Fear or Faith: The Choice is Yours

Fear or Faith: The Choice is Yours

by Kenneth Copeland

You’ve done everything you know to do. You’ve obeyed the voice of the Lord. You’ve taken a stand of faith. You’ve bound the devil, loosed the angels, commanded, declared and prayed. In your heart you know that you can have victory in this circumstance. Some way, somehow, you can beat it with the power of God.           

But still, you find yourself trapped in defeat.
           
Instead of being overtaken by the blessings of God, some portion of the curse is clinging to you. It might be sickness or lack, failure in relationships or business dealings. But whatever it is, it is clearly of the devil and it is sticking to you like gum to your shoe.
           
Spiritually, you’re smart enough to realize that God is not your problem. He is on your side. And neither He nor His Word ever fails.
           
You might be tempted to believe the devil is your problem. But, the fact is, you know better than that too. Jesus whipped him completely 2,000 years ago and took away all his authority.
           
The question is: If God isn’t the problem, and the devil isn’t the problem...who is?
           
If you’ve found yourself wondering that lately, don’t feel bad. Every believer who has ever walked by faith for more than a week or two has asked that question. At one time or another we’ve all found ourselves unable to succeed for reasons we don’t understand.
 
A Lesson in Reciprocals
 
Why is that?
           
It’s because, for the most part, we haven’t grasped the basic spiritual operating principles of this planet. We’ve learned a little about the force of faith and the principles of God. But there’s more going on here than that. A lot more.
           
You see, for every force and principle God has created, there exists a reciprocal.
           
When God first told me that, I had to get out my dictionary and look up reciprocal to find out exactly what that meant. I found it referred to something which corresponds to something else, but is reversed or inverted. The reciprocal of north, for example, is south. North and south are both directions on the compass. The difference is, one is the opposite of the other. No matter how far you go north, the moment you turn around, you will be going south because they are reciprocals.
           
If you were the navigator of a ship, you’d be at a great disadvantage if you didn’t know south existed, wouldn’t you? If the only direction you were aware of was north, you’d get off track very easily.
           
That sounds silly but the truth is, many Christians are trying to do that very thing in the realm of the spirit. They are trying to navigate by faith without taking into consideration the reciprocal force that can, and will, take them in the opposite direction if they do not guard against it.
           
What is this reciprocal force I’m talking about? It’s the force of fear.
           
“Oh, I don’t feel like I’m afraid of anything,” you may say.
           
That doesn’t really matter because fear is not a feeling. It is not an emotion. It is a spiritual force. And although it can and does affect your emotions, it can be in operation even when you don’t feel it.
           
To understand just how powerful fear can be, you must first realize that the devil didn’t create it. He can’t create anything. He is not a creator. He is just a fallen angel and the Bible says, “there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).
           
If he had ever originated anything, it would be a truth. But he hasn’t. All he can do is take what God has created and pervert it. So that’s exactly what he does. He takes the powerful principles God put in force to bless mankind and twists them so they work in reverse and bring a curse instead.
 
 Faith Reversed Becomes a Curse
           
That’s what happened in the Garden of Eden. Before the devil got involved, Adam and Eve were living in total blessing. They were ruling with the authority God had given them over a planet that was governed by one Master Law—the Law of the Spirit of Life. Heaven and earth were spiritually connected by the Word of God so everything good that comes from that divine life flowed freely without obstruction.
           
What happened?
           
You know the story. The devil came and questioned the Word of God. He said to Eve, “Yea, hath God said?...” Then, once he had her attention, he flatly contradicted God’s Word. “Ye shall not surely die,” he said (see Genesis 3:2-4).
           
He deceived Eve into breaking fellowship with God and His Word through disobedience. Adam followed suit, though he knew better. By the time he was done, the devil had gained dominion over mankind, and therefore over the earth God had given them to rule. He had taken the Master Law of the Spirit of Life and perverted it into its reciprocal: the Law of Sin and Death.
           
Under the Law of Sin and Death, every blessing became a curse. The ground which had once produced abundantly began to withhold its fruit, and prosperity became poverty. Health was turned to sickness. Success became failure. Victory turned to defeat.
           
What’s more, faith—the creative power of God that He had given to man to use to rule the earth—became fear. So when God came walking in the Garden in the cool of the day to fellowship with man, “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid...” (Genesis 3:8-10).
 
Two Master Laws
           
But, thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. God didn’t abandon the earth and leave man forever enslaved to the devil and the Law of Sin and Death. He sent His own Son in the form of man to reverse what Adam had done. He sent Jesus not only to the cross, but into hell itself to pay the price of sin and bear the penalty of it. Then, by raising him from the dead, God reinstated the Law of the Spirit of Life for whosoever would believe on Him.
           
Romans 8:1-2 says it this way: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
           
That means there are now two Master Laws functioning in the earth. God’s original—which is the Law of the Spirit of Life—and Satan’s reciprocal, or counterfeit—which is the Law of Sin and Death. As far as God is concerned, every believer has been delivered from Satan’s law and all its effects. Jesus has done everything necessary to set us free.
           
Yet, in spite of that fact, vestiges of the curse often seem to dog the steps of many Christians because they unknowingly activate the Law of Sin and Death and give the devil entrance to our lives. As Hosea 4:6 says, they are “destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
           
Look at the chart below and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. There I have listed the two Master Laws along with their authors and some of the results they produce. You’ll notice that each part corresponds with its reciprocal. It is the same—yet opposite.
 
The Law of the Spirit of Life             The Law of Sin and Death
Jesus Christ                                          Satan
the new birth                                          spiritual death
the Baptism in the Holy Spirit             demonic oppression
righteousness                                       unrighteousness
healing                                                    sickness
prosperity                                                poverty
love                                                           hate
success                                                   failure
           
Study the left-hand side of that list for a moment, then see if you can answer this question: What is the force that activates the Law of the Spirit of Life?
           
It is faith! We receive the new birth by faith. We receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit by faith. We receive healing by faith. Nothing happens in the realm of life without faith.
           
Now apply the law of reciprocals and you’ll see that since fear is the satanic reciprocal of faith, the Law of Sin and Death is activated by fear! Not just occasionally—but every time.
 
Repent and Get Rid of It
           
“Well, I wasn’t afraid and I still went bankrupt and the devil stole everything I had.”
           
That’s impossible. The devil cannot prevail in your life apart from fear any more than God can prevail in your life apart from faith.
           
Just as “faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1), fear is the substance of things not desired. Faith reaches into the unseen realm of the spirit and manifests the promises of God. Fear reaches into the unseen realm and manifests the threats of the devil. Faith is the power God uses to create. Fear is the power the devil uses to destroy.
           
Hebrews 2:14-15 says Jesus became flesh and blood “...that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” It is fear of death that keeps us in bondage.
           
You must understand, however, that fear of death does not necessarily mean you’re afraid to leave your body and head for heaven, as believers do when they die physically. (You’re probably looking forward to that day!) The fear of death referred to in Hebrews has a much broader meaning than that. It includes the fear of sickness, lack, failure, and everything else that is included under the Master Law of Sin and Death.
           
If you grew up in a poor family, for example, you might spend your lifetime in bondage to the fear of poverty. You might even try to apply the principles of God—giving and confessing and doing all the things that bring prosperity—but if you retain the underlying fear of being poor, it won’t matter how much wealth you accumulate, the devil will rob you every time you turn around. And he’ll keep on doing it until you go before God, repent of that fear and get rid of it!
           
The same thing is true of sickness. If you’re afraid of it, you can expect to be sick. The fear will produce the sickness. So many times we just try to deal with the superficial, fleshly manifestations of disease in our bodies. But disease doesn’t start with the flesh. The flesh is just where it ends up!
           
As Ephesians 6:12 says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world....” What do those rulers use to rule? Fear! Fear is their source of power. So if we’ll take authority over it and break its power, the poverty, sickness and failure that fear was designed to bring will never have the opportunity to manifest in our lives!
           
You can take authority over fear, you know. The devil will tell you that you can’t. He’ll pet you and say, “Oh you pitiful little thing. You’ve suffered so much, you can’t help but be afraid.”
           
But that’s hogwash! God said, “Fear not!” more than 60 times in the Bible. He wouldn’t have given us that command if we didn’t have the power to obey it.
           
In Psalms 118:6, David said, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear....” Notice he didn’t say, “I’ll pray and ask God to take the fear away.” He didn’t say, “I try not to be afraid.” He said, “I WILL NOT FEAR.”
 
The Choice Is Yours
           
Refusing to fear is first of all a matter of the will. But, as that verse indicates, it is also a matter of choosing to believe that in every situation God is on your side and by His power, He will see you through.
           
Of course, to successfully walk by faith and not fear, we need to know exactly how to tap into that power. II Peter 1:3-4 tells us. It says:
[God’s] divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
           
And I John 2:5 says:
 
Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
           
Then I John 4:18 says:
 
There is no fear in love; but perfected love casteth out fear....
           
God makes available everything we could possibly need, every conceivable blessing, through the promises in His Word. If we’ll believe them and activate the Law of the Spirit of Life, those promises will manifest in our lives. They will open the way for us to escape the destruction brought into the earth by the Law of Sin and Death.
           
Satan, however, challenges those promises with fear. He brings us contrary circumstances to convince us those promises can never come to pass. He tells us lies. He contradicts the Word of God and says, “You’ll never make it. You’re too weak. Other folks can walk by faith because they’re stronger than you. You don’t have the background they have. There’s something wrong with you...”
           
The choice is yours. Will you listen to the Word of God or the lies of the devil?
           
“Well, Brother Copeland, I’m not really listening to the devil. I believe the Word of God. But I can’t just forget what happened to me in the past. I failed. I didn’t receive my healing. I was mistreated...”
           
You’d better forget those things! You’d better put them under the blood of Jesus and wash them away forever. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself meditating on them. And just as faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, fear comes by hearing the word of the devil. Fear grows when you entertain his threats of the future and his boasts about the past.
           
That’s what happened to Peter. You can read about it in Matthew 14. Jesus came walking on the water toward his boat and Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus answered by saying, “Come” (verses 28-29).
           
Peter stepped out of the boat on that Word. He succeeded in walking on the water. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (verse 30).
           
Do you see the progression there? Jesus gave His promise through His Word. Satan challenged that faith-giving Word with fear. Peter gave in to that fear and failed.
           
That’s the way it works. Believe God’s Word, act in faith and you succeed. Believe the devil, act in fear and you fail.
 
The Real Overcomes the Phony Every Time
           
You might as well face it. As long as you are on this earth, the devil is going to talk to you. He has a right to test your faith by bringing you circumstances and lies to see if you’ll receive them.
           
But when he does, refuse them. Cast down those fearful imaginations and every thought that is contrary to the promise of God (II Corinthians 10:5). Say, “The Lord is on my side, I WILL NOT FEAR!”
           
Then open your mouth and speak the Word of God. Use it to contradict the devil’s lies. If he tells you you won’t have enough money to pay your house payment this month, don’t just struggle silently with that thought. Speak up. Say right out loud, “I will too have the money to pay my house payment. I know I will because my God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!”
           
I found out a long time ago that when my mouth speaks, my mind has to stop and listen to what it’s saying. Maybe you won’t fully believe that confession the first time you make it. But if you’ll keep saying it, you’ll keep hearing it. And eventually your faith will be so strong and your heart will be so full, you’ll start speaking with total confidence.
           
That’s when the devil will run for cover because fear has no chance when faith comes on the scene. Faith is the original. Fear is the counterfeit. And the real overcomes the phony every time.
           
Listen, my friend. As believers, you and I have been redeemed from fear. We don’t have to put up with it. We can be free—and we will be! Already, God is raising up an army of people the likes of which this world has never seen. They are people who have made up their minds to believe God. People who absolutely refuse to bend to fear. It is this spiritual army who will take the promises of Almighty God and use them to crush Satan under their feet.
           
There is nothing he can do to stop them. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in the Anointed Jesus and His anointing has made them free from the Law of Sin and Death.
           
Look out, devil. Here we come.