Fear & Ambiguity

Hello SNC friends!
What is holding us back?
That’s the question we ended the sermon with on Sunday. I’d like to share with you the two reasons that hold me back from joining Jesus in the mission…

1) Fear
2) Ambiguity.

1- Fear… In the past for me – this has been the biggest issue. For some reason I was afraid. I was afraid of being ridiculed or persecuted. I was afraid of being belittled. I was afraid of being stumped by somebody’s question. Often times – I have fears that are centered around a belief that exists for me deep within my heart – that in reality, if I go out and share the gospel – I’ll be doing it alone. I’ll be doing this with my own wits – my own charm – my own ability to persuade; and yet what was clear to the early disciples was that Christ was with them and that his authority and power were the most important things. Yet fear persists for me. It does help me to remember that I am not alone and that even when I say all the “right” things – the outcomes are still in God’s hands…

I can be afraid, but my prayer has been to be able to overcome my fear with boldness and compassion. I think this is a dangerous prayer. God will answer this – and you can bet the answer will be – “Yes… you bet… you got it… So glad you asked.” But let me warn you – if you do pray this – there will certainly be a moment where you will have an opportunity to take a step beyond your fear.

No way – Ryan isn’t afraid! Is he really? Yea… all the time… I’m even afraid when I preach!!!! But God allows me to take steps of faith and the great part is to see Him use me in those moments. It builds my faith, not in myself – but in Him… You can’t be brave unless you’re afraid. I don’t always win in this – but I’m finding when I step beyond my fear – God does some cool stuff…

2- Ambiguity…. This one has been particularly nasty in how it messes with me. “Ambiguous” means “unclear, not exact.” For me, I’ve had a great deal of ambiguity towards the calling of Christ, especially in believing that this calling is truly better than anything else the world has to offer. I’ve read Jesus’ words: “I came that they might have life and they might have it to the full…”

During my life I haven’t always deep down believed those words are true. I’ve wrestled with the question: Is this really better than anything else? Is living life with God, out on the Dangerous Edge of Things – really better than the American dream? Is it better than living for pleasure or comfort?

It’s taken me years to “Buy in,” I’ve spent a great deal of time ambiguous, or ambivalent about the calling of God. I’ve often been confronted with this attitude in my heart. Sometimes I actually think the kingdom of God is not as good as anything this world has to offer!!!! This has kept me on the sidelines. Thank God for His patience and continued wooing to me – to call me away from this ambiguity and to show me how wonderful it is to live this adventure with Him!

So what is holding you back? You know that God loves you right? He hasn’t given up on you. The things that are holding us back won’t just evaporate over night. It will take a while – but He loves you! Let me invite you to pray about this and offer whatever comes to mind, to God. Ask Him to take these things that hinder you and lead you in His way everlasting. Receive His love for you. Then look for opportunities to step beyond the things that hold you back. Take a baby step and see what God will do. You might be surprised! 🙂
I can’t wait to see what God will do with us!

Have a great week everybody!
Pastor Ryan