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As I was reading Joshua 24 this morning, I found Joshua reminding the children of Israel of all the times the Lord had delivered them on their journey to the Promised Land. Over and over and over again the Lord provided, encouraged and conquered nations on their behalf.
It made me realize that seeing victory required seeing mountains and enemies and scarcity of resources. I realized that the Israelites were human beings just like us, so just as many times as God provided for them, just as many times as God defeated their enemies, they had to have had fear to some degree. I only have the proof from Judges 7 where part of Gideon’s original army was afraid and (as stated earlier) they were human. I also have the knowledge of how many times God tells us to “fear not” in the Bible, so obviously it was as big of an issue then as it is now.
Normally, I would be fearful of how many times I’m fearful. You know, freaking out at how many times I’ve disappointed God with my lack of faith when He has cleared obstacles before. But this morning, I took courage from the fact that even though God’s people must have had some fear every time they were asked to clear the way, God still gave them the victory. As long as they were dependent on God alone and His guidance, they continued to gain ground. That’s really encouraging to me!
So, what can we learn from the Israelites? Should we just huddle in our fear and do nothing? Should we stay behind and let the brave few march forward? I think not! We should hand our fear over to God every single time it pops up. Sometimes, fear is so much a part of us that we don’t even recognize it, but we can pray for eyes to see fear for what it really is and then stop playing with it and allow our Savior to stomp it into the ground while we march over it into our Promised Land.
Think of fear as a rattlesnake. Do I know that rattlesnakes will pop up in certain territories? Yes, but that will not keep me from hiking through anyway. So, we simply take precautions and kill that sucker when he blocks our path.
Just like with fear. Do I know that fear will pop up when I am trying anything new, or having a breakthrough with my Lord? Yes, but that will not block my path. I’ll come prepared with my Bible verses and in the name of Jesus allow Him to crush the head of the serpent as only He can (Genesis 3:15).
Fear will come, but let’s not allow it stop us and for heaven’s sake let’s not play with it either. I know with me personally when I allow fear in one area of my life, it breeds into every area. So, it must be destroyed completely. We can’t keep fear as a pet. It will always grow too big to control. Always.
So, be encouraged today. Know that fear does come with conquering new territory, but allow God to destroy it and give you the victory anyway.
I’m leaving you with some verses to read through, meditate on and help to prepare you for those steps into great, new territories that God has for you. He has a Promised Land for you this year. Don’t allow fear to keep you from it. Some of these verses will resonate more than others. That’s the Holy Spirit working in you and letting you know how to prepare for the coming days. Take hold of those, memorize them, write them down and cling to them instead of fear.
Here you go …
Psalm 27:1-3,”The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell. Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident.”
Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil.Selah”
Psalm 118:6,“The LORD is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 91:5, “You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day…”
Psalm 112:7-8, “He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the LORD. His heart is assured; he will not fear. In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
Isaiah 35:4, “Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; He will save you.”
Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” — How beautiful is that? Put your hand in His as a trusting child.
Isaiah 41:13, “For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.”
Isaiah 43:2, “I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and ⌊when you pass⌋ through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”
Isaiah 44:8, “Do not be startled or afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? You are my witnesses! Is there any God but Me? There is no ⌊other⌋ Rock; I do not know any.”
Isaiah 8:12, “Do not call everything an alliance these people say is an alliance. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified.” — I love this one because it reminds us that we are not to be terrified like those who do not have the hope of Jesus. I can’t even imagine trying to deal with fear without Jesus!
Jeremiah 17:7-8, “The man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence indeed is the LORD, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”
Matthew 10:29-31, “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:31-32, “Yet seek ye his kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
Hebrews 13:6, “Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”
Be blessed this week, dear ones and know that our God does not want us be smothered by our fear, but He wants us to acknowledge it and bring it to Him so that He can destroy it completely as only He can.