If you’re sitting with a decision that scares you, that threatens failure, that you know you’re meant for but fear holds you back, be encouraged that we are called to be brave.
When was the last time God asked you to do something so crazy that when He asked you, you felt sick to your stomach and full of unease at the cost? Were you brave, or were you full of fear?
I remember being faced with a choice between staying with the predictable and walking into the unfamiliar. In the process of that decision that I learned a lot about what it means to be brave.
Even when we feel fearful, we can be brave.
When we feel unprepared, we can be brave.
When the decision is inconvenient, we can be brave.
As leaders we can get comfortable with what we know we can lead well. But we are not called to stay comfortable. We are called to be brave.
Doing the brave thing can be anything from deciding to lead that Bible study to deciding to move across the world if God asks you to. The thing about God asking you to be being brave is that He promises to be with you. He helps you to be brave.
In trying to figure out which way to decide, to be comfortable or courageous, I started to think of reasons why I shouldn’t be brave. The thing is, if you’re looking for an excuse, you’re going to find one.
My excuses were found in feeling unprepared, inexperienced, and genuinely fearful of this major change in my life. These criteria never stopped God from calling His people.
I also feared failure in taking the brave step. If the fear of failure is keeping you from being brave, I want you to hear this—failure is inevitable, but it does not disqualify you.
When a fear of failure keeps us from doing the brave thing, remember we don’t have a spirit of timidity. Paul says in 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
A spirit of power reminds us that the power within us is the power of Christ. He has called us His own and there is nothing we have to prove. Doing the brave thing is about trusting Him, giving Him the glory, and furthering His kingdom by showing others who Jesus is.
A spirit of love is important when facing a brave step because change requires a lot of grace for ourselves and others. And Christ’s perfect love casts out all fear, so we don’t have to fear our failure because we know that God sees us and loves us no matter what.
Other translations write the last term as self-control or sound judgement. In my opinion, these alternative terms help to make sense of our situations.
Let me explain.
When we’re faced with a brave choice to make, a spirit of self-discipline can help us to get prepared for it with God’s help. A spirit of self-control can save us from trying to step out in zeal instead of with God’s guidance. And a spirit of sound judgement can help us discern if this brave choice is in God’s will or not.
If God is calling you to do a brave thing, either something to let go of or something to step into, know that He has given you the power, the love, and the sound judgement to see it through.
That being said, if you’re looking for an excuse to stay in the safety of the predictable, you will find one. And that’s okay. There is grace for that. But there is greater joy and a greater plan waiting for you on the other side of your obedience.
So that brave thing you’re facing today—the step you know you’re meant to take but you’re afraid of what it might cost—know that a spirit of fear is not from God.
He will be with you every step of the way.