Have you ever wondered why Bible stories like Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac, the Hebrew Boys and the Fiery Furnace, and the Woman with the Issue of Blood are retold over and over? Yes, there are some very powerful truths that we can continue to relearn and reapply to our lives, but in addition to this, the main characters: Abraham, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and this very determined woman exhibited an unfathomable amount of faith in very scary situations. Honestly, we struggle to comprehend such courage. So, we read them almost like fairy tales. It’s hard to imagine God ever asking us to risk so much and so, we don’t.
We live our lives pretending that the standard has been lowered for us and in a world where we are constantly encouraged to be kings and queens of our own thrones, to work “day in and day out” to fulfill our every whim and desire and where we are told, in more ways than one, that we can have it “our way”, we compromise much more for much less. We sacrifice prayer time for “me” time, stronger convictions for “stronger” relationships, a purpose-driven life for promotion and prestige. Each day, we choose to allow the fear of “what if” to prevent us from the faith-nurturing life of “even if”. “Even if I can’t see my way out, I’ll trust You to lead me.” Even if I have to be alone for awhile, I’ll trust You to keep me.” Even if I have to go alone, I’ll trust Your will over my own.”
A few years ago, I had a divine revelation that changed my perspective on life. God showed me that every decision that had caused unnecessary hurt and disappointment had been made out of fear. Fear of being alone, of being impoverished, of being rejected. There is always something we could fear. Then, He reminded me of His word in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Thank God that because He has a purpose for my life, He was able to cause all of these things to work for my good, but I would not escape the consequences of my actions.
Once I realized how much fear controlled my life, I knew that I needed to always consult God for direction and to allow Him and not my fear to direct my paths and dictate my future. Fear is a tool of the enemy. He shows us the absolute worst case scenario in order to get us to try to be god of our own lives and fix what we think is wrong. It leads us to compromise the power and promises of God for the “good enough” of the world. John 10:10 says “the thief has come to kill, steal, and destroy.” How many dreams have you had to eulogize because you were too afraid of the “what if”?
Today, I encourage you to take another look at the bible stories you love so much in order to see the protagonists, not as super heroes who posses extra special powers, but as ordinary men and women who had enough God in them to do what seemed like the impossible: to exercise their faith in the face of fear and then pray that God would increase your faith to do the same.