Lie: The World Is a Dangerous, Scary Place
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. — Proverbs 30:5
I asked my friend Troy which prayer he wanted God to answer above all others. He said he wanted to be free of fear.
“I thought about praying for God to fix my problems, but I realized that I wouldn’t be afraid for even five seconds, and the next problem would show up and I’d get afraid again,” he explained. “I want to be free of fear because fear makes me miserable, and fear makes me do dumb things. Those dumb things make bad things worse.”
Fear is one of the chief animating forces of the twenty-first century.
We are afraid of the future, afraid of people who are unlike us, afraid of the alarming levels of violence and tragedy surrounding us. When news headlines read more like chapter titles in a dystopian novel, we may be tempted to agree with the Accuser, “The world is a dangerous, scary place.”
Fear is a pack animal; it doesn’t travel alone. Fear hangs out with anxiety, worry, and fret. When the frightening fraternity breaks down your door, chaos is quick to ensue. Trivial matters become seismic. Possibilities induce paralysis. You’re tempted to shrink back from the big, beautiful life God intends for you.
Living fearless should be one of your top God-goals in life.
God gives us this command far more often in the Bible than any other: “Do not be afraid!” A variation of this instruction appears 365 times, one mention for every day of the year. Perhaps this is a subtle hint that we must be reminded of this each day.
The Israelite leader Joshua received the charge to lead God’s people into the promised land, a terrain filled with giants ready to wage war. God’s response:
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. — Joshua 1:5-7, emphasis added
The Lord stood with Joshua as he stands with us. Notice the call: be strong and courageous. God repeats the instructions twice for emphasis.
How do you experience this strength and courage? Joshua 1:7–8 tips us off:
Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips.
As Joshua’s men prepare for battle, they sharpen their swords and steel themselves. But on the eve of preparations to conquer a kingdom, God reminds Joshua the true shield is found in words, not weapons. Power awaits in believing, speaking, sharing, and declaring the transformative truth of God’s Word.
Why does this matter?
When you acknowledge your fears in light of God’s truth, you gain the confidence to move forward in spite of your fears, thus undoing fear’s enslaving power.
What if you were to make Joshua’s promise yours? What if you awoke each day and, as you prepared to fight your battles, declared, “God is my refuge and strength!”? God’s Word is flawless, and He remains a shield to everyone who takes refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5).
When we confess that God neither sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:4), we ground ourselves in the truth that God is attentive to our every need. When we say God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), we remember that all resources in the world rest at His disposal. When we share that every hair follicle on our heads is numbered (Matthew 10:30), we find comfort in knowing God pays attention to the fine details.
God is our shield, and nothing happens apart from His permission. As you make Joshua’s declarations yours, you’ll find strength for your struggles, and you’ll enter the land of God’s abundant promises.
DECLARATION: GOD IS MY SHIELD.
Excerpted with permission from More Power to You by Margaret Feinberg, copyright Margaret Feinberg, LLC.
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Are you feeling afraid? What if you could be free of fear? What if you talked back to that fear about your God? What if that fear shrank back at the tender care your God takes in every detail of your life? What if that was your story instead? Come share with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily