It seems fitting to be writing this on a morning where I had a bit of slow start. This is a feeling not uncommon in today's world. A lack of motivation, will or drive to push onto the task that is set before us. Today we see how fear can be an emotion that can be used to drive us forward towards our goal.
In Genesis 31:31 Laban has just caught up with Jacob as he is fleeing from his father in law. At first this seems so cowardly and unlike the man whom we saw stand in fear and awe at the sight of God. Take a moment and read the whole chapter. What we see here is an amazing and intriguing response to fear.
Again Jacob hears the voice of God and it tells him it is time for him to leave the land of Laban and return to the land of his father Isaac. It is difficult to say whether or not the edict from God would have been enough to drive Jacob home. What we do see is as the Lord asks Jacob becomes aware of the moans and anger of those around him. He realizes a reason to fear, and makes a run for it.
What is surprising about this passage that is so different from when Isaac had chosen to fear the people of Gerar is that JAcob had labored for 16 years and not realized the animosity Laban's family had towards him. It is only when the Lord says enough is enough does Jacob have his eyes opened to the people around him and his fear drives him to do the thing God requires of him.
It is interesting to see this fear both come and go in the same passage. Laban chases Jacob down and makes accusations against him. One would think a man who fears Laban would cower and buckle, but not Jacob. Jacob allows Laban to prove his claim and when he can't Jacob calls out Laban in front of everyone. He shows Laban how God was the one who had protected and provided for Jacob in all of his years of service. In a moment when a normal man would be overcome with fear Jacob stands firm in the Lord and shows no fear.
Not only does this lead to a showdown but Jacob's courage and unresounding fear of the Lord leads to an agreement where Jacob claims one direction for his family and the other for Laban, creating a border and creating safety for his people. The point here is to show that one positive response to fear was that it gave you greater understanding of the character of God. In this chapter we see that fear is also a good thing when it drives us to fulfill the will and purpose of the Lord.
Tomorrow we are going to keep on trucking through Genesis as we come to Genesis 32 and the facing of Esau. A powerful chapter where we see yet another way Jacob handles fear. I have been convicted to continue writing this series on fear as there has already been amazing stories of how God has worked through this examinations of fear to set people free from the enemy. If you are struggling with fear or have been led to overcome fear in your life don't hesitate to reach out. If you have been driven to overcome fear in your life and have succeeded please message me or email me your story (email@example.com) as I would love to be able to share that witness with the readers.