Wrong Approach #4: Fearful Approach
Previously I have mentioned that we are just plain stubborn at times. Well, sometimes we are just plain afraid. I want to talk about two of the fears that many people experience when trying to make a decision.
Fear of the Future. Sometimes we try to imagine every possible outcome of a certain decision. Thinking ahead is actually a good thing, but it can be overdone. Some have called this the “paralysis of analysis.” We have a tendency to want too much information from God about the future.
Fear of Failure. Sometimes we are so afraid of failing that we will not take risks. We are afraid that our efforts will not succeed or that we will be rejected. This fear can be absolutely paralyzing.
What Does God Say About This Approach? The Bible commands us to live by faith, not fear.
We should not fear the future because God will be with us!
Lets consider God’s commandment to Joshua. Joshua was given the task of leading God’s people after the death of Moses. Here’s what God said:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
–Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
God never promised that everything would be easy, but he did promise that He would be with Joshua. He repeats the command to “be courageous” three times in this chapter. In the same way, Jesus promises that “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Whatever challenge awaits us, we can be sure that God will be there with us.
We should not fear failure because God does not require “success.” God requires obedience and faithfulness, not success!
I will give you an example from Matthew 10. Jesus sent out His disciples to preach. He gave them specific instructions for those who would not receive the message:
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
–Matthew 10:14 (NIV)
Jesus told them that they would not be 100% “successful”–some would reject the message. Their task was to faithfully proclaim the message and leave the results up to God.
The same principle applies to our lives. If we are obedient and faithful, then we are “successful” in God’s eyes. This truth has set me free! All I have to do is obey and leave the results up to God. If something does not work then at least I know that I have tried.
Live by faith, not by fear!
We live by faith, not by sight.
–2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
My next sermon on this topic will be on Sunday December 10th, 2:00 p.m. at Convergence Fellowship. We worship at the Joshua Center (6th floor) which is located on Taft Ave (across from PGH). I’ll post more articles on this specific topic after I’ve preached on the 10th.
More from my site