As long as I can remember, I have been a bit of a fearful person, a big chicken, aka Scaredy Cat. As a little girl, I was afraid of the dark. As a teen, I despised horror films. You can count me as one of the small percentage who did not see any of the twelve “Friday the 13th” movies. For someone who struggled with fear, I could not understand why anyone of sound mind would actually pay money to feel that way. I wanted no part of it. Ironically I am married to one of those thrill chill seekers, and can attest that he is of sound mind. But thankfully we have 3 sons who can share in those “creature features” with him. You can sure bet, it will not be ME! And as an adult, I must confess that I have a fear of driving in unknown territory. If I need to go somewhere new, my sweet and most excellent husband will take a dry run with me to make sure I know exactly how to get to my destination – yes, that is even with google maps. Thank the Lord, Chris Krukar is my personal GPS.
FEAR IS NOT OF GOD
One big problem with being fearful is that it can render us completely immobilized, stuck, ineffective, unable to breathe, unable to take even one step forward. It keeps us from being who God intended us to be. Fear can squelch our calling and our divine purpose. I have been in this spot more times than I can count. I’ve memorized scripture to help push me through, one in particular found in 2 Timothy 1:7 “But God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (NLT) So, I know fear is not of God. I know this cognitively, but I still at times respond more from a place of fear than from a heart of courage and faith.
Because I am hard-wired like this, I am in awe of anyone brave and adventurous. The story of David and Goliath has always fascinated me. To imagine a scrawny little boy in the face of a killer giant is mind-blowing. But David was in daily relationship with the Almighty God. He didn’t just believe in Him, David knew Him, he trusted Him. Goliath was literally big, a Philistine giant, but David knew, saw and truly experienced a God who was so much bigger. He responded from that reality instead of the reality facing him.
EYES OF FAITH
Another story in God’s Word that I love about fear and faith can be found in 2nd Kings. When circumstances appear to be grim, Elisha prays that his servant see the reality of God’s provision instead…
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. - 2 KINGS 6:15-17
Can you imagine what that servant must have felt in that moment? In an instant, when his vision was cleared, he went from feeling petrified and doomed to a posture of overwhelming victory and assurance, complete confidence restored. He now saw the power of GOD, the invisible spiritual realm instead of physical circumstances.
THE SAME GOD
The same God who was with David, who opened Elisha’s servant’s eyes to see a spiritual army that fights for us, is the same God who is with us today. He desires to do a mighty work through our lives, if we would have the faith to believe Him, to trust Him, have eyes that see Him. We need to live like He is standing right behind us, because you know what? He is! Our Father is protecting, providing and spurring us on to who we were meant to be. I have no doubt that David and Elisha still had fears, however, their fear of the LORD (obedience, love, worship and honor of Him), and their faith in Him trumped everything else.
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. – Deuteronomy 13:4