"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
I sped out of the church doors, my eyes fixed on the prize. I walked quickly over to the large, sugary donuts that were calling me. After I picked one out, I took a bite to start enjoying my treat and turned. On the couch in front of me sat a lady, all alone. I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit, telling me to go over and say hi. Simple, right?
My heart quickened as a wave of fear swept over me. What if, after saying "hi," I ran out of things to say? What if it ended up as the most awkward conversation ever? What if she didn't like me? What if she hated teenagers? What would my family and friends think? And besides, I am eating a donut right now!
My head pounded with the what-ifs as my donut became forgotten. I weighed my options, but eventually my fear took over. I told myself I'd only go over if no one else came- but after I finished talking with my friends. Well, lo and behold, no one did. But I was so afraid I just made up one excuse after another! Put quite bluntly, I was IGNORING the GOD of the UNIVERSE!! The rest of the day and into that week, I was plagued with the guilt of not obeying and the question of "What might've happened if I'd listened?" I was so frustrated with myself! I was disappointed in myself, too, and almost disgusted with my fear.
For so long, I've been letting my fear control me. For so long, I've stayed in the shadows, alone, afraid to say hello and make new friends. For so long, I've ignored the Holy Spirit's prompts. For so long, I've let the devil win. And for so long, I've been missing out on the blessings that might've come by obeying.
My goal for this year is to become courageous. To take hold of every opportunity that comes my way and to obey right away. Three words have really been popping out at me recently, and those words are "FEARLESS FOR CHRIST." I suppose you could call that my catchphrase for the year xD. I don't want to miss out on blessings and friendships anymore. I want to live for every moment, not delaying or disobeying. I want to take a leap of faith and step out onto the waters. God will be with me every step of the way. And remember, He is always in control! He knows what's going to happen.
But how, you ask, do I step out in faith? I don't have any courage. How am I going to do this?
I've asked that question to many people, and here are some tips I've found useful:
-Don't overthink it! Just go out there and do it. Don't think twice; just obey His voice.
-Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and guide you in what you say and do before going over.
-Remember that it takes practice. It'll be hard, no doubt, the first time, but keep on taking small steps, and you'll see it become easier and easier!
-Remember that the Holy Spirit can be grieved. Don't disappoint Him...
-Remember that the Holy Spirit is with you every step of the way. He won't leave you!
-Try to imagine what the other person might be going through...think of all the ways you could help!
-Challenge yourself: maybe say that you'll take one small step of faith every day. It'll totally be worth it, I promise :) Then set higher and higher goals until it becomes easy!
-Remember that it does not matter what other people think of you: only God! And if God is for you, who can be against you?
Here are some verses that I remind myself of when I'm afraid:
Isaiah 41:10: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
And today, I can happily say that I am good friends with the woman I talked about earlier. I was actually introduced to her by my mother, and now we try to talk every week. She has much wisdom inside of her, and it is always a joy talking with her. I have been so blessed to have her as a friend, and am so thankful God brought her into my life!
I hope and pray that you will all step out onto the waters and take courage. It is so worth it! God has a big plan in store for you, but you need to trust Him wholeheartedly and follow His calling. Remember: when you worry and when you are afraid, you aren't trusting God fully. You are saying that God can't handle this, that He isn't in control. But He can, and He is. Don't worry about what other people think of you. Don't worry about the consequences of obeying Christ. Because GOD is bigger than your fear! GOD is more important than anything else!
Remember: you are no longer slaves to fear! 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Your fear has NO POWER OVER YOU! And you have RESURRECTION POWER INSIDE OF YOU! Our Heavenly Father has already defeated and crushed Satan! Isn't that awesome?! So go, and live
FEARLESS FOR CHRIST
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."