Fear drives us to do many regretful things. On the other hand, it has the potential to drive us closer to the only one we should fear and deeper into our reliance on Him. I think often forgetting that even the bible “greats” dealt with fear gives us a sort of warped permission to handle fear destructively. Yet we have the best tools at our disposal to face fear with confidence.
In Genesis we see both Abraham and Jacob experience fear, each with a different strategy to face it.
Abraham feared King Abimelech, so he took matters into his own hands and lied his way to a short-lived comfort. Fear led him to manipulate and lie which adversely effected many people.
“I [lied] because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place...’” Genesis 20:11
Instead of Abraham allowing his fear to drive him to God, it drove him to sin. If Abraham would have recalled the promise that God made to him and Sarah, he could have faced his fear with confidence.
Interestingly, it was the same promise Abraham ignored in his fear that Jacob recalled to face his fear.
Jacob was “greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). So he prepared, prayed for deliverance from his fear, and then prayerfully reminds himself and God of God's promise, “You said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’” Genesis 32:10-12
Jacob found comfort in the face of fear by prayerfully recalling God's promise.
In a world wrought with fear, why aren’t we doing the same? Why do we feed and fuel the fear people have when we possess the answer to all fear in God's promises? Fear often leads us to take matters into our own hands, manipulate people or situations, and even lie to ourself or others to achieve the end result we want. But fear handled in this way leads down a path of destruction that ends in regret and consequence.
Fear brings two choices: We take matters into our own hands, sinfully achieving comfort in the way we see fit as Abraham did or we can surrender the situation and proclaim God’s promises in the face of fear as Jacob did.
Let’s capitalize on opportunities before us in a fearful world to share the hope in God's promises.
Let’s not fuel fear with our insight but conquer it with God’s promises.
Is there any fear that is causing you to manipulate a situation or people in order to get what you want? Or are you tempted to take matters into your own hands instead of doing it God's way and trusting him? One of Satan's best lures is the illusion of control. We will sin our way through control when we fear an outcome instead of placing it in God's hands and surrendering with the mentality, "God, your will be done." What fear can you prepare to face, surrender to God, and rely on his promises as Jacob did?