Sometimes you just gotta do it afraid.
I think we begin to chase after the wind when we wait for all fear to disappear before taking steps of faith. We will get nowhere fast. Thinking back to my whole life, many decisions of faith were made while I was afraid, many goals were met by faith while I was afraid. I think about so many people in the Bible who were challenged to take some pretty scary steps of faith. I refuse to believe that they had some kind of special superhero DNA that allowed them to move forward without an ounce of fear or doubt. They were human people like you and me, flesh and blood, battling the same emotions and enemies we battle today. This fear reared it's head from the very beginning with Eve (see Gen.3). We all know it was the desire's of her flesh, along with the enticing conversation she had with the serpent that caused her to fall. However, somewhere in that interaction, Eve's faith in God's perfect plan began to waiver giving way to fear, fear that God really didn't have her best interest in mind, causing her to take matters into her own hands. This situation demonstrates someone caving into fear. Another woman who caved into fear was Sarah (see Gen. 15 and 16). After receiving the promise she would bare a son in her old age, she began to think and think and think, yup overthinking! Instead of resting, waiting, trusting God for His perfect timing, she thinks up a better plan...you know, because God needed her help (NOT!) So she convinces, an oh-so compliant Abraham to sleep with her servant Hagar to give her a son. Another disaster resulting from fear and doubt.
We see so many in the Bible who's trust and faith were so much stronger than their human emotions. Abraham in Gen. 22, called to sacrifice his son, the promise child. Can you imagine the heartache, the pain, the question marks, the fear that embraced him as he and his son journeyed up that mountain. However, Abraham's trust and faith in God, stronger than his fears, led him to obey God. So many others, such as little David facing the giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17). Many paint the picture of this fearless young man, standing up to this big bully without any evidence of apprehension. However, if we look at David's history, aka running for his life from Saul, hiding in caves, pretending insanity...I think David had some fears. However, in that moment, in front of Goliath, his trust in God trumped any fear and doubt. Probably one of the most comforting and inspiring examples for me is that of Jesus, before being crucified, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane:
"He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. yet I want your will to be done, not mine."
Yes, Jesus experienced the emotion of fear. This tells me that having these emotions of fear and doubt are not sin, what is sin is when we allow these emotions to take over our lives, our minds and hearts. When we choose to do the will of these emotions instead of the will of God. Jesus understood and trusted His Father's will and plan more than He trusted what He was feeling at that moment; Jesus' human emotions took second place to the will of God.
So I pray that as we are called to step out in faith, even though we feel afraid, we follow and obey God's will. Doing this over and over again will weaken the muscle of fear and strengthen our faith. So there will be moments when you just have to "do it afraid."
Til next time, God bless...