The problem is that we fear the wrong thing(s). The problem is that we choose to be influenced by the wrong kind of fear.
Recently, I’ve been reading about our favorite bible character Jehoshaphat. If you’re unfamiliar with him, Jehoshaphat was a King of Judah, that although not entirely perfect, led God’s people in some powerful ways.
In 2 Chronicles 20 (a chapter really worth the read), Jehoshaphat is facing war..and by the looks of it, a war that he would surely lose. He and the people of God were facing insurmountable odds. And there was fear.
There are 2 types of fear. One type of fear is that of demise, one where we lose our sense of stability and safety…one that scares us and keeps us up at night. It’s a fear of things usually outside of our control that we attempt to affect through worry, manipulation or overworking.
The other type of fear is the fear of God. Fear of God is the realization and submission to the fact that God is awesome, all powerful and very much in control. The fear of the Lord is a recognition that God has a holiness standard and that He will direct us in His path if we so choose. The fear of God leads us to obedience…not because God is scary and wrathful, but because we recognize His greatness. The fear of God frees us from creating our own solutions.
Jehoshaphat and his people experienced both kinds of fear. But, in a moment of trial, Jehoshaphat chose a faith response in light of his fear of God, not his fear of defeat. He called the people together to fast, pray and align their hearts with the Lord.
And as the people stood before the Lord, the Spirit of God spoke and said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Long story short, some worship leaders lead Jehoshaphat’s army out and before they can even arrive at the battlefield, the war is over. Their enemies had already defeated themselves through fighting each other.
I know we’ve all heard the “faith over fear” thing enough to be a little blue in the face. And while this is true, I think an even better question to ask is “what am I fearing?”. Do I fear the uncontrollable things and all the possible negative outcomes in my life? Or do I fear God over all other things?
You can choose which fear you camp on today. You can pitch a tent in the land of social and cultural unrest // OR // you can acknowledge the battle and set up camp in the presence of a good and almighty God.
Today, let’s get our marching orders from the one who is already victorious. Don’t forget how this whole thing ends. Jesus always was and always will be King.