Venturing out to find your place, to realize your God-given dreams, to move out of your comfort zones, to leave family, or just to embark on a new journey is a fearful ordeal for many of you. Some are afraid to pursue the thing that would grant them both personal fulfillment, and spiritual fulfillment. Can you do both? Certainly, as long as the personal thing you seek after harmonizes with God’s will for your life. How can you know if it does? “Seek ye first the kingdom…and all these things will be added unto you;” the spiritual journey comes first. But many are afraid of this spiritual journey. Perhaps, you have thought or prayed about it; even planned for it, but have not realized it in your life. Why haven’t you? What are you really afraid of?
Are you afraid of Failure?
Ants are creatures that seek. They don’t know exactly what they will find, but they go out there in search of something. Have they failed? Well, how many ants have you tried to get rid of? …That answers the questions. Do they give up? It’s better they die seeking than not to seek at all. People are afraid to advance in the world, to fulfill their God-given purposes. “Haven’t many failed before you?” King David, Peter, Moses. Failure is temporary, unless you make it permanent. I’ve failed exams before that I later passed. In this kind of world, temporary setbacks will come. As you strive to reach your personal goals, you will have many teeny-tiny and some large setbacks along the way. People are also afraid to seek God, because He doesn’t show up, how they picture Him. Or, they feel that when they dig deep into the word they will come up empty handed. God promises that “ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” There is no failure where seeking God is concerned. And, if your dreams are God’s will for your life, there can be no permanent failure where that is concerned. Go out there, embrace the temporary setbacks through Jesus Christ our Lord; then get up and get going. God will grant you success.
Are you afraid of People?
If you are, you are not alone, I used to be afraid of them too. They talk when you do something, “can you believe what so and so did?” They talk when you do nothing, “I can’t believe so and so did nothing.” If I were you, I’d do something and let them talk because they will. They will talk when you fail, and talk when you succeed. They will talk when you fall down, and talk when you are growing in the Lord. People talk about the successes and failures of David, Peter, Moses, Paul; but their last words about these men are great words of faith, humility, repentance and sacrifice. Therefore, since people will talk; there’s only one solution, give them something noble to talk about. Then, make sure that their last words about you are only great ones. If there are people in your life who are hindering your total surrender to God; you can never loose choosing God first. Moses was afraid to go to Egypt. Peter was afraid to confess that He knew Christ. People can be intimidating, but confidently say, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Are you afraid of the Challenges ahead?
Who isn’t? Let’s examine the ants again. These tiny creatures need to move huge of morsels bread. We could say, the ants have no choice, they have to eat. True! Who doesn’t? Not all of our dreams are about physical food, but the end product will lead to spiritual food, physical food, mental food, and in the end fulfillment. Therefore, ants understand that the morsel of bread is huge, but they also know that they have to move it. And so they:
- Work in small stages: There’s only so much that you can do at a time. Get to know God a little at a time. Success doesn’t really happen overnight, it takes gradual work. True success is a genuine walk with God.
- Recruit help: Avoid people who will pinch off pieces of the bread before it reaches the anthill. Get help from those who will support and work in harmony with God.
- Don’t give up when obstacles come: If the bread fall from your head, pick it up and go again. If the giants try to crush you, pray and run for your life. If you fail, get back to work as soon as you can. If you sin, repent immediately. Don’t wallow in failure.
- Work smart: Ants don’t work in the rain, understandably, rain would make the bread mushy. Live smart, God’s way is the only way that leads to heaven.
- Work diligently: Make hay while the sun shines. Give God all that you have NOW.
- Rest: Ants are not always hunting for food, as invasive as they are, they take a break and so should you. Take time for silence before God so that He can speak to you and show you the path of life.
Are you afraid of the unknown?
Well, nobody knows about the unknown, except He who specializes in the unknown. And, that is the exact reason why you should not be afraid of the unknown. If God is well knowledgeable about the unknown, why are you afraid of it? Quench your fear of the unknown. Enjoy its mystery, anticipate its blessings, and plan to learn the lessons that are out there for you. Ants roam unknown territory all the time, and every corner they cross, a surprise is waiting for them. Therefore, the only solution to this kind of fear is faith in yourself and in God. Trust in God and follow His path, and He will have some surprises waiting for you.
Are you afraid of the Truth?
Which truth are you afraid of? The ones about yourself or the ones about God? People tend to be afraid of both. Put yourself in the ant’s shoe for a bit. As wise as they are, they can be extremely annoying. That’s the truth, so what? Having said that, it does not take away from the fact that they are wise. Every one of us, have some good and some bad. As we seek, our good attributes will shine and yes, the bad attributes will show up. God wants to reveal the truths so that we can confess the negatives and polish the positives. Whatever truths you discover or on your journey, ask God for the courage to embrace them, ask for His grace to cover the bad ones. Ask God to transform your life, to be like His…an ever-giving spring of love and goodness. The greatest truth God wants you to realize is that He is God. Many people claim to be atheists because they are afraid of the truth. Well, that truth is bold. It shines in the sun and it appears in the moon. It’s better to face the truth about God in this life; facing it in the next life will be too late. Either way, you will have to face the truth.
As you learn the good attributes about the ants, beware of the bad attributes also, and learn from them:
Don’t invade people’s things: Ants are super invasive. Respect other people’s work, their space and their place in society. None is superior to you and none is inferior to you. Don’t covet those who are already established and getting ahead in life. What God has for you is yours alone.
Not everything that smells sweet is sweet: I hate the sight of ants in sticky food. God hates sin. Sin is enticing, looks sweet, but when you venture too far, the harder it is for you to get out. Eventually, you get stuck in your ways, which may lead to your demise. Stay far from the sweet things of this world; some of them are traps. Some of them will slowly poison you and your family.
Don’t gang up on people: These ants work in gangs and are quick to backbite. As you encounter challenges with people, don’t make a scene, draw a crowd, spread gossip or call in others to attack. Pray for your enemies and do good to them that hate you.
Avoid obsession: Ants are obsessed with finding food, building their nests and storing for the winter. That’s all good, but bad when it comes to the point of obsession. Any kind of obsession is not good. Don’t obsess over worldly gain and fortunes. Along God’s path for you, fortunes are lined out beyond your imaginations. If you fear the unknown, how will you gain those fortunes? Don’t bite into everything presented before you. Don’t stop to taste everything along the way. Keep on the God’s path, it’s the safest place; anywhere else, danger, poison and destruction lurks.
Now, are you still afraid? Yes? I don’t expect the fear to vanish in seconds. It will remain with you until you take the first step, then the second, the third, the fourth, by the seventh, fear should not be in the forefront. Fear will still lurk around in the shadows, but when it shows up, take more steps of faith. Surrender your ALL to God now.
Get out there, get on God’s path.
Joshua 1: 9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (KJV).