Recently while listening to my favorite radio station during their annual fund-raising drive I heard a conversation about fear. The DJs were discussing how fear prevents so many people from stepping out in faith and being obedient to God when they feel He is leading them to do something specific.
One of the DJs said she had discovered there were 365 verses in the Bible that say ‘be not afraid’ or ‘fear not’. That’s one for every day of the year she said. So me being me, I had to check that out. I went to my Strong’s Concordance and found that there are actually more than 365 verses related to not having fear.
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” So then, how did we come to be such fearful people?
In the beginning God had no reason to tell man not to fear. Adam and Eve walked with God daily in the garden and they knew no fear. Until one day they decided not trust that God knew and wanted what was best for them.
They decided they wanted to be like God, so they disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. That day they discovered evil. They learned that when you step out of God’s will there is reason to fear. Genesis 3:8 tells us that when they heard God walking in the garden that day they hid from the presence of the Lord. They were afraid for the first time in their lives.
Today fear runs rampant through the lives of most people. We allow fear to invade our thoughts to the point that we cannot step out in faith to do the things God ask of us. We allow the “what-ifs” to weigh us down to the point that we cannot be fully used by God to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
What-if people laugh at me and make fun of me?
What-if God asks me to do something outside of my comfort zone?
What-if God sends me to a place far away from my family and friends?
What-if God wants more of me than I can give?
There are many instances in the Bible of people who faced these same questions. God has sent people to lands far from their family (Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, the entire tribe of Israel), but it was always with a plan for something better in their lives. There are many stories of God’s servants being laughed at (Noah), having to do things outside their comfort zone (Joseph in prison for something he didn’t do, read Genesis 39; Moses leading the people out of Egypt; the spies going into Jericho to scout the opposition) and giving their all (Jesus, Paul and many others in the New Testament) but when they acted in faith God always used them to do a good work.
They knew as the psalmist knew:
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
He is a faithful God and He loves us. He wants us to have the abundant life Jesus spoke of. We can only experience that life by walking in faith as the Holy Spirit leads us. So decide to follow His lead.
When you choose to act in faith and follow God’s will, you will be blessed. God promises ‘a faithful man will abound with blessings’ Psalm 28:20a.
Click here for verses to remember as you march forth today with no fear to complete the assignments God gives you.
Be a blessing,