Trust & Obey - Part 1
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
What do you do when you know God is telling you to do something but you are afraid?
Overcoming fear, insecurities & doubts when it comes to obeying God.
Friend, have you ever felt God strongly nudging you to do something? Something you know in the depths of your heart that you should do because you can feel the Holy Spirit quietly but firmly pointing you to it. However, even though you know you should do it, you struggle to do so because you feel paralyzed with fear or doubts. Have you ever felt that way? And if so, what do you do in this situation?
I have been feeling this way over the last few months. For a while now, God has slowly been placing pointers in my life leading me in the direction of wanting to start a way of writing and sharing words that He places on my heart. I have felt this leading in many different ways. Through promises and verses in the reading of His Word. Through messages and sermons I have listened to. And also through the words and urging of a few trusted friends.
Questioning: Is This Idea Actually From God?
Now despite the leading from God, a huge part of me still kept wondering,
"Lord, is this idea just from me or is it truly from you?"
I did not want to start anything on my own. I do not want to start anything out of selfish ambition, out of my own will. After praying about this question very specifically, God gave me several promises of encouragement from His Word directly addressing this doubt. One of which was:
1 Peter 4:10-11 "God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ..."
His numerous promises encouraged me deeply.
Are you having similar thoughts?
If so, friend, I urge you to take your fears and thoughts directly to God (Philippians 4:6-7).
Pray about them specifically. Ask God directly. Spend time studying His Word for guidance. And most of all, be quiet and actually listen to Him.
God always wants to speak to us. Usually, we don't hear Him because we are ones who are distracted, impatient or busy.
Make spending quiet uninterrupted time in God's Word and prayer an absolute priority in your life. Jesus set this example for us (Mark 1:35).
Submit your plans to Him and ask God for guidance and friend, He WILL guide you on the right path. He has promised us.
"The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
More Questioning: Can I Juggle Everything Well?
Since it sadly appears that I am a lot like Gideon in my lack of faith (lol), despite the repeated calls from God (over and over and yes, over again), I continued to wrestle with several other thoughts.
Some of which were:
Will doing this take away time from me being more present for my family? Will our family life suffer because of me taking time for this?
Will I fail? Will I not hear God’s words? Worse, will I hear but write something wrong?
How will I have enough time for my normal daily work?
Will I not be able to give it my best? Will I compromise on this? Or will I compromise on other areas of my life?
Even with all these thoughts running through my head, I still could not put away the burning desire of needing to start doing this.
As I continued praying and laying these fears and questions down at God’s feet, God allowed a few more things to happen.
Our God Will Provide Everything That We Need In Order To Do His Will
One Sunday, the sermon in Church was about Luke 5:1-11. When Jesus calls Peter, James and John to follow Him and be 'fishers of men'. During the end of the sermon, our Pastor mentioned Luke 5:10 which says,
“…Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
The Pastor suggested that one of the many reasons that Jesus said “Don’t be afraid” could be because Jesus knew that Peter had a wife and a family. And Jesus knew that one of the many things that Peter was probably thinking was,
“How can I possibly leave my entire livelihood and follow Jesus?
How will I be able to take care of my family?”
So Jesus said the words “Don’t be afraid”.
Also, out of all the miracles Jesus could have performed at that moment, why did Jesus choose to perform the particular miracle of allowing the men to have such a large catch of fish only to then tell them to turn around, leave their livelihood of catching fish and follow Jesus?
They were fishermen. So a large catch of fish was directly equivalent to a massive pay day for them.
The Pastor suggested that one of the reasons Jesus provided such a large catch of fish only to then tell them to leave it was to maybe prove to them that GOD IS THE ONE WHO PROVIDES ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.
And if they follow Him, God would ensure that every single need of theirs will be met and that they do not need to be afraid or worried.
Maybe, this was why Jesus performed that miracle and followed it with the words “Don’t be afraid”.
This spoke to me so deeply.
Friend, anything and everything that we have right now, is directly a gift provided from God.
Our very breath and life is a gift given by His mercy. Any income from any job or career we have is provided from God. He is the one who gives us the wisdom, knowledge and strength to do what we do. It is all from Him already.
So, if He is calling you to follow Him, will He not continue to provide for you exactly what you need?
God, the creator of the Universe, the one who makes the sun shine, who makes the rain fall and who has given us the very breath that we are breathing right now CAN and WILL provide everything that we need exactly when we need it, as long as we follow Him.
This was one of my biggest concerns. How can I properly take care of my family and also focus on writing?
And right here, I felt so strongly God speaking to me and telling me and assuring me that if we hear His Word and if He is telling us to do something, then WE SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID. We should TRUST AND OBEY. And He who is the creator and maker of the heavens and the earth WILL help take care of everything. We just need to do our part of trusting and obeying Him. I felt so encouraged.
Questioning: Do I Have What It Takes?
Friend, even after all this, I am ashamed to say that I still kept hesitating. Another set of doubts gripped me. I kept hearing a voice in my head. A sentence that a dear friend of mine had casually said to me after I mentioned this idea to her. She said as she was thinking about the idea of me writing, she initially had the thought to herself of,
"Oh, what does she have of value that she could share to others and write about?"
I kept thinking of those words. And how they were actually really true. I, on my own, do not have anything of value to share.
Friend, maybe you are in the same boat where you are doubting if you have what it takes.
I remember one morning in my quiet time, I was reading Hebrews and I could not help but see how many of those 'heroes of faith' also had doubts and fears.
Moses, himself, struggled with fears and doubts.
"But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”
Jeremiah the prophet also struggled with fears.
“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Gideon is yet another example (Judges 6:15-16).
I immediately started writing down the fears I had:
I fear I do not have what it takes to write anything of value
I fear what is written will make a difference to no one
Its funny but as I wrote out each fear, I could literally hear God whispering His answer, addressing each fear and in turn comforting and encouraging me.
I was reminded of how the whole point of me writing is to write what God is laying on my heart to share.
Of course, I don't have anything of value to share. But God does!
So shouldn't I trust God for the writing and the value and how "good" it will be? If He is laying it out to be written, will it not obviously be of value to at least someone somewhere at some point?
I should not worry about this. All I need to do is obey Him and spread His word. God, through the Holy Spirit, in turn does the job of speaking to and touching someone's heart and soul. That's not my job. That's His job. So why am I worrying about that?
Ezekiel 2:6-7 says
"...do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid,... Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them,...7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen,..."
I remember God leading me to this passage and it was a powerful reminder of the importance of us actively choosing faith, trust and obedience over fear.
And in regards to if I have what it takes.
I freely admit that, on my own, I do not have what it takes.
Friends, none of us, on our own, have what it takes!
But with God's help, we have everything we need and more! (Philippians 4:13)
That is the beauty of what God does, isn't it? If we trust Him and if we let Him, He can take our weaknesses and use them for His glory! Through this, we can see His incredible power shine and at work. We can also never boast that we did something on our own because clearly it was God and definitely not us.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
God has assured us that He WILL equip us with exactly what we need, exactly when we need it, in order for us to do His good and perfect will. So shouldn't I be running to Him to ask for His help, trusting that He WILL help, instead of just sitting here playing 20 questions and doubting?
At this point, I felt overwhelmed, in the most positive way. Here I was (again) praying and asking for even more reassurances and guidance and God had almost immediately responded (yet again) by leading me to verses, where I felt Him speaking directly to me. I remember thinking, here I am, a worthless sinner who is but a speck of dust in the wind, sitting at my dinning table, yet the God of all creation is here with me surrounding me with His love. And not just is He here showing me love, but in each of my fears that I take to Him, He keeps on gently and firmly reassuring and answering me over and over and over again.
I felt overwhelmed with the glaring truth, which was my absolute lack of faith despite Him continually pursuing me over and over again with His overwhelming, boundless, underserved and matchless grace and love.
I decided at that moment that I would stop the questioning. That I would choose to trust and obey despite any fears or worries. I immediately asked God to forgive me for my lack of faith. For my insistent questioning and doubting. And I asked Him to help me.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Dear friend, do you have something in your life right now that you feel God is leading you to do? Something you have prayed about and have gotten confirmation from His Word and yet you are afraid to move? Are you asking yourself similar questions?
Friend, "Do not be afraid". Trust Him. Obey Him.
Why should we not be afraid? Why should we trust Him?
Well, we can trust Him because we know our God!
And what do we know about our God? We explore this in Part 2 of Trust & Obey.