Fearful to Fearless: Don’t Interfere

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 6:31, NIV

From Genesis to Revelation, God exhorts believers not to be afraid. Join me this week as we venture to be fearless in a world packed with reasons to fear.


Don’t Interfere

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:9, NIV

home-page-and-services-er-er-signI’ll never understand the fascination some people have with scary things such as haunted houses, chilling movies, skydiving, and thrill rides. Aren’t there enough things in life capable of scaring us without seeking more? The days in which we live are volatile enough―simply reading the morning headlines can cause us to shake in our shoes.

Yesterday, I shared the events of a morning when an early-morning phone call alerted me that my sister had been rushed to the hospital.

The results of the tests the hospital ran were encouraging. My sister had experienced some arterial fibrillation but had no other signs of heart issues. The hospital released her after several hours and referred her to a cardiologist for a follow-up visit.  Today, she is doing well. Her irregular heartbeat was possibly related to overexertion, exhaustion, and dehydration.

My heart palpitations, on the other hand, were due to limited information, overreaction, and unfounded fear. My response was a common one, but my fear drove me to jump to irrational conclusions and caused me unwarranted stress. The ER nurse wasn’t blocking my path when I tried to get to my sister because there was something he didn’t want me to see—he was simply trying to protect me and keep me from interfering with the testing process.

Last week, I faced some inconclusive test results of my own and was scheduled for a repeat X-ray. As anxiety began to creep into the corners of my mind, God brought back to me the events and emotions I’d experienced regarding my sister. His words to me were, Don’t interfere with the process. I know what I’m doing. Allow me to do my job. Trust me. Don’t enter fear!

When the information we have is limited, entering into fear is easy to do. We overreact to the bits of knowledge we do have and imagine the worst.  As with Joshua in today’s focal verse, God told me not to fear. He assured me of his presence and instructed me to trust him. In the end, my test results turned out well.

Knowing that God is with us in the midst of our trials helps us put things in proper perspective. Perhaps we experience roadblocks that interfere with our peace because there’s something else He wants us to see. Our trial may be part of His testing process. It may be how He chooses to slow us down so we will grow in our faith. Our interference could cause us to miss His point. Ultimately, it could cause us to miss Him.

If you are facing the unknown and struggling with fear, surrender your fears to God. Trust in Him. He knows what He’s doing. Do Not Enter Fear!


Devoted to Prayer: “In Desperate Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.

“Devoted to Prayer: In Desperate Places”


“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” Hebrews 5:7, NASB

medium_8050708619-300x198“Please, Mommy—please!” Anyone with children has heard that before, and the response often requires tremendous wisdom. Sometimes I hold the line, and other times I’m a softie mom. I find it especially hard to resist tears, which still occasionally well up in my daughter’s eyes. Either I relent or firmly maintain what’s already been determined. When I do say no, it’s usually because I believe that answer will benefit my child more in the long run.

Jesus earnestly prayed daily throughout His earthly life. Sometimes His prayers were more urgent, thus offered with wrenching cries and tears. Because of His piety (godly fear), His Father heeded His petitions. Jesus knew who held the power to grant His desires, so He withheld nothing in His honest, heartfelt requests. He always asked.

God hears our requests too. He sees the tears. He listens to our anguish. But that doesn’t mean He always gives what we want. Why?

God says no because His plans are better than our desires.

Agonizingly Jesus pleaded with His Father before He went to the cross: “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). As He prayed, He didn’t sweat normal tears—His consisted of blood. Yet His Father still said no … so hard to imagine. The perfect Man, the sinless Son labored in prayer to the “One able to save Him from death.” And He said no. Why?

Because our Father’s plan superseded saving His Son—it involved saving us. 

God’s plan existed before time began. Lovingly He determined to buy us back through His beloved Son’s blood. Generously He gave His only Son. Selfishly sinners rejected and killed Christ. But God won! Today Jesus sits at God’s right hand—offering up prayers and supplications—for us (see Rom. 8:34).

Maybe you’ve been crying to the Lord for something or someone in particular. Like Jesus, keep asking. Like Jesus, stay surrendered to God’s will. Then like Jesus, God’s perfect plan will be enacted through your life.

If God says no, we can rest in knowing His plan surpasses that desire.

Gracious Father, please empower me to always ask … and always accept Your answer. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Drawing Near,


Image courtesy of Mick Amato