May 12, 2015, 11:29 AM
Very often we invent reasons to build our fears on thus allowing them to grow in size and become well-seated. Once they take root, we cease to have peace, being constantly haunted by them. As believers, what is it that should ignite our fears? Why do they torment us once they take root?
Doubt is the major catalyst of fear; they are first cousins. Wherever you encounter fear, doubt is the underlying factor. Do believing Christians have need to fear? What does the Bible teach us?
Moses feared for his life after killing an Egyptian in defence of a Hebrew. When he found out that his crime had been detected, and that Pharaoh sought to kill him, he fled to Midian, where he stayed away from probing eyes for forty years.
One day Moses’ attention was drawn to a burning bush in the desert. As he moved to satisfy his curiosity, he encountered God who required him to proceed on a mission to Egypt to liberate the Children of Israel - in slavery for 430 years. Deep down, Moses was afraid to return to Egypt where the penalty for murder was awaiting him.
Advancing one excuse after another – what if they do not believe me or would not listen to me? Whom should I say sent me? Why should I be the one to go to Pharaoh? I am not a good spokesperson, Moses thought he would escape the assignment, but to no avail. “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10.
God said He would come to Moses’ help and thus allay his fears but he declined nevertheless. “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Exodus 4:13. It was after his father-in-law assured him to “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” Exodus 4:19, that Moses decided to make the move against all odds.
Meanwhile God had given Moses all kinds of assurance. But he had nursed this hang-up of guilt over his past – the reason why he failed to put his trust in God. “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7. “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you…” Exodus 3:12. It came to a point God had to provide Moses with His identity as back-up when he would face the elders among the Children of Israel. “I am who I am.” Exodus 3:14. As if these assurances did not suffice, God gave Moses a staff in his hands “so you can perform miraculous signs with it.” Exodus 4:17
Another case was with surrogate mother, Hagar, who after she had given birth to Ishmael started mocking Sarah for being still childless. But then Sarah gave birth to Isaac and things took another turn. She could no longer tolerate Hagar, so she appealed to her husband, Abraham, to “Get rid of that slave woman’s son, for that slave woman’s son will never share the inheritance with my son Isaac.” Genesis 21:10. Matters became complex following Hagar’s attitude.
The matter distressed Abraham greatly and Hagar had to leave under the circumstances. Abraham put a few personal effects, food and water together and got them on their way and they wandered in the desert of Beersheba. The water ran out and Hagar feared the worst. She could not watch her son die so she placed him some distance away and burst into tears. “For she said I cannot watch the boy die.” Exodus 21:16b. Sarah feared for the status of the son she bore against the one Hagar bore for Abraham though spearheaded by her.
Just then “the angel of God called from heaven and said to Hagar “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid, God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 21:17-18. God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water nearby. She “filled the skin and gave the boy a drink.” Genesis 21:19.
Was Moses killed when he went to Egypt? No, he didn’t because God was with him throughout. We serve an awesome and faithful God. He chose Moses for a purpose and He could not have abandoned him halfway through. Left to Moses he would have bowed out, but this was a job cut out for him that no one else could execute. So he had all the necessary backing to get it done. There was no need to fear, God was to be with him throughout the forty years the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness.
Did Ishmael die in the desert like her mother envisaged? No. Nobody invited the angel on the scene yet he came at the appropriate time to the child’s rescue. That is to show that God is concerned about our welfare. He wants us safe, alive and not dead. If only we would banish fear and put all our trust in Him – whatever the situation. Our ever-present God has a host of angels to watch over and take care of us.
Our fears succeed only in confounding God because they are unfounded. If our faith is not grounded, we will continue to behave like chickens at the sound of gunfire. If we claim to know God well enough, all our fears will be dispelled. Satan will always make use of this tool to ridicule our trust in God as believers. God has continuously proclaimed in His Word, the Bible, that He would never leave us nor forsake us; that He would always be by our side.
What is it that is worrying you dear reader; take it to the Lord in prayer. “Surely the hand of the Lord is not too short to save …” Isaiah 59:1. God has a solution to every problem that we choose to bring to Him. However, the less we focus on our circumstances the more we shall honour God and His power to accomplish great things in our lives. The more we invoke the name of the Lord our God over our circumstances, the greater His glory. Then He will step in and take full control. Would we let him?
We need not fear because our God is able. Let us trust Him to put an end to our fears because nothing is impossible with Him.