“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
(38/365 days of Fear Not)
It’s only been 38 days since I began searching scripture and writing about the command and promise to fear not. If you’ve followed along even occasionally, you may have noticed that God tends to repeat Himself, using exact phrases again and again, sometimes in the same verse, sometimes one verse following another.
There is but one conclusion that I can draw from this: God’s people are pretty dense when it comes to His promises.
If you’ve read any Old Testament accounts of the Israelites, you have to agree.
And, the thing is, despite all of our progress, despite all of our advances in many areas of culture and society – medicine, technology, social networking, science – we have not come too much farther than the Israelites when it comes to needing God to repeat Himself. While we may tend to push the envelope in many areas of study and the public arena, we, God’s people, remain pretty dense when it comes His promises.
We may put a good face on things.
We may face public challenges with a certain amount of bravado.
We may challenge the status quo or others’ beliefs in online arenas.
But, ultimately, when it comes to living out something greater than ourselves.
When it comes to living out something beyond ourselves.
When it comes to revealing who we are and living out our God-given purpose and dream, many of us still wrestle with fear.
Many of us still wrestle with fear.
Behind our masks.
Behind our closed doors.
Behind our bravado.
Alone with our God-given dream, we tremble, we doubt, we fear.
And so God reminds us that if it is His dream that we are living out in our lives, we do not fight alone and that we do not need to be afraid.
In fact, God reminds us as often as we need to hear it.
Just like He did with the Israelites.
He tells us again and again: do not be afraid. I will personally go ahead of you. I will neither fail you nor abandon you.
He will tell us that today as we prepare for what lies ahead for this day’s portion of the journey.
And when we rise tomorrow, He will repeat His words and lead us onto the path of the journey.
We are created in God’s image and each of us has a God-given purpose meant only for us, for our gifts and our talents and our personality. And though we are created by God and in God’s image, we are made dense by the fallen world in which we live and by the culture that repeatedly insists that we are each the center of our own life, and by extension, the world at large.
But that dream that God has given us is not about us.
It’s about Him.
It’s about His world.
It’s about His kingdom here on earth.
It’s about glimmers of light and whispers of hope.
And, honestly, that can be pretty scary to live out. What will people think about me? What will that say about me? Will I fail? Will I fall? Will I look silly? Will I…
That’s where God steps in and reminds us: Don’t be afraid. I will go ahead of you and I will go with you.
Oh, and don’t worry if you forget this promise. God will tell you again tomorrow.