<<fearful, cautious>>

Everyone experiences a lack of confidence in certain areas of life which manifests as fear, a lack of courage, and not participating because it is outside our comfort zone. Like Adam and Eve after they sinned, we may also be afraid of the unknown or the consequences of our actions (Gen 3:10).

If you are reluctant to step out beyond your comfort zone, so were numerous other people who helped shaped history. Moses considered he was not up to the task, stating he was not a fluent speaker, however he was not excused for God had his brother Aaron assist him in the role. Gideon was another who tried unsuccessfully to reason his way out of his divinely appointed task (Ex 4:10-16; Jdg 6:13-15).

Paul confessed to being both timid and bold (1 Cor 2:3; 2 Cor 10:1-10). Apparently, Paul was not a powerful preacher although he was an excellent debater. In spite of being timid in his own ability, in obedience and with the zeal of the Holy Spirit, he fulfilled God’s calling on his life. His effectiveness lay in the fact that he recognised he was weak and powerless in himself, yet in Christ, he was strong (2 Cor 12:9,10). What a lesson for us all to humbly put ourselves at the foot of the cross and pray, ‘Lord, as I empty myself of me, flow into me and through me and minister your transforming power to broken humanity.  I believe you have asked me to do____, in faith I step forward claiming your help and ability. I will keep my eyes on you’.

While not everyone is an up-front speaker, we all should be advancing in our ministry and effectiveness, fulfilling our vital role in the Kingdom of God. We

Do not let fear dictate (limit) your activity

are to be sensitive to people’s natures, yet spur one another on to greater things in God, including “Encouraging the timid…” (1 Thes 5:14). “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline” so do not let your reticence keep you from fulfilling your destiny in God (2 Tim 1:7). Be obedient to God and in faith confront the obstacles and challenges you face. Paul said, with the help of God we dared to share the gospel in spite of strong opposition (1 Thes 2:2). They were not intimidated or embarrassed in any way, but spoke fearlessly knowing they would be held accountable if they did not – as we are too (Ezek 33:7-9). Jesus said, if we acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge us before His Father, while if we disown Him before others, He will disown us before His Father (Mt 10:32,33).

Do I hold back when I know I should speak up for Christ? The disciples were scared and ran from Christ when He was arrested but after receiving the Holy Spirit they were bold (Mt 26:56; Act 4:8-31).

Don’t we all need more of the Holy Spirit’s power and enabling to live more effectively for Him (Act 1:8). The early believers prayed, "Lord enable your servants to preach your word with great boldness" (Act 4:24). God's immediate answer to their prayer was, "And when they had prayed...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness" (Act 4:29-31). Why not ask for a relenishment or refilling of the Holy Spirit now aware that living in this sin affected world diminishes His vitality in our lives (Lk 11:13; Eph 5:18)?

See also: boldness, comfort zone, confidence, fear, Holy Spirit, self-conscious.

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