Imagine a person walking on a bent and shaking board over a deep ravine — what fear, what sinking of the heart, what danger of falling at any moment. A few steps and such a person either falls or turns back, unable to cross using such a board. Imagine again, that for some reason all the objects surrounding this person begin to spin, and the earth seems to move, he definitely will fall. But he who walks on a solid bridge and sees that all things surrounding him are in their proper places, in the usual order, will not experience anything of the sort. Such is the one who believes.’ As the eye sees all material objects, so faith sees spiritual objects, each in its place, in its order, and in its relationship to other things. That is why a walk in the light of such a faith, which fills the soul with a confidence that gives to the one who walks boldness to step unafraid upon the way ahead, is never accompanied by hesitations, fears, and the spinning of thoughts, and therefore is completed successfully. But on the contrary, the one who walks without faith cannot be free of fears; sometimes he walks also, but as if upon knives. For this reason he cannot continue; rather, having tried, he quits.
How is Fear Related to Faith
Faith is a gift from God that has been planted is us like a seed. With faith everything is clear. There are no obstacles in the path to live according to God’s commandments. With faith in God we are free of fear.
When we have committed ourselves to walk the pathway in life according to God’s commandments based on faith, we receive grace and develop zeal to always carry our His word. With true faith we are like the martyrs in that nothing will push us off this path. When we come to branches in the path the right one to take is clear.
Saint Theophan gives us a parable:
Faith is a gift: of grace, but its seed has been put into our nature. Our mind ought to clearly see the spiritual and to give it as a guide to the soul. Our mind is a natural window into the spiritual world. But since it has been closed by sin, and a person cannot live without knowledge of the spiritual, it has been the pleasure of the merciful Lord to give the external a revelation of concealed spiritual and divine things. When this word is received with a lively faith, then it turns out the same as if the mind sees these things itself. Faith wipes away the haziness from this window, which is turned towards the spiritual world. The walking of the path of faith cleanses the mind and returns to it, through the action of grace, the lost ability to see the spiritual and the divine. Then, mingled with faith, by the power of God’s Spirit, it again becomes a window into the divine world. There is no other way there. No matter how much vain philosophy has puzzled over that realm, it has engendered only illusory notions — sometimes very beautiful, but always false (See St. Isaac the Syrian, Word 55).
It is through faith that we can make this commitment to always follow the commandments. With faith we are able to do as the Prophet David’s writs, “I have sworn and resolved that I will keep the judgement of Thy righteousness.”
Saint Theophan says,
Thus, he who walks in the light of faith, having accepted without reflection all of the divinely revealed will of God, walks as if under the light of a brightly shining sun, and will never stumble over anything.
As I reflect on this it becomes clear that faith is linked with my ability to truly commit to always follow His commandments in all aspects of my life. It becomes an unshakable vow to God. I believe in You, I put must full trust in You, i will never allow myself to deviate from this pure pathway. I will call on you daily to help me do this and when I err I will with humility seek repentance. It involves the highest level of commitment to never chose to waver from this path. This is not a weekend endeavor but an every day, every hour, every minute commitment. It is faith that gives me hope that no matter how difficult the path is you will be with me and giving me strength to persevere.