It’s what kept the Israelites walking around in circles when they were destined for the Promised Land.
It’s what made Peter start drowning when he should have kept on walking on water.
It’s what causes dreams to be left unfulfilled and buried with talented, gifted, and skilled women and men all around the world.
For the Israelites it was the uncertainty that God would take them to the Promised Land.
For Peter it was the uncertainty that he could keep on walking on water with crashing waves all around him.
For you it could be something else.
Fear of pursuing your dreams because you might be rejected.
Fear of following Jesus into an unknown future because you don’t know what it might hold.
Fear of what might happen if you take a step forward.
Fear of what might not happen if you do.
Fear in itself is not a bad thing.
We have it as a defense mechanism for our own safety and protection.
When we find ourselves in dangerous situations we feel afraid and that fear prompts us to respond quickly to the threat we are facing.
This kind of fear is good and necessary for our daily survival.
It’s a fear that I experienced recently when I decided to go hiking with a few of my friends on a trail at Mt. Rainier.
Our final destination was a beautiful lake and we were walking, and chatting away while enjoying the beautiful scenery all around us.
We were having a good time and not worrying about a single thing until a few groups of hikers passed us by and told us that there were sightings of a bear near the hike that morning.
At first we didn’t take it very seriously.
We laughed it off and talked about what an adventure it would be (and what a great story we’d have to share) if we actually saw a bear.
But it got a little less funny when a few moments later while as we were walking down the path we heard a soft growl somewhere near us, not once, but twice.
Of course we did the first thing that came to our mind: ran for our lives back up to the beginning of the trail.
We stopped running after a few minutes to decide whether we wanted to finish the hike (and although I really wanted to) we decided that we liked our limbs more than we cared to see the viewpoint at the end of the hike so we turned around and went back.
The chance of us being attacked by the actual bear is nearly impossible but at that moment that fear was real and it stopped us from making it to the top.
As we were driving back home, disappointed that we didn’t make it to the top as we originally planned I couldn’t help but think how metaphorical our experience is to the power that fear has in our lives to prevent us from reaching our end goal, our anticipated finish, our final destination.
See, all of us set out at that starting line, destined to make it to the end.
The end where we live wholeheartedly for Christ, where we accomplish His will and plans for our life, where at the end we can look back and say “I gave it all for Him.”
Yet so often we never make it there.
Just like the Israelites in the desert never made it to their end.
Because fear is a ruthless enemy and if it’s not faced with faith it not only disrupts our lives, sometimes it even destroys it.
“Some people die at 25, but aren’t buried until they are 75” – Benjamin Franklin
The Israelites should have been all living in the Promised Land a few weeks after leaving Egypt and yet they lie buried in the desert.
For forty years they walked around in circles, their hopes and dreams were long gone, and though they were not physically buried for many years they lived their lives as if they were because they never got to the place where they were supposed to go.
They wasted their life away when they could have been fulfilling their destiny.
There were no electrical fences, no armies, and no danger that could have separated them from the Promised Land.
God would go before them and fight for them like He always did, but there fear kept them stuck in the desert.
Their fear of giants.
Their disbelief in God’s faithfulness to take care of them.
“Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise, They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness” -Psalm 106:24-26
They chose to trust their own fears instead of the One who was walking with them from the very beginning of the journey, and it ended up leading them no-where.
I think sometimes the doors to our dreams stay shut and the answers to our prayers don’t come because we don’t trust God for them.
We live in the fear of “what if” instead of in faith that “God will.”
Instead of saying “God will help us reach our destination as He Promised” we ask “what if this is all there is to life and I’m not going anywhere?”
When we fear we naturally have two responses: flight or freeze, and they chose the latter.
They chose to freeze.
To stay in the desert and in the circumstance they should have long left behind.
And because of that they never got to see the Promised Land.
When we face fear in our own lives we have the urge to respond in the same way.
To run away from those things God is calling us to do or to freeze up and do nothing at all and continue staying in the same exact place for five, ten, fifteen years, just wasting our lives away.
But as Christians we have a third way that we can respond: with faith.
Faith that if Jesus called you out of your comfortable boat to walk on water it’s because He’ll get you to the other side safely.
Faith that if Jesus called you to leave your past behind and head into new territory with Him He’ll bring you there.
Faith that no bear, no giant, no setback, no rejection, and no storm will get in the way of you reaching your full potential and your final destination with Him.
Sometimes I wonder…
How many people have attempted to “walk on water” in faith only to drown because of the hard circumstances they were in?
How many people attempted to make it to their Promised Land only to remain forever stuck in the desert of their comfort zone because they were too scared to trust God for their future and the steps ahead?
How many people took their God-given dreams, took their talents, and took their potential to the grave with them?
I don’t want to be one of those people.
I want my story to be like David’s who fought his giant and had victory with a few stones and God next to him.
Like Esther who faced her king when it could have resulted in death and in the end changed her people’s destiny.
Like Caleb who looked at the road ahead through the eyes of faith and actually made it to the Promised Land.
Today I want to encourage each one of you to respond to every fear that comes your way with faith.
To look beyond the giants ahead, beyond the waves around you, beyond the logical reasons of why something just can’t happen and believe.
Believe that the God who planted a promise and a dream in your heart won’t leave it there unfulfilled.
That He will bring you to a place your mind can’t imagine and your eyes have never seen.
That you’ll fulfill your destiny and make it to your Promised Land if you just keep on looking through eyes of faith, walk with confidence, and believe that nothing will get in the way of where God wants you to be.
Never stop walking with faith in Christ and fulfill His unique destiny for your life! Have a blessed day! -Anna… ♥
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13