Follow Your Calling in Spite of Your Fear

Three-hole punched and organized into a shiny new notebook, my teaching notes were ready to go.  The call had come, I had done the long work of study and heart preparation – and I was terrified.  Tiny voices of doubt nibbled away at my confidence:

“You’re such a spiritual lightweight! Nothing you can discern from Scripture could ever be helpful to these women!  You’re wasting your time – and theirs!”

When I allow anxiety and my feelings of inadequacy to be the loudest voice in the room, I’m tempted to hand my notes over to someone else:  “Here, you do this.   I’m not experienced enough.  I’m not brave enough.  I’m . . . not enough.”

Smiling as I read Scripture, it’s clear to me that I’m not the first God-follower to plead inadequacy in the midst of an assignment.  Moses famously “reminded” God that he had never been granted the gift of gab.  Jeremiah waved his birth certificate under God’s nose, as if the One who had formed him, chosen him, and assigned him to a prophetic ministry might have confused His young servant with a much older, more experienced servant of the same name.

In the moment, saying yes to God can feel risky.  The outcome of obedience is hidden from view, for the following life is like a film that we experience one frame at a time.  My fiery and faith-filled yes at the outset may lead to blessing and fruitful outcomes; there may be Red Sea crossings and miraculous provisions of nourishing bread and refreshing water at just the right time.

Or  —  my assignment may be more like Jeremiah’s.

Who in her right mind is eager to embrace a call to “pull up and tear down,”  to “tear apart and demolish,” and then, after the dust has settled, to “build and to plant?”  (Jeremiah 1:10)  Certainly not Jeremiah, but it’s interesting to note that God did not respond to Jeremiah’s anxiety with a slap on the back and a “You’ve got this, my boy” pep talk.  Instead, he gently turned Jeremiah’s anxious eyes away from his own inexperience and toward a greater reality . . .

When Jerusha Agen invited me to join her at the Fear Warrior Blog, I had just begun reading about Jeremiah:  his youthful lack of confidence, his impossible assignment, and then the way God met Him there and bent over backwards to communicate His promises of strong support and supernatural strength.  Who better to lead us into warrior mode in our continual assignment to fight against fear in our ordinary lives?

I’d love it if you’d click on over to Jerusha’s place and finish reading my thoughts on Jeremiah’s ammunition against anxiety.  It is my hope that you will hear God’s whispered words of comfort directly to your own situation through His strong reassurance to Jeremiah:

“I made you.
I called you.
I will go with you.”


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33 thoughts on “Follow Your Calling in Spite of Your Fear”

  1. Ah, my friend, I know those voices and feelings well. It seems that I manage to push them away with truth and then down the road a bit, they return. That has been especially true with this book I am writing. I am actually reading in Jeremiah now and taking my time as I reflect on his words, the story, the mercy of God, etc., etc. Thanks for this!


    1. Book! How exciting that you are taking that plunge. Looking forward to more details, and it’s good to know that you are also slogging through Jeremiah. I love the biographical information, but feel weighted down by his message to a disobedient nation.


  2. I’m very familiar with that voice of doubt. It’s so important to keep our eyes on God and remember that when he calls us, he equips us. It always encourages me how many times in the Bible we see him use people who are weak or lacking in confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a good post Michele. The voice in my head (sometimes the enemy, sometimes my own) often tries to throw discouragement my way. I’m so glad that God promises to accomplish that which He calls us to do. Moment-by-moment faith is necessary to keep me moving in the right direction.
    Blessings friend ❤


  4. Hi Michele, This drew me in! I hopped over and then hopped back to tell you how much it meant to me. My favorite part – that I’m taking to heart today: Over and over, God made it clear that Jeremiah’s ammunition against anxiety was not found in backbone and bootstraps, but, instead, in the strong presence of a delivering God.
    Amen to that because I’m not great at bootstraps!


  5. Hi Michele! This is my first time visiting your site and I will be back! This thought “The outcome of obedience is hidden from view, for the following life is like a film that we experience one frame at a time.” has been so true for me since I’ve started following God’s purpose for my life. That “hidden from view” thing can be scary, but as you say He always knows how to turn our even our anxiety into strength and amazement! Thank you for this post and especially for your obedience… Be blessed!


  6. Not experienced enough, clever enough, funny enough, ENOUGH! Man do I get tired of those thoughts. Your examples of faith guys who had second thoughts are encouraging. I know we all struggle with it, but that little voice whispers that I’m the only one. Greater is He… Have a great rest of the week Michele!


    1. Yes, this is just on example of the negative self talk that keeps us from fully trusting all that we are in Christ. I’m thankful to be able to write the truth large for other women to read and to initiate a conversation around what Scripture says about us!


  7. Thanks, Michele, for this perspective. I so relate to the idea of not feeling adequate in the middle of an assignment. Comforting in the fact God made us, called us, and goes with us. Relying on Him to do His work in me and through me instead of putting the workload on me. 🙂


    1. Yes, and the minute we feel our calling as a “work load” it may be time to look at it and see if it’s really been given to us by God or just taken on for some other reason. Thanks, Karen, for your insights here.


  8. oh, thank you! I love the moment by moment faith and the thought that God has called you to this, what ever this is, a call to a friend, a blog post, whatever it is, if it is from God don’t let fear squash it. I really needed this, my post this week was about fear as well. Thank you!


  9. Ah, so true. It’s hard to face and fight the fear, but our dear Lord calls us upward and onward. Thank you for the reminder today to keep going–even if I don’t feel like I can do it.


  10. “Ammunition against anxiety”…I LOVE it, Michele! It fits right into the whole armor of God “thing” I’ve been camped out on since facilitating a Bible study on that subject last fall. WHICH brings me to my connection to your post, because starting the Bible study “leadership” journey 13 years ago was very much an “in spite of fear” move for me. And I know as I’ve heard from other women who have taken or are thinking of taking that step that fear is a big peace of the puzzle. I love that you point out that instead of a pep talk/rah-rah/divine cheerleader response to Jeremiah’s uncertainty, God “gently turned Jeremiah’s anxious eyes away from his own inexperience and toward a greater reality.” Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, as always…pinning this right now! Blessings to you via Faith ‘n’ Friends!


    1. Thanks, Elizabeth, and I’m so glad that you did the “in spite of” following of God’s will all those years ago. We never know where God’s leading will end up, do we?


  11. Thank you for the reminder that we have to listen to the faith voice that says, ”We are well able” rather than the fear voice that tells us we will never be able.


  12. This is a very timely word for me. I don’t often struggle with fear and anxiety, but I have today for whatever reason. So thankful I stopped by to read this today! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week!

    Liked by 1 person

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