Obeying what you know to accomplish that which you do not know
Let’s break this down, first what does fearless mean? I use to think it was the absence of fear or an unconcern for safety. In reality fearless is much different, the best definition I could find was “A calm resolute in facing your fears”. Resolute can be interpreted as “Admirably purposeful, determined or unwavering”. It means you know and recognize the dangers but face them headstrong. This leads to the question of how do you become fearless? Ironically fearlessness comes from obedience, therefore obedience to God helps us to become fearless because we know that we will have what He said we can have. Basically we know that He keeps His promises.
Abraham in Genesis 22 was told by God to sacrifice Isaac his only son, the text tells us Abraham immediately obeyed waking early the next day. You know what happened next, but how did Abraham become fearless to obey such a request?
I believe to find this answer you need to rewind to earlier in Abraham’s life all the way back to Genesis 12, here he was living with his father in the land of Haran, the Lord spoke to Abraham and told him to leave to an unknown destination filled with promises. Abraham knew of the Lord, the oral traditions spoke of God’s promises to Adam and Noah, that God promised to save Noah because of his obedience. Abraham’s fearless obedience came from knowing that God accomplishes His promises, therefore the real fearless obedience came from this earlier time. By the time Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac he had already witnessed fulfilled promises.
Once you see His promises fulfilled, big or small, it creates in us an attribute of fearlessness and by result fearless obedience. Likewise Philip in Acts 8:25-40 also displays fearless obedience. Philip knew Jesus’ promise that the Gospel must be preached to the whole world, so when he was heading back to Jerusalem and heard an angel of the Lord giving him instructions to walk down this long desert road, he obeyed not knowing why he was sent nor how treacherous the trip might be. The text says he got up and went. When he reached the destination the Spirit told Philip, “Go up and join his chariot”. Let’s think about this for a moment, here is a court official traveling down a desert road most likely accompanied by soldiers, for this man was a treasurer. It took fearless obedience to walk up to the official and then to ask if he understood what he was reading. That could have been construed as criticism, after all he was a gentile. But beyond the risks he obeyed in light of God’s fulfilled promises and those yet to be fulfilled. Because of Philips obedience this eunuch became saved and who knows who else was affected by Philips obedience.
As followers of Christ we have many promises we can hold on to. First of which is the promise of Salvation to those who seek Him, then comforted by the promise of forgiveness through repentance when we fail. We also have promises that help us overcome fear, by offering rewards for our sufferings. In Luke 6:22-23 it says, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”, it’s a great promise. Be obedient then because we know of His promises, be fearless because we trust His word and His leadership over our lives.
In closing remember this phrase: “Fearless obedience grows when we come to know the God we obey and trust that He keeps His promises.”
Be strong brothers and sisters, lean on God and become Fearlessly Obedient to Him.