Psalm 56:3
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

In last week’s post, Life’s Short: Be Bold, Be Brave, Take Risks, I discussed the need for us to be bold and get out of our comfort zone if we want to experience God’s best for our life. As I considered this concept a bit further this week, two more thoughts related to this idea came to mind.

1. Fear itself is not necessarily bad; it is our response to fear that will determine our future and demonstrate our faith.

Over this past week God has continued to remind me that life is what we make of it. The choice is ours. We can choose to live an average, mediocre existence, or we can join God in the greatest adventure ever when we live by faith and maximize the time, talents, and resources He has given to us for His glory.

While this seems obvious enough, if we’re honest, many of us would admit that it is far more comfortable to live an average, risk free life than it is to fully follow God and take on new challenges and adventures because quite simply, often times doing so elicits fear.

I recently read a tweet that said, “You must be willing to do something you have never done before to get to where you have never been before.” This so true! However, we need to know that doing so will often be not only uncomfortable, but down-right scary. It is in these moments that we must choose to be brave and move forward knowing that it is God Who goes before us!

When you think of discomfort what comes to mind? This might sound crazy, but when I think of that question the first thing that comes to mind is jeans fresh out of the dryer. You know what I’m talking about. When suddenly one dry cycle seemingly turns your relaxed-fit- boot-cuts into skinny jeans! Nothing like having to do a few power squats and stretches to get going!

Like jeans out of the dryer, sometimes we have to be willing to be uncomfortable and face our fears if we want to stretch ourselves. No pun intended. Okay, well maybe, but only because it is funny!

God did not send His Son to earth to die for us so that we could live average lives. If we want to live our best life, we need to limit our time with those things that have no eternal meaning, like watching TV and playing games on our phones, and focus our energy on pursuing a relationship with Jesus and the things that He has called us to do!

The next time God calls you to do something that is uncomfortable, something that is scary, something that will stretch you, go for it!

Psalm 56:3 says, ”When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Instead of avoiding fear we should welcome it with excitement and view it as an opportunity to demonstrate our faith and to see God at work.

2. Sometimes stepping out means stepping down, not up.

The second point that God has been pressing on my heart this week is that sometimes if we want to be stretched we need to be humble and take on endeavors that we previously considered beneath us. Often when we think of getting outside of our comfort zone we imagine taking on daring new quests that have the potential to bring us to new heights. BUT, what if God is waiting for us to demonstrate humility, to step down before He will raise us up?

James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

John 3:30 says, “He must increase; I must decrease.”

Stretching ourselves is not always about reaching further, and becoming greater – perhaps the way we need to be stretched today is to become less and to let God become more. Jesus was the greatest servant of all; we would all be wise to follow His example. Maybe we need to complete a lowly task successfully because what we learn from it will allow us to take the next step toward greatness.

In All In, author Mark Batterson makes the great point, “In God’s upside-down kingdom, a step down is a step up.  And if you’re willing to be demoted in the eyes of man, then you are ready to be promoted by God Himself.” May we never forget this truth!

How is God calling you to face your fears and follow Him, or to humble yourself and take on a new role or task that requires you to check your pride at the door?

Let’s stop settling for average and choose to face our fears with excitement and humble our hearts so we can boldly live out God’s best for our life and leave average in the past!

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