see or feel. Your conscious mind may or may not feel like “believing” today. It doesn’t matter. This issue is not settled in the conscious mind, but in the mindset of the heart, i.e., our spirits. That is what Jesus means in Mark 11 when he speaks of not doubting in your heart. Spirit is where we make our fixed choices. A faith “choice” is like a marriage choice. Once we speak our word (I do, etc.) we are permanently (ideally so) married. We don’t question it, because it is a fact. It is simply the reality in which we live, whether good or bad.
And a faith choice is much the same. Once spoken, we stand on its truth, no matter what winds might beat upon it, or no matter who shouts at us from outside the walls of our dwelling that we are playing the fool. We don’t listen to that anymore. It wasn’t ever really “us,” anyway, but we lived in the delusion of it. But no more.
We speak the Truth, God’s word particularly revealed to us, of Who we are, with the solemnity of a wedding ceremony, and we do not go back on it no matter what, no matter how it looks, how it feels, what complaints or accusations we hear, we take our stand in the inner Word spoken in us to which we have agreed and confessed, and refuse to hear those false voices anymore.
Now, neither you nor I could pull that off, if it was up to us to do it. But even here, it is the Holy Spirit by us, believing, confessing, and standing firm.
You are suffering now, but I believe you are coming on through to the “other side” where it is a new day, because you won’t live a life based on the up and down of your feelings or thoughts, the “double-minded life,” and instead you are beginning to live a single-eye life, where you see Christ All in all, first in yourself, then in your family and close friends, and then in the whole world.
It won’t be long now.