When have you found yourself most afraid? Frank Herbert said, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
In II Chronicles 20:1-23, we see that overcoming fear requires us to take the proper action. Jehoshaphat’s example in this passage provides two Biblical ways by which we can overcome our greatest spiritual fears.
First, fear is overcome by our action. In this case, Jehoshaphat turned his attention to the Lord, sought the Lord, and centered his focus on God through fasting (20:3). Jehoshaphat got others involved and expressed his fears in prayer to God (20:4-12). Thus, the way to gain courage is to have a change in focus. This means that those who are focusing on God, rather than self, will be placing their courage in the one who has all power. Do we need a change of focus in our lives? To what extent do we rely on ourselves for strength and power? Who is all-powerful in our lives?
Second, fear is overcome by God’s action. In this case, God responded to the repentant hearts (i.e. changes) of the people (20:14). Furthermore, God took control of the battle (20:15), directed the people as to what they should do (20:16), and stood in their favor on their side (20:17). This gave victory to Judah and established the people who had trusted in Him (20:20). Thus, the way to gain courage is to have a change in faith. This means that those who trust God to do His part can be firmly established with confidence, and will overcome fear.
In whom is our faith? Whose direction do we follow when we are fearful? Who is in control of our battles? How would this world change if all people had little to no spiritual fear? How much different would the condition of the church be were she to have complete spiritual courage? How would your life be affected with full confidence and trust in God?
Knowing that no weapon fashioned against us can stand and that God is able to give us more than just a victory in a battle (20:24-25) is enough to make us conquer fear. By making the proper changes in our lives, and letting God do His part, we can work to cause spiritual confidence in our lives.