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Fight the Fear

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Read Psalm 27:1-6. The author writes about how they are able to face their fears, and be confident, in the midst of challenges. Is there something you are worried about? Something that keeps you awake at night, or creates anxiety in your heart? Go ahead and tell God about it, give it completely to God. Put your worry into a “God box” and close the lid. It will be there in thirty minutes if you want to pick it back up again.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

2 Chronicles 35:1 - 36:23
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Psalms 27:1-6
Proverbs 20:20-21

Devotional thought
Today we have another good king! These are few and far between in the Chronicles, so the story of Josiah is quite refreshing. Josiah brought the people of Israel back to worshiping God and following the law. Unfortunately, although he seems good at saying things, he isn’t very good at listening.

Can any of us relate? In 2 Chronicles 35:20-24, we read the tale of King Josiah’s untimely demise. The king of Egypt (Necho) was headed to Carchemish, the capital city of Egypt’s allies, the Assyrians. The Egyptian army would have needed to go through Israel's land on his way to Carchemish, and our text tells us that “Josiah marched out to meet him in battle,” 2 Chronicles 35:20b.

The Egyptian king, Necho, tried to warn King Josiah away from starting a battle, stating that he (Necho) was on his way to a battle with another country. Unfortunately, Josiah did not listen and his reign was cut short.

What applies to me?
History buffs may recall that the battle at Carchemish would actually be the end of Assyria and signified the beginning of the end for Egypt. Unfortunately, the nation of Israel lost one of their best kings unnecessarily in a completely avoidable mistake.

There are a couple of lessons we can glean from this passage. First, we don’t see Josiah seeking God. It is understandable that Josiah would have some trust issues where Egypt was concerned (remember the “let my people go” story?!), but what if he had just paused and asked for time to seek the Lord? Would things have turned out differently?

Second, King Josiah insisted on getting involved in a battle that wasn’t his to fight. God had not called him to go out and fight with the Egyptians, and they were not directly threatening Josiah or his country. Was Josiah letting fear of the past cloud his ability to make wise decisions in the current situation?

Before we cast judgment on Josiah, how many of us can relate to this? Fear is a powerful thing. It can make us obsessive, deaf to wise counsel, and cause us to rush into things prematurely. How many of us have made decisions we regret in a moment like this? How would those situations have been different if we had set our fear down and sought God’s wisdom?

Now would be a good time to consider the fear that you put into the “God box” during our mind-setter time. Is someone sharing wise counsel about it, but you haven’t been listening? Do you need to seek counsel from a godly mentor? Have you prayed about it more than you have worried about it? Write down the next action step you sense God is asking you to take.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: It is easy to get used to living in fear. We worry about what others think of us, worry that we will make the same mistakes as our parents.  We worry about our job, our spouse, our children, or lack thereof……and the list goes on. Write your top 1-3 concerns down in your journal.

Pray it out: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Lay your anxieties before God today in prayer. Give each concern that you wrote down to God. When worry strikes today, give it to God with a quick prayer.

Live it out: Fear is a heavy burden. Give it to God today and let your fear turn to faith.