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“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” -Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
As a warrior, David fought battles most of his life. He knew fear and he knew how to overcome it by seeking the Lord through praise and worship and following God’s strategies. God built David’s trust and confidence through journeying with Him through “impossible” victories.
When we are afraid, will we follow David’s example, or will we run and hide?
Consider Elijah. I Kings 19 tells us that “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.” He traveled 40 days and nights before ending up in a cave. Twice the Lord spoke to him saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” before instructing him to go back and defeat his enemies.
Indeed, fear causes us to flee in the wrong direction. And God—desiring us to overcome—always leads us back to face that which frightens us. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
Choosing fear over faith can be idolatry, which can lead us to a false sense of security. Untended, fear can barricade us, rendering us powerless and causing us to feel defeated. In this state, our intimacy with God is blocked, preventing us from hearing Him clearly or even at all. At the very least, we become unable to move in God’s fullness and boldness. And the enemy would like nothing more. He knows that locked away, we are no threat.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
If our only real security is with God, then anything that distances us from God isn’t God and isn't safe. Yet we often cling to what “feels” safe, comfortable and familiar instead of choosing to take courage to overcome and step out of confinement.
So the journey out of fear is a path of trusting and obeying God in whatever He calls us to. Even if we have to do it scared, we will see God meet us with instruction and encouragement if we’ll just keep stepping out.
If fear has been your struggle, ask the Holy Spirit to identify its roots and seek the Lord for deliverance. Let Psalm 91 assure you that God is indeed your fortress. Then choose to trust Him by stepping out of the limitations of fear and into God’s fort of power and protection.