READING: Deuteronomy 19-21, Mark 13:21-37
“. . . the Lord your God is with you
It’s almost hard to believe how many phobias we can have. Heights. Enclosed spaces. Spiders. Strangers. Snakes. Water. Failure. Flying. Storms. Clowns. The dark. Aloneness. Mice. Exams. Injections. Do a Google search, and you’ll find fears that are so strange it’s hard to believe they really exist – but they do. They sometimes carry such weight in our lives that they cause us to shut down. They may seem irrational, yet they still haunt us.
On the other hand, some fears do seem to make sense. It seems logical to me, for example, to have some fear when we face an enemy that outnumbers us and has more weapons than we do. Simple logic would say that the largest army with the greatest number of arms is more likely to win the battle. That’s one reason that countries increase their forces and strengthen their arms production in times of war.
All of that makes sense – unless God is the One who leads you into the battle. God, through Moses, gave His people this command as they prepared to enter the Promised Land: “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them” (Deut. 20:1). Indeed, the priests were to speak to the people when they faced a conflict, “‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them” (Deut. 20:2).
The reason they were not to fear? God was with them.The same God who delivered them from Egypt would deliver them again. He Himself would fight against their enemies and bring them victory.
Learning to trust God at that level is not easy, though. When we look into the eyes of an enemy who outnumbers us, it’s tough to lean fully on a God we cannot see. The circumstances before us become so daunting and frightening that we fail to trust the God who is bigger than any circumstance we face. If that’s where you are today, I pray these words from today’s reading will renew your strength: “The Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” (Deut. 20:4).
- Confess your fear to God, no matter what they are.
- Ask God to give you confidence in Him no matter what you face today.
PRAYER: “God, grant me peace because I know that You are fighting my battles for me.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Deuteronomy 22-24, Mark 14:1-26