You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” Deuteronomy 1:27-28 (emphasis added)
Has your heart ever melted in fear? Mine has. Ready to take a leap and believe something different, follow a dream, try a new opportunity, offer words of spiritual truth, be vulnerable, leave a toxic interaction and then in a blink of an eye my heart shut down. Words of fear whispered in my ear.
“You don’t have any experience with this.”
“You won’t make it past the first day.”
“You will be ruined financially or emotionally.”
“No one will support or love you.”
“You will be laughed at.”
“It’s not worth the effort to change…you need your current situation or relationship.”
Like the Israelites in the passage above from Deuteronomy, our enemy harasses us with fear to keep us from moving forward. Whether it’s through other people or insecurities bred in our background, the spiritual forces of darkness bring resistance against making a change through intimidation.
Summoning courage counteracts the attack. The word courage in Hebrew means “to fasten upon, seize; to strengthen, to prevail.” When moments arrive to reveal a wound or secret in your heart, say words about the difference Jesus makes, seek another job because your boss continually undermines you, follow a dream to launch a new venture, make the call to end a damaging relationship, the Holy Spirit living inside the believer provides the power to seize the opportunity and to prevail.
Our stories always involve moments of defeat because we are human. More importantly though we can experience rising again to embrace chapters of victory because God gives us courage when we cry out. Joshua a man whom God called to lead the people into the Promised Land knew the intimidation of an overwhelming task and also the strength of the Lord. Whispers of confidence from God (Joshua 1:1-11).
“I will give you every place where you set your foot.”
“No one will be able to stand against you.”
“I will never leave you or forsake you.”
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. . . ”
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night.”
“Be strong and courageous. . .Be strong and very courageous. . .Be strong and courageous.”
Sister, soak in these words. I don’t know what you are facing but I do know God desires to chase fear away and bring breakthrough. What other truths about God and reminders from His Word help you move forward when facing fear?