A Chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman? Really?
We’ll meet this crazy beast in a moment but first, do you remember? What are the first two things we need to know to turn fear from a liability to an asset? (You can peek at the bottom of this post if you really can’t remember.)
And here's the third:
Fear is an invitation – to come closer, to dig deeper, and to keep on going.
Before anything else, fear is an invitation to come closer to Jesus, and it’s what we do with that invitation that determines whether fear is a liability or an asset in our growth as disciples. Will we pull away from Jesus, deciding to trust our fear more than Jesus? Or will we let fear be a reminder to draw closer to Jesus, to intentionally open ourselves up to Him, even if it’s a matter of saying, “Jesus I don’t even understand why I’m feeling afraid right now, but I am. Will You be with me in it? Will you teach me how safe I am with You?”
Part of accepting the invitation to come closer to Jesus is letting Him guide us into all truth. As we come closer to Jesus in our fear, we’ll find Him inviting us to dig deeper, to ask the big questions about why we’re afraid and what we’re believing and what the truth really is.
Finally, fear might be part of the invitation into our truest calling. Darrell Johnson identifies six factors that appear over and over when God calls someone to be part of what He is doing. The last of these factors is a profound sense of inadequacy. As Pastor Darrell says, Moses’ “I can’t speak,” Jeremiah’s “I’m just a youth,” Paul's "Who is adequate for this task?" aren’t words of false humility or a poor self-image.
“Wonderfully gifted and profoundly inadequate: they go together in tension. Why? . . . Because we are called to participate in . . . what God is doing. And we are not God!” (Darrell Johnson)
Holley Gerth says it this way: “Fear hangs out right next to whatever it is you’re most called to do. That means the closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds. Keep going–fear is a chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman.” — You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Chapter Five
Fear is an invitation, friend. Keep going – right into it. Deep into the heart of Jesus and the truth of God’s love and the living out of who you are made to be.
Next week: some creative prayer-practices to help us let Jesus into our fear.
In the meantime: Which part of fear's invitation do you find hardest to accept: the invitation to come closer to Jesus, to dig deeper into the truth, or to keep going further into the living of who you're made to be?
I'm away with family for two weeks so won't be around to respond to comments. Next week's post is all set to publish automatically at the usual time. May you be getting some rest and refreshment in these summer days too!
(Answer key: 1) Fear doesn’t have the last word. 2) Fear doesn’t disappoint God.)