It was one of those, oh-boy-do-I-wish-I-had-heard-that-a-decade-or-two-ago moments.
My close friend had been listening to me talk about something new I wanted to try in my business. I was excited about it, I said, but found it scary.
“Oh,” she said with a bit of a laugh, “I try to do something every year that scares me.”
That simple statement first stopped me dead in my tracks and became my own informal philosophy.
But those voices in our heads! You have them, too, right? “Who does she think she is?” we hear the voices whisper with a hiss. “Who told her she could…” Sometimes I think those hissing voices have a source in our enemy, who loves to keep Christians doing nothing. Instead of listening to those voices, may I suggest we listen to the God of the universe, the Father who loves us, who made us and who knows who we are?
Here’s what I have learned: many of us think and dream too small. We underestimate our abilities and value. Although we may think we are being virtuously modest or suitably meek, we are probably not considering God’s opinion of us and our potential. He is the one who gave you your talents and gifts and it gives Him the glory when you rise to the challenge and stick your neck out a bit to not only dream, but to act on those dreams.
Now when I think of a new idea or am presented with a new opportunity, I’m not so quick to immediately think, Oh no, not me; I could never do that. I’m beginning to recognize when something new excites and scares me a bit at the same time, then that’s likely something I need to take a serious look at, and probably where God is taking me next.
And yes, it’s scary. Taking any sort of risk can make us fearful. But God shows us continually in His Word that He is for us and not against us; He will be with us while we take those courageous steps of faith.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Or how about this one:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, because the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
And my personal favorite, this closing of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians recorded in Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV):
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”