It’s the age-old classic story, David against Goliath, Israel up against the Red Sea, Peter up against roaring waves, and somewhere in the midst of this spectrum, you may find yourself, up against your fear of starting something new.
A new project, a new job, a new career, moving to a new city, and so on. You fill your mind with every kind of excuse that brings about every kind of fear.
You may not feel perfectly ready, so you start making a mental checklist of all the things you want to change about yourself before you begin, and you may even start working on that mental checklist,
But time is ticking, will you get through that checklist in time? What if things go wrong because you weren’t ready?
If you find yourself in this particular state, can I just whisper something to you really quick?
It’s really that simple.
The beautiful thing about living in the presence of God is that He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but He does want us to have the courage to begin.
Pastor Steven Furtick once explained this in a sermon. He said that while he was waiting for his wife Holly get ready for church, time was passing and they needed to leave,
So he simply stated, “You’re going to have to get ready on the way,” and with that he was reminded that with God it’s much the same way.
If our life is in God’s hands, He’s leading and we can get ready on our way.
Personally, after hearing Pastor Furtick retell this scenario in his life, I felt a major wake up call in my life to stop trying to be good enough, but to allow God to help me simply “get ready on the way.”
Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops.”
I’ve realized that “waiting for perfect weather,” and “watching every cloud,” only hinders me from taking a step forward, honestly, it only causes me to take a step in every direction but forward.
And in those moments I think of the story of the Israelites in Numbers 13 and 14. When God asked Moses to send twelve men into the land of Canaan to explore.
Twelve went in to explore. All but two, let their fears steal their peace.
Those ten men looked at everything that could go wrong, but Caleb and Joshua focused on who God was and what He had already brought them through.
Because of their fears, those ten men caused an entire generation to miss out on the opportunity to live in the land of Canaan.
But God honored the faith of Caleb and Joshua, and in Joshua 1 God delivers the following message:
“Joshua, be strong and brave! You must lead these people so they can take the land that I promised their fathers I would give them. Be strong and Brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you. If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do. Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything. Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the LORD your God will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:6-9
It was Joshua’s moment. Was he afraid? Judging by the way God delivered the message to Joshua, “Be strong and brave,” and “Don’t be afraid” I’m guessing Joshua was probably terrified.
Not only was he entering the land of Canaan, but he was also leading the entire nation into the land. This meant that all eyes and all the pressure were on him.
Do you think Joshua was absolutely ready when he was to lead? I don’t think so. You know why? Because God told Joshua to study the teachings day and night. If he was ready, why would he need to study?
Joshua was getting ready on the way.
With us, it’s very much the same way. God uses the weak because His power is made strong in them.
If we were to take a look at every single character of the Bible that God used to accomplish His miracles, we see the same patterns of weakness, and we also see the same pattern of strength instilled by God.
Paul said “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13
In Isaiah 41 God says to Israel, “So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong and I will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you… Don’t be afraid, even though you are as weak as a worm I myself will help you.”
And I believe that to us, God is saying much the same. He gives strength, He gives direction, He gives provision, He gives hope.
So now let’s go back to the beginning. David defeated Goliath in the strength of the LORD. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea through the power of God, and Peter, well he walked on water through faith in Christ.
How about you? If God was with them, believe me, He is with you and He is with me. Let’s answer the call to action.
Inspiration: “Look, I have made you like a new threshing board with many sharp teeth. So you will walk on mountains and crush them; you will make the hills like chaff. You will throw them into the air, and the wind will carry them away; a windstorm will scatter them. Then you will be happy in the LORD; you will be proud of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:15-16