Everyone probably struggles with fear in one form or another. I’m not really speaking of a serious phobia nor suggesting anything like paranoid behavior. I’m only pointing to the nervousness, doubt or hesitation that holds us back from that which we know deep down to be good. It can be revealed in our unwillingness to take the next step to advance our career, our reluctance to introduce ourselves to the new guy at work, or our inability to share an important struggle with a close friend who most likely would be happy to help us bear the burden.
We can learn a vital lesson from the life of Moses. Here was a man – a confessed murderer, no less – who fled from Egypt 40 years before. He then returned as a wilderness shepherd, staff in hand, and had the chutzpah to demand that Pharaoh release into his custody a large chunk of the Egyptian labor force. Courage exemplified.
So where did he get it? Was he just that kind of a guy – the kind of person I am not? Not hardly. If we journey to Exodus 3 to spy him at the moment God revealed this great calling upon his life, we find him just as fearful or hesitant as we might be – drowning, it seems, in a tank of inadequacy:
… Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” – Exodus 3:11 (NKJV)
But he was the guy to do it. So the Lord responded with:
… “I will certainly be with you…” – Exodus 3:12 (NKJV)
And that made all the difference. Moses, doubt intact, still did what he had to do. Later, Joshua received a similar command/promise:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
And what was true for them is true for us as Christians:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)