An old Cherokee teaches his grandson about life, saying:
“A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Faith and fear are two powerful wolves that do battle against each other. The wolf we feed determines whether we live a life of adventure or absentia; whether we live as a warrior or a wimp; whether we are a champ or a chump; whether we live a life of wonder or we live our lives in the wilderness (dry and desert place without life).
Speaking of wilderness, the bible tells of a story of a group of people who after spending roughly two years in the wilderness were faced with the option – feed their faith or feed their fear. Ahead of them was an awesome land flowing with milk and honey – a land promised to them by God, therefore a group of twelve men were sent ahead to spy out the land for 40-days.
While each of the twelve men lived in the same environment, they experienced different realities. Ten of the twelve men said the congregation should stop making progress because they had fed their fear. The last two of the twelve said to take possession of the land because they had feed their faith. By this, we already see that fears puts a halt to progress in life, but faith always looks to move forward.
The story, which can be found in 13th and 14th Book of Numbers teaches us about the symptoms of faith and fear. Below are some symptoms the story points out. Hopefully, this will help you identify whether you are walking in faith or fear.
Numbers 13:28: Fear see’s what is good just as people with faith see what is good, but fear chooses to focus on the bad, and what could go wrong. Fear is not grateful for what it has but always looks for what is missing. They key word to ponder is the word ‘Nevertheless’
Numbers 13:31: Fear is a naysayer (always says I can’t) instead of a can-doer (which says I can). Fear discourages people and tells them there is no point in trying.
Numbers 13:32: Fear exaggerates and tells lies to defend its position. Look at this verse again. If the land truly devours people, how is it that they were able to stay there for 40-days?
Numbers 13:33: Fear causes us to have a poor self-image and assumes other people see us the same way. Think of this verse where it says, we saw ourselves as grasshoppers and we were as grasshoppers in their sight.
Numbers 14:2: Fear always complains and always looks to blame others.
Numbers 14:2 Fear would rather die than try – fear gives up before it ever gets a chance to begin.
Numbers 14:3: Fear would rather go back to the past it knows rather than a future that is promised. Fear would rather go for security rather than go after significance.
Numbers 14:4: Fear is disobedient to God and rebels against Him.
Numbers 14:4: Fear does not look to past victories for strength but quickly forgets them
Numbers 14:10: Fear does not listen to reason or opposite points of view. In fact, it can’t stand opposing views.
Numbers 13:30: Faith always quietens an intense situation to provide a calm in the middle of a storm.
Numbers 13:30: Faith looks to take immediate action and does not procrastinate to take hold of God’s promises. Faith does not see obstacles but opportunities.
Numbers 14:8: Faith focuses on the good and not the bad
Numbers 14:8: Faith understands that all things are possible with God
Numbers 14:9: Faith see’s things through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of man.
Which Will You Feed
As the story goes, ten of the spies fed their fears and caused others in the wilderness to feed their fear. As a result, all of them wondered in the wilderness aimlessly, and all died in the wilderness (except the two who had faith) and never entered into the good land that was promised them. Only the two who had faith entered into their promise land.
This carries some warning for us:
- Be careful not to listen to or take advice from people who are feeding their fears – fearful advice will keep you in the wilderness (desert) of life
- Feeding our fears will lead us to wonder aimlessly in life and we will miss out on God’s best for us
- Living with those who are feeding their fears will impact how quickly we will be able to live God’s best, so be careful who you associate with for it will delay destiny.