These two terms are not compatible with each other. In the presence of either the other cannot survive. If you have faith, fear shrivels and dies. If you have fear faith shrivels and dies. I learned these truths while on a mission trip.
It was in the early 1980’s, my first out of the U. S. A. Mission trip. My oldest brother, Pastor David T. Freeman, invited me to go deep into the country of Mexico. He was a seasoned missions preacher and teacher. I felt safe with him. We had stops in Monterrey, San Luis Potosi, and the beautiful Mexico City. We ministered together in many places and many churches. We saw people come to salvation. Many were baptized in the Holy Spirit. And, there were healings! Oh yes, the healings.
I never liked flying in an airplane. I was scared before I got in one. I was a nervous wreck while flying. I couldn’t enjoy the ministry because all I could think of was, “I have to get back in an airplane to get home.” Instead of having a great time with my brother and some other ministers I knew it would be two weeks of nervous “semi” fear and faith-filled sermons, laughs, and headaches, and upset stomach...you get the picture.
It didn’t help that we were flying what my brother jokingly called “Treetop Airlines”. He had been in these places on many occasions and he recounted stories of almost hitting trees as they flew over the mountains in this part of the Spanish speaking world. That did not help me one bit. It just made my little secret fear much worse. I couldn’t begin to tell these other “men of faith” that David’s little brother was full of fear.
As we approached a mountain range on the way in to a certain city the plane began to shake as the wind currents pushed from underneath. I remember that in that moment I thought I was going to pass out. I didn’t even realize that hands had gripped the back of the seat in front of me. I was squeezing so tightly my entire hand had turned a yellowish white. My face must have had terror written all over it because my brother interrupted my fear with a loud voice and said, “Paul...Paul...what’s wrong with you?” I said, “David I’m so scared.” My brother didn’t pull my hand away from the seat. He didn’t laugh at me. But with the Spirit of Almighty God he quietly and firmly said, “Paul you have nothing to fear. You’re on a mission from God. He’ll take care of you.” Then he put his hand on top of my bloodless hand and said, “This is the last time the devil gets to you about this fear”. And just like that it was gone. From that day until this I have never feared flying and God has taken me all over the world...without fear!
I saw Faith in action become reality on a mission trip so many years ago. I have passed up a lot of opportunities to be filled with fear in many countries around the world. Alarming things have happened to me since then but I can still hear my brother praying with me on that Mexican Airlines airplane...Paul you have nothing to fear. You’re on a mission from God!
And so are you. Get out there and do what God has called you to do. Don’t let the devil (that’s what fear is, Paul called it, “the spirit of fear” ) stop you. Let faith rise in your born again spirit. Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and do what he tells you to do.
~ Paul Freeman