Monday, October 30, 2023

Our Battle With Fear

 By: Joanne Viola

Fear is a well known emotion for me. It has held me back many a time, and combined with an active imagination, almost anything can get its grip on my thoughts.

Public speaking does not come easily or comfortably. Even while in school, given the opportunity to give an oral report or a more extensive project, I would always choose the more extensive project. The company of a close friend was much preferred over a larger group or party.

Moses was a man, called by God to do the incredible. He was to lead God’s people out of Egypt, and out of their captivity. Even though God speaks with him, assuring Moses He Himself would be with him, Moses was filled with fear and self-doubt.

Moses raises question after question:

  • “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?”
  • “Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
  • “What should I tell the people when they ask who has sent me?”
  • “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me?”

Then comes the final straw …

“O Lord, I’m not very good with words;
I never have been, and I’m not even now, even though you have spoken to me.
I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
(Exodus 4:10, NLT)

Moses let his fear and self-doubt get to the point where they overshadowed the very One to whom he was speaking. And God responds:

“Who makes a person’s mouth?
Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see?
Is it not I, the Lord? Now go!
I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

(verse 11-12)

These conversations are recorded for us as examples, for we will face the same fears and obstacles as those who have gone before us. These fears are not new to mankind.

God did not pat Moses on the back. God did not affirm Moses, nor brag on his abilities, his strength, or his gifts. God did not look to boost Moses’ opinion of himself, nor did He try to make Moses confident in himself.

For you see, the story was never about Moses at all. It was truly all about what God was about to do through a single man; an imperfect and flawed man at that.

In many ways, I think God even confirmed that Moses was correct in every argument he raised, and in his assessment of himself. He had every reason to believe the people would not listen to him, nor would he know what to say to Pharaoh.

In the middle of all he feared, God assured Moses of one thing – Himself.

And so it is with us as well.

We will be pulled to do that which we know we cannot. We may lack ability, understanding, talent, or the know how. But our God lacks nothing. He is enough and is all we need to overcome our fears and do the thing He has put before us.

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of of the eternal covenant
brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
equip you with everything good for doing his will,
and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

(Hebrews 13: 20-21, NIV)

In her book, Free of Me, Sharon Hodde Miller brought this powerful truth:

“The one true God responds to our insecurities with reassurances about himself. In doing so, he releases us from the source of our paralysis, shifting our gaze from the “can’ts” to the One who can.” (page 47)

To overcome our fears, we must lift our focus above our fears.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

(Psalm 121:1-2, NIV)


Do you struggle with fear of some sort? Where will you look today? May each one of us vow to look to Him and overcome our fear.

Photo by Luba Ertel on Unsplash


  1. I've always identified with every excuse Moses gave as to why he couldn't lead Israel. And how comforting that God didn't correct Moses' assertions about himself--but He drew Moses's attention to God. No matter how many times I learn to look to Him and not myself, I still need to be reminded.

    1. I need reminders often. It's funny how God didn't correct Moses' assertions about himself. I've even wondered if God maybe agreed with Moses, or confirmed his assertions. It truly is about what God can do in and through us as we obey. It is all His doing as we keep our eyes on Him.


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