I think that fear often holds us back from pursuing the desires that God has put on our hearts.
- You desire to use your spiritual gift of prophecy or leadership or mercy, yet you fear making mistakes and failure.
- You desire to start a Bible study but fear asking people to join you.
- You desire to write a book, but fear that you’ll never finish it.
- You desire to challenge someone in their spiritual walk, but fear that they’ll react poorly.
The gospel is what frees us from fear. In Christ, God accepts me. He is my father, I am his son. There are no conditions on his love, no earning that I must do. I don’t need more acceptance. I have enough in Christ. If others think poorly of me, who cares? If I fail, then I’ll fail knowing that God still delights in me. I am free to step out and risk my reputation, because my identity isn’t found in my reputation, it’s found in Christ.
The glory of the gospel is that I am in Christ. My identity is wrapped up in him. I belong to him and I am his servant. I’m a soldier in his service. Nothing more! Whether I succeed or fail, my position in Christ doesn’t change. Whether I produce bushels of fruit or go down in a glorious mess, it doesn’t matter. In 1 Corinthians 3:7-8, Paul said:
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.
My identity is a servant of Christ. If I water, wonderful. If I harvest, great. If I try and fail, God is still honored. If I try and succeed, it was still God who gave the growth. I’m free to risk my reputation for God because I’m not the one ultimately responsible for producing the fruit. God is pleased by my efforts.
Charles Spurgeon said:
I think I know of no delight on earth that is higher than that of knowing that you really are with all your heart adoringly serving God.
Is fear holding you back from using your gifts to serve the Lord? Is fear of what others think keeping you from adoringly serving God? Don’t hold back. Don’t let fear limit you. You are secure in Christ. If you’re going to fail, fail gloriously.