March 19, 2023
“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land...”
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“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.” Deuteronomy 20: 1 (HCSB)
“When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: ‘Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20: 2-4 (HCSB)
“The officers will continue to address the army and say, ‘Is there a man who is afraid, or fainthearted? Let him leave and return, so that his brothers’ hearts won’t melt like his own.’” Deuteronomy 20: 8 (HCSB)
A few years back, American suspense novelist, Steven King, wrote a book called “On Writing.” Less a text about the rudiments of writing, “On Writing” was more of a biography. In King’s opinion, the “how-to” must take a back seat to the “why,” and good writing has less to do with technique and more to do with how the writer filters life experience to the page. In short, to understand Steven King’s writing process, you must understand his life. “Life experience” is the filter he uses to sift novels from casual observation.
In his book, King wrote, “Fear is at the foundation of everything bad.” It’s an interesting statement from a fellow who has made his living in the “horror” genre. But I believe he is right, simply to the extent his words bear witness to Biblical truth. Whenever Jesus, angels, Prophets, or the Lord show up in Scripture, their first words are usually, “Don’t fear!” Fear is mistrust, the opposite of faith. If the Lord is anything, He is holy and, as such, trustworthy.
The command to “fear the Lord” is often misunderstood. “Fearing the Lord” means to worship, honor, and respect His power and authority. Many folks falsely believe that “fearing God” means being terrified of Him. Perhaps, they should re-read John 3:16.
We are “war babies” in that we’ve all been born into spiritual warfare. It is all we’ve ever known. The world is not a playground, as much as it is a spiritual battleground, yet we are commanded not to be afraid.
If “fear” is mistrust or the absence of faith, then “trust” must be the presence of faith and hope in things unseen. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Be encouraged to continue with your daily Bible study. By fortifying your hearts with God’s promises and experiencing His faithfulness through His Word, you are preparing yourselves to enter the “battlefield” each day, fearless.
Experiencing life through the filter of Scripture is how we sift faithfulness from fear.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021