So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram... Gen 12:10–16
Fear can make us do some pretty stupid things. One verse I often turn to is Proverbs 3:5-6 (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In every way submit to the Lord, and He will make your paths straight.”). This is often easier said than done. We worry about things that haven’t happened, and let this affect our “here and now.” Abram assumed since his wife was beautiful, someone would kill him and take her for themselves.
God sent Abram on the path they were on. He makes plans for us, not to harm but to prosper us (Jer 29:11) and His kingdom. Even so, Abram was only human, and found himself in a strange place surrounded by strange people known for violence. He was afraid, and the decision he made was born of that fear.
Before we judge him too harshly, what things have we done, knowing they might not be the right decisions but which were born out of fear? Fear for our children, of losing money, of being seen by others as unwise or un-cool? I’ve done plenty myself.
Here’s the thing: what if Abram had not done this, and everything he feared actually happened? Is dying worth doing what God requests of us? Sitting here, typing a devotional, it’s easy to say “yes, of course.” In reality, how far will we follow Jesus if it means we risk something as serious as death? If one speaks of trust, here is where we truly see how much of our life we still grip firmly in our fist.
Church missionaries have historically stepped into places to spread the Gospel, knowing there was a good chance they would be brutally killed. Do we believe that when we die, we will step into His presence and live out eternity in peace and be truly happy, forever? If so, then facing something as severe as death, or as socially uncomfortable as someone we love rolling their eyes at our faith, should not matter.
But it does. Like Abram, we’re still prone to fear. Every day let’s pray for courage to follow Jesus wherever He leads us. We may fail, often, but we keep moving forward and ask for more and more measures of faith. The Spirit that lives inside us is not a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Every day, let’s continue to ask for the strength to trust. Wherever we might find ourselves, Jesus promises to give us exactly that, and more.
Father, you promise to meet us where we are, with whatever measure of faith we have. In Your good soil, grow our faith as we step farther into situations that once made us afraid. Make us brave.