2

Fear Not! Don't Let Fear Rob You of God's Promises!

Exodus 3:7-8(NLT) - Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.

Exodus 3:16-17(NLT) - “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’

Exodus 13:5(NLT) - You must celebrate this event in this month each year after the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. (He swore to your ancestors that he would give you this land—a land flowing with milk and honey.)

In the midst of oppression in Egypt, the Israelites still had hope. For hundreds of years, they knew that The Lord had promised them a land of their own. Over and over, God said they would be given a land flowing with milk and honey. Over and over He reminded them of their heritage. He spoke to them through His prophets. He spoke to them through His Sovereign Voice. He empowered them with His words to take their eyes off the pain and suffering of their present and fix their eyes on their glorious future. His words were not ambiguous or mysterious, they were clear. There was a specific place set aside for His people and the location was set in stone.

Even though the land would be beautiful. God made no pretensions about the challenge ahead. The land was not vacant. It was already occupied by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Yet God kept promising the Israelites that the land would be their own. He just left out one minor detail. How! How exactly were the Israelite people supposed to inherit someone else's land? Were the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites going to simply agree to give their property to the Israelites and walk away in peace? Most likely not! Nevertheless, after hundreds of years of anticipation, the time finally came for God's promise to be fulfilled.

Exodus 33:1-3(NLT) - The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

Finally, it was D-Day! The Lord told Moses to get up and possess the land. Think about it! God had already miraculously delivered them from Egypt with plagues like they've never seen before. Then He opened The Red Sea and caused them to walk on dry land. Then He fed them with manna from heaven. Miracle after miracle after miracle God proved Himself to His people. He is God Almighty! He can do anything! He destroyed Pharaoh's army with His mighty hand! Nothing can stand in His way! If anyone should have believed in God's ability and willingness to act in their favor, the Israelites should have.

On top of it all, God didn't even want them to fight for the land. He specifically promised an angel would go before them to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Not an army of angels! Not a few angels! Just one! In other words, six different armies were no match for one angel so God didn't need to waste any time sending more than one. Of course, at the same time, He commented about the stubbornness and rebellion of the Israelites. He knew the limits of His patience and they were close to the end of it already. If He went along with them to capture The Promised Land He knew He would kill them in an instant if He heard one more word out of them. So, here's how the story unfolded.

Numbers 13:1-3, 17-20(NLT) - The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He sent out twelve men, all tribal leaders of Israel, from their camp in the wilderness of Paran... Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)

God's first instruction to Moses was to send out leaders from among the people to generate a scouting report. However, Moses also gave the scouts precise instructions concerning what to look for. He wanted a clear picture of what they were up against. There's no way to prove that God told Moses to get all of those details but that's what he asked for anyway. I guess Moses was being realistic. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. He wasn't questioning God's promise to them but he sent the men to explore the land just like God had requested. So, the spies went out and the people waited.

Numbers 13:21-24(NLT) - So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. Going north, they passed through the Negev and arrived at Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai—all descendants of Anak—lived. (The ancient town of Hebron was founded seven years before the Egyptian city of Zoan.) When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs. That place was called the valley of Eshcol (which means “cluster”), because of the cluster of grapes the Israelite men cut there.

Did the scriptures really say the men returned with a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it on a pole? Have you ever seen that many grapes in one cluster in your entire life? How did that even stay on the vine? What kind of vine is strong enough to hold a cluster of grapes so large that a grown man cannot hold it on his own? Well, they were definitely in the right place. That was The Promised Land. God promised them a fertile and spacious land so that's exactly what they should have expected. Just like God said, the promise stood right before their eyes. Yet, forty days after God, through Moses, first sent them to spy out the land, this is what actually happened.

Numbers 13:25-33(NLT) - After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.” But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too"

Large Fruit? Check! Bountiful country? Check! Milk and honey? Check! Powerful people? Check! Giants? Check! God specifically said in Exodus 33:2(NLT); "And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites." Why were the ten spies surprised to find Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites living there? For hundreds of years, God said they would be there. While the Israelites were still slaves in Egypt God prepared their hearts for this moment. He told them what lay ahead. Nothing was new! All Moses had to say was, "Thanks for the report, God promised an angel to drive them out. Let's see what He does now! Let's get out of this wilderness and go get our Promised Land!"

Unfortunately, after being born into slavery they had a very low self-esteem. So not only did they feel like grasshoppers when comparing themselves to the giants. They projected their low self-image upon the giants and assumed that the giants looked at them as grasshoppers. Yes, they were physically free from slavery but their minds were still in bondage. They were handed everything as slaves. They were completely dependent on their Egyptian masters. They had no fight left in them, even though they didn't have to lift a finger. Unfortunately, you probably know how the story ended. Here's a reminder.

Numbers 14:1-10(NLT) - Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”

Numbers 14:29-32(NLT) - You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. “‘You said your children would be carried off as plunder. Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised. But as for you, you will drop dead in this wilderness.

What would make a group of former slaves one step away from their Promised Land long for slavery again? What would make them turn on their leader just because he did exactly what God instructed? What would make them forget a promise that kept them going for hundreds of years under the worst conditions right on the brink of its fulfillment? Fear! After running behind a dream all of their lives, with the finish line in sight, they lost their composure and panicked! My God! They waited so long, so long. Their parents died waiting... their grandparents died waiting... their great-grandparents died waiting and God finally delivered. Yet, instead of celebrating God's promise, they simply panicked!

God told Moses that they didn't have to fight. An angel would clear their enemies out of the land. Why were they even thinking about dying in battle? What battle? Joshua and Caleb begged them not to disobey God. Please, people, don't stop at the end of the journey! They waited for so long to get there. How could they miss their chance? Come on! Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in complete agony. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and pleaded with the people to not be afraid. Yet, The Spirit of Fear that controlled them during slavery still controlled them during freedom. You see, that's how masters control slaves. They do it using fear. That's how ten security guards can keep one hundred prisoners in check. Fear! It's impossible for them to stop all of the prisoners if they fought back and it was impossible for Egypt to control one million slaves without fear.

So how did God prepare them for this moment and why should they have been ready for the challenge? Here's what God had said to make sure they didn't become victims of fear when the time came for them to possess the land.

Deuteronomy 11:8-12, 22-25(NLT) - “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year! ... “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.

What a prophetic Word! God told them ahead of time that the people would be greater than them! He warned them to obey His commandments and if they did so, He would drive the people out. Can you believe that? Before the spies even scouted the land, they all knew what to expect. Why on earth were they so afraid? God told the Israelites that the people occupying the land were greater and stronger than them. Yet, He said they would take over the land. What else was God supposed to do or say? He told them what to expect. He choreographed the entire situation. Occupying The Promised Land was nothing but a formality.

What is it about fear that can put a sudden end to God's plan? Why is fear so powerful? Fear is not a feeling. Fear is a Spirit! The Israelites met it in Egypt during slavery as Pharoah used it to rule them then it accompanied them out of Egypt! It's an oppressive, over-powering, selfish, illogical, evil spirit. You can't reason with fear. You can't explain fear away. You can't work your way around fear. You can't expect mercy from fear. You can't fight fear with positive thoughts. You have to cast it out like you would cast out a demon!

I woke up yesterday morning and The Lord spoke to me. He said, "Don't let fear and intimidation rob you of my promises!" He also led me to the scriptures using the journey of the Israelites as the perfect example. Once I started studying I realized it was time to return to the blog and articulate the truth for whoever is willing to listen. This blog is not about the Israelites. It's about us! Don't look down at the Israelites because they're no different from any of us. We are the Israelites. We are the people who receive prophetic word after prophetic word after prophetic word, year after year after year and still panic when the time comes for God to deliver His promise.

God promised you a raise but when He opens the door for you to further your education by returning to school or completing certification exams you panic. God promised you a promotion but when a vacancy presents itself you're too scared to apply because you're intimidated by the new responsibilities. God promised you a successful business but when it's time to take a risk by leaving your comfort zone to invest in your business you panic. God promised you a spouse but every time it looks like a relationship is getting too serious and you risk a broken heart, you panic. God promised you so much but it's much easier to dream about God's promises and talk about them than it is to get up and claim what's yours when the time is right.

Why You Must Say No To Fear!

1) Fear didn't come from God!

2 Timothy 1:7(NKJV) - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

If fear didn't come from God, you know who it came from. Hence, you need to give him back his stuff. God gave you power, love, and a sound mind. Those are good gifts which you should keep. The enemy gave you fear. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they opened the door for The Spirit of Fear to enter their lives. When God showed up to converse with them, here's what Adam said for the first time in Genesis 3:10(NKJV), "So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” There was no such thing as fear in the human heart until sin entered. Now, we have to remove it from our hearts.

2) Fear can't coexist with God's Love!

1 John 4:18(NKJV) - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Fear will torment you like the devil in hell. God's Love, which is perfect is the only antidote to fear. You have to believe with all of your heart that God loves you and will never let anything bad happen to you (Romans 8:39). You have to believe that He has your best interest at heart (Romans 12:2). He is looking out for you. His thoughts are good toward you (Jeremiah 29:11). His plan is excellent. You have to believe that He orders your steps (Psalm 37:23). He has given you power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall be any means harm you (Luke 10:19). You have to believe in God's Love for you!

3) Fear will block you from God's Promise!

Hebrews 10:35-36(NLT) - So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

The Israelites had zero confidence in God's Word to them even though God said the same thing to them over and over. As a result, they never received His promise. Only Joshua and Caleb were given the opportunity forty years later to take the next generation of Israelites into The Promised Land. Fear took their confidence away and blocked them from God's promise. Don't let that happen to you. Patiently endure for as long as you need to until you see what God said. It's impossible for you to receive all that God has promised if you don't have confident trust in Him. It's your confidence in God's Love and in turn, His Word that positions you to be on the receiving end of His rewards. No confidence, no promises!

Final Words: Prayer Must Replace Fear!

Philippians 4:6-7(NKJV) - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If you want to be delivered from the torment of fear, you must first recognize that it's from the devil. Fear is not simply a part of being human. It's a part of being fallen! You then have to embrace God's Love. His perfect Love will cast the fear out of your heart. Then, you can open your mouth and pray with confidence. Be thankful to God for what He has already done for you and ask Him for what you really need. Only then will His peace replace the torment of fear. His peace is also beyond logic and reasoning. However, His peace will give you freedom while fear will keep you in bondage. Do not fear! You've waited too long to see God's promises fulfilled in your life. When God does what He says and places the answer to your prayer in front of you, you must be courageous enough to get out of your comfort zone and retrieve what's yours.

Mark 5:36(NKJV) - As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Do not be afraid; only believe!