There are so many things to fear in this world. Will I be able to pay my bills this month? Will my doctor’s report be favorable? Will my kids turn out the way I hope? Will my position get eliminated at work? The list is unending. But the simple truth is, fear keeps us stuck. Fear keeps us in the wilderness. This is an age-old problem. Embracing fear is a mistake the Israelites made. Moses leads them to freedom, parts the Red Sea, and performs all kinds of miracles. They escape Pharaoh and his mighty army, but then they wander around in the wilderness for 40 years. 40 YEARS! Talk about delay! Freedom finally awaits them, what they’ve been hoping and praying for for so many years, but fear instantly takes hold:
“Why should we go there? We are afraid. The men we sent tell us that the people there are stronger and taller than we are...” -Deuteronomy 1:28 (GNT)
The Israelites had enough faith to follow Moses and move out of Egypt, but they didn’t have enough faith to move into the Promised Land after endless years of wandering around in the desert. They were afraid. Even though their life was chaotic, they were comfortable in the chaos. Most of us can relate. We get comfortable in our chaos – it might be crazy, but it’s mine! And bottom line, most of us don’t like change because change kicks our fear into high gear. The tragedy is, when we choose to live into our fear, we miss out on so much. We say no when we should say yes. We make excuses about why we can't do the acts of faith God is calling us to do. We live anxious lives, and peace is nowhere to be found. Fear robs us of the incredible blessings God has waiting for us. And more importantly, God’s kingdom misses out when we don’t take those steps of faith that can have an impact for Him. The Bible has a lot to say about fear. One passage from Isaiah reads:
”Do not fear, for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you. I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, You will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.” -Isaiah 43:1-7 (TPT)
These words are so beautiful, but how do we apply them in our everyday lives? How do we realistically choose faith over fear? What does choosing faith look like? The first step to combat fear is by letting the voice of truth ring louder in our ears than the voice of fear. The passage above gives us three important truths to cling to when fear tries to take over:
God is with you - You can count on me to be there with you.
God is for you - You will not drown.
God will protect you – The flames will not harm you.
We simply have to choose which voice we are going to listen to. That may sound too simple to be true, but honestly, that’s what I’ve had to do in my own journey. I’ve had to repeat truth over and over to my heart until I finally convinced myself. Then we have to do the thing we are afraid to do. As the saying goes, if God is calling us to it, He will get us through it! It may not be pretty. It may not be perfect, but we can still choose to be faithful. I encourage you, my friend, choose to silence the fear and step into all God has called you to be! Choose faith over fear today!
Hugs and love,