Have you ever read a passage in the bible—one you’ve read many times before—and God just speaks to you?
I don’t know how many times I’ve read about Saul’s and David’s lives. But this time? The Lord has shown me many things I never considered before. I noticed how differently Saul and David responded to fearful situations in our lives.
Maybe the stories of these two men spoke so deeply to my heart because I, too, have dealt with fear. I discovered some valuable, timeless lessons to take away from their examples.
Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing some insights God has given me. If you’ve missed past posts, you can find them here. I hope you’ll share your thoughts, struggles, and victories here so we can all encourage each other, and maybe even pray for each other.
About a year after Hubs and I married, he attended a three-month school on the other side of the country.
I never considered myself a fearful person . . . until I met and fell in love with my Mr Perfect-For-Me.
Those three months were some of the longest in my life. Because all of a sudden, I feared that God would take him.
Insomnia became my companion. My overactive imagination dreamed up imaginings of worst case scenarios based on “what if’s” that slinked into my mind as I tried to fall asleep.
I prayed each night, wishing slumber would visit. The cold space on the other half of the bed only heightened my fears. Some nights I cried until my pillow was wet.
I struggled because I know God’s plans are good. He wants what’s best for His kids. But (gulp), what if what was “best” for me was the loss of my husband? I writhed under the weight of that question.
Reading through 1 Samuel 13, opened my eyes to details about Saul I’d never noticed before. Let me paint a word picture:
When Saul had reigned for a couple of years, the Philistines gathered to fight against Israel. With thousands of chariots in their army and even more thousands of soldiers, they intimidated Israel’s much smaller, less fortified army.
As Saul’s soldiers saw the opposition, they began to fear . . . and scattered to caves, rocks, holes and pits.
Samuel had told Saul he would meet him in Gilgal in seven days and would offer a sacrifice to God. I picture Saul clocking the hours each day, anxiety driving him to pace as soldiers went AWOL. When the designated hour had come and gone and still no Samuel, Saul took action.
Instead of waiting…
Instead of trusting God…
Saul did his own thing and offered the sacrifice. Even though that was not his role.
Saul could have trusted that the Lord was with him, maybe testing him. He could have trusted that God held him and Israel—the people He loved—in the palm of His hand.
In Saul’s fear of being destroyed by the Philistines, he set an example for his people…one that said he/they didn’t need to do things God’s way, with His order.
Saul feared the Philistines more than he trusted God. The consequences for his choices were legacy-destroying. God decided to strip the kingdom from Saul because his heart didn’t seek Him.
We’ll see more of the evidences of this gaffe in Saul’s future actions, but for today, consider this:
Saul allowed fear to drive him to rash action. He didn’t stop and ask God how to proceed. Fear of the Philistines drove him to make the sacrifice that was only Samuel’s to make.
Maybe God was testing Saul, or maybe not. Regardless, Saul failed.
He blamed Samuel’s delay in coming rather than owning his poor choice.
He trusted what his human eyes saw more than what God had shown him of His faithfulness.
He trusted himself more than he trusted God. He played God in his own life.
How often have I fallen for the lie? I don’t see God acting in a certain circumstance. I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t do something. I take action. And, I always regret those choices.
A few things to remember when fear feels bigger than God:
1. Remember God’s character. We need to trust who God says He is more than what circumstances tell us.
2. Don’t listen to the lies. Fear is a liar because it comes from the enemy of our souls. When God gives instruction, a promise, or a reassurance, we can be certain He’ll fulfill His end. He always keeps his word.
3. When we give in to fear (and who hasn’t?), own our mistakes with humility. God’s our redeemer, and He can right our mistakes. He can also help us choose more wisely next time.
4. When fear looms larger than God in our eyes, step back and pray. Ask God to help our unbelief. Ask for eyes to see His perspective in the situation.
After about a month of sleeplessness, God challenged me with a choice. He basically laid things out for me . . . I could continue to worry about my husband, or I could trust Him to do what was best for Hubs and me.
God’s so much bigger than we are. The first night I chose to trust Him over the uncertainties, I slept peacefully.
So I ask you, who are you trusting?
What about you? How have you worked through fear that feels so real? When has God revealed Himself to you in a way that gave you peace?
And because this song keeps coming to mind, I’m sharing it: “Fear Is a Liar,” by Zach Williams
Click to Tweet: Fear is a liar because it comes from the enemy of our souls.