“Our greatest hindrance to usefulness is slave-like fear.” —Matthew Henry
We would all say we want to be used by God. Theologian Matthew Henry points out what’s holding most of us back from being used by God is fear. Maybe you are unaware God has called you to a higher purpose, or maybe you know what you’re called to do, but you’re afraid to step into that calling. If that’s you, you’re not alone!
In 2 Timothy 1:6–7, the Apostle Paul tells Timothy to “fan into flame” the gift he has received. There’s a flame that exists within each of us that we must “fan” in order to see God’s ultimate purpose for our lives. This takes discipline. And it's why Paul followed up that verse with “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Timothy was a young pastor that apparently struggled with fear. Satan wants so badly to keep us from the work of the Lord that he uses fear as a tool to deter us from what God has called us to do. In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul again speaks of Timothy’s fear by telling the church of Corinth: “See to it that Timothy has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord.”
What is the work of the Lord? In Matthew 28, Jesus tells his disciples, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations (or peoples)…”
• What steps can I take to apply this calling in my day-to-day life?
Father, I ask for a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline as I follow You this year. Give me a heart for people, so I can fulfill the calling You have placed on my life. Help me to recognize my importance in the body of Christ and open my eyes to see who in my world I can impact this year. In Jesus’ name, amen.