What is fear?
Is it good? bad?
What does God say about fear?
Should we fear anything on this journey of life?
I’ve been learning about fear.
Not the good, healthy fear of God but the kind of fear that entangles you and stops you in your tracks.
The kind of fear that Satan uses to keep you from fulfilling what God has planned for your life.
that kind of FEAR.
What is fear and how do we fight it?
Isaiah 51 caught my attention because it uses the phrase, “Awake, awake…”
The chapter begins by saying, “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord…” Verse 4 says, “Listen to me, my people, hear me, my nation…”
God was getting their attention.
At this time in Israel’s history, the people were in captivity and, the few who were still in right standing with God, were growing weary. They were forgetting the promise of rescue, of salvation.
God was encouraging these faithful few through the prophet Isaiah by reminding them that “salvation is on the way” and, although the earth and the heavens will vanish, “salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.” The salvation we have from our God will last through all generations.
We can hold to this promise.
So, why do we fear?
What is fear and why does fear stop us from living in obedience, from listening and being more awake to the voice of God?
Isaiah 51:9 says, “Awake, Awake! Clothe yourself with strength…” The notes in my Bible says to “respond to the promises of God.”
Respond to His promises… Basically, remember what He has promised! Awake to what you know He will do! Respond to the salvation that He offers us.
I’ve been dealing with many things in this overseas life and one of those things is a fear, an unhealthy fear that was stopping me from something I know God is calling me to do.
Fear of walking forward.
As I prayed, God revealed how this fear was entangling me in a way that I didn’t even understand. I didn’t know it was happening. I had stopped listening, not intentionally, but that was the product of an unhealthy fear.
Isaiah 51 goes on to promise not only salvation but comfort. Comfort during those times when life is hard. When things just aren’t going well, God offers us His comfort and strength.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men… that you forget the Lord your Maker…?”
What is fear?
By placing my fear for others or situations higher than my trust in God, I am forgetting Him and forgetting His promises.
The nation of Israel had succumbed to their current situation. They were in captivity and they started living like the culture they were now a part of instead of holding fast to the promises of God. When they should have held firm, they weakened in fear and molded to something other than what God intended them to be. Only a few remained faithful and continued to live by the standards of God. Most forgot God as their Maker.
I’m so thankful for how God so gently shows us where we are weak and then encourages us with His word and reminds us of His promise.
Isaiah 51:16 says, “I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand – I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”
My study took me back a chapter, to Isaiah 50:10-11.
Verse 10 “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God.”
Even when we are walking in dark times, walking through very dark struggles, we must choose to remain faithful to God and rely on Him and His promises. We can not fear men or life struggles. We can not put that fear above God and forget what He has called us to do. That is how Satan can use our fear to entangle and stop us.
What is fear
Fear can also make us try to fix it, whatever we are going through, by ourselves. To not wait patiently for God to work and try to make something happen on our own. Fear of the unknown can cause us to push forward and light our own path.
Isaiah 51:11 says, “But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and the torches you have set ablaze.”
The notes in my Bible say, “Those who walk in the light of their own fires – who follow their own ideas and plans rather than submitting to God and what He has shown them through His word – will “lie down in torment.”
It is not a good choice to allow fear to stop you, to cause you to make decisions on your own. I must choose to wait patiently, give my fear over to God, rely on Him, even in dark moments and determine not to “light my own fire.”
I can not provide for myself.
His way is always His perfect way for my life.