Someone much smarter than me, but I can’t figure out who that someone is, said or wrote, “Steps of faith often begin with seeds of fear.” Fear and faith. Together. Fear. Fear of God, fear of failure, fear of appearing crazy, fear of being a hypocrite. God often calls me to do something that is beyond me. Something that I cannot do in my own power. I do not know how to step out without a sense of fear. Do not get me wrong, I am stepping out believing God has called me to step out. I am treading new waters because God is pointing me in that direction. I have faith that God will sustain me, that God will guide me, that God will empower me. Oh but fear is also my companion. Fear that drives me to my knees, and closer to my Lord. Fear that does not paralyze me, but that draws me outside myself. Fear that clearly delineates whether I will say, “no” to my plans and dreams, or “no” to God.
Other brilliant people say that faith removes fear. I admit that Jesus did rebuke the disciples, when they were afraid their ship would sink due to a storm. Jesus told them, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) Some translations say, “why are you so cowardly?” When I am considering stepping out in faith, am I cowardly? No, I am stepping out. Am I sometimes fearful, you bet. So what is the difference?
Fear drives me closer to God, it reminds me that my step of faith isn’t about me, but about God. This type of fear is courageous. It moves ahead regardless of what circumstances are saying and it trusts God with the outcome. Cowardly fear may cry out to God, but misses the point of the storm or the step of faith. It looks at circumstances, not our Heavenly Father. It makes excuses, and refuses to move forward. It paralyzes rather than energizes.
So I am stepping out in faith. I am trusting God with the results. Am I fearful? A little. Am I clinging to God and counting on Him not myself? Yes. Oh that I would allow a bit of courageous fear to draw me to Him and into His service. Is there any room for cowardly fear? No way! When it tries to sneak up on me, I pray. O Jesus, increase my faith! I pray that I will not fear because I know God is with me. I pray that I can push past the fear and serve God.