Calling · christian · Christianity · faith · fear · Jesus · Uncategorized

Facing Fear

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength –Philippians 4:13 NIV

A while back I felt the Lord prompting me to do something that I really didn’t want to do. I started reflecting on why I didn’t want to obey God’s leading and after giving it some thought and prayer I realized that what was hindering me could be summed up in one word– fear.

When it came right down to it I was afraid of so many things. Afraid of failing and not only failing but making a complete and utter fool of myself. Afraid of being vulnerable and to be honest I was afraid of the spiritual attack that would come as a result of my obedience to God.

I really wanted to obey but I was having a hard time believing that God could do much of anything with my offering. I felt I didn’t have much to bring and I doubted my ability to make a difference.

Thoughts like:

“Who would listen to me?”

“This will be a waste of my time.”

“Nobody cares what I have to say.”

ran through my mind and I was letting those negative thoughts get the better of me.

I was praying over this whole situation when God brought a bible story found in Numbers chapters 13&14 to mind. In that story God promised His people a good land flowing with milk and honey, a land of abundance. He had just delivered them from slavery in Egypt and performed many miracles to set them free. In order for the Israelites to take over the plentiful land He had in store for them they would need to conquer the current inhabitants who were much bigger than they were. God sent twelve men to spy on the land and bring back a report.

Both Caleb and Joshua were full of faith and wanted to go forward and take over the land God promised them; but the other ten spies doubted themselves and God’s ability and let fear control them. They brought back a bad report and stirred up so much unbelief in the congregation that everyone started talking about turning back to Egypt to live their life as a slave.

Ultimately, they didn’t turn back but they didn’t move forward either. As a result, they stayed stagnant for many years then complained and blamed God that they were stuck.

Like the Israelites, I was stuck due to my lack of unbelief and fear. My being stuck was my own fault because of my lack of follow through.

When we feel stuck or stagnant in life try to remember the last thing you felt God leading you to do, if it lines up with God’s word and would bring Him glory, then move forward whether you feel afraid or not.

When we give into fear and insecurities we miss out on the blessings and abundant life God has in store for us.

It’s normal to feel afraid when taking on something new but it’s important not to let our fear control us. We need to learn to have courage and move forward in spite of fear.

When I’m afraid one of the things that helps me is to reflect on how God has worked in my life in the past. How He has got me through hard times, worked miracles or answered prayers. Remember, he’s been with you this far and He won’t stop showing up for you now.

Prayer– Thank you Lord for being a God who is with me, for me and who dwells inside of me. I pray that you will help me be obedient to your leading, to trust you and your plan. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Christianity · Uncategorized

Stop Praying For Open Doors

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I knew what it was that God wanted me to do, or at least I thought I did. I felt a longing, a nudge. It was almost like a nagging feeling that I should be doing this one particular thing.

What I felt Him calling me to do was exciting but intimidating at the same time. That’s usually the way it is when God calls you to do something. It feels big and scary. The odd thing about it is, you will be more at peace when you are doing that big and scary thing than you will be not doing it.

When you do what God created you to do, you experience peace that passes understanding. We fight against it because often times what we were created to do feels border-line impossible to achieve.

When you feed the dream that God has given you, you feel settled but if you ignore the dream you feel anxious, restless even. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I had no clue how to get started. Eventually, I spent so  much time thinking about what I should be doing instead of doing it, I became paralyzed. I had a restlessness in my soul all because I refused to feed the dream. If you starve the dream for too long, eventually it will die.

I dragged my feet and prayed for so much confirmation, it’s almost embarrassing to admit. I started to pursue other endevours, jobs and roles that seemed easier and more acceptable. I offered God part-time obedience and expected full-time blessing.

I was willing to settle for less than God’s best. All because I didn’t want to take risks or put in the hard work it would take to achieve the God-sized dream. I’d pray for open doors and opportunities for play-it-safe kinds of roles. But along the way I’d say, “if it’s not your will Lord, then please make it clear. Slam the door in my face. Make it obvious to me. Make my path straight”. When God slammed the door in my face, the door to my easy way out, I was hurt, embarrassed and offended. I’d cry and sulk, thinking, ‘how could you do this to me Jesus?’ When all God did was give me exactly what I’d been praying for: direction and clarity of my calling. The truth was I wanted clarity in a less painful way. I wanted clarity through open doors instead of closed ones.

God speaks just as much through closed doors as He does through open doors.

God closes more doors than He opens. It’s one of the ways He keeps our path straight.

Shut doors bring clarity and direction. They make what you should be doing rise to the surface and the things that are wasting your time and energy sink to the bottom.

The truth is, a God-sized dream will be way to big to ever achieve with out Him.  It will require His help and miracles along the way. It will require His provision, divine connections and providence to make it come true. He has an appointed time for the dream to take place. If we are obedient and start taking steps in the right direction, He will be faithful to lead us along the way. He will delight in seeing your excitement as you watch the dream unfold with each step you take.