Have you ever found yourself in a place where God has put something on your heart heavily, but you find yourself with sweaty palms when you think of doing it? Or you find yourself in analysis paralysis, where you are overthinking how it will be done?
This has been my experience on several occasions in my walk with God. I am rarely "comfortable" when called to do something. Every time I think I have moved beyond those feelings, I am led to step out in a new level of faith that makes me feel that vulnerability all over again.
Be Strong and Courageous
Fear is not from God, nor is a spirit of timidity, but I have found that there can be room for feeling afraid to do something that God is telling us to do, and aware of our own weaknesses which causes us to surrender and lean into total faith to step forward still and do it anyway.
It brings me to the opening chapters in the Book of Joshua. Joshua was appointed to lead the Israelites into the promise land after the death of Moses. In the opening chapter there are 4 times that the Lord reminded, commanded and encouraged Joshua to be strong and courageous. I believe that is because the task that Joshua was about to face, the battle that he was about to engage in, the territory that he was about to claim, required him to know Who was with him and to not allow fear to paralyze him from making the steps forward. (Read here)
Those words are echoed to us. Whether it is to speak up about something that God is placing on your heart to say, or to say "no" boldly and to walk away from something, or to put your two feet behind a big-hairy God-dream... it is natural to feel afraid.
It does not mean you don't have faith.
It does not mean you are not confident.
It does not mean you don't trust God.
However, God-size dreams and assignments will always require you to lean into the strength and might of the Holy Spirit. I believe it is because if we could accomplish them ourselves, we would only get the glory ourselves - for our own ambition, grit and drive. When God tugs on your heart to do something, it always requires your full dependence and surrender to Him because when we see it through, we can't take any of the credit for ourselves. He gets all the glory!
Surrender Can Be Uncomfortable
Coming to a place of dependence and total surrender is uncomfortable, yet, it is also the space where the Holy Spirit reminds us that it is ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit'.
One of the times that I can reflect on when I experienced this was when I began to feel a "burden" to write my book, The Single Heart. There was an urgency I felt internally that I needed to write a book about singleness and God's desire for individuals to become whole in Him before they sought a mate or anything else to fill their lives. The call to write it was not merely head knowledge or a topic that I read books about, but I had lived-experience and a renewed Kingdom view on it that I knew was not being highlighted in helping singles. There was so much more to the "don't sin" and "don't settle" message that I knew God was calling me to highlight. It was through the avenue of a book that He wanted me to release my testimony, revelations, and encouragement.
All that was cool when I understood that was what He was impressing on me to do...
But, the "problem" was that I had never written a book in my life, nor knew the first things it required, and although I wrote in a diary daily, I didn't even have this blog platform, nor was writing consistently on this level.
God was calling me to do something that I had never done. He was extracting something within me that was in seed form. He was convicting me that people were waiting on my obedience. And, I gave every reason in the world for why I didn't think I could do it and that may be it wasn't important.
Every time I went into prayer, I would say "Use me God. I want your will in my life. Show me what you would have me to do, and I will do it..." But, I think I was using selective hearing for a while because when I would get the nudging, "Write the book", I would keep dismissing it. Until, it became impossible to shake it. So, I surrendered. I prayed,
"Lord, if this is what you are instructing me to do, I submit. I will step forward in faith if you grace me and anoint me to do it. I'm scared and I feel completely ill equipped, but what you call for, you strengthen, equip and provide for."
Throughout that two year journey of writing The Single Heart, I have testimonies after testimonies of God doing exactly that, down to the $ amount needed to publish. It took me surrendering and putting in the effort to do the work, but again, it was all grace, prayer and conviction that helped me see it through.
What Are You Running From?
Most people say that they don't know what God is telling them to do, but from my own experiences with selective hearing and running from the calling, I would give push back and asked the question, "Do you know, but you're afraid?" or "What was the last thing He put on your heart, and are you (a) running or (b) distracted from doing it?"
What are you running from and why?
How can you reaffirm yourself in God's Word that He cares for you and will supply your every need?
Who or what is distracting you from focusing?
Where do you need accountability?
Don't run from God's call. It's the reason you are alive today and in this generation. Your life, your gifts, your natural abilities are not just for you. They set people free, lift heavy loads and bring God glory when you move forward steadfastly and with conviction. Let's move up from asking God to bless us to asking God to work blessings through us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
Until next time,