Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
For several months, and to be honest, even today, I have been frozen in fear. It is a paralyzing feeling. I have, off-and-on for years, battled against the knowledge I have that God does not want us to live in fear. Fear is not from the Lord. Fear is a tool the evil one uses to paralyze and hold people in bondage. Most people I know wouldn’t know that I struggle with fear. In fact, I’d say that from the outside I look pretty put together. It’s the inside that needs the work.
I have counseled many others when they find themselves in the exact same place I find myself in sometimes. It’s amazing to watch the person be set free with the knowledge that the perfect love of Christ casts out fear. His perfect love diminishes the fear that satan uses to keep you in bondage.
In Exodus the Israelites were freed from slavery by the hand of God after having spent many years enslaved in Egypt. When they were freed, they set out for the Promised Land. However, Pharaoh’s heart was hard against them and the Egyptian armies set out to destroy them.
With the Egyptians in hot pursuit the Israelites were terrified…they cried out to God. They began to believe the lie that they had been freed only to be taken into the desert to die. The important thing to remember is that the Israelites knew that God had promised to set them free and take them to the Promised Land. However, when they saw the Egyptians, they became fearful. They could see danger with their eyes and knew the torment the Egyptians caused in the past; and that caused them to allow fear to strike in their hearts. They forgot in that moment what God had already done for them.
I can relate to their fears. I often see things that seem to be so big that there is no way to overcome it. Fear hits. My mind turns it over and over again. I begin to think this obstacle is too big and will overtake me. Fear runs rampant in my mind and causes me to want to quit and give in to the fear. It is paralyzing and keeps me from moving forward. I forget in those moments that God, the creator of the universe, is bigger than anything I could ever face.
As I reflect on the Israelites and their struggles and fears, I am in awe of Moses’ command to the people, “Do not be afraid.” He told them to “stand firm” and they would “see the deliverance the Lord would bring them that day.” With fear in their hearts and terror pursuing them, how could Moses say that? The fear was real, they could see it coming after them, but yet were told to not be afraid and stand still.
Moses could say that because he was speaking from a place of experience. His experience with the Lord taught him to not be afraid and to stand firm. His experience told him that God would not leave them or abandon them. His experience trained him to see past the fear and see the deliverance God was about to give. Only through his past trials and fears could he be confident in telling the people to not be afraid, stand firm and watch the Lord deliver on His promise. Clearly, God had prepared Moses for this moment.
Moses was speaking from a place of victory in his own life. He had overcome fear and had learned to stand firm. He had seen the Lord work on his behalf many times before and knew that God would deliver them. That is why Moses could say with confidence, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
This command from Moses required two things, leaving behind fear and standing firm. Standing firm means to be immovable, no action required, be still. When fear hits we often forget to be still before God and let Him fight for us. Being still means to also quiet your mind and not think about and obsess over the issue you are facing.
Because I have struggled with fear on and off for over 40 years, I can tell you that when fear hits, the last thing I want to do is be still and let God fight for me. In all honesty, in the last few months I have allowed fear to dominate my mind. It has taken up space and clouded my mind. It has even kept me from blogging and sharing God’s truth with others. A lot of the fear has been dealing with these things:
- I am a sinner.
- I continually mess up.
- What if someone finds out I have made mistakes?
- Fear of judgment.
- What could I possibly share with anyone because I am not worthy.
It is true, I am a sinner, I mess up all the time, and I am not worthy of His love, grace and mercy. BUT the truth of the matter is that is precisely why God sent Jesus. Through Jesus and what he did on the cross I am worthy of His love, grace and mercy. And because Jesus paid the ultimate price for both you and I, we can through Him turn our fears into victory with confidence.
My prayer for anyone who reads this blog is that when faced with a situation that causes you to fear, you can be brave and be still and allow God to fight for you. Remembering He has already made a way for you. Fear is nothing in the presence of the almighty God and His perfect love casts out fear. Bask in the presence of the Lord and watch your fears be turned into victories.