I normally like to plan out my posts in advance, have a few Bible verses and quotes handy, perhaps notes from a sermon or my studies, and have a general idea on how I want the post to go. But last night during my personal study, the words in Amy Carmichael’s book “God’s Missionary” (which we talked about in my last post.) hit me hard, and the verses I read after reading that chapter hit me even harder. I am a very backward person – I’m not outgoing at all unless something really irks me and I feel the need to stand up. After some conversation, I typically do better, and I am able to hold a conversation well enough, but talking to people really isn’t my strong suit. As blunt as I am online, I struggle with it in real life. With my family, I can be blunt. And if I am spurred into a debate, I can and will debate. But actually starting something? I’m terrible. I find myself sitting alone often, wishing I was talking to someone, but I don’t get up and do something about it. I often think back on a meeting with someone and wish I could go back, because I felt like God was convicting me to ask them about their spiritual life, but I slack. I don’t like putting myself in awkward situations, so I tend to avoid social activities altogether. It’s something that I’ve been praying about recently, something that the Lord has really been trying to “fix” so to speak, and change in me. Because being a Christian is uncomfortable, and sometimes, you have to start up a conversation with someone and it may turn out to be awkward for the first few moments, but then..they could come to know Jesus. And how is that not worth a few minutes of awkwardness? I hear that. I get that. I know that.
Earlier that day, I had been praying about possibly finding some sort of ministry to get involved in. I’ve also been putting off a decision – guess why? Because both things involve being social, being put outside of my comfort zone, and I am afraid. And I know that God is calling me towards a life in the ministry. I know that like I know the back of my hand. I know He is calling me to be a witness, to talk to lost souls, to try to be a soul winner, and little by little, He’s reminded me…I can’t hold back God because of my fears. Because God is being held back because of me. He is. He may be trying to set up these divine appointments, He may have a person in mind for me to talk to, for me to lead towards Him…He may, by His grace, be willing to allow me to be a part of something incredible, and I am refusing to experience that, experience Him fully, because I am afraid of being embarrassed. Embarrassed of what? Of fumbling words? God can still use me, even though my conversational skills are lacking. Of my lack of knowledge? How do I expect to learn if I refuse to leave my comfort zone? You see, I’m focused on me. On my own insecurities, and I’ve forgotten that God is bigger than my issues. And if God is calling me to this life, He will take care of me, as long as I am willing to go where He calls me to go.
Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Perhaps I’m afraid of standing up, and having to do it alone. But am I ever alone? No. The Lord tells us that He will never leave us, or forsake us. So my fear of being alone stems from me doubting God, once again.
I fear His calling in my life, because I know I’m not capable of doing any of this alone. But I’m not alone, He is with me. And as Amy Carmichael wrote (about a young Christian woman) “It is inconceivable that our Master would leave us to stand alone when we are standing for Him.” He has assured us, time and time again, that we are not standing alone. When we stand for Jesus, He is with us. The disciples of years gone by are with us. Christians from all around the world, although they are not all here with us, sitting beside us, talking us through our doubts, helping us in our very home, they are our family, and we are never left completely alone.
This post wasn’t planned out at all, I just felt the need to share this encouragement with you all. Maybe one of you are struggling with this same thing. This fear of speaking up and having someone doubt you, make fun of you. Making yourself seem like an embarrassment. Because I struggle majorly with that, and goodness…. I can’t be the only one. But despite this issue, God is still willing to use me. He sees all of my issues, all of my faults, and He is willing to be patient with me, to show me that I am not alone, and to push me forward. He convicts, and He loves us through our mistakes as long as we are willing to realize that,
- We aren’t perfect, only He is.
- If we want Him to work, we have to allow Him to work.
- If we want Him to remove our imperfections, we have to be willing to get outside our comfort zones, repent, and follow Him.
Amy Carmichael also wrote,
“Strength of my heart, I need not fail,
Not mind to fear but to obey,
With such a Leader, who could quail?
Thou art as Thou wert yesterday.
Strength of my heart, I rest in Thee,
Fulfill Thy purposes through me.”
― Amy Carmichael
The words, “with such a Leader, who could quail” still ring true. The word “quail” here means to suffer (so, not a bird.) and with such a Savior as He, we can not truly suffer. We can experience temporary pain, temporary discomfort, temporary awkwardness, temporary embarrassment, temporary illness, and so on. But everything we go through, we can go through it because He is always with us. Even if our suffering leads to death, we Christians have assurance that death is simply a door to a Heavenly eternity. With Him as the strength of our heart, we have nothing to fear in this life. Thinking on His power and strength makes my fears seem so small. And they are. They are tiny, tiny problems compared to my big, big God.
She also said in one book that God will fulfill the desires that HE creates. Example, if He has put a desire or burden into your heart for a certain area of ministry, He plans on using that burden in your life. As opposed to our desires, which are often flesh based and sinful. If He has given me a desire to serve Him, am I really so foolish to think that I can’t do it even though He is beside me? The only reason my problems would get in the way is if I allow them to come between Him and I and His calling.
Long story short, don’t let your fears get in the way of you serving God.