In this podcast, Greg and Sharon Fletcher talk about the value of wisdom rather than fear when making decisions in your life. They combine powerful scripture with practical steps so that you can start walking in God’s wisdom today.
Recently, when I was in a meeting for my day job, we were discussing ways to prevent our clients from behaving a certain way which would create problems. However, after a while, we realized we needed to back off from this line of thinking because we were compromising our character in the process. As Christians, when we make decisions based on fear, we compromise the identity Christ died to give us.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
That is why it’s so important to be conscious of the difference between making decisions based on fear and making decisions based on God’s spirit of wisdom. But how can you tell if you are operating out of a spirit of fear?
We must recognize that our earthly, human wisdom is limited, and we should trust God with our decision-making because He has all the wisdom. We shouldn’t make decisions based only on our own understanding and experience, but rather also on God’s infinite wisdom, which supersedes ours. The world operates out of its own limited experience, and teaches that you just have to make do with what you have. As children of God, we have access to so much more than that.
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…”1 Cor 1:30
God wants us to walk within His vision and His understanding. God isn’t sitting up in heaven, racking His brains trying to figure out a solution to your current need. He sees all and had your situation figured out before He even made you.
Not only does He know what you should do, He also knows what He’s going to do to help. A lot of times, people tend to focus on the possibility of failure rather than God’s will in a situation.
“Do not fret—it only causes harm.”(ps 37:8b)
When you act out in fear, you actually do evil to yourself and the people around you. If you allow fear to guide your decision-making, you are acting out of a crippled mentality. The enemy wants to see you in this state–ineffective for God’s kingdom and wallowing in defeat. How would your behavior change if you maintained a mentality mindful of that?
If you aren’t mindful, fear can come to you disguised as wisdom. A decision could make complete sense to you in order to prevent something from happening, but if you aren’t operating inside of God’s will, that decision will do much more harm than good. To help you identify when you are acting out of fear rather than Godly wisdom, we have collected some red flags for you to watch out for:
A Feeling of Fear, Anxiety or Unrest
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
When your heart is heavy with anxiety and fear, stop! That’s a red flag that you aren’t operating out of God’s wisdom. You’ve stepped away from walking in faith and peace with Jesus. You’re trying to meet your own needs rather than trusting them to God. When you sense worry in your life, stop and directly address the fear. Meditate and speak aloud scripture of God’s faithfulness and provision, and watch as that worry seeps away.
It Keeps You Up at Night/You’re Continuously Chewing on It
“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 cor 2:4-5)
When most of your mental energy is being spent on trying to figure out a solution to a stubborn problem, stop! Your trust should not be in the wisdom of men (including yourself), but in God. Your faith should rest ONLY on the power of God in your life. That is what will produce peace in your spirit and banish anxiety from your life. That is what will keep you out of fear. Realize that no problem is too big for Him to solve, and once you surrender to His wisdom and His timing, watch how He works in your favor.
What other people say contradicts the Bible
God and His Word must be the supreme source for your wisdom, not what you think, and not what other people tell you either. If you pursue God’s wisdom first, He will draw other Godly people to you to support and encourage you, but you should not seek man’s wisdom BEFORE you seek God’s wisdom. If you don’t seek God’s wisdom first, there will be a vacuum there, and something will fill that role whether you realize it or not. Foster a relationship with God where you feel free to turn to Him in any moment and ask for help.
“pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thess 5:17-18
This means you’re in a constant conversation with God. Sometimes you’re talking, and other times you’re listening—it goes two ways. If you don’t maintain that level of intimacy with God, you will look elsewhere for your source of relief from fear and anxiety.
Walking It Out
When you encounter a difficult problem, the first place you should start is with trusting the power of God. Surrender your ownership of the problem to Him. Step back and take your hands off it, and each time you step back over to try and pick it back up (because you will), make yourself put it back down. Faith is a walk–many steps in succession, not just one. When you do that, God will make your path clear. He will show you what doors to knock on and walk through. He will help you make your actions deliberate and effective instead of panicked and pointless.
“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”Rom. 14:23
When you decide to handle a problem, you can either operate out of the flesh, or of the spirit. There is no in-between, and the Bible says operating out of the flesh is sin. You are either serving God. which is the right way and will lead you to victory, or your flesh, which is the wrong way and will lead you to sin and defeat.
“In the multitude of my anxieties within me,Psalms 94:19
Your comforts delight my soul.”
So how do we gain wisdom instead of fear in our decision-making? If you meditate and truly believe God’s wholly, selfless, all-consuming love for you, you will find all your fears melting away. If God gave up His precious Son for you, how will He withhold anything else good for you? Your flesh operates out of your natural senses, what you can see and hear, but your spirit operates out of the spiritual knowledge of God’s character.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
It’s one thing to hear about God’s love and believe it in your head, but to truly make it your own, you have to replace your natural, human tendency to want to meet your own needs with complete faith in God’s provision and covering yourself with His love. Fear is not a tool of God, ONLY a tool of the devil. God doesn’t use fear to teach you, or guide you. All the things man used to be afraid of–death, sickness, strife–died with Jesus on the cross and lost all of their power. If you experience fear in your life, recognize it as proof that you are not trusting God in that moment.
So what does this look like practically? When you find yourself facing a situation in which you need God’s wisdom, simply lift your heart in prayer, asking God for his wisdom and understanding for a situation. Ask for Him to reveal His perspective and His will for your circumstances. Confess His word over your situation and believe that He will be faithful and do what He said He would. Thank Him and then just rest and trust in Him. God doesn’t answer prayer halfway–He abundantly and exactly provides everything you need to have His divine victory in your situation. HIs promises are real right now, not in the future. This is what separates hope and faith. Hope is future-focused, while faith is present-focused.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”James 1:5
Because all that man used to fear died with Jesus, we have inherited His divine relationship with God. God says He will give us His divine wisdom freely to those who ask because Jesus paid the price for us to have that relationship with Him. He will give us so much of His wisdom that we can’t even absorb it all. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, our behavior doesn’t determine what God gives us. We don’t have to earn His wisdom–He gives it freely and joyfully. All you have to do to receive it is ask.