Do you struggle with a #FearofFailure? Does it keep you from accepting an opportunity, starting a project, or maybe completing a task?
I do - remember how I have mentioned my over analytical approach to all of life's obstacles? Well, in some cases it is to see if success is possible. If it is something I can do well, I jump in with both feet, run forward and knock it out of the park. When I am left uncertain, I will try if I have people motivating me or if I have people counting on me - in which case it may be enough to take the risk. BUT - when it comes to obeying God, it amazes me how He tends to call us to step out of situations we can control or predict the outcomes. He calls us to a place we find the end of ourselves.
Why is that? Why does God constantly take me to the edge? To a place I cannot dig my heals in, work hard, and force a satisfying outcome. This is just my edge, a ledge where control dissolves, and I am left with a personal unltimatum... leap or fall.
I cannot tell you how uncomfortable this ledge is. How vulnerable I have felt standing in this place. I use to fight it...but in fighting, God just kept bringing me to this place. He allowed people to taunt me on this ledge. And I fought. I struggled. I challenged the lack of control, with a determination to restore it.
And as result ... He brought me back ... time after time.
My grandmother use to tell me when I faced difficulty: "you need to focus on learning what God is teaching you in this, so He won't have to teach you again." I took this to heart - but God was always "teaching me something else." Until last year - last year he finally opened my eyes and hear to see it was always about control! My whole life - every ledge - He wanted me to submit my plan to HIS CONTROL. Inevitably becoming HIS PLAN. And I finally learned.
I still go to that ledge, unfortunately. He takes me there now to experience the joy of submission and resting in Him. Instead of fighting everything I faced on my ledge, I am learning to see HIS purpose for what I face on the ledge. When it was about my control - I had to fight - because I faced things that threatened me. But now, being God and His plan - I can look beyond the threat, and see God's purpose. Why I am there, facing that giant, and see each step He lays out for me. I am learning to dance on this ledge with joy. (unfortunately, and fortunately, I have many ledges like this)
What does your ledge look like?
God offers so much encouragement in His word when it comes to obedience in the presence of our Fear of Failure:
Biblical Example: Elijah.
Elijah witnessed amazing victories with God's strength in his life. On one particular occasion, back to back he experienced 6 very specific and phenomenal events: He called for the rain to stop for 3+ years, and God made it happen (1Kings17:1), Ravens fed him in the wilderness as God said they would (1Kings17:4-6), a widow fed him for days with a bottomless jar of flour just as God promised (1Kings17:9-16), he defeated the prophets of Baal by calling down fire from Heaven to burn a water soaked altar (1Kings18:20-40), he called for rain, and God made it happen (1Kings18:40-45), he ran faster than a chariot for multiple miles (1Kings18:45-46).
Can you imagine seeing God work, through you, in situations this miraculous??? Witnessing His power.
But the very next chapter, a threat was made to Elijah's life. And he fled ... in fear. (1Kings19:3)
Those of you who fear failure, guess what God did for Elijah...he fed him and allowed him to rest in safety (1Kings19:5-8). Showing Elijah there was nothing to fear with God. And after he rested and ate (finding rest and fulfillment from God) God held him accountable and called him to GO (1Kings19:15).
Whether we have witnessed God move in our life or not, His power is available. And we have to step each day in obedience, so we don't miss it. But Elijah shows us that even a prophet God used significantly in the Bible, can fall victim to Fear of Failure.
As we pray for God to show us his will for our lives, we have to be acutely aware that it may not be as we planned. It may in fact threaten our plan. We may find where He leads us or how He answers us to jeopardize our expectation of life. But His Plan is bigger than us. More impactful than our expectations. His Plan will produce a greater benefit than our comfort.
"Quit living as if your purpose in life is to arrive safely in death - DO what is destined to fail without divine intervention." - Mark Batterson
I have found God's plan to be obvious in a single fact: that we cannot complete what we are asked to do - WITHOUT HIM.
God's Promise: Provision & Protection.
Genesis 5:1 |Exodus 23:22 | Dueteronomy 1:8 | 1 Chronicles 22:13 | Joshua 1:9 | Psalms 27:1 | Psalms 118:6 | Isaiah 41:10 | Isaiah 41:13 | Matthew 10:31 | 1 Corinthians 2:3 | 2 Timonthy 1:7 | Hebrews 3:6