The View From the Boat

BoatStatistics show that when given an opportunity to walk on water, 91.7% are too timid to try. Peter was the only one bold or impetuous enough to jump out. The other eleven stayed in the boat and watched from over the rail.

One of the things that prevents me from jumping out of the boat is that I sometimes take responsibility for the outcome rather than trusting the outcome to God. If I take this responsibility, I then get waylaid by fear of failure.

I am learning to let the results in God’s hands and focus on what has been put on my plate for today. I only need to step out in obedience. Perhaps this is part of the intention behind the statement, “give me this day my daily bread.”

Paul gave some advice to Timothy which seems to support this line of reasoning. In 2 Timothy 1:6-8, we read:

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

Like Timothy I am to work at developing the gift that I have been given. I am to step out in boldness and use it. To do so requires that I get out of the boat. It is often uncomfortable to step out. It is sometimes painful to step out, but I must step out of the boat.

Why should I do this? Because I am not given a spirit of fear, but one of power. Timothy was to tap into that power and be used by it to boldly proclaim the message of God. I am to tap into that power to be used by God for whatever he has for me to do.

But what if the message is rejected or if the messenger is persecuted for bringing the message? The results are in God’s hands and Timothy should not be ashamed of what to human eyes appears to be failure. Paul’s chains do not represent failure in God’s eyes, they are part of his plan. Therefore, they are not to be a source of shame.

I am not responsible for the outcome, I am only responsible to be obedient. I am to work hard to develop my skills. I am to be diligent in study and practice. I am to use every opportunity to use my gifts. There is no free ride.

The best news of all is that God is fully in control and if I am doing what he has gifted me to do then the outcome is assured to be a good one. I like that and when I rest in that, I am free to do my best without fear of failure or criticism.

LiveJournal Tags: Fear,failure,criticism,outcome,Timothy,Peter,Paul