Fear. It is one of my worst enemies. Fear of not being good enough, Biblical enough, Spiritual enough, fun enough, smart enough, and the big one for me, speaking in front of people.
This is so big for me that as a junior in college, in my expository teaching class, for our final grade I had to teach the class. I could make the class any age and then all I had to do was teach. There were only about fifteen people in the class. I was physically ill. My heart raced, which isn’t exactly the best thing for someone with heart problems. I couldn’t do it. I took an incomplete. After the incomplete I was mentally shook.
About ten years later, I was asked by our preacher’s wife to talk at a ladies retreat about a Bible study that was changing my life drastically. I was scared but immediately knew God wanted me to do it. I was excited. I practiced. I prayed. I could do it. I failed miserably. I remember the next morning in tears, standing with my arms raised, begging God for a word as to why He’d ask me to do this and then allow me to fail. I heard Him talk to me so clearly it was almost scary. He said two words that I will never forget and I have rejoiced over ever since. He simply said, “You obeyed.” I obeyed. I may have failed in my eyes, I may have failed in the people’s eyes but to Him, I was obedient.
Because of this fear I have studied fear and prayed about fear. At that point, I knew what God was telling me to do with me life but to do that I had to get a handle on my fear.
Scholars say the Bible has 365 fear not’s, one for each day. I’m an avid believer in Joyce Meyer and her simple phrase, “Do it afraid.” I quote Joshua 1 where God tells Joshue three times to be strong and courageous. Over the years these have really helped me to get in front of masses of kids at VBS, at camp, and not be afraid but put me in front of ten adults and I feel like I could hurl.
But to do what God wants me to do, I have to overcome this. Sounds simple until the senior pastor asks you to get up in front of the congregation. Ugh. Funny, he’s asked before and I’ve let fear overtake me and say no but this time God was telling me to do it. I’m sure He was telling me to do it the other times only I wasn’t listening. Fear was in charge.
Friday, I agree to do go up in front of the congregation and I must admit, the butterflies started immediately. The difference this time, I was excited, I wanted to get up there. I’m telling myself, what’s the worst that can happen? I look like a fool, say something stupid? That’s pretty normal for me, you kinda have to act that way when working with kids.
I’m pumped, I’m excited and I’m petrified. All the old stuff wasn’t working. Joshua’s strong and courageous, do it afraid, 365 fear not’s, nothing. Butterflies present, heart attack immanent. Then Joyce Meyer, God love her, tweets a tweet that was God talking straight to me. She said, “David didn’t look at Goliath and talk about how big and scary he was, David talked about how big his God was. Don’t talk fear, talk faith.”
Whew, blown away. I was focusing on my Goliath and how big and scary it was and how I could overcome it instead of looking up at God and seeing how big He is. Peter was a prime example. He looked at Jesus and got out of the boat. When his eyes were on Jesus, he walked on the water, when he looked around and sunk.
All day Saturday I remembered how big our God was. Did I really think He couldn’t help me sit in front of a congregation of people for ten minutes and talk about an amazing week of VBS? Our God is bigger.
I woke up Sunday nervous which I’m thankful for. Without that, maybe I’d be like Peter and think I’m doing it on my own and sink like a rock. I need some butterflies to remind me this is about God and Him working through me.
I got up there two times, two services. I was scared but had fun. I was nervous but felt okay afterwards. Our God is bigger then any Goliath out there. Join with me, don’t talk fear, talk faith then watch and see what our gynormous God will do through you.