Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
–Romans 10:1 NIV
Early morning walks whether they are on the beach on in a neighborhood can be very special. But of course, walking the beach when possible is my favorite of all. Often I found myself talking out loud to God, as though He is walking along side of me. The warmth of the sun chases away the light chill of the morning. Pocketing a few specially selected shells for the windowsill back home makes the day memorable. Best of all, are the deep breaths from walking vigorously on the sand with lungs full of salt air. I believe all these things combined, make the start of a perfect day.
There are many “walks” in life…some physical, like walking a beach or exercising. But the one we will talk about today is the spiritual walk. Our relationship with God is our most important “walk”. We are given a choice of whether or not we choose to follow Him and His Word. Assuming we choose to walk with Him, He begins to take us down different paths and roads to teach and strengthen us. Some roads are bumpy with turmoil and tribulations and other times, we seem to glide by effortlessly. Those challenges we come up against build us up and invariably we come away having learned a new lesson. I have learned over and over these past few months that we cannot have faith and live in fear at the same time. One cancels out the other. It is very subtle how fear seems to become a stronghold in our life over small things and before you know it, we become afraid or worried and anxious about everything. Fear is a dark spirit that comes upon us when we think “what if” thoughts and fear thoughts. If we allow ourselves to remain anxious or continue to worry, the end result is living a life consumed with fear. It comes on us so quietly that we often don’t know it has happened until our entire mindset becomes based on fear. Each time I have allowed my mind to walk down the road of fear, I realized later that it was for naught. Everything worked out, but the toll of carrying worry and anxiety in my body caused my heart to beat faster, headaches to come upon me and my sleep to be interrupted. Some fears are normal, but most are not. God says that we are to trust Him. He is our Protector and Provider. He is always the Answer. Whatever fears we may be carrying today can be surrendered to God in exchange for faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word. Reading scripture that comforts and guides us into a deeper walk with God automatically diminishes our natural tendency to live in fear to free us for a life of faith.