How To Overcome Fear: 4 Practical Lessons From The Story Of The 12 Spies
Fear can prevent you from achieving what God calls you to do.
"Your destiny is too great, your assignment too important, your time too valuable. Do not let fear intimidate you." -Joel Osteen
These four lessons will equip you to overcome your fears and accomplish what God has called you to do:
1. Examine what God has called you to do.
God had promised to give the land of Canaan to the people of Israel. In Numbers 13:17-20, God directed Moses to select 12 spies and have them go into Canaan, spend forty days examining the land and bring back a report. Specifically, Moses instructed them to answer the following questions:
- What is the land like?
- Are the people strong or weak?
- Are there a few people or many of them?
- Is the land good or bad?
- Are the towns unwalled or fortified?
- Is the soil fertile or poor?
- Are there trees or no trees?
Likewise, when God calls you to do something, begin with an examination. For example, you may ask yourself questions such as:
- What has God called me to do?
- What are the circumstances involved?
- Who are the people who are involved?
- What are my fears?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I pursue my calling?
- What is the best thing that could happen if I pursue my calling?
2. Make a definitive decision.
After examining Canaan, one of the spies, Caleb said, “We should go and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30)
I do not believe that Caleb had confidence in himself. Instead, he was emphasizing that his power came from God.
Likewise, you must make a definitive decision. Are you going to do what God has called you to do?
As Zig Ziglar said, "Fear has two meanings: "Forget Everything And Run" or "Face Everything And Rise". The choice is yours."
3. Eliminate negative thoughts.
All of the spies, including Caleb, had observed the same things during their forty days in Canaan. Caleb's response:
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30)
However, ten of the other twelve spies had a completely different response to what they had seen (as shown in Numbers 14:2-4):
- The people are powerful.
- The cities are fortified and large.
- We will be like grasshoppers.
- If only we had died in Egypt or in the wilderness.
- Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?
- Our wives and children will be taken as plunder.
- Wouldn’t it better for us to go back to Egypt?
Why the difference between Caleb's response and the others?
Caleb did not allow fear to propel him into negative thinking.
Fear-induced negative thoughts always lead you to a bleak assessment of any situation you are facing. For example, when God directs you do something, fear might cause you to have negative thoughts such as:
- I’m too old.
- I would do it if my health were better.
- I’m not technically inclined.
- I don't have time.
- There's probably someone who is better qualified.
In order to succeed, you must eliminate those negative thoughts and, like Caleb, make a definitive decision.
4. Trust God completely.
Ten of the spies focused on their circumstances and their personal limitations.
On the other hand. Caleb and Joshua trusted God, as indicated in Numbers 14:6-9:
“The land we passed through is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into the land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them. "
As a result, they were not afraid and they had peace.
"You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3 GNT)
Peace and fear cannot co-exist.
Blessings to you as you apply these lessons, overcome your fears, and do what God has called you to do.
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