God said “fear not” quite a bit throughout the Bible. Nearly every great leader that God chose to raise up had a similar pep talk: “Fear not! Be courageous!” But there’s a certain kind of fear that He is talking about here and I think it’s unfortunately different than the one most of us face and pray against much of the time in our lives.
It seems there are two kinds of fear: fear from action and fear from reaction.
These men that you read about in the Bible are being told to fear not because of what God is calling them to do. It basically always works the same way. There’s an average guy. God suddenly shows up and calls him to something far above average. The man freaks out. God comforts by reminding the person to fear not because He’ll be with them through it all.
This is fear from action. God calls to bigger and greater things than what is average and that’s scary. Encouragement is needed!
But what I so often see in people’s lives is the fear that comes from reaction. What I mean is this: If I were to say that many of us have nothing to fear, I imagine there would be a lot of pushback. Certainly we do! We have this that could happen and that that could happen, etc. etc. The possibility of mishaps and disasters is everywhere! But if we were to really look into things we’d find that our fears are based off of what could come in and ruin our wonderful status quo.
This is not a fear of stepping out. It’s the fear of what could step in. It’s not a fear of capability as much as it is about comfortability. But living a life full of fears of what could happen to you is what keeps so many people stuck in the ordinary and never dreaming of extraordinary.
God expects us to fear. He wouldn’t say “fear not” if He didn’t. But it’s a fear that comes from receiving a seemingly radical call to do something that is beyond our capabilities.
Too often when we fear it’s because we fear losing our prized “status quo.” God has more than status quo for you. His calling may incite fear, sure, but He also provides the cure: faith. Faith in an all-powerful and all-loving God. With faith it is possible to overcome the fear that will come when living out a God-sized calling on your life so you can see mountains move!