Afraid to Try?

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Jentezen Franklin

I heard of a guy who couldn’t speak
English. He was terrified of trying because he did not want to fail. So he found
an English teacher and asked him to teach him how to order a meal in a
restaurant in perfect English. The teacher taught him how to say four words:
hamburger, french fries, Coke.

Every day after that, the man went
to order his hamburger, french fries and Coke. Soon he grew tired of eating the
same things every day. So he asked the English teacher to teach him how to order
something else to eat. The teacher taught him to say eggs, toast and

So the man went happily to the restaurant to order
eggs, toast and juice. But when the waiter asked, “How do you want your eggs?”
the guy stared back blankly. Then the waiter asked, “What kind of toast do you
want? And would you like orange juice or apple juice?” The guy stared helplessly
at the waiter for a moment and then said, “Hamburger, french fries,

A lot of people live a “hamburger, french fries, Coke” life
because they are not willing to do something imperfectly or try to do something
new. They will not face off with their fears and risk failure. Their answer to
risk-taking is to play it safe. But you cannot please God by playing it safe,
and you cannot succeed in life without taking risks.

When you are so
afraid of failure that you don’t try, you cannot please God. I would rather try
to do something for God and fail than not try to do anything. That leads to
barrenness and futility of your purpose in life.

There was a tourist
driving through beautiful farmland when he saw an old farmer sitting in a
rocking chair on his porch. The tourist stopped to chat with him. As he
approached, he saw the man’s scraggly beard and noted that he was chewing on a
piece of straw. Behind the old farmhouse was 75 acres of barren land.

tourist asked the farmer, “Is that your land?”

“Yep,” he

“Well, what are you going to do with it? Are you thinking of
growing cotton?”

“Nope, I’m afraid the boll weevils will get

“What about corn?”

“No. Locusts will eat the corn,” the
farmer responded, still chewing on the straw.

“Well, is there anything
else you can do with the land? What about raising cattle?”

“I am afraid
the price of beef might go down.”

“So, what are you going to do with your
75 acres of prime farmland?”

“Nothing. I am going to play it safe and do

Have you
ever felt that way? Just wanting to play it safe and do nothing? A lot of people
do that with their life potential. If you choose just to play it safe in life,
your potential for success becomes a barren wasteland. If fear rules your life,
you will not dare to step out in life to fulfill your destiny in God. But the
Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (see Heb. 11:6). It
is better to risk failure to do what God wants you to do than to do

We have all experienced fear that makes us want to draw back and
play it safe. But people who overcome that fear are those who will make it in
life. You have to decide to declare your goals for life in the face of

When God has asked me to do something that seems impossible for me,
I have to preach three things to myself. I encourage you to make these
declarations over your situation. They have become my fear fighters.

Jesus is with me and has all power—in His hands.

2. God is at the
bottom—no matter how low it gets—God is there.

3. God has given to
everyone a measure of faith—I have faith for this.

It is not God’s will
for your life to be ruled by fear—of any kind. The key to living by faith in a
world driven by fear is to submit your life to the lordship of Christ. As you
take this first step to living a life free from fear, you will discover that
many of your worst fears have actually been “much ado about nothing.” You will
learn to live in the wonderful shelter of safety that God provides for

Adapted from Fear Fighters by Jentezen Franklin, copyright
2009, published by Charisma House. This book helps you identify and defeat the
very source of the fear in your life by showing you God’s arsenal of
divine weapons—His fear fighters. You will learn to use these weapons in every
area of your life including faith, finances, health and relationships. To order a copy click here.

This week thank God that He has provided the key to living a life by faith and submit yourself to the lordship of Christ. Confess that He is always with you and has already given you the measure of faith you need to overcome your fears. Thank Him that as you trust Him He will direct your steps toward a successful life. Continue to pray for the protection of Israel and that God would send more workers into His harvest fields. Pray for righteous leaders to fill empty posts in our government and our judicial systems. Ask God to ignite revival at home and abroad. Remember those who have lost jobs, homes and loved ones. Heb. 11:6; 2 Tim. 1:7

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