Fearless Friday ~ Gaining Strength from Scripture in the Midst of Fear
Genesis 20:8 and 11
To understand Genesis 20:8, let’s first look at verse 11. Abraham had once again asked Sarah to conceal her true identity as his wife, claiming to be his sister. He believed, as he had in Egypt (Genesis 12:11-20), that he might be killed so that they could take his beautiful bride as their own.
One of Abrahams reasons for lying to the people of Gerar was due to his belief that there was “no fear of God” in the place. It is possible that Abraham was basing his perception of the people of Gerar upon his knowledge of the inhabitants of Sodom, the city he had a recent experience with. The inhabitants of Sodom appeared to be sinful to the core, to the extend that God sent angels to destroy them (Genesis 19).
We can get into so much trouble when we base our opinion on prior on pre-conceived ideas and notions. We say in our hearts: “Oh, they’re from THAT area of town.”, “You can NEVER trust people from that neighborhood.” I have been so guilty of this in the past.
I remember when I was doing inner-city missions work in Tennessee. I was going to be driving, on my own, into a housing scheme known for it’s drug and firearms crime. Many people questioned my going there and I remember feeling very nervous the first few times I drove in amongst the houses to get to the Boys and Girls club where I led Bible Study with elementary aged children. A friend even gave me some pepper spray to carry in my purse! To this day, I still don’t know how to use that thing!
You see, I placed the knowledge of the crime in that area as one of the markers by which I would measure the integrity, motives, attitudes, and behavior of the residents. I met some of the most incredible, loving, passionate people in that place and over time felt comfortable driving into the neighborhood with the top down on the 20 year old Mazda Miata my sweet host family had given me for the 10 months I was staying in their home. I would be greeted with a smile and nod of acknowledgement by the very people I had first looked at with a judging eye.
There were some who still thought I was slightly crazy to be driving into the neighborhood so seemingly nonchalantly! However, I had bathed this behavior in prayer. God had called me to that club to do that work. It was the path He was taking me on. To me it was part of my ministry to show an openness to and trust in the people whose children I was engaging in Bible study. I could trust that no matter who or what I came up against, God was with me. Joshua 1:9 was one of my key verses God gave me for that time of missions work before I left Scotland to travel to Tennessee.
My sweet friends…God tells us:
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 HCSB
But we serve a God who is victorious over sin and death!
“…in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 HCSB
God will have the victory! He is sovereign over all! Take courage also that even when we doubt and feel afraid; even when we lack the faith to be bold ~ we serve a God who is faithful to the end. Just like He appeared to Abimelech in a dream and worked in the situation for good in order to preserve and protect Sarah, He will work in the situations in your life for good! Just like He moved in the hearts of Abimelech and his servants, causing them to fear (Genesis 20:8), He can move in the hearts of those He wills in order to be faithful to His promises. The INCREDIBLE truth is that: “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 HCSB.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 HCSB
You know, I understand that I might have been shot and killed during that time of service ~ just being real! However, I felt confident that I was being obedient to God. I had peace about being there. I was called into that situation. Had something happened to me, I have full confidence that God would have worked in that situation for good, produced fruit, and brought glory to Himself; and I’m ok with that!
Be honest! Be real! Be who God called you to be!
Have confidence in a Faithful God and have a Fearless Friday!
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