To some extent, if we are honest with ourselves, we all, to some degree, have a fear of the future. As we grow older, or deeper in Christ as a Christian, this certainly lessens as we learn to trust the Lord. We learn to take our problems to the cross, and after praying and intercession, leave them there and take up His yoke, for it is lighter, as Matthew 11:30 tells us. But most of us, after kneeling at the cross, pick up our own burdens again and walk off, unchanged.
We can also learn from the secular world, for as William Connor Magee said “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.” Or as poet Robert Burns wrote in November 1785 of the human condition when he turned up a mouse’s nest in a field while ploughing:
“Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!”
We have been conditioned my society to fear making errors and this has a really dampening effect on our lives, even as Christians. We have also been conditioned to look at the future in fear, rather than anticipation and joy and excitement, trusting in the Lord. But when we live in this old way, we invite the spirit of fear into our lives and this manifests in anti-Christian and anit-Godly ways, for it robs us of the fullness of life – both for today and tomorrow. It is a lie of the enemy telling us to fear the future, it is not God’s word. The enemy knows that if we believe the lie, then we will be side-tracked from the path which God has outlined for us and God’s destiny for us is in jeopardy. We have replaced Gods plans for our lives, with a lie.
Jeremiah the prophet was told by God to buy a field at Anathoth despite the field being in the control of the enemy and Israel facing a 70 year exile (Jeremiah 32:7-9). The point of the exercise was to have Jeremiah trust God in an open and blatant manner which made no sense in the secular worldview of life. But in v29:11 we had just read God’s words to Jeremiah “For I know the purposes which I am purposing for you, says Jehovah; purposes of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God wanted Jeremiah to publicly demonstrate faith in his God – faith, as Hebrews 11:1 says “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.
Interestingly, the word translated as “faith” in the King James Version of the bible is “אמוּן “and is only used twice in the Old Testament, Habakkuk 2:4 and Deuteronomy 32:20. By contrast “faith” is found 227 times in the New Testament. From this we may imply some kind of imperative from the Lord, as to our focus. Faith is important to the Lord as Romans 14:22-23 makes clear when explaining the protocols of what or what not to eat: “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But, the one doubting, if he eats, he has been condemned, because it is not of faith; and all that is not of faith is sin.” See also Romans 4:5 where it is said of Abraham that “his faith is counted for righteousness”.
And in Romans 1:17 “for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Yes, the Lord has made it very clear to us of His intent here. We are to “live by faith.”
If we do not, it is rebellion against the King, the maker of Heaven and earth.
How do we develop that faith? Galatians 5:5-6 tells us “for we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness out of faith……… but faith working through love.”
v5:14 completes the instruction, for “the whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbour the same as you love yourself.” In that, fear will be banished. When we love our neighbours, love our friends, love our co-workers and colleagues, there is no fear of failure. There is no fear of the future.
Teach us to walk in faith. Bring us back to Your path when we wander off in the lies of the enemy or our own self-delusion. Correct us Father, for we are Your children and we love You and give You full control of our will, for Your Kingdom sake.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen and Amen.