We all do it- the Lord speaks to us through His Word, a sermon, a conversation with a friend; and we push Him away. The Bible says ‘quenched’. Like the Spirit of God puts a fire in us and we pour a bucket of water on it. Why would we do that?
Now when we say, ‘the Spirit’s leading’, please understand that this is not just a vague feeling of wanting to the right thing, or a self-betterment plan. This is a definite, Bible-supported conviction about an action or inaction. So why wouldn’t do what we know is right?
The main reason that we don’t do what God says is fear. Fear manifests itself in many ways, shapes, and forms and is not always as obvious as we might think. But once we understand the root of the problem, we can better address it by going to the Bible for help. As you read this list, think honestly of what area of your life in which you face this fear- then do something about it.
We don’t like to be uncomfortable. Whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, we will do pretty much anything to stay in our ‘comfort zone’. Thus, a problem arises when God asks (or commands) us to do something that we think will cause us discomfort. Our flesh immediately rebels to the thought of sacrificing for our betterment, or someone else’s. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”, and Psalm 118:27 says, “God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” Obviously, it is not natural to want to sacrifice ourselves. It is a decision that we must make daily if we want to serve the Lord in any way. If we do, however, God promises us great comfort of the soul. Psalm 71:20-21 is just one example: “Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.” Do you fear discomfort?
We don’t like to fail. There is something in our nature that like to be in control and to be able to do everything; but we can’t. We all have something that we are either bad at, or incapable of doing on our own- and try to avoid situations where that inability becomes obvious. Thus, a problem arises when God asks (or commands) us to do something that we don’t think we can do. Our pride immediately rebels against anything that might cause us embarrassment. Moses faced this same fear in Exodus chapters 3-4. “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” No one knows better than God what our inabilities are, and no one knows better than God how to enable us. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul says, “And he [God] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Do you fear inability?
We care a lot about what people think about us. Most of our life revolves around pleasing others, whether we realize it or not. Thus, a problem arises when God asks (or commands) us to do something that we think will make us lose other people’s affections. Our emotions immediately rebel against anything that might cause us pain. Jesus warned us about this kind of attitude when He said in John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” If we are doing the Lord’s work, we can’t expect to be treated any other way than how He was treated- and He was crucified! When Israel was afraid, God’s answer in Deuteronomy 31:6 was to “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” He told Jeremiah, “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” Do you fear people?
We don’t like to think that someone else has it better off than us. Even if we are not in actual need, we can still be jealous of other people. Thus, a problem arises when God asks (or commands) us to do something that we think will put us at a disadvantage. Our pride immediately rebels against our not having what we think is the best. Israel showed this attitude when they asked for a king. It wasn’t enough that God Himself ruled them; they wanted what the other countries had! In Samuel 8:7, “…the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” When we are upset that we don’t have what we think is best, we are basically saying that God doesn’t know what He is doing in our lives. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Do you fear disadvantage?
We all have fears. Don’t worry; God knows all about them! If we just realize that God has it all under control, then we can have true peace. But if we give in to our fears, we will never serve God as we should.
Are you going to give into YOUR fear?