Today I’ve been thinking about fear.
Or rather, I’ve been thinking about wanting to be fearless.
And there are big fears and little fears, and both sorts have dangers in their own ways.
The big fear can catch us off guard. But the little fears can sneak into our hearts and gain a stronghold without us even noticing.
It can be rational fear, about the things that we know of and worry about from experience, or irrational fear about our own complexes and hang ups.
But all fear does many damaging things if it’s not dealt with and taken to God.
It causes us stress, anxiety, worry and sleepless nights. It separates us from an intimate relationship with God. It robs us of the rest that is talked about in Hebrews 4.
And in Hebrews 4 we are told to enter into God’s rest by faith, and we are given the example of the Israelite people who did not.
So let’s think about the Israelite people.
They left Egypt, rescued and ransomed by God. They saw the miracles that the plagues brought on the land as God fought for them. They witnessed the Egyptians being defeated by the crashing waves that God moved for them. They danced and sang in worship of Him in the desert. They saw the fire on the mountain and heard the very commands of the Almighty. They ate the bread of heaven.
And then they walked across the desert and fear stopped them from entering the promised land.
Fear stopped them from entering rest.
Fear led to unbelief that led to disobedience that led to them not receiving what God longed to bring them into.
The initial excitement and zeal and victory that they had danced about in the desert when God seemed so mighty and powerful was forgotten as fear took ahold of their hearts.
And I don’t know if it was big fear or creeping small fear. Maybe it was different for each person. Some saw the size of the foreign warriors and feared for their children, forgetting that God was stronger. Some saw the size of the walls of the foreign cities and feared for their defeat, not trusting that the victory was promised. Some may have just feared because others did, because of the rumour and hearsay. Some may have feared because of their own insecurities being bigger than the reality of God in their minds.
But all feared but two: Joshua and Caleb.
And all but those two fell in the desert and never entered in.
This is both a huge challenge and encouragement to me just now.
Because I look back on all God has done and remember the dancing victory of salvation. And I look to the future and see the blessed promises of a mighty, Creator, saving God. But right now I’m on the journey to get there.
And keeping faith means overcoming fear.
And journeying means not being afraid.
Because when we fear we are disobedient, and distracted, and not able to enter in.
But I want to be fearless, trusting that He who made every promise is faithful and forever faithful, and fixing my gaze on Him alone.
And to be fearless means to be a person of prayer, casting my anxieties onto the God who can carry them. It means to slow down and rest in Him each day, making time for Holy Spirit to minister to each part of my heart. It means to keep walking forward, trusting His hand holding mine. It means resting on the Word and meditating on what He asks. It means sharing with others and allowing them to stand with me.
Because Jesus is more than enough for me to be fearless.
And He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world.