“When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve
the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.””

Exodus 14:10-12

“The person to whom we ascribe most authority is the person we fear the most.” Jon Bloom

Now there’s a thought worth considering: whom do I fear the most? Who, or what, am I giving authority over my life?

The Israelites’ fear of the Egyptians led them to believe they should remain under the enemy’s rule: they were willing to choose enslavement, oppression, and bondage because of fear. 

Moses ordered them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm [against the fear, the enemy] and see the salvation of the Lord.”

I am reminded of something Lysa TerKeurst said in her book Uninvited, “What we see will violate what we know until what we know dictates what we see.”

At that moment in time all the Israelites could see was the enemy pressing in on them. As fear engulfed them, listen to what they had to say:

“What have you done, bringing us out of Egypt?”

They began to assail the wrong enemy. Moses was not their enemy. God was not their enemy. But fear of what they could see skewed their thinking.

“Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians.”

Fear confused their desire. They were willing to settle for captivity rather than pursue the freedom they once longed for.

“It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Fear made bondage seem better to them than freedom. It made freedom look like death. Fear deceived them into thinking they would rather serve their enemies than fight for their freedom!

How often do we fall prey to this same deception? Oh, that we would keep watch! Guard us, Lord!

Adjust Your View

Moses urged them to adjust their view. Their eyes were locked onto the enemy closing in on them, but it wouldn’t be long before they would never face that enemy again. Instead, Moses directed them to see the Lord’s salvation, to remember it was the Lord who was fighting for them!

Then God brought them through the impossible. I can’t begin to fully grasp it. A mighty wind blowing throughout the night parted the sea. They passed through on dry ground, massive walls of water on either side. Then, at daybreak, as the enemy pursued them, God brought the sea walls down, crushing the Egyptians. What a sunrise that must have been! The Israelites saw their defeated enemy, they saw the Lord’s great power. Fear of the enemy could no longer distort their vision. Now they could see the Lord! At last they feared the Lord with great reverence and awe! This is the kind of fear that leads to belief. This is where wisdom and understanding begin.

“The fear of the Lord [NOT the enemy] is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10).

When our eyes shift from the Lord, our fear of the enemy is suffocating. It’s like the lack of faith-oxygen messes with our brain. We confuse enemy bondage with safety. But when we see the Lord, when we fix our eyes on His salvation, the fear of the enemy is replaced with holy fear of the Lord, which leads to trust, wisdom, understanding, belief, and ultimately, freedom.

What will you magnify?

One of my favorite verses has long been Psalm 34:3:

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”

Recently, as I was helping my child work through a situation, I heard myself saying, “When you zoom in on the problem, that’s all you see. We can’t magnify the problem.”

I felt the Lord’s nudge, “That’s right. Don’t magnify the problem. Magnify Me.”

I needed those words just as much as my child did. I, too, must fight to fix my eyes on Jesus, to throw off every weight, every sin, every fear that clings so closely and run straight through the “sea highway” that God lays out before me, (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Two options:

We can magnify the problem we are facing or we can magnify the Lord. We can’t do both in a single moment.

One leads to fear and faulty thinking — maybe bondage was better. It’s hopeless. And we stay stuck under the enemy’s authority.

One leads to the rightful, reverential fear of the Lord — and wisdom. Who doesn’t need moment-by-moment wisdom to make decisions in this life?! This one leads to a freedom far beyond what we can even imagine. This one places us back into our rightful position as sons and daughters of the King.

We need not fear or give ourselves over to enemy rule. As Holy Spirit-infused vessels, we have power over the enemy.

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”

Luke 10:19

Don’t let the fear of what you can see violate what you know. Choose to let what you know, based on the authority of scripture, dictate what you see! Ascribe authority to the Lord! Only Jesus gets that kind of authority over our lives!

God’s plan is so much better! Magnify the Lord with me! Together let us exalt His name and power and glory and authority over all fear and schemes of the enemy!


Lord, I gladly and gratefully invite You to have full authority over my life. When I am blinded by fear, remind me of You are and who I am in You. Establish my heart and mind, my resolve with what I KNOW to be true: I will NOT fear, because You are with me! I look to You and Your strength and seek Your face. I will remember Your wonders, Your miracles, Your promises, for You are faithful! Fix my eyes on You, Jesus, for You are both the author and the perfecter of my faith. That’s what I need — my faith perfected by Your great love that casts out all fear!

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