I’m not feeling particularly courageous. Yes, I’ve done some courageous things, but when presented with a new challenge, sometimes I panic.
In the next couple of weeks I will be taking on some new roles in my church. These will take me way out of my comfort zone. I’m not sure if I’m ready. I feel so messed up, so unsure, so inadequate. I feel downright scared.
But why am I so scared? I’m scared because I will be doing things I’ve never done before. What if I’m not good at what I do? What if I mess up? What if I look like an idiot?
My fears reveal the real problem: I am worried about me — worried about how I’ll feel and how I’ll look. I seek to save myself embarrassment and discomfort. I seek to avoid difficult situations.
Note that my fear is not about whether or not this is what God wants. These next steps are consistent with what I know God wants me to do. I’m pretty sure he is behind this. But I’m so caught up in how I feel, that what God wants has actually become an afterthought.
My thought process should be something like this: I believe this is what God wants. He promises to be with me. Let his will be done.
In Exodus 3:12, God commissions Moses to go to Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites. He promises to be with him. When Moses hesitates, God tells Moses that he will be with his mouth and that he would teach Moses what he should speak (Exodus 4:12).
As I discussed in my last post, God promised to be with Joshua, just as he was with Moses. Joshua was to be strong and courageous, knowing that God was with him.
Should I not do the same? As I take prepare to take on greater responsibility, should I not go forward with courage, knowing that God is with me? Is than not enough to calm my fears?
The only way for me to move forward is to shift the focus from myself and my own discomfort, to doing what God wants. This is the only way that I can be strong and courageous.
When I picked up and moved across the country for seminary, I wasn’t focused on myself. I was focused on the fact that if I didn’t go, I could miss out of God’s will. I wasn’t about to let that happen, and I really wasn’t going to let fear be the cause. My fear of regret was stronger than my fear of failure, so I went.
That required courage – more than I knew I had. I think that we all have more courage than we realize. But sometimes self-centered fear threatens to deactivate that courage.
In those times, remember that God is with you . He is bigger. He is greater. He is stronger. And just as he was with Moses, he will be with you.