Ezra 3:3 – They set the altar on its base; for fear was on them because of the peoples of the countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon to Yahweh, even burnt offerings morning and evening.
In the days of Ezra, even before they had laid the foundation of the new temple, the Israelites began once again to offer sacrifices to the Lord upon his altar. As this verse shows us, great fear was upon them because of the surrounding countries. They lived among people who were opposed to their settlement.
Yet in spite of this they went ahead and built the altar. Their fear didn’t stop them from doing the right thing, instead it motivated them to do the right thing with haste and speed. On this altar they burnt offerings morning and evening, which would have made smoke that could be seen for a long distance. It’s very difficult to hide a fire, and by setting this altar up before the temple was built, they were in essence exposing their intentions to the surrounding nations.
There are times when doing what is right will make us immensely fearful. We will think of all the possible reactions and repercussions, and it can cause us to second-guess what God has asked us to do.
There’s a well-known motivational speaker whose catch cry is ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyway!’. The sense of fear can help us to do the right thing with haste and speed. It can be an incredibly motivating force, if we use it to propel us into the will of God!
So don’t let fear hold you back from following God, use it as a strong force to take another step closer to what He’s called you to do!