Fear is the product of unbelief.
Unbelief is a lack of faith and trust in God. It is somehow believing that we know what is a better choice for us than the Creator of the Universe (and the Creator of you and me).
Imagine a little boy taking his first ride on a roller coaster with his Dad. He’s scared, really scared. Maybe even crying uncontrollably scared. His Dad keeps telling him “Follow me. I will be right beside you. Do not be afraid. I promise you will love it.” The boy loves and trusts his Dad, but this just feels too scary. His Dad gently but firmly leads him into the car and continues reassuring him that it is going to be okay and that he is with him. The child rides the roller coaster with him and LOVES it...
How many times do we fear what God is clearly calling us to do, because it “looks too scary?”
Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah) knew this struggle to be true. In Genesis 12 God tells Abram that he is going to give him land, that he will show him that land, bless him and that he has his back all the way.
The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Abram heard this straight from the mouth of God, but when faced with some uncertain circumstances he and his wife start to get nervous and think they should take things into their own hands. Clearly, God did not mean what he said and they are more equipped to protect themselves.
As he [Abram] was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Imagine that the little boy on the roller coaster decides half way up the hill to unbuckle and start to climb out... because well, this is just too scary. Absurd, right? That is the point I picture Abraham at here. He has trusted God’s promises until this point when he has decided perhaps God is no longer protecting him. That is absolutely something I do. Half way up the hill I start to question what I have heard from God. Could this really be what he wants me to do? Surely he would not put me in harm’s way for the sake of his glory and further goal! Or would he?
Even so, in Abram’s story God does not let him unbuckle and climb out. Instead he blesses him with wealth and afflicts Pharaoh so that he sends Abram and Sarai away.
Later in Chapter 15 God reminds Abram that he is his shield and his reward is great. When we truly see God as the most important and the most worthy of obedience it naturally causes a mind/heart transformation that helps diminish our fear.
Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
My favorite part about the story of Abraham and Sarah is that their names are both listed in the Cloud of Witnesses for their faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called, not knowing where he was going. By faith Sarah was enabled to bear children because she considered God faithful. And so from this one man, came descendants as countless as the sand on the seashore. (Hebrews 11:8, 11-12)
Like Abraham and Sarah I have faith and believe in the sovereignty of the Lord, but also like them I struggle with unbelief. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
What are you afraid of? Ask God to help you overcome your unbelief. Take the roller coaster ride. Being a part of God’s purposes is better than you could possibly imagine... even better than any earthly security.
See You In The Round,