Look out – you’re trembling.
I see you there with your morning bed-head and sleep-crusty eyes. Take a minute to stretch out long, and when you do, stretch your mind back to Isaiah 41:10. Read it, write it in your journal, and then re-visit the Amplified Bible’s translation of the verse.
Keeping those words in mind, head over to Deuteronomy 31 where Moses gives some advice to God’s people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. First, he says, be strong. Stick fast to God like the most secure kind of glue that’s nearly impossible to remove. Be persistent and constant and diligent and strong in your perseverance. And the second piece of advice? Be of good courage. The language means to be alert and undaunted, nimble and swift-footed — girded up and ready to run. Do not fear or tremble or hide, God says, there is no time to be terrified.
Now, read the words of Deuteronomy 31:6. They are a striking and powerful promise on their own. But if you keep reading a few verses, you’ll see a subtle shift in language. “Gather the people,” Moses says in verses 12-13, “that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God … and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God.”
Did you notice the shift? It’s repeated twice right there in that part about learning to fear God. It turns out that fearing big and scary circumstances is natural. But fearing God? It’s a learned behavior – one that comes with being acquainted with His Word and familiarized with His presence.
If you’re going to tremble, let your heart tremble at His Word (Isaiah 66:2, 5). And then? Let the rest fall where it may, perfectly fear-free.