When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 1 Samuel 7:7 NIV
“Extra, Extra read all about it”, cried the newspaper boy on the bustling sidewalk corner while waving the newspaper high above his head. At one time, newspapers only printed in the morning. When breaking news happened, they would print an “extra” copy for people to read. The access to immediate information via digital devices has made this iconic newspaper boy a museum artifact. But fear still spreads through all of the potential “what if’s” of the stories and information that “we hear” whether true or not.
The threat of war and defeat were real for the Israelites, but the context of the story is equally important. Samuel had told the nation to meet at Mizpah, if they were serious about repenting for the sin of idolatry. This meant they were trusting in other gods to help them navigate life.
The people followed Samuel’s advice, confessed their sin and humbly returned to the Lord. It is at this point that the Philistines drew near to militarily defeat and kill them. Why should fear come right at the point when they were getting their heart right with God?
At its core, fear exposes a breakdown in the confident trust that exists in a relationship of someone’s ability to care for your future. Not knowing what will happen next leads to fear. When Adam and Eve sinned, their open line of communication with God was short circuited and they no longer knew with certainty how God felt about them. As such they were afraid for the first time in their life.
Maybe today you are struggling with all of the “what if’s”. What if the news about your health is true? What if the market crashes and you lose your retirement? What if rioting occurs in your city? What if another virus comes that is even more lethal? What if my job has to fold, how will I survive? What if our church doesn’t make it? What if, what if, what if?
Amid all of the noise, ask God to settle your heart. Ask Him to lead you back to His words, possibly even the last words that He has spoken to you. When you get that WORD, stand upon it in faith.
That word from God will produce peace in the middle of the storm. That word from God will not topple, no matter how strong the winds of adversity may come your way. That word from God will draw near to you, even during the loss of a loved one. That word of God brings strength to the weary so that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength and mount up on wings like eagles. That word of God will expose the fear and lies that Satan is using to bring fear into your life. Men can hurt and kill the body, but God cradles the soul of man.
Guard your tongue in what you share. Are you part of the plan the enemy uses to spread fear? Do your words lead to trust in God or fear of what may happen. Jesus said, “in this world we will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome this world.” Let your words lead to the hope that is found in Jesus. Hope in God is an eternal light amid all of the darkness of potential “what if’s”.
On this Fear Not Friday, ask God to expose any fears that are influencing you, especially from things that you have heard. At your most fearful moment, remember God’s word has something “Extra, Extra for you! Read all about it!” His word is on time, and spot on for your moment of need. Stand on the promises of the words of your good, good Father.
Blessings Love y’all