“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was…” James 1:23-24, NKJV.
Most houses have them these days. When I recently moved into my new home, it came with a security system, of which I was immediately skeptical. Every previous residence has had a security system that has either malfunctioned or seemed to have a mind of its’ own. With fear and trembling, I decided after a few nights in the new house to set the alarm. The emotion of “fear and trembling” was not because of a possible unwanted intruder, rather it was because I did not trust the alarm not to go off erroneously.
For a couple of weeks, I have been setting the alarm and it has behaved perfectly. Routinely, now, I activate the alarm system, head to bed, and sleep peacefully throughout the night. Because the alarm is reliable and trustworthy, I rest with no worries either of an intruder or of the system malfunctioning.
God’s Word instructs readers over and over about trusting in the Lord, who is reliable and never “malfunctions.” The Prophet, Jeremiah writes, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD” (17:7, NKJV). When we profess faith in God by the blood of Jesus Christ, unmistakably we are declaring that God stands above any earthly power or adversary. If one declares faith in God, but then lives in fear, he (or she) is the embodiment of what James says about being a “hearer,” versus a “doer” of God’s Word. We claim to be a believer in God, and people in the world are watching to see if we are authentic by being a “doer,” or are we simply saying we believe but live as those who do not know and trust in God by faith.
The illustration of the home security system may seem like an over-simplification of what it means to have faith in God. I would disagree. Just as you and I put our trust in the house alarm to warn us of danger, and go to sleep, trusting, then surely God wants us to put our faith and trust in Him, letting go of all anxiety and fear.
Fear or faith…which one is your master?