Jan. 26 - Sinking Fear, Part 4 - Fear of Failure
Does it ever feel like God is asking too much of you? I mean, He wants you to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” right? (Matthew 28:19) That’s a tall order! Doesn’t it often feel like you’re not enough? Not brave enough, not smart enough, not good enough? Does it make you feel better to know that you’re right? You’re not enough. No, I suppose it doesn’t.
It’s scary to step out and try to do what God has asked of us. There are so many places where we could trip up and fail. We could say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, tell the wrong people, set the wrong example. We could end up looking like an idiot and face ridicule from others. What if we disappoint God? But finish reading what Jesus says.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
How about now? “I am with you always.” That changes everything! You’re not called to make disciples on your own. God, the creator of the sun, moon, stars, oceans, and chocolate, will be there with you every step of the way!
Most of us have experienced a fear of failure at one time or another, but that fear can be a real problem when it keeps us from what God has called us to. So what could be the underlying causes of that fear?
Small confidence in God – You may have doubts that God truly is with you always, as He says.
People-pleasing – You just want everyone to be happy. Even more, you want them to be happy with you. What if you say or do something that makes them think you’re weird or stupid or wrong?
Perfectionism – If you step on that ledge to do something bold and you mess up, people might suspect you’re capable of making mistakes.
Pessimism – You have no confidence in the future. Maybe you allow negativity to overshadow the good things in your life or maybe you just have a short memory for all the times God has come through for you.
On Sunday, Greg shared the story of the time God called upon Gideon to save the people of Israel by leading them against the Midianites. The Lord sent an angel to Gideon who said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12) Gideon had done nothing up to that point that even resembled a mighty warrior, but God sees who we are whether we are living it out or not.
Judges 6:14-16 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
When God calls us to a task, He will never send us out on our own. Have complete confidence that He is there with you. At times you may feel your faith falter, but as you increase your participation with God, your confidence in Him will increase as well. Throughout Gideon’s story, he came to see God’s faithfulness through smaller trials, helping him to gain confidence that His God would carry him through to victory, as promised.
If you find yourself struggling with a fear of failure, lean into your brothers and sisters at Newstart. We have leadership that wants to see us succeed. They can provide the resources, training, and prayer needed to fight any battle for God.