So be strong and courageous all you who put your hope in the Lord!
I was thinking recently about how babies fear little or nothing. Whereas, as the baby grows into an adult they might start to get scared of heights, scared of the dark and sleeping alone. However, when the child was a baby he/she had little or no fears, it seemed like something that was non-existent. I started to wonder what could be the reason for this change? What causes fear? My conclusion was the knowledge of the existence of fear is the cause of fear. That is, we start to fear when we know what could happen as a result of the steps we intend taking or took, which could be sometimes real or imaginary or more simply when we start to know what to fear then we become scared. It almost seems that the more we know the more we start to fear, babies know very little and fear very little but the older they get they fear more. The question pops up then, if knowledge which inevitably leads to wisdom is good then why is fear a bi-product?
Like I had stated wisdom is good and knowledge is good but not all knowledge is Godly and there are “devilish wisdom”. However, Godly wisdom is accompanied by Godly courage. Godly courage is a product of absolute faith in God’s word which comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). If God sends a man and the man has faith in Him and His word, then he will need courage to undertake the task without fear. Life is a battlefield Ephesians 6:12 so it is not enough to carry God’s word, you must be ready to fight attacks from satan and this requires courage. What takes a child away from childhood is when he starts to have responsibility for his or her life. Purpose both divine and self-induced (assigning a purpose for your life which God has not given you) places some form of responsibility for your life and this naturally brings about fear. However, divine purpose means God will work with you throughout the period of the project (1 Chronicles 28:20).
Joshua 1:7 reiterates this fact of being courageous and this was said to Joshua after his purpose for his life had just been revealed to Him. What can we then say? When He did not know who he was or what his purpose was, he might not have had so many fears, when he then knew what the purpose for his life was there was need to be strong and courageous and this was repeated by God two other times in the same verse. A child relies on the father and might have very little fears about life, but as the child gets older and the path for the child’s life is revealed, thereby some responsibilities of his/her shoulder then there will be the need for courage.
You might have been working with God for a long time and still facing the same challenges you were facing before you were born again. When you were a baby you faced it, you grew even stronger in kingdom work and you still faced it, be strong and courageous, there is no need to fear. No matter how old you get as long as your father is still alive, you are still the child of your father and God is not dead but alive so you can talk to Him about it. In Joshua 1:8, Joshua was told to hold fast on the commandments of God and whatever he does will be successful. Look at that situation that the devil has put his ugly head upon, somehow it could be what might be delaying you from moving to the next level, courage takes discipline and discipline requires a strong and willing heart. Therefore, work on yourself and God will walk with you again. Remember, the parable of the prodigal son, the son had to change his mindset to be set right with the father. Fear is a trick from Satan and is mostly initiated by him when you are working according to God’s divine plan and that is why God had to reiterate it to Joshua severally (Deuteronomy 31:7, Joshua 1:7-9, 18).
Parable of the Prodigal Son
The younger son was scared of maybe his financial situation at the moment, maybe he felt he was older and not doing anything (He wanted some form of purpose for his life), there was a fear that was made available to him which was not there years back. He went away with some sense of courage leaving his father (sometimes money gives you courage, material things give you courage but God is the only one that gives true courage. The initial purpose was wrong so the courage he had to think he could stand alone could not be Godly. He had a new responsibility which was not given to him by God). When he did realize his mistakes, he thought about a new purpose for himself (being a servant) which again was not Godly and was drawn out of the fear of rejection by his father, again was courageous to go back home with this new mindset. The difference between the two situations are in the first he was scared, then had the courage to make a move and then derived a purpose for his life and the second the purpose was drawn out fear and then was courageous to make steps. They both were wrong moves as the father did not initiate either. Biblically, courage has always been the antidote for fear and “this fear” was as a result of a revealed purpose for the life of a people or a particular person has been revealed. Biblical courage has always been as a result of absolute faith in the word of God. The prodigal son was the opposite as He had little or no faith in the father. In fact, it was the loss of hope and the downplay of love in the father that initiated the whole scenario that played out. The devil likes to play the identity game, make you forget or downplay who you are in Christ but stay on the word of God, your Identity is in there. Pray to Him so that your purpose will be revealed and stand strong on His word always for He is always with you.
In conclusion, God wants us to grow, be in the place of responsibility and be knowledgeable of what is ahead of us without any form of fear. This seems difficult but is possible if we always remember we have a father regardless of how grown we have become. In this world the older you become the further you are away from your parents but God wants us to be as close as we were when we were a child even as we grow older in our new lives in Him, He wants us to always have this mindset because this is the only way to not fear in situations where we have been assigned to huge responsibilities and have knowledge of the traps set by Satan. It is this hope of always having an available father that keeps us courageous at all times. Shalom!
1 Chronicles 28:20: David telling Solomon to be strong and courageous after He told Him what his purpose is.
Isaiah 54:4: After revealing the purpose for Israel in form of a prophecy from God, Isaiah told them not to fear
Mark 5:36: Jesus reiterates that courage needs faith.
Isaiah 43:1: Isaiah again telling the Israelites not to be afraid reminding them of God’s purpose for them.
Romans 8:15: Again God’s purpose for mankind revealed through Jesus is revealed to all nations and Paul was saying there is no need to fear as they have God to run to each time and now they can call Him Abba Father.