Have you ever let fear keep you from doing something God put in your heart? I know I have. I almost did with this blog. I recently taught a class where I overlooked the plethora of kind, positive comments I received and honed in on the only negative one.
Of course, that’s the one I let get in my head. My own cruel whispers of:
“Why am I even trying to do this? Who do I think I am?”
“See, I wasn’t cut out for this after all.”
“People are going to laugh at me.”
“Nothing I do will make a difference.”
and, “I’m a failure,” kept circling through my mind. So much so, I almost shut down and stopped writing and teaching altogether.
Then I felt the whisper of God, like he was saying, “Put your eyes back on me and keep going.”
When I examined my self-talk, I realized I made myself the focus of every single one of those nasty statements. Every. Single. One. They were all about me. None of them focused on Jesus or serving others. None of them focused on God’s calling for us to go out into the world and share the Good News. They all shoved me right back in my fear box and distracted me, keeping my eyes off him. Essentially, I had to get over myself.
First, I had to decide to see that comment as a gift. I can use it to improve my delivery and make the classes better. I willingly choose that. so to the anonymous person who left it, I thank you.
Second, I had to flip the switch and put my focus back on the Lord. When I did, everything changed. When I put my faith in him instead of myself, peace came and anxiety fled. I felt a renewed sense of purpose and re-energized to start writing again. When I face my fears and acknowledge this may never make a difference to a single person, but then put it back on the Lord, I can always say, “At least I did my best and gave God the opportunity to work through me. I did my best with what I felt he called me to do.”
Third, I had to ask myself, what if it does make a difference? What if someone desperately needs exactly what God inspired me to give? If I fight this call, I’ll potentially withhold something that could help another person, just because of my own insecurities. How selfish is that?!
The beauty of facing your fears and moving forward is you will never have to wonder, “What if I’d just ______?”
You may never know who you helped, or if it made a difference, but God does. That should count for something.
So here we are. You may think I’m a doofus, but I sincerely pray this helps you and makes a difference in your life.
Now, let’s focus on Jesus and your journey.
Overflowing Jesus Journal: Day 9
Prayer journaling is a powerful way to connect with God, focus our prayers, and make sense of our feelings. With today’s post, we’re continuing the Overflowing Jesus Journal prompts.
Read the following and let it sink into your soul. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would have happened if Peter had kept his focus on Jesus, instead of the storm around him?
- Do you relate to Peter? (Sidenote: I fully believe Jesus spoke to Peter with kindness and compassion, so when you read his words, do so with a kind tone. My pastor says that the tone we use when we read Jesus’ words to people reflects how we believe God feels about us. He’s right.)
Matthew 14:22-33 NLT – 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
Now write a prayer to God about the following:
- What would your life look like if you kept your eyes on God? What would maintaining that focus give you the courage to do?
- Write a prayer, asking the Lord to help you recognize the areas where you need to shift your focus to him and then to help you do so.
- Thank him for his patience, kindness, and compassion toward you.
- Tell God three things you’re grateful for from the last 24 hours. Remember, no repeats from previous entries!
Enjoying your prayer journal experience? Desperate for the other prompts? Well, you’re in luck! This is one of 40 prayer journal posts. To keep moving through them, just click the left button on the post carousel below and follow them in chronological order to get the full healing experience.
Just let God move through them at a pace that brings you peace. I pray this experience blesses you, brings clarity, and draws you closer to God, the way it did for me and many other people!
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Encourage your friends to join you on this healing prayer journal journey! Share the goodness with them! You never know who needs encouragement.
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Would you like to (re)invite Jesus into your heart? If so, congratulations! This post is for you.
Happy Memorial Day and a sincere thank you to all those brave souls who serve our country! Be blessed!