“He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” – Proverbs 2:6-8
Our God is a God of victory! As disciples of Jesus, united with Him through the power of our faith in baptism (Romans 6:3-5), we have been given the privilege to share in that victory! Our daily challenge is to stay faithful and live a blameless life by not giving into our fears! No matter the obstacles, we must remember that it is God who is our shield; it is God who guards our path; it is God who is our protector! So how does our faith lead to victory? I believe there are three areas of importance: Walking in Faith, Praying in Faith, and Waiting in Faith! Let’s examine these three topics in detail…
Walking In Faith
“Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” – Isaiah 38:3
We are either walking with God in faith or walking with the Devil in fear! To be victorious we need to distinguish the daily decisions we make to be faithful or fearful. Whether we are dealing with matters of work, school, evangelism, or family, Satan tries to pull us away from walking faithfully with God by whispering subtle lies to us that we think are coming from ourselves. He might tell you that “you are not as spiritual as someone else,” or “no else knows what I am going through,” or “if you knew my deepest sin you wouldn’t respect me.” Whatever our weakness is, he will use it against us! After listening to these lies long enough, we start talking with Satan himself: “That guy is not open…look at him.” “My wife doesn’t love me. All she wants to do is argue.” “These guys don’t really care, they are just saying it.” It’s at this point that we allow our hearts to become entangled by fear, and we stop walking with God in faith & start walking with the Enemy in fear! At every situation, we are at a crossroads. Either we walk with the Word of God as our standard, or we don’t.
Praying In Faith
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
We can pray to God regarding our problems, but often our prayers are motivated by fear, not faith. “Lord, if you don’t heal me, I’ll die,” “God, if you don’t give me a job, I’ll lose all of my possessions,” etc. God doesn’t want us to be sick, hungry, or unable to pay our bills, but our fear does not activate the power of God! God is God and He can do
whatever He wants without our permission, but faith, not fear, is the fuel for answered prayers. Sometimes people want to know God or get an answered prayer in the midst of a tragedy. While it may look like God responded to a prayer of fear, in actuality that person, through the tragedy, are humbled to seek God.
Psalm 51:17 states, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” God receives a “broken” or “contrite” spirit, not a fearful one. When anyone comes to the end of their rope, giving up on their human capability to change the situation, then they are ready to seek God. Fear embraces – holds on to – self. Faith embraces – holds on to – God! The challenge is to remain patient and to continue to trust God even when our prayers are not answered immediately! Lamentations 3:25-26 states, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord…” So how do we wait in faith?
Waiting In Faith
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:13,14
Faith involves waiting in the physical to see the manifestation of what has already taken place in the spiritual. Remember, God is not in our time realm. He sees the completed victory. Our responsibility is to stand in faith, based on the Word He has given us. In Habakkuk 2:3, God tells us “the revelation [the Word He has given us] awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” When He says something, He really means it! He is always on time. He is never late! Hold onto God’s word and wait for the “appointed time!” This is faith! When the manifestation of His Word for a specific situation comes to pass, you can stop waiting, for then it has become fact. Faith isn’t needed then! What is it that you need to wait for? A friend or family
member to be open to study the Bible? A promotion at work? A relationship to develop? Trust God’s sovereignty and His timing! Fear is based on what Satan tells us will happen. It keeps us distracted, preoccupied and “walking on eggshells,” with peace as an elusive dream. Faith, on the other hand, brings peace to the soul. It is a stubborn joy and peace, no matter what the circumstances are. God honors the prayer of faith not because we deserve it, but because He did it. Jesus has broken down that fear at the cross, accomplishing the work that His father sent him to do. Death no longer has mastery over us! As we work to win New York City for the Lord, let us remember that we have an Almighty God who has not stopped walking with us! Don’t stop walking with Him as He leads us to victory!