Faithful vs. Fearful

Pastor Anthony LoCascio and Christina Li
2/8/19

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Mat 25:21-30 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

This parable is about the fearful and the faithful. It’s not about money. You may know God, but you may be paralyzed from doing what God has called you to do.

 

What has God called you to do that you find difficult? Is it a particular ministry, and/or being a parent, and/or being a godly husband/wife? Do you trust Him? What is in your way of following His will for your life?

 

Luke 19:17 “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”

 

Rev 17:14 “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

 

The people who are WITH GOD are the ones called, chosen, and faithful.

 

Deut 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

 

1 Cor 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

1 Cor 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

 

1 Thes 5:24 “The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” (MSG)

 

God is faithful to always provide us, but we have to get up and take it. But, we make it complex and difficult when we have fear. Fearfulness is a whole other level of fear. There are two kinds of fear, fear of the Lord (good fear, it’s a kind of reverence, awe) and worldly fear. The fear of the Lord is a fear of respect. It makes you want to do right. It’s like a child who is obedient to his parents.

 

The fear of the Lord leads to life, worldly fear leads to doing things that are risky and death. You won’t do drugs if you fear God.

 

How does the fear of the Lord protect you? How does godly fear show His love for you and your love for Him?

 

The other type of fear is rejected by Scripture. It is the end of all good things. You stop the flow of blessings and actually lose the favor of the Lord. This fearfulness belongs to the wicked, the lazy, and those that hell is reserved for.

 

Jesus wants you to know how to handle what God has given to you and how to handle it right.

 

Everyone has been given a measure of faith.

 

Animals know that if they do what God has created them to do, He will provide for them. Every creature relies on God’s laws of nature for survival. The only part of God’s creation that struggles with trusting God’s faithfulness is man.

 

Fear of God sets you free. If you fall, God is faithful to catch you.

 

If you believe that God is faithful, you will pay your tithe. If you have fear and don’t trust God, you will be paralyzed. There is a torment in fear.

 

How does fear torment you? How does godly fear free you? There is still fear of the unknown, but coupled with trusting in God (faith), you are freed to do whatever He asks you to do. Think about and explain your experiences in trusting God and His faithfulness to you.

 

God called 12 men out of the people of Israel to spy out the Promised Land. They were supposed to check it out, knowing that there would be a fight. So, 10 said, there’s no way. The enemy is too big. Two said, we’ve got a God, we can take them! They saw the blessings God had provided for them and they knew God is faithful. Fear versus Faith. Fear spread like a plague.

 

One of the signs of the end time is men’s hearts failing, paralyzing fear.

 

What really sells today is fear. How much ‘good news’ do you see on the news?

 

2 Tim 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

 

Fear does not come from God—ever. God will not use fear to teach you faith. Fear takes away love, paralyzes instead of giving you power, and it totally messes up your mind. Fear debilitates.

 

Peter said to Jesus on the boat. The disciples thought they saw a ghost, but it was Jesus. He said, ‘It is I, don’t be afraid.’ He was walking on water. He didn’t need a boat. Peter wanted to go to Him and he asked if he could walk to Him. On Jesus’ Word, He said, ‘Come.’

 

You could still have a little bit of fear in you, but if it doesn’t paralyze you, and you do God’s will anyway, that’s bravery. Of course, David was afraid of that giant, but he trusted God anyway. If you trust God, you will make it. Maybe Peter was nervous, but he did it anyway.

 

What is bravery? How can you brave in your circumstances and decisions?

 

Peter was in the midst of a miracle. He was totally joyful and having a great time, getting hit by waves. Then, he got afraid, he sank. He cried out to Jesus, ‘Help, Lord.’ Jesus pulled him out and put him in the boat. Then, Jesus got angry, ‘Where is your faith?’

 

Faith is the evidence of your trust in God. If you’re not full of faith, constantly trusting God, you’re not pleasing to God. Being full of faith, is being faithful.

 

You want your spouse to be faithful. What does faithful mean in a marriage? Does it mean you just ‘believe’ you’re married? No! It means you do some things and don’t do other things.

 

Faith causes you to do stuff and not do stuff and fear causes you to do stuff and not do stuff. Fear looks like doubt and jealousy. Fear is not from God. When you get fearful, you start to doubt you’re able to overcome your situation. You don’t think God will come through. There is anger that might be rooted in fear.

 

David’s brothers called him naughty, come to watch the battle. They were afraid of that giant, Goliath. Their fear caused them to hide and lash out in anger.

 

Heb 10:23 “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”

 

Psalm 36:5 “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”

 

Faith is ‘being firmly persuaded.’ When we are firmly persuaded, we walk by what God said is true. The reason you struggle and sink and wander instead of possessing the land is because you’re not faithful.

 

People doubt because they think their sickness is bigger and greater than God. Of course, that’s wrong. The only thing that’s bigger than God is your imagination! The devil lies to you. The darts of the devil are thrown at you. Strongholds start in your mind. Cast down your imaginations.

 

2 Cor 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

 

You’ve got a fight in your mind, fear vs faith. If you show yourself faithful, God will reward you.

 

Don’t allow fear to grip you. You are not worthy to be His disciple if you are doubting. Make up your mind. Take up your cross and follow Jesus. Die to this world.

 

How do you fight the fear in your mind? In what circumstance do you need to take captive your imagination and trust God in spite of what you see?

 

There are things that are supposed to but don’t produce fruit. Thorns and thistles choke the vine. Thorns and thistles are the cares and worries of this life. That is fear. Instead of fighting, you lay down your sword.

 

Those who are having crazy situations, but still trust God and keep going in Him. That is faithful.

 

Jesus is not happy when you are fearful and paralyzed because of it. Fear has no place in God.

 

Perfect love casts out all fear. Fear comes because of our lack of perfect love. Who has perfect love? Jesus! His love is perfect and full grown. The highest level of love is when you can trust and there’s no fear.

 

The most mature, perfect love is the one that has no fear. When you lack trust in God, you lack love for God.

 

Fear of rejection is not trusting God, not loving Him.

 

Faith can be spelled RISK or CRAZY.

 

If you want to hear from God, ask Him different, off the wall types of things, like what time is it? It’s crazy, but this is a way to learn to hear from Him. You can ask Him and He will answer.

 

Peter was afraid in the boat, but he would rather risk getting outside the boat to be with Jesus. Anybody who wants to get close to God, He will put solid ground beneath your feet.

 

A modern story of faith in action is about a preacher in a restaurant who heard a lady complain of a migraine headache. The pastor asked her about it thinking she was part of his preaching conference. He told her to lift her hands as put his hand on her head and prayed for her. The headache left. (She wasn’t part of the conference.) Take the risk. Faith comes in many opportunities.

 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

 

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org