Yesterday I put up fences around our garden because rabbits have been eating all our plants. As I got the stuff I needed to make the fences I thought about all the times my dad sent my brother and I out to fix the fences we had in the pasture. There were a few times, especially when I was working by myself, when I became so frustrated that threw down whatever was in my hand and yelled, “How does he expect me to do this?” I felt ill-equipped to do the job that my dad sent me out to do.
Have you ever had a job that you felt totally inadequate doing?
If we have a job to do, we want to be sure that we know how to do it. We don’t want to look like fools if we do something wrong, and we certainly do not want to fail. It is important to us that we to feel like we have it all together.
When we read the Bible we discover that God often called people to tasks that they are unable to accomplish on their own.Think about the examples of Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, and Esther. Each one of them felt inadequate to tackle the job God had given to them. God still used them to accomplish His purposes.
Then God told him [Moses], “I will be with you. And this will serve as proof that I have sent you: When you have brought the Israelites out of Egypt, you will return here to worship God at this very mountain.” (Exodus 3:12; NLT)
I find it interesting that the proof God offers to Moses that He will be with Moses comes after the task is done. Basically God told Moses, “When you return to this mountain, with the nation of Israel behind you, then you can be sure I sent you.” Moses wanted a detailed plan and evidence that it was God who sending him (I guess the burning bush wasn’t enough), but God wanted faith.
God knows that we will have our doubts when it comes to the task He has called us to do. We will question our ability, the way people will respond, and if we really did understand God’s call in the first place.
We don’t handle uncertainty very well, because it reveals how little control over things we have. Certainty gives us a sense of control, security, and confidence. Yet, when we are certain and confident in our abilities we are less likely to trust God to empower us and provide for our needs.
Faith is not having no questions, but it is trusting God in spite of those questions. The person God uses is the one who has resolved to trust God, no matter what happens or what questions arise.
I know this is where I often miss the boat. The uncertainty that the future holds causes fear to grow in my heart, and that fear overwhelms my faith. Rather than moving forward in courage and faith, I shrink back with fear, not seizing the opportunity God put in my life. In the process I miss out on experiencing the different ways God empowers those who follow Him in faith.
How do we over come the fear that holds us back so we are able move forward in faith?
- We surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote; For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:5-6; ESV) The gift of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to overcome our fear and to live a courageous life of faith. Each day as we pray we need to declare our intention to be lead by the Holy Spirit and not by our flesh.
- We need encouragement from other Christians. The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote; And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25; ESV) We will not naturally live a life of courage and love. Instead we will seek ways to avoid embarrassment, trouble, and the unknown. This is why it is essential to have other Christians walking by our sides. They provide the support, wisdom, and encouragement that we need.
- We live with wisdom. In Ephesians the apostle Paul wrote; Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16; ESV) Wisdom in the Bible is not about knowledge. It is about being able to discern between right and wrong, and it entails doing what you know is right. Wisdom not only opens our eyes to the evil that corrupts our days, but it also helps us understand how to respond to that evil. Wisdom enables us to make the best use of our time and our resources.
God calls us to do things that we feel ill-equipped to handle. This is not because He wants us to feel overwhelmed, but because He wants us to learn to put our faith in Him. As we move out of our comfort zones and are stretched beyond our limits, we are able to experience God in a whole new way.(Tweet this)
What propels us forward in life isn’t certainty, but faith. A life of faith will always take us to where God wants us to be.