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One of the most clear things God has ever said to me was in the Canal ACE subway station, waiting impatiently for a train to get back to Brooklyn, about 2 years ago.
I had just had dinner with a friend, and we were talking about our futures.
I was listening to a worship set from the previous weekend, thinking about how I was unsure of my ability to be a strong enough (whatever that means) worship leader, leader in general, song writer, you name it…
My thoughts were interrupted by God saying:
“Your fear is faith in your failure. And this is not about you.”
I actually think I took my headphones out. Because, whoa.
Over the last couple of years I’ve been able to learn more and more about how God equips the called. He doesn’t always call the equipped. We need to stop thinking that God calls extraordinary people, and only extraordinary people. To be fair, we’re all extraordinary in God’s eyes, though we rarely see it this way. I think God puts (what we consider) ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances, so that it’s obvious that it was God.
This is an extreme example, but take the plagues for instance. The first two were easy to copy according to Pharoah’s magicians. Once they got to the third with the gnats, they couldn’t explain it away. “This is the finger of God”, they said to Pharaoh in Exodus 8:19.
I could tell roughly 1,000 stories of my friends that don’t make sense. People who left jobs, bands, cities, to do what God has called them to. To the normal person, they would look insane, irresponsible… But then to see the fruit that came out of that obedience… Man, you can’t deny God in situations like that.
Let’s be honest. Most people probably don’t find Jesus when perfection is standing on a soap box, preaching at them. We preach perfection (Jesus) from places of imperfection. The grace that bridges that gap, literally saves people.
There’s a ton of examples in the Bible of not being fearful. One of my favorite is Peter walking on water.
The following story is in Matthew: “And in the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid! And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
His faith kept him afloat, his fear caused him to sink. Bam, simple.
I’ll leave you with this, because, as always, God says it better than I ever can:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10