If you walk with God long enough, someday you’ll respond to His prompting like this: “You want me to do what?!” Out of nowhere, He’ll want you to move across the country, or even to the other side of the world. He’ll want you to sell your business or start a new one. He may call you back to your hometown to minister to those who drove you away years ago. Or maybe He wants you to start a ministry to reach the porn industry, which is what happened to my friend Mike.
Even when you pray and feel confident in God’s calling, the fear of what others will think becomes a reality when you reach the point of no return. This concern often grows deeper and becomes a disease that is the last component of the Religious Cycle.
No person is immune from this disease.
It can strike the rich and poor, men and women, children and adults. It knows no boundaries of race or geography. No scientific advancement has ever been able to rid the world of this deadly disease. Those who have it rarely realize it. We are all carriers. This disease is known as pride.
Pride is having an image of one’s self that is far higher than it should be and an image of others that is far lower. Pride ignores the problems in one’s self and highlights them in others. Pride is unforgiving of everyone, except of the proud person. Pride causes us to reveal only parts of who we are, fearful of what will happen if others know the full story. If we aren’t careful, pride will stop us from being obedient when God calls us.
When you misuse prayer because of pride, your inaction is rooted in the fear of what others think of you. You might be so afraid to follow through with what God has called you to do that instead of doing it, you simply pray about it. Pride won’t allow us to admit that we care what others think of us. Moving across the country is scary. Selling a business takes guts. Ministering at a porn convention is just crazy. But Mike’s story is relevant because he was fearful of being obedient too. He had plenty of reasons to be fearful. It would have been very easy for Mike to just tell his friends he was praying about starting XXX Church. Most people would have been wowed that he was praying about it, even without him actually acting on the prayer.
We may not be able to ever fully get over our fear when God calls us to something that scares us. Whether we go to minister at porn conventions or move to Egypt, fear will most likely go with us. But when we humble ourselves and admit our fear, God’s hand lifts us up and strengthens us in our time of need. For those He calls, He never leaves. Listen to this promise:
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:9–10
Don’t let fear stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Use prayer as a time to admit your fear. Then, with God’s strength, stop praying and start doing. Saying yes can be downright scary, but God promises He will be with you. If the Maker of the universe is with you, what more do you really need?
Excerpted with permission from Wasted Prayer by Greg Darley, copyright Greg Darley.
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If you’ve ever been called to something by God, you know that it often requires you to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it appears the pieces don’t all fit together, at least not from the lens you’re looking through. How has pride stopped you from acting on God’s request of you? Come share your thoughts on our blog. We want to hear from you!