But when you ask, you must believe and do not doubt
My church performs an altar call at the end of every service, providing the opportunity for those who may not believe in God to make a personal commitment. It is amazing to see so many lives transformed on a weekly basis. However, I will say it is a little awkward when no one comes forward.
It was one of those services and after a minute of applause for no one coming forward, the pastor began to wrap up his message. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two teenage girls finally muster the courage to leave their seats and make their way forward. The congregation applauded and tears filled my eyes. I was overwhelmed by their bravery and thought, “I wish I had courage like that”.
At that time in my life, my thought life was often overrun with fear. I longed to be courageous, to have fearless faith, but I couldn’t get past the voice of fear convincing me I wasn’t qualified to do what God was calling me to do.
Can you relate? Is God calling you to step out in faith, but fear is holding you back?
The Bible gives many examples of women with fearless faith, but Rahab is one of my favorites. We find her story of courage in Joshua 2. It was time for the Israelites to move in to the Promised Land. But in the way stood the city of Jericho, with massive, impenetrable walls surrounding it.
God directed Joshua to send spies into the city. When they came to Rahab’s home, she took them to her roof and told them to hide. She knew who they were and what they were doing in Jericho. Word had spread quickly of the Israelites’ plans to overtake the city and fear laced its way through the residents. They had heard of the parting of the Red Sea and the Israelites’ victory over the Amorites. Rahab told the spies, “our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above an on the earth below”.
Rahab anticipated the knock of the king’s soldiers at her door. She knew they would come looking for the spies and prepared her response accordingly:
“Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” Joshua 2:4-5
What courage it took to step out in faith and put her life on the line to help these men! Rahab let go of the fear and latched on to faith – a faith which led her leave a life of prostitution. A faith which saved her and her family from being destroyed by the Israelites. A fearless faith that left a permanent impression on the history of the Lord’s people.
James 1:5 is an excellent reminder of fearless faith: But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.
Doubt is rooted in fear and we cannot be fearful and faithful at the same time. To be used by God, we must let go of fear and latch on to faith.
What is God calling you to do today? If fear is holding you back from taking the first step of faith, ask the Lord to help you take the leap of faith as Rahab did. .
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Rahab’s example of fearless courage. Teach me to trust in You more than my circumstances, knowing You have a plan to prosper me. Give me confidence in the wisdom You give, casting out any lingering doubt. I long to be used by You.