DayBreaks for 06/03/13 – Fearless

DayBreaks for 06/03/13 – Fearless

fearlessAdam and Christine Jeske, bloggers for InterVarsity, asked several hundred college students a simple question: “What is your biggest obstacle today to giving your whole life for God’s global mission?”

Here is what Adam said:

“Let me be clear, as I was that day—I wasn’t asking about dropping out of society, selling everything, and moving to Turkmenistan (although that was fair game).

“Rather, I explained that giving your whole life for God’s global mission is being fully given over to God’s purposes in the world. If you’re following Jesus’ calling, you can serve God just as well as a businessperson in the U.S. as a church planter in Sri Lanka.

“I had people text me their biggest obstacles to fully following Jesus. Some answers were not very surprising: selfishness, busyness, lust, health issues, lack of self-discipline, and materialism.

“But one answer stood out, named by a quarter of those responding as their biggest obstacle to giving their whole life to global mission: fear.

“These students—and Christians, no less—were afraid of everything:

  • Being alone
  • Failing
  • Being uncomfortable
  • Not knowing where they’re going or what they’re doing
  • Entering a new culture
  • What their parents would say
  • Not hearing God correctly
  • Not being good enough
  • Being unprepared spiritually
  • Not speaking well
  • Being too broken

“I couldn’t believe it. Fear is the biggest obstacle to these followers of Jesus fully joining in his mission, whether here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. How did this happen?”

Galen’s Thoughts: it is easy, living in America, to be critical of those who would say they are afraid of giving their whole life to God.  From my recent travel to Africa, one thing that really struck me was the fearlessness of the brothers and sisters that I met there who were serving God without financial reward, under threat by pagan practices or radical Islamists…people who were literally putting their lives on the line day in and day out for Jesus.  When I saw their faith, I realized how small my own faith is.  I realized that my fears as an American Christian, are so trivial that they don’t deserve to be mentioned.  Look at the list of the fears of the Christian students.  My guess is that we can identify with many of them for they are our fears, too. 

How many times did Jesus tell us to “Be not afraid!”  When, and how, as Christians did we lose faith in His power and protection and provision?  It is a question that troubles me greatly!

PRAYER: Father, I confess my fearfulness to you.  I thank You for the faith of our brothers and sisters around the world who, perhaps in spite of their fear, serve you completely and fully.  May we learn from their example and be emboldened by Your Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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