Fighting Fear in the Flesh

“Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He instructed them: ‘This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”

– Genesis 32:3-5

Have you ever planned a trip and then received some bad news that made you wonder if you should go at all? Such was the case for Jacob when God called him to return home after living in a foreign land for 20 years. Now with 13 children, 2 wives, a bunch of servants, and tons of livestock in tow, Jacob prepared to leave Padan-Aram, but as he was about to depart, he received word that his brother Esau had gathered an army of 400 men and that they were heading out to meet him. Now, I’m fairly certain this wasn’t a welcoming committee, but a group of warriors who were prepared to take him out once and for all. Jacob knew the Lord had called him to go, so he didn’t give up on the journey and turn back, but he did send bountiful gifts to his brother to let him know that he had come into great wealth. And, in a very Jacob-like fashion, he sent them in stages so that Esau’s resistance would be worn down gradually. Though he had prayed for safety, Jacob was fearful and didn’t entirely trust the Lord’s sufficiency, so he used his own resources in an attempt to change his brother’s mind. In so doing, he proved that he needed an infusion of faith before crossing the Jordan and coming face-to-face with Esau.

Friend, when God calls you to go, it’s imperative to trust Him. Resistance is to be expected when you respond to the promptings of your Savior, but you must not let it stop you. Gird yourself with faith and don’t rely on your own resources for protection. Though it’s tempting to give into fear and fight your battles in the flesh, that is not where the victory lies. Lean into Him in trust, pray fervently, and dispatch the weapons of the Spirit’s warfare, allowing Him to fight your battles. Jesus will go before you to clear the path, and He will see you safely across the deepest and most daunting waters! 


Thank you, Jesus, for being all-sufficient and all-powerful and for guiding me safely to wherever you call me.


Have you ever been called by God but then come face-to-face with fear? Did you respond in the flesh or in faith?

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