Tag Archives: letting go of fear

The Wrong Boat

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

In one of the classes I teach, I have people introduce themselves and tell me a hobby they have outside of work. It provides opportunities for connection early in the class as well as information I can tie back to throughout the day. Yesterday, while training this class, a guy answered that he liked to play music. I followed up with, “What kind?” He responded with, “Worship. I’ve felt called to lead worship since I was young, but I’ve been too scared to step out and do it.” He admitted in front of our group what so many of us Christians are afraid to say.

God’s call on our life can be scary. I think it’s supposed to be. If it were anything less than scary, we’d do it without hesitation. The problem with that is we would think it was done in our own ability. We need to understand that we are simply vessels to be used by Him. It is He who performs the work, we simply provide the channel. Our inability to do whatever He called us to is His greatest opportunity to do something amazing.

God sees in us what we cannot see. Peter was just another uneducated fisherman when Jesus called Him. He didn’t posses the ability to start the Church. He didn’t have the business acumen to take twelve men, start a worldwide movement and grow it. He didn’t have the boldness to stand in front of thousands to preach. He knew what fear was and it got the better of him from time to time. He denied Jesus and his calling in the same night.

The fear that he failed in his calling caused him to go back to fishing when he should have been preaching after the resurrection. He went back to what he knew instead of stepping out in faith to be the rock he was called to be. Jesus didn’t leave him in that boat though. He went to the waters edge in John 21, but they didn’t recognize Him. He called out to them, “Have you caught any fish?” They replied, “No.” Jesus called out, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll catch some.” As soon as they did, the net teemed with fish. Peter recognized the man as Jesus and swam to shore.

Jesus reaffirmed to Peter that day what his role was. He didn’t worry about his failures or inabilities. He worried about his love for Him. Jesus knew that if he truly loved Him, he would obey his calling. He didn’t leave Peter in the wrong boat catching the wrong kind of fish. He reiterated that he was to be a fisher of men from now on. I think that call goes out to you in whatever boat you’re sitting in today. Maybe you’re reading this in the place where you can accomplish things in your own strength. It’s the boat of what is familiar and easy to you. But God has more for you.

I encourage you today to recognize the fear that is paralyzing you and keeping you from your calling. If God called you to do something, it’s His strength and ability that will accomplish it, not yours. Release the fear that sent you back into the boat of the familiar and do what God has called you to do. Faith is about trusting God to do what He said He would do. It’s not about you doing things and giving Him credit. Don’t let fear hold you back another minute. Get out of the wrong boat, and step into the life you were called to lead.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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Let Go Of Fear, Be Used By God

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We started our fourth day in Myan. We picked up right where we left off. One team went back in to keep painting and the other team went to finish staining the bed rails in the girl’s rooms. A group of freshly hired nannies showed up for orientation. They started with prayer and a beautiful song. While they met and others painted in the same room, I began cleaning paint off the floor with a few others. As I scrubbed, I began to think how my own sins have stained my life. I’ve tried to wash them off on my own with limited results. Nothing I do can ever erase them, but God’s love, like the paint thinner we were using, can wipe away the stains.

As the day progressed, it got hotter. The wind wasn’t blowing either which made for a tough day. When we got through painting the walls and the others were through staining, we met outside to play with the kids. Everyone stayed on the porch in the shade. As I walked around, I saw three small children taking a nap on a blue carpet outside of their room. They were so peaceful. When I got on another porch, I found more orphans asleep on the chests of our team members. I thought of the rest we get when we trust God fully in our lives. When the fires come and life gets hot, we can rest assured that God will take care of us. We just need to crawl up on His chest to rest in the assurance of who He is.

In the early afternoon, we came back to the guest house to grab a sand which, grab things for the Gonaives orphanage and to get some reprieve from the heat. Not long after arriving at the orphanage, the kids, orphans and locals, all came running. We sat them on a hill and one of our students told them the parable of the Lost Sheep. She told them that wherever they went in life, no matter what happened, Jesus would always be looking for them. We then played Marco Polo on the soccer field to illustrate the point. It wasn’t long until Marco Polo turned into a soccer match.

In the evening, we came back to the guest house, cleaned up and ate my favorite meal here, roasted goat. We met on the balcony for service. God spoke during that time and challenged us to let go of the fear that keeps us from true worship. He wanted us to let go of the fear of what others might think and to let to of the fear that keeps us from talking about him. The students began to share what God laid on their hearts. They began to share why they came and what they wanted God to do. One said she was afraid she’d be a nobody in life, but found that no one who serves God will ever be a nobody. We are heirs to the King of Kings, princes and princesses.

We all struggle with sharing our faith at times. If we can’t share with other believers, how can we ever share with the world? We should be so full of Jesus that He leaks out of us wherever we go. We have to learn to let go of the fear of what others will think of us, push past that feeling like we’re going to explode and just speak. God will do the rest. It’s not our words that change people’s lives. It’s His love and His spirit that draws them in. We are merely vessels used by Him. We only work when we’re full of Him, are willing to open up and are poured out. Don’t be afraid. Let Him use you today.

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