Who will you be today: the champion you dream of being or the person you’re afraid you are?
For most people who feel trapped on the hamster wheel of mediocrity, the problem is not lack of talent or bad luck or even bad fashion instincts. You don’t have to make a million dollars or win America’s Got Talent to climb out of life’s overcrowded basement and create some excitement. Consider this: God can indeed do more than you ask or imagine, but there must be a reason he gave you a brain and a heart!
There is hidden wisdom often overlooked in the biblical account of Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18.) In just moments, Elijah confidently calls down literal fire from heaven after his pagan competitors have waved their hands and prayed all morning but to no avail. The courageous prophet clearly believes in God as he scores his historic victory over the queen’s cronies. But only one chapter later, still believing in the God of Israel, Elijah can be found cowering among the rocks, trembling in fear, and hiding from Jezebel. How do you explain the difference?
Quite obviously, the things Elijah believes about God are unchanged from his success on the mountain to his humiliation in the cave one chapter later. What’s different about his defeat is that our hero has permitted the alarm bells and warning lights of emotion to overshadow the calm voice of his Wonderful Counselor. He allows fake news to send him spinning into a panic attack.
That’s how fear takes charge in a life of faith. I lose my traction and give in to those voices that warn disaster is about to strike; I will fail miserably at this new venture; I am not equipped for the destiny God has set before me; and more basically, I am just a screw-up! Lies don’t need credibility in order to cast their spell: they just need some poor sucker to welcome them in unchallenged.
Who will you be today: the person of influence you dream of being or the shmuck you’re afraid you are? That world renowned philosopher Anonymous sums it up this way: “Never be afraid to try your hand at something new. Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”
When fear and insecurity threaten to shout down your brightest ambitions, pause and take a deep breath. Then ask yourself:
- Is that frightening idea positively, universally true? Is The End of the World as you know it literally the only possible outcome?
- How does that unlikely idea make you behave?
- How will your life be different if you crush that irrational idea today and give God some room to work?
Embrace your calling! Faith and fearlessness are a winning combination. One opens the windows of heaven; the other slams the door on emotional hysteria that drives you away from ambition and adventure. You and I must lock and load the promises of Christ (John 14:27.) “Peace I leave with you, my parting gift to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Cast your fears to the wind, and lift up the Cross!