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When Fears Hold You Back

Will our weakness trump God's strength?

Have you ever heard God's call to serve and responded, "Is there anyone else who can do it?"

I relate to the fear and inadequacy Moses expressed when God called him to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt (Exodus 3-4). Like Moses, I interpret the question, "Will you serve?" as meaning: "Do you possess the qualifications and ability to best perform this job?"

Terrified, I try to bow out, using Moses' excuses: I'm a nobody; my authority will be questioned; "What if they won't believe me or listen to me?" (Exodus 3:11, 13; 4:1).

God responded to Moses' self-doubt with abundant provision. He served as Moses' speechwriter, assuring him Israel's leaders would heed God's words. He also gave Moses not just one, but three signs. While Moses acknowledged this provision, he still believed his inadequacy would cause him to fail.

Fear can cause us to minimize God's provision and even doubt God's ability. When we fixate on our lack, we essentially tell God, You aren't enough. My weakness trumps your strength.

This wrongheaded focus is due to misunderstanding the purpose of God's call: it's never about accomplishing a task for God's benefit. God has the means to work without human involvement. As Moses would discover, God can singlehandedly drown an army in the sea, and feed a nation by dropping food from the sky.

Further, human resistance to God's will is irrelevant. "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exodus 4:11). Whatever God desires will be accomplished.

Hearing God's call gauges our understanding of his strength rather than our assessment of our own. Do we believe God is strong enough to compensate for our lack—of faith, ability, training, resources? Our lack of emotional stability, bad habits, a clean history, or a picture-perfect life? To accept God's call is to proclaim that God conquers all (Philippians 4:13).

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Holly Vicente Robaina
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Acceptance and Identity; Calling; Obedience; Passion; Purpose; Service
Today's Christian Woman, November/December , 2011
Posted November 1, 2011

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