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142. Familiarity Breeds Fearlessness

Posted by John Smith on August 9, 2013

Exodus 3:5-6 NKJV  Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”  (6)  Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

 Exodus 33:18-20 NKJV  And he (Moses) said, “Please, show me Your glory.”  (19)  Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”  (20)  But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

 A number of years ago we went to one of the local animal shelters to see if they had the dog my son believed for.  Sure enough his Beagle was there ready for adoption.  The only issue was that the dog was terribly afraid of me.  He wouldn’t come near me.  He’d just get as close to the ground as he could drop his head and back away.  I felt horrible for the dog and it made me feel like I was some kind of evil ogre.  He wouldn’t even look at me except from the corner of his eyes.  The dog was terrified of me.

 That was about 8 years ago.  Today, he barrels across the floor to get to me when I come home and greets me with a sniff, a hug (jumps up so I’ll pet his head), and a lick of my hand.  He has no bones about “speaking up” (barking) when he wants something looking directly at me then turning his head toward the object of his desire (usually food) and then back at me as if to say, “C’mon, you know you want to give me some of that.”  He used to run and hide from certain noises that startled him and still does a little, unless I’m near.  If I’m around he may still shrink at a sound or two, but won’t run and hide.  He feels safe and acts bolder when I’m around.  What’s changed?  He’s spent time with me.

 The more time he spent with me, the more he got to “know” that I was for him.  I was good to him and blessed him.  He knows he doesn’t have to cower in fear but can boldly approach me.

 Moses was terrified when he first encountered God and hid his face from him.  But a few chapters later we see Moses asking to see God’s Glory and look into His face.  Early on in his walk with God, he was intimidated to speak to the people and to Pharaoh concerned about what they might think.  As he continued to spend more time in the presence of God his fears about what others might do or say was replaced with confidence in God.  Familiarity breeds fearlessness.

 The same principle is true for you and me.  When I came to the Lord I understood He loved me, but didn’t know enough about Him or His nature to know what to expect.  The more time we spend with Him in His presence and in His Word, the more we will get to know Him and His goodness.  As we do our confidence and trust in Him increases.  Soon we will boldly come before His Throne of Grace in time of need (Heb 4:16).  Our boldness to stand fearless in the face of ‘scary’ circumstances increases too.  Continue to press into His presence and spend regular time with the Father.  Familiarity breeds fearlessness.  The better you know Him the bolder and more confident in any circumstance you will be.  Fear Not!

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