At the church where I am Lead Pastor, we are in the second week of the Daniel fast, so on Bible Study nights, I’ve been teaching on fasting. While I was preparing for last night’s lesson, the Lord began to deal with me about something. I was putting together three reasons why we fast. The first was for victory over things in our life we need to conquer. The second was for spiritual cleansing. When I got to the third one, I found something very interesting.
For every reason I gave for fasting, I also had a scripture reference. The third reason I gave for fasting was, getting prepared to do something new for God. I shared these scriptures of men fasting so they would be ready for what they were getting ready to do.
Acts 13:2-3 (NKJV)
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NKJV)
3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
In both places, these men were being called to do something they had never done before. They had a great desire to work in the Kingdom, so God began to move them into new territory. With passion running high and being in total awe that God would ask them to do this, they began to make their move.
With anything new there is always an excitement. A new challenge or a new risk can really spark something in all of us. But there is something else that seems to arise in many people when God calls them to do something that they’ve never done before. FEAR!!! At some point, before you take that plunge, a feeling of fear begins working on you and making you have doubts.
The word “Fear” can cover a broad spectrum. Let me break down what I mean by fear. Here are the five things I believe people face when they’re getting ready to do something new for God.
• Fear of failure.
• Fear you’re not ready.
• Fear that you’re not good enough.
• Fear that people may not accept you.
• Fear that your past makes you ineligible.
You’re not just dealing with fear, you’re afraid of something specific. One of these fears have you locked in a cage of doubt. Everything you’ve done has gotten you to this place, but it seems like you are now at a stand still. Your fears are making you paranoid about how others view you. You already feel like a failure, and to do it again would be embarrassing. You’re afraid it’s too soon or you’re just not qualified enough to fill that position. You can’t get over your past, so you think no one else can either. What are you afraid of? Where do you fit in with this list?
As you are dealing with this fear, I would like for you to notice the scriptures I shared with you. Understand that the people in these two stories had to deal with some of the same fears. They too were being called to do something they had never done before. Paul was struggling with his past and Barnabas was no doubt worried if people were going to accept. Nehemiah was excited, but wasn’t sure he was ready or that his plans would be successful. Somehow, in spite of their fears, they trusted God and stepped out by faith and became some of the greatest Kingdom workers in the entire Bible.
I want to encourage you to be like them and conquer your fear. I want their stories to inspire you to take that leap of faith and do what God has called you to do. You should fast and pray to prepare for what is getting ready to happen when you make this move. If God has called you to do this, then embrace His favor and reject the fear. Even if you have to deal with some of the things you fear, just remember, when God calls you to do something, His grace will carry you through every adversity.
In tomorrow’s blog, I will write specifically about each of these things people fear and how to deal with them.
Confess what your fear is today and began to the process of overcoming it.
“WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?”