For most of us, envisioning how God wants to use us is easy.
The real work comes in faithfully taking steps each day in the direction of His
At times, the way seems clearly laid out for us. But at others we feel confused,
unprepared and inadequate.
You’ve undoubtedly had the experience of ministering to
someone and coming away thinking you had utterly failed. But a few days later you encountered
that person again, and she told you your ministry was an answer to prayer!
Admittedly, my greatest foe in pursuing God’s purposes has
been my own fear of my heart’s intentions. The Scriptures say we can’t fully know why we do what we do
(see Jer. 17.9). There have been
times when I’ve decided to “err on the side of caution” rather than risk
offending God because I acted out of impure motives.
But God brought powerful conviction to me through the story
of the “wicked, lazy servant,” who failed to invest what his master entrusted
to him because he was afraid (Matt. 25:26; see also vv.24-25, 27-30, NIV). In The Message His behavior is characterized as “criminal” (v. 26).
Look at the reason this servant offered for being
unproductive: “Master, I know you
have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make
no allowances for error. I was
afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your
money. Here it is, safe and sound
to the last cent.” (vv. 24-25).
According to this passage, the servant feared and blamed his
master. He saw him as cruel,
demanding, unmerciful and evidently powerless to undo any mistakes the servant
My personal anxieties are similarly rooted in a narrow,
distorted view of God’s love and grace.
Once I embrace certain misconceptions about Him, it becomes necessary
for me to play it safe in order to protect myself.
“’Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked
most. And get rid of this
“play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness’” (vv. 28-30).
At the close of her online Bible Study, Believing God, Beth Moore declared that God credited righteousness
to Abraham because of His faith—not
his perfection. She concluded that it is better for us
to believe God and act on what we believe than to remain within our comfort
The secret to running a strong Christian race is walking
with God in faithful obedience, trusting Him with the outcome of every
step. Often the safest thing to do
will appear to be the most risky. But don’t ever be afraid to “go out on a
limb” for God.
PRAYER POWER WEEK OF 3/28/2011
This week ask God to reveal more of Himself to you so that
you would develop an accurate view of His love and grace. Declare His Word over
your life and tell Him that you trust Him with every aspect. Repent of any fear
that has kept you from doing what you know He wants you to do. Continue to pray
for Japan and other nations recovering from natural and man made disasters.
Pray for our troops serving in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Pray for Israel and
lift up President Obama and those working with him as they tackle challenges at
home and abroad. Pray for a united effort among Christians to stand together in
one accord for the purposes of God. Jer. 33:3