by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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FEAR and FAITH. The two don’t mix. Either fear will prevail and drive out faith, or faith will prevail and drive out fear. Which scenario transpires is entirely up to you.

What is fear and why should you expel it?

Fear is faith in the devil. It is trusting his lies more than trusting God’s truth. Fear is evil and dangerous and will get us nothing from the Kingdom of God. 

Fear attracts to itself what it fears. Take a look at what Job said: “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true” (Job 3: 25 NLT). 

What are you fearing today? Whatever it is, if it is anything other than the healthful fear or reverence of God, it is a lie from the enemy. By believing that lie, you will bring it to pass. So stop believing Satan’s lie and start believing God’s truth.

What is faith and why do you need it?
Believing God’s truth is called faith. 
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11: 1 that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What does this mean? 

The New Century translation (NCV) says it like this: “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”  

The Kingdom of God is real even if we do not see it. The blessings God has provided for us in His Kingdom are real even if we do not see them. Faith is what brings the blessings of God from the spiritual realm into the earthly realm where we live.

So, in summary:

___Fear attracts to itself what it fears.

___Faith attracts to itself what it believes. 

Faith is what brings the blessings of God from the spiritual realm
into the earthly realm where we live.

Faith is the currency of God’s Kingdom. In other words, it is the medium of exchange whereby we bring what we need from God’s Kingdom into our everyday lives. Without faith, not only can we not receive what Jesus died to give us, but, worst of all, we cannot please God (Hebrews 11: 6).

Do you need something from God today? Then believe His Word and receive what He has already provided for you through the Cross. How do you receive? By believing! 

You might be thinking, Great! I’m having a hard time believing. So, what am I to do? 

May I suggest that you don’t have a faith problem; you have a trust problem. For whatever reason, you don’t trust God’s character because you don’t know Him well enough. 

So, what can you do?

Simple. Get to know God better through His Word. The more you get to know Him–the more you will learn that He is perfectly trustworthy. The more you discover that He is perfectly trustworthy, the more your faith in what He has spoken will grow.

Scripture says this in Romans 10: 17 NLT:  “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” The more you hear the Good News about Christ–aka God’s Word–the more your faith in it will increase. So, listen to God’s Word continually. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Speak it aloud into the challenging situations you face. God’s Word will NEVER fail.

One great way to hear God’s Word is to fall asleep listening to it. This is what I do. I fall asleep at night listening to CDs of the Bible. As I sleep, the Word gets into my spirit and builds my faith.

Remember this: Faith is the result of knowing God and knowing that He is perfectly trustworthy. The more you get to know God, the more you will trust Him. 

My Prayer for You Today: Lord Jesus, as we build our faith by listening to Your Word, we ask that You would reveal Yourself to us in deeper ways so that we can drive out fear in Your Name and trust You more and more. Amen.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Do you struggle with fear? If so, how have you dealt with it?


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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Four”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part One”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Two”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Three”

“Sex and Soul Ties” 

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Believing Is Seeing

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Yes! You read that title right. It’s not a misprint, although you may be questioning it, or even loudly disagreeing with it.

If so, I can certainly understand. Like most of you, for a good part of my life I heard the opposite: that seeing is believing. People I loved and respected would say it. And so would TV commercials and magazine ads. In fact, I was so sure that seeing is believing that if there had been a local chapter of the Doubting Thomas Society, I would have been a charter member.

But then, in 1970, I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and my whole way of thinking began to change. I began to realize that much of my thinking, which I had thought was right-side-up, was, in reality, upside-down. I began to understand what God meant when He said in Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” And so began my quest to learn God’s ways and God’s thoughts.

My logical starting point was the Bible since this great book is God’s manual for man. I knew that in it I would learn how God operates and how He expects me to operate.I learned that just as there are laws on earth that govern us (the law of gravity, for example), there are also laws that govern God’s Kingdom. Since those who are born again are now part of God’s Kingdom, it would behoove us to learn the laws of that Kingdom so that  we can function in it with power and effectiveness.

As I studied the Bible, I saw that in order to receive anything from God, I needed to have faith. And I further learned that faith is simply believing before seeing.

God has given us many promises in His Word. These promises belong to us, but the only way we will see them come to pass in our lives is if we believe them. 

For example, one of God’s promises is the promise of healing. God said in Psalm 103 that He “heals all our diseases.”  This means He heals ALL our diseases. God says what He means and means what He says.  If we want to experience healing from disease, then we must believe that what God said is true. Furthermore, we must believe that we are healed before we see any sign of healing in our physical body.  BELIEVING the promise precedes RECEIVING the promise.

This principle—that believing is seeing—is called the Law of Faith. The Law of Faith is a basic law in God’s Kingdom.

In Hebrews 11:1, the Scriptures say that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” According to this verse, in order for faith to work, hope must first be present because hope is what faith builds on. Without hope, faith has nothing to work with.

Let me give you a simple illustration. If you are going to build a house, you acquire a blueprint. The builders will use that blueprint to build your house. That blueprint is not your house; it is simply an image of your house as it looks on paper. Yet, when your friends and relatives come over to visit, what do you do? You eagerly show them your blueprint and say, “This is my house!” But it really isn’t your house; it’s just the blueprint—or the hope—of your house.

In order for that blueprint to turn into your actual house, however, you must purchase materials and then build the house or have someone else build it for you. The materials are what give substance to your blueprint. The materials are the faith.

The same principle applies to every area of life. For whatever goal you want to achieve in life—whether it’s financial freedom, health, a great marriage, responsible children—you will need to have a blueprint or image of that goal on the inside of you before you will see it come to pass in your life. For example, if you want to be debt-free, you will first have to see yourself as debt-free. If you want to be healthy, you will first have to picture yourself as healthy.

If you’ve been wondering why the things you desire have not been happening in your life, take a look at your inner blueprint. Is it a blueprint for success or a blueprint for failure?  In other words, what picture of yourself do you hold in your heart? You will become on the outside just like your inner picture on the inside. So, if you want to change the outside picture of yourself, first change the inside picture of yourself that you hold in your heart.

If your inner blueprint is not what you want, take it back to the drawing board and design another blueprint. But make sure your blueprint adheres to God’s building code as found in His Word. If not, the house you build will eventually collapse.

Questions: 1) What pictures of yourself do you have on the inside of you?  2) Do you need to replace any of those pictures? 3) If so, which ones?

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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

(Attitude) The Writer Visionary

What do you see in your writing future?  Your answer determines what you have been believing about your writing. 

Now, you may be thinking that I’m way off base. After all, how can you believe something until you see it?  Good question.  The answer lies in understanding the meaning of vision.

If you’re like me, you’ve often heard the phrase, “Seeing is believing.”  This is the world’s way of thinking.  The follower of Christ lives by Kingdom principles, and one such key principle is that “Believing is seeing.”

A visionary sees what does not yet exist.  It exists in his imagination, and he purposes to bring what is in his imagination into physical reality.  Everything you see around you was once a vision in someone’s imagination. The reason it became a physical object is that the person who imagined it first believe it could exist and then did something about creating it.

This is precisely what we do with our writing.  We envision a story and then we create it. Likewise, we envision a writing future, and then we create it.  All with God’s help, of course.

If you’ve been believing wrong things about your writing future, change your vision. Align it with what God says about you in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


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