But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to theLORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
1 Samuel 16:2,3
Years ago, there was a TV show called “Fear Factor.” The premise was that contestants would face such daunting challenges that they couldn’t go through with it. Whoever could overcome the “fear factor” first would win the grand prize.
You may not be asked to drink blended rats, but the “fear factor” is not limited to TV shows. Fear still has a way of paralyzing people from moving forward or thinking clearly. Even if the danger causing our fear isn’t real, the fear is real. Sometimes, what causes such fear is that our eyes are focused on the wrong thing.
That was the case with Samuel. God had asked Samuel to do an important task. He had to anoint someone to be a king. What sounds like a festive occasion was a fearful occasion for Samuel. You see, there already was a king on the throne. So by anointing a new king, Samuel thought his life would be in danger. That word, “thought,” is the keyword. What we think will happen does not always match what God knows will happen. What we fear is not always God’s reality.
Consider the situations in your life. God commands us “to do” a variety of things. God commands that we honor those in authority and follow his direction for marriage and sexuality. He commands that we honor him with our wealth.
Why do we struggle with such commands? Sometimes it’s simply that we are afraid to do the right thing. We are afraid the task may be too hard or that it may hurt. With Samuel, we may ask, “How can I go?” (1 Samuel 16:2). When facing a fearful task, take comfort in God’s direction, “I will show you what to do” (1 Samuel 16:3). There is no fear factor when there is a God factor.
Lord, erase my fears as you keep my eyes focused on you. Amen.