There are two big players when it comes to approaching this life. One is faith and the other is fear. As we wake each day we have an opportunity to choose the one which will bring us life and freedom or the one which will see us become a slave, imprisoned to the minefield of our minds. In an ideal world it is an easy choice, but there are constant reminders that tip the ledger to the wrong side of the equation. Why is it so easy to find ourselves operating out of a place of fear, rather than faith?
Fear gets too much airplay!
I think the temptation to fear comes from the messages we are bombarded with daily. The world says we need to always lean on the side of safety and caution because you never know what bad things might happen to you. You only have to watch television for five minutes to be exposed to several insurance advertisementsâfrom life insurance to pet insurance. When did we become so obsessed with insurance? To me, the insurance industry seems to be driven from a fear motivation. The daily news could help sink us if we begin to believe we live in a big, bad world and you can't trust anybody.
We must be careful to filter messages from the world and see how they fit with the gospel message of Jesus. After all, God's word is supposed to be the highest authority in our lives. Circumstances, emotions and the world's messages must be examined by and brought under the authority of what God says.
Jesus is the reason we have faith
This whole topic reminds me of a great story found in the book of Matthew (chapter 14, verse 22â31) about a young passionate follower of Jesus named Peter. He wanted so much to be like Jesus that he believed he could walk on waterâonly to be overcome by the waves below him as fear gripped his mind.
I love this story because it teaches us so much about the battle raging in each one of us. Are we going to let fear get the better of us or are we going to rise above and have faith? In this story we discover the secrets to rising above our stormy seas and begin to believe that we too can walk on water.
First, this story shows us it is possible to walk above and beyond our circumstances. Second, the key to achieving this goal is about fixing our complete attention on Jesus. Peter probably didn't even realise he was walking on water because the greatest desire in his heart was to be with Jesus, not to walk on water.
This helps us frame the choice of faith over fear. Our faith is only made possible through our beloved Saviour who loved us enough to die for us. In doing so fear was defeated and faith was now possibleâtherefore giving us unlimited potential to be all we were created to be.
Faith trip to Hawaii
In 2012 my wife and I had the amazing blessing of a gifted trip to Hawaii. I know what you're thinking: that doesn't sound too bad! On this trip the Lord really tested us in this whole area of faith. We got on the plane with $500 for a whole month without knowing where we were going to stay or what we were even going for!
My wife had packed in faith a month before we left and we boarded the plane expectant of the Lord to move. But we were in for a rude awakening.
When we were going to through customs we had to fully depend on God. Customs grilled us as to our addressâwhich hotels we'd be staying atâbut we honestly did not know where we were going to stay. We had one loose contact but it was God who would determine why we were there and we believed that He would provide.
As the reality of our situation seeped in we felt just like the disciples when they were asked by Jesus not to bring anything as they travelled into new towns sharing the gospel. In modern terms this looks like not packing a bag, not booking accommodation and not having a man-made back up plan.
For the first two weeks of the trip the Lord provided for us, but not in the way we thought. We were staying with an amazing Filipino Christian community in the most dangerous and poor side of Hawaii. We had a battle with fear but we could see God inviting us to step out but we were scared.
Eventually we knew that if we didn't step out we wouldn't learn what God had sent us there to learn. So we took a deep breath and booked an adventure tour with the last of our money.
It was on this tour that God opened a door and we met Jake, a fellow Christian, who immediately invited us to his church and helped us practically with our needs. The next morning, as we turned up at his church, it became clear this was no ordinary church. We were looking at an amazing outreach to the homeless population on Kauai. There were tents with free medical services, food, household supplies, and of course, prayer. The service amazed me as it was so totally driven by the love of God.
The rest of the trip was God opening one door after another and we were invited back to sing and speak at the next homeless church on the neighbouring island. We had divine appointments, ministered, made lifelong friends, saw God move miraculously and we even jumped off a 40 foot cliff into a waterfall pool which was highly symbolic for us of finally overcoming our fears and embracing a life of faith.
Is God calling you to step out on the water?
Is God calling you to a new level of faith? Is he calling you to step out of your boat and walk out on the water with faith? Keep your gaze solely on Jesus and you will be amazed at what you will achieve together for His kingdom.
After all it says in Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1: 'Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.'
Justin Monaghan is heavily involved in his local surfing community of South Australia as a surf coach, a judge of surf contests and a member of Christian Surfers. Justin also works in team building, is currently launching as a professional prophetic artist and runs a creative home fellowship with his wife Liana.
Justin Monaghan's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/justin-monaghan.html