The Fear that Robs Us of Stillness (Lent 11-2014)

SGL 2014 11_ Jacob afraid of EsauWhere are you?  I’m genuinely afraid for my life and the lives of those I love, Jacob might say.

Have you ever felt that way?  Afraid for your own life or the life and safety of your loved ones?

Genesis 32:9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'”

Fear is a formidable enemy of stillness.  It can keep us up at night with worry. It is unfortunately a most committed companion.  We can go to bed with fear on our minds and wake up with it in the morning.  It can cling to us throughout the day and consume our every spare thought.  It can infiltrate even moments of contentment as a dart to a target or a dagger to the heart.

Fear is not an unreasonable thing.  Fear is a perfectly understandable reaction to threats against your physical person or your emotional well-being.  We don’t see it, but it is often most active in the unseen world of our spiritual lives.  For that reason, fear will always get in the way of stillness.

Jacob was afraid, but look what he did: Jacob became still and prayed.  And then he remembered who God is.

Be Still.  In spite of fear, be still and pray.  I’m listening.

Be Still.  No enemy has seized you that I, the LORD, have not already conquered.

Be Still and Know that I AM God.  John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Be Still and Know that I AM God. Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Questions for reflection:

  1. Did Jesus give in to fear?  Why not?
  2. What does fear suggest about faith?
  3. Why does God command us so often in Scripture not to be afraid?  What role does our trust in Him play?



Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 17, 2014

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