Nov 20, 2014, 10:26 AM
“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 20:25
“The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23
Total dependence on God and His word is what we require to banish doubt and fear from our midst; to the point where we know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is faithful and that in the midst of the storm He is there to shield us from any danger or harm.
Whatever the circumstances, we ought to make sure we are standing on His word; ensure that our feelings do not get in the way - never forgetting that God is not man that He should lie. Numbers 23:19. Whatever He says He will do, will surely come to pass. Because God has uttered it, it will materialise. Isaiah 55:11. If His word is registered in our spirit, we can live and be guided by it.
It is time we make God’s word our rod and our staff, even our anchor. When we do, we cannot be deceived by Satan that easily, for then we would be standing firmly on a rock that cannot be moved – not by the vagaries of the weather.
The Syrian king was at war with the king of Israel. Somehow every intended move was made known to his opponent; and for some time he thought one of his men was betraying him by passing on information to the enemy. When he learnt that whatever he said in his bedroom was known to the prophet Elisha who in turn informed the king of Israel, he decided to send men to locate him so that he could capture him.
The prophet’s whereabouts was traced to Dothan, and the king of Syria sent his army to besiege it. When Gehazi beheld the horses and chariots of the Syrian army that surrounded the city of Dothan, his heart sank. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” he enquired of his master gripped by fear. “Don’t be afraid” the prophet answered. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings 6:16. Then Elisha prayed that God should open Gehazi’s eyes so he could 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 6:17
Oh that God would open our eyes that we might see His glory and what He has prepared in our defence to glorify His holy name! This is the same God that said: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5. What better confirmation can we receive than to hear these words of assurance that we are not alone in our trials and tribulations! We may not be Satan’s match but God, the Almighty, is able to deal with him on our behalf if only we rely totally on Him for our defence. Our Lord Jesus assured His disciples in these terms: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the ages.” Matthew 28:20.
We have a tendency to fear what seems stronger than us or something much greater than our common understanding. We erect these thoughts as barriers to our beliefs that God is more than enough for us against the enemy or anything that will set itself against the word of God.
Young Joseph entertained no such fears. He could not imagine what could come between him and the realisation of the dream that God had deposited in his heart. He carried a vivid picture of himself in the wallet of his heart that he would be a success because God had said so. He saw his circumstances – being sold as a slave and exported to Egypt, being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and being put in prison as stepping stones to his accession to the throne of stardom. The best was yet to come.
You and I would have feared the outcome of resisting the advances of this woman and would have compromised by falling into the warmth of her embrace. But not Joseph! Sin would have separated him from his goal; adultery would have been a certain doom - confounding God’s plan for his success. Therefore he remained steadfast to the very end. Paul declared: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day….” 2 Timothy 4:7. One can imagine Joseph speaking in similar terms.
We are afraid because we are ignorant of the power God wields over His creation. It is a child who would play with a lion’s tail thinking it is a dog, is a well-known adage qualifying our lack of knowledge of the one in whom we should put all our trust.
The Children of Israel were living in Goshen, in Egypt, at the time Moses sent down the ten plagues as Pharaoh stalled over their release. Surprisingly as these plagues raged not one single one was registered in Goshen. The Children of Israel were covered and had nothing to fear. Goshen was secure because the people of God lived there. It is this kind of protection that God provides for His children that we must seek to appropriate as believers.
When the whole army of Israel was paralysed by one giant of a man called Goliath, David, a youngster, saw him as a piece of meat that he would offer to ‘the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth’ for food. Where did his strength come from? What constituted his courage? Not Saul the king, nor his armoury; not David himself nor his sling and five stones, but his trust in God, the Almighty. These were David’s words “…and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:46-47
Fear is a weapon Satan uses to disarm and disable us as believers. If God continually and repeatedly tells us not to be afraid, it is our assurance that He can deal with any situation and that He is true to His word. We must trust Him wholeheartedly.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1-2
“For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5