If you’re going to make a fresh start with faith in your life, you must face your fears. Fear has an incredible ability to paralyze our potential, to keep us from launching out, to keep us from having faith in our lives.
Giving into our fear makes us skeptical. We become afraid of trying anything new when we’re afraid.
Remember the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10 in the Bible? He faced a fear that most of us face: the fear of rejection and disapproval.
He was blind and in need of healing. Jesus was walking by, but Bartimaeus knew that to shout out at Jesus in that crowd wasn’t the culturally acceptable thing to do. He knew that people would look down on him for it, but he was desperate.
And he knew that Jesus Christ was the only one that could help him.
Bartimaeus shouted. And sure enough, people in the crowd criticized him for it. When he shouted out to Jesus, the Bible says in Mark 10:48, “Many scolded him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (NET).
When he shouted out, everyone around said things to him like, Don’t do that. Be quiet. Quiet down. Don’t make a scene. Surely Jesus Christ isn’t interested in you. He’s got more important things to do.
The Devil whispers things like that to a lot of us. And those kinds of thoughts often keep us from having faith. When you see before you the opportunity to change, to be healed, to take another step forward in your spiritual journey, all kinds of shouts from inside and outside of you tell you not to rock the boat.
But here’s an important question: Whose disapproval do you fear the most? Whoever that is, that person is your god. That person can keep you from having faith or invite you to have faith. Peer pressure isn’t just for kids.
It’s possible that as you read this, God is asking you to do something greater than you’ve ever done before. He’s asking you to depend on him in a way you never have before. Of course it’s a little scary.
Here’s my encouragement: Tame your fear and move out in faith!
Pastor Rick I have been following you for nearly 8 years I met you at a Celebrate Recovery Summit at a time when my life was truly unmanageable. Since then I have started a new direction in my life however, now there are several different fears that I am facing now. One is in relation to having God show me a new direction that seems to have taken my desires away from my own church. I am in school studying for my Masters Degree in Professional Counseling Christian Studies and Substance Abuse Disorders. While at the same time having my long awaited prayers answered for the return of my family I struggled with an 18 year addiction and have been sober for 8 years from crack cocaine. I am a grand mother of 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grand sons. The fear that I have is that I realize that to whom much is given much is required and so I work as a Celebrate Recovery volunteer Facilitator it has become my passion to get more African American and Minority groups established in the Phoenix area. What I would like to see and learn is how to get people to stick it out. We seem to be able to get the newcomers but they don’t come back. Sometimes they say that the program isn’t build for the way we talk. I get that but I also understand the value of the DNA of CR and want to help what can I do?