I felt like this particular strategy hit home for several of us- Mostly us Moms. Cause what do we have to worry about? Really on any day to day basis. Our lists mount up, responsibilities over flow, our needs, desires, and wants begin toppling with the feeling of failure. Make no mistake this chapter isn’t automatic skip for you younger girls either. If you have not encountered fear and anxiety- then you need to listen up more closely- so that you may learn from us that have.
“If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is “unnecessary risk.” (Shirer 105)
Let’s dive in and talk about some fear. Let’s set aside traditional phobias of spiders, confined spaces, flying cockroaches, and the ever popular fear of heights.
The “What If” fear that plagues us. . .You know the drill; What if I fail, What if I go broke, What if I fall, What if I say something stupid…
You may differ here and say that the what if’s are the normal rationalizing in your mind. That the deliberating or the arguing with oneself over what to do on a matter is quite normal. And now you envision the two little eternal version of yourself on your shoulder- one bad and one good.
Who talks with themselves! Raise your hand! We all do it, think on and pondering a situation and potential actions that person does is not a fear but rather deliberating of what to do in their life. Yes, you are so right on.
What happens when the Lord asks of us do something out of our comfort zone. We ponder and out of fear shy away from those opportunities. Are we missing potential blessings?
We are gonna look at a hero of faith and the reality of what God asked them to do. Check out the story of Moses in Exodus 14 it’s a fascinating read that reads like fiction. The only thing to remember- is it’s not fiction- it’s a true story! This story was provided for us to glean from and discover some truths that hopefully we can apply to our own lives.
Moses was called to lead Israel from captivity from the Egyptians. Let’s contemplate the what if’s here…God has just asked you to lead the Israelite’s and their cows, donkeys, ducks, chickens, gold fish, and favorite herb pot out of Egypt. All of them…600,000- not including women and children (Exodus 12:37). If you were in Moses’ sandals what things would you question from God.
- How can I do this? It can’t be done?
- Who’s gonna feed them?
- Who will teach and minister. Where will they potty.
- I don’t want to be responsible for so many.
Do you think that God has a plan? Or does he just wing it?
I think that God is capable of doing both depending on whether or not I yield to him. He told Moses were to make camp it wasn’t a suggestion. God also told them that Pharaoh would know where they were and be angry. God’s purpose was not just showing his people that he was God, but to show the Egyptians also who the true living God is and what he can do.
Did the Israelite’s have the right to be afraid?
NO—Seeing the larger scope of the story- they’d just came out of surviving all the plagues done unto Israel. You would have thought that their eyes would have been open to God’s greatness and abilities.
YES—They were human- just like us. They were surrounded and backed up to the water. They’d never seen the water move on command before. In their human flesh- their mind is like ours- they just couldn’t see a way out but utter destruction and death.
The moment of their fear when they saw the Egyptians bearing down on them they made a decision. As a whole they would have gathered go back to slavery and bondage than to die. For all that they’d already seen God do- they still had no faith. It’s built within us to when we are afraid to fight or flight. It’s been said each time could be different for the same person. For a person to simply stand and watch would have been difficult. Moses was telling them that God was going to deliver them- yet again. God wants their/our unconditional trust- that he’s going to take care of our lives.
I think that Moses believed that God had their back, literally but even he didn’t know where they were to go- until that moment when God told him what to do. I believe the scriptures: Vengeance is mine saith the Lord- from Romans 12:13. God’s perfect plan of deliverance was salvation to Israel- with the same swooping movement of his hand was Judgement found for Egypt. It wiped out their whole army in one move-all of the men, fathers and brothers. They would not be coming after the Israelite’s any time for retaliation. It would take Egypt years to recover from that loss.
God asked the Israelite’s to do something they’d never done. It was out of their comfort zone, normal scope of their lives and it was life and death to them. If they didn’t obey they would have perished for sure.
God had taken personal offense at the Egyptians. I feel like it was not just the enslavement of the Israelite’s but also a judgement against the Egyptian nation for the sinfulness and worship of false Gods. But, God was fighting for them his people. He’d done a mighty provision thus far. Their road wasn’t easy- probably some rocks and pit holes along the way. But God called them out and he provided for them, delivered them, and as long as they were obedient to his voice- he continued to meet their needs.
We are fixna make it real for ya. Has God called you to do something past or present? Ever in your life. It may not be all ministry. It could be a particular job, furthering education, to have a conversation with someone, – He called me once to homeschool my kids. In that calling that you felt in your heart and soul- you knew if came from God and immediately fear or anxiety swept in raising doubt and indecision. The quiet rationalizing to yourself of all the reason why you can’t do – what you’ve just been asked to do?
Tip #1 Free of charge. Excuses are like rear ends. We all have one.
Tip #2 God isn’t going to ask you to do something that contradicts His holy word.
Fear, worry, anxiety, comes from the enemy! They are the result of his handiwork—it’s more of his strategy and schemes against you to keep you paralyzed- with fear and not serving.
I heard story once of a woman who had a horrible fear of bright head lights that she would see from oncoming traffic at night. The lights literally paralyzed her; she was afraid to drive and go even short distances. A wise minister- recognized the source of her fear- He challenged her to drive. He told her, that when she came upon the head lights to keep her focus on the road- watching her guide line- and to pray for some that is in need of salvation. It worked like a champ. It took the focus off of her fear and transported on to the soul of a person who needs Jesus. Soon, the enemy was reluctant to have her prayers applied to lost souls, so he abandoned his strategy against her.
The fear we are speaking of is not to be confused with legitimate council and concern. You should pray about decisions, take council from God, from sisters in Christ, and wise adults in your life.
If that fear is taking over you in any area of your life. You should ask yourself—what does God have for me across the river.
Fear of God is counted as wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Fear to an extent normal-it’s a human coping mechanism that requires our respect of issues. Fear of cutting self- keeps you safe when using a skill saw. Fear is ever so real that’s why Moses cautioned them. But it’s so important not to wallow in it or to let it keep you from living- I can’t do this because- I am an introvert. I can’t teach this class because…. I can’t talk…(ahem.. Moses excuses). I can’t write a book because I didn’t go to college. YOU go,,, tell me what you can’t do: I can’t do…… ( now YOU Go! )
The enemy wants to keep us from moving forward and achieving our goal of furthering the kingdom for God.
Fear is real ladies, I know it is. When your child is in the ER with tubes and machines- that fear is humbling and it opens that line of communication to our God. It is still yet so real that God tells us 300 times in his word to not be afraid.
This instruction is from the same God that saved our soul by wiping away our sin and forgiving all our trespasses. It comes from Jesus, the only begotten who willingly gave himself out of Love for the father and us.
Fear can be turned inside out and used to strengthen our faith in GOD.
Now, envision you are standing on the precipices of life surrounded by Pharaoh’s army with your back to the water. Shall you stay in bondage and be led back to captivity, or shall you trust in God and walk to your calling on dry ground.? What do you need to give away to God? What are you holding on to?
- Take a minute to write down your fear- and talk to God honestly.
- Look up and read some verses on fear.
So you are thinking: I thought this was a book and a class about prayer. It most certainly is. Prayer is talking to God. Sometimes he uses us—some faith in action to answer prayers. He’s busy—May be he’s impressed upon you something you could, should, need to do—not just for the other person—but for you!
Conquer those Fears!