The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. Psalm 27:1-3
Have you ever heard the expression, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”? Every time I hear that I roll my eyes a little, maybe just because it is so overly used. This morning I think about that statement in a whole new light. Fear truly is something to be feared. When you think about it, the things that we find ourselves trembling in fear over are really things that are outside our control anyway. Fear is what stops us from achieving that thing which we set out to achieve. Fear is a disease, it latches on to a small portion of your life and then spreads throughout your entire existence and effects the whole of your life. Overcoming fear can be difficult, especially when we try to do it alone, but fear must be overcome in order to reach the potential the God has for us.
I am reminded of young David. When David is in front of King Saul responding to the king’s doubts about David’s ability to defeat the giant Philistine he says:
“Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:34-37
David knew that there was no way this enemy of God would stand against he who trusted his whole life in the Lord for protection and care. David was a shepherd, his job was to take care of sheep and trusted in the Lord to give him the strength to do it properly. In his life of doing so God showed him over and over again that His protection comes from God. David knew that there would be no enemy that could stand against the God who was on his side. Even though there was a man of influence speaking doubt into the life of David he reached down into his memories of the Lord’s provision and dug up the courage and did away with the nay sayer.
Do you doubt that David was ever scared in fields alone while a predator came to claim the life of one of his flock? Do you think that even though his sense of duty demanded that he protect the flock, the first time he stared in the eyes of a lion all kinds of doubts and fears came creeping in? I do, and I also believe that he trusted in the Lord and put those things aside and God showed David how to be courageous. God used David’s childhood job to train him in battle against the bigger, stronger foe. He also taught him how to lead and protect a flock which would help him later as King of Israel.
The same also goes for us. Cheerleaders often ask me why I believe that God cares whether or not they are afraid to do the next skill they are learning. My response is simple. “If fear can grasp you in such a small endeavor, what about the moment you are facing the giant that God has for you to defeat?” Whether it be tumbling, protecting a flock, or working in a grocery store, fear will stop you from going to claim the prize God has for you just on the other side of that giant. So, remember the training God has put you through, remember the victories God has given you, and go claim your prize. Don’t let fear stop you from becoming the person God has for you to be.