Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fear Factor

By Joe Stowell

Read: Genesis 20:1-13
Abraham said, “. . . surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.” —Genesis 20:11
Bible in a year:
Psalms 23-25; Acts 21:18-40

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, you know that his heroes always have a serious character flaw. It makes for a good story and teaches some important lessons. The same is true of our Bible hero Abraham. His flaw? Fear.

Twice Abraham succumbed to his fear that a ruler would kill him and steal his wife (Gen. 12:11-20; 20:2-13). Fearing for his life, he deceived both Pharaoh and King Abimelech by saying, “She is my sister”—in essence welcoming the king to take Sarah into his harem (20:2). With fear dictating his actions, he put at risk God’s plan that through him and Sarah a great nation would arise (12:1-3).

But before we judge Abraham, we should ask ourselves a few questions. For fear of losing our job, would we compromise our integrity? For fear of appearing old-fashioned, would we set aside our values? For fear of being ridiculed or misunderstood, would we neglect sharing the gospel and put someone’s eternity at risk? Only one thing will conquer our fears: tenacious faith in God’s presence, protection, power, and promises.

If your fear is putting God’s wonderful plans for you at risk, remember that He will never ask you to do anything He can’t bring to completion, even if it requires miraculous intervention on His part.

It often helps in time of trial
When fearful and alone,
To know that every doubt we feel
The greatest saints have known. —D. De Haan

Let your faith overcome your fear,
and God will turn your worry into worship.

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