Why Not Knowing is The Mind’s Biggest Fear

Exodus 14:12-15 is an amazing illustration of how the unknown is the biggest human fear and the root cause of so much human suffering.

In these verses, the children of Israel would rather go back to their familiar life of slavery than live in the "unknown" wilderness.  Freedom wasn't familiar to them…it was too unknown. The human mind is threatened and mortally fears the unknown, to the point where it will choose physical pain and suffering over the mental anguish of uncertainty.

Isn't that amazing? Even with the heavenly promise of a better life as a free nation in a promised land, with God, angels, and a prophet guiding them every step of their journey, all of this STILL wasn't enough to break the powerful mental shackles of the familiar. The fear of the unknown is by far our most powerful survival instinct, and it's an illusion. A fabrication of the natural man. The natural man loves familiarity and despises faith.

I know I have done the same thing in my life. Putting off spiritual and temporal growth, because I was scared of the unknown possibilities they would bring to my life. Stubbornly clinging to my familiar "safe haven". Hurting or resenting others who challenge my familiarity. Choosing to hide in the familiar shadows of my life, rather than venturing out to the bright light of the unknown, where anything and everything is possible.

Though they realize it or not, this is exactly why people remain in abusive relationships, bad jobs, and hold on to destructive habits. It's familiar. It's "safe". The human mind thinks it needs familiarity in order to survive, so it attracts people and situations that are familiar. I think we'd all agree that it's insane to keep choosing misery just because it's familiar…yet most of us continue down the "safe" road of familiarity, oblivious to the pain and torture we cause ourselves and loved ones. "Protecting" ourselves from all the wonderful uncertainties and exquisite adventures we were meant to experience in this mortal life.

It isn't until we faithfully step into the unknown possibilities of life that we truly become free and open ourselves to the blessings God has for us. Just like the children of Israel, it is impossible for God to lead us to our own personal promised lands when we we are weighed down by the yoke of the familiar.

Are there familiar beliefs, people, or situations you are holding on to right now that are keeping you from accomplishing your life's mission? What can you do right now to embrace the unknown?

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