Imagine a place where you could let go of your fears, trust God for life’s outcomes, and relax in a quiet-yet-confident Christian existence. I know, that would be heaven on earth. And that’s the problem. If God wanted you in heaven, you’d already be there.
No, the elimination of worldly worries is only part of the faith equation. The rest—that which makes life worth living—is when I step out and boldly obey God. Instead of, “What will I eat? What will I wear?” I seek first God’s kingdom. Instead of wondering what comforts I’ll enjoy or what rights I’ll claim, I start to care about the lives I’ll impact and the purpose I’ll serve. I replace my earthly fits and frets with an eternal, divine, world-shaking, adventurous mission.
Faith doesn’t free me from care; it frees me to care about the right things. Faith isn’t a shell fashioned for comfort; it’s a shield forged for battle. It gives me confidence to take on God’s Great Commission.
Just after Paul’s illustration of spiritual armor in Ephesians 6, he submits a prayer request to his readers:
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Eph. 6:19-20 NIV).
Here he is, sitting in jail, chained because of his witness for Christ . . . praying for even more opportunities to witness, and that he would be fearless! He wasn’t worried about his court hearings, his release date, the bruises from his last beating, or who would keep his tent business running in the meantime. There was only one care in his world worth mentioning.
What’s the next step, for those of us who move from fear to faith? It’s the step Abram took when he set out toward the unseen Promised Land; it’s the step Moses took after putting his shoes back on; it’s the step Daniel took when he learned of the king’s decree; it’s the step Peter took when he saw a curious crowd gathering at Pentecost; it’s the step Paul took when he stood up among the philosophers of Athens; it’s the step someone took that led to your first encounter with the gospel.
Your next step can be found in Matthew 28:19-20 and 2 Corinthians 5:20. But you’ll have to leave your fear-based excuses behind:
“They won’t listen.”
“I can’t speak.”
“My health is bad.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m too young.”
“I’m not a traveler.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“I don’t know the answers.”
“I’m not ready.”
Jesus promised that “all these things will be given to you as well” if you “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).
My Christian friend, there is no reason to fear. We serve One who is greater and more powerful and more loving than we can imagine. Our names are written in His book, our eternal destiny guaranteed by His Spirit. He has a world-changing mission in mind for us. He requires only our faith-filled obedience:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
- What fear-based excuses have you used in the past?
- What step of faith could you take right now?