Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Afraid to Fail

Welcome, if you're visiting after reading my devotion today.

Are you the Queen of Afraid to Fail?

Does that fear keep you from even trying - even when you think it's something God has called you too? Yeah, I've been there. I can live there if I'm not careful.

The power verse in my devotion today describes me well:

"Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don't be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."
Mark 14:37b-38 (MSG)

While a part of me is definitely driven, another part of me is lazy or easily paralyzed with fear of failure. It's hard to live with both those feelings going on simultaneously. Reading this parable, I know which one it is God wants to kick to the curb! Check out these verses from Proverbs too:

(Proverbs 18:9) “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster.”

(Proverbs 29:25) "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe."

(Proverbs 31:30) "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

What area or tasks do you need to target with more effort, and which ones call on you to have more faith?

Don't worry but rather pray about everything, the Bible says. It also encourages us to seek input from wise counselors when we feel stuck or unsure. But when we do that and believe something is God's direction for us, we need to tackle it despite our fears. Oftentimes my fears don't go away before I begin - I just begin despite them, and then they dissipate.

I trust this helps someone out there today. Sweet blessings ~ R


  1. I so appreciate your encouraging words. I know I can be a better person, but it really does take dedication with prayer. I am a fair housekeeper who loves to cook and I cook well and keep my husband happy. But, the one place I fail is in keeping my ceramic tile floors clean. I don't know why this is, and I cringe when anyone pops in. Surely cleaning my floors is a talent I can invest for the Lord. The Bible says we must work "as for the Lord, not men," in other words give our very best. Thank you again, Rachel, for the "push" to help me be my best for the Lord.

  2. Thank You, This was just what I needed to hear(or read)! I am in the midst of starting a new path in life and trying to lead it fearlessly, all for the glory of God. This was a great reminder, I have never heard that verse, it may be my new favorite....for the moment!

  3. These are indeed encouraging words and ones that are especially so since the past few weeks have been really pushing me in becoming more intimate with God and Jesus. What I really love is how God reached out to me through your devotion to reinforce his message to me that it is the Father that I serve, not men. The fear that I carry inside is that I will not be able to keep my eyes focused on him and thus will disappoint Him and fail. I get stubborn and want to do things my way so I don't have to worry about that and it always leaves me feeling empty. So, I continue my daily walk, more committed to growing (and it hurts), knowing that the Holy Spirit is guiding me, my eyes focused on Jesus, in pursuit of Him who gave me everything.

  4. arbonne.ladyApril 15, 2009

    Hi there Rachel... great devotion today. I do have one question though. I understand what is meant by not using and growing your talents and/or money - which reminds me of the phrase "use it or lose it".
    The part that confuses me on the devotion is regarding the master, and how the lazy servant felt about him. Why did he say "Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth." What was the master doing to make the servant afraid?

  5. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you. I am a daughter of a Assembly of God preacher. I have grown up in church, and have never heard anyone teach on this verse. You have revealed a part of His word that I really needed in my faith walk. I'm a 38 year old mother of two boys, and have been married 16 years. I have always wanted to pursue an education in nursing, but have been paralyzed by the spirit of fear. When I read your interpretation of the passage about my fear being wicked, it gives me a whole new prospective. It makes me realize that fear is a form of sin. I know now that I need to repent, so I can move forward. Thank you for your obedience.

  6. It is amazing. I had just asked my Lord today to talk to me, to guide me, to give me answers to my questions.. and He did it, through you. I was so full of doubts.. what I was doing wasn't working out, and I was not doing other things out of fear, and shamefully, a little laziness as well! Thank you for writing this :)

  7. Thanks for your devotion today, Rachel. I really identified with it. I've always wondered about the master calling his servant lazy, when I thought it was safe. Which is the point, I suppose. I tend to play it safe, but God has definitely challenged me to take risks and grow in my faith. Thanks for sending a good reminder not to hide in fear!


  8. Oh boy! You P31 women are targeting my soft spots! ;-)
    Rachel et al, this morning the Lord revealed that He would like me to tell the world about His mercy. ((scary!)) To be bold and not to fear, but trust Him. I'm a perfectionist (working on it with Him), so your devotional was exactly what I needed to hear. What I'd like to ask you is: I don't have an idea in particular of how I'm to do His request. I'm a writer. Should I just write something? Should I start just talking to people about His mercy? Should I wait for it to come up in conversation? Should I wait for Him to give me something specific? Thanks so much for your advice. I'm new at this!
    Natasha from Canada

  9. Rachel,
    A friend forwarded your devotional to me and that led me to your blog. I can so relate to what you shared. It seems the last year God has been saying, "This is your comfort zone right here...and where I want you is waaaaay over there." It has been a fun, and sometimes, exhausting adventure. I just wrote on my blog about the other side of the coin, investing so much that you're worn out. I wonder if that ever happened to the first servant. Hmm. Anyway, thank you for your wise words and sharing what my heart needed to hear today!

  10. Arbonne.lady's question is one I had too, but then this hit me right between the eyes: "the whispers of the Wicked One telling him that his master was too fickle to please and would surely punish him if he tries and fails." Mmm mmm mmm. How many times do I plow ahead and do things my own way for the exact same reason! The "harsh" perspective was the servant's; so perhaps it was a little flawed? :-) Thanks for hitting me between the eyes, Rachel! :-)

  11. Your devotional so hit home this morning! I have the lazy moments--and I'm simply wasting God's time! We only get so much! Thanks for this reminder to pray about everything!!


  12. Thank you Lord that instead of being a harsh master we can submit ourselves to You to instruct us how to best use the talents You've blessed us with.

  13. I, too, needed to hear this very thing today. I had just prayed for God's guidance and wisdom, as I am starting a new business from a talent He has birthed in me. I have been putting off investing the time in getting the business off the ground because of fear. If I can't be assured success, I will procrastinate out of fear and laziness(but I didn't realize that until I read today's devotion). Thanks for being an instrument of the Lord today!

  14. Looks like God is talking to a lot of people. I am not a writer and have used cards that I used during my card ministry. They are about all used up and I was feeling like people were tired of hearing songs, poems, etc., but then after reading your devotion I realized that thought may have come from the enemy. So once again I'm placing my blog in God's hands and listening for His guidance. When I first started the cards it was amazing how the Lord would give me just what I needed for the next card. I would wake up with words running through my mind. I'd ask my husband if they were a song and most of the time they were. If He did that for me with that ministry He will do it for this one.

    Also, I firmly believe God has given me a gift that is way out of my element but I'm finding that I have to rely on Him as to when I should use it and sometimes I just have to use that gift believing He will honor what I do. I feel so humbled. I need your prayers that I will hear God's still small voice that I hear other people say they hear.

    You, and the people I blog with have been my salvation during this past year (I just had my 1st year Blogoversary) and I gave you the credit for getting me started. Not verbally, but you were an instrument in God's hands that gave me the courage.
    May God continue to bless you,

  15. very good encouragment and verse. sometimes I feel down and out because of the job I have, which is something I never planned to do. This verse helps me to remember to do my best whatever the circumstances are, because there is a reason for this opportunity even though I do not see it now, or feel like I'v had enough. I'm ready to print this article out, and post it in my house, and in my office. Giving praise to the Lord, and to you for your ensightfulness.

  16. Such great words of encouragement! I so needed to hear this right now. I'm taking the leap into starting my own photography business but I've been taking baby steps out of fear. I can't fail if I don't really try but I will remember these verses and take the risk!

  17. Thank you for allowing God to use you in this way. Your devotion and comments are encouraging. Two areas come to mind while reading this. One is the lack of care I take for my finances. This year I have purposed to be a 100% tither. I want to have better control over my finances and want to make sure that I am in God's will concerning them. I would love to own my own business. I have the plans and all, just haven't been able to take that leap of faith. The other area where fear is paralyzing me is in public speaking. I've been asked to speak weekly before my congregation. The thought of this has me truly concerned. At the end of your devotional you mentioned that the fear doesn't go away before you begin, but dissapates as you do what you've been called to do. I also heard this from Joyce Meyer. So, thank you. Please pray for me, because I know my obedience in these areas, has my blessings attached to them.

  18. I read your devotion, and once again you have hit home in my heart. I have become lazy in alot of areas, alot has been because of health reasons, but I still keep fighting, and you have given me encouraging words to do just that.

    Thank you for blessing me today!
    Have a beautiful day :)

  19. This has been a true confirmation from God for me... I have been putting off something God put in my heart two years ago and the truth is I WAS afraid of failing. The enemy filled my head with uncertainties and have been depriving myself from serving God... Thank you for these inspiring words. Sandra

  20. Hi Rachel,
    A strange thing happened - I read your post yesterday and thought about it alot. Then it came again today??
    An error, or maybe i needed to hear this twice. i have so much fear...and with the uncertain circumstances in my life right now they have manifested into full blown anxiety attacks. If it wasn't for the times that God breaks through i would be truly out of commission. I will take your message as the encouragement i need not the hammer over my head to "shape up" that the enemy would like it to become. God is gentle and kind and drawing me away from my fear and into a bold life lived in His strength and power.

  21. M-mmm...I've been struggling with the need for motivation to lose the 20 pounds I've so foolishly allowed to accumulate...Perhaps this is just what I need...
    Thanks, Rachel

  22. Hi Rachael, Thanks so much for your effort and faith in your ministry. It is touching my life and so many others!! I feel like the power verse describes me so well! So ready and eager one moment and so full of fear the next! Thankfully, God is teaching me to do what comes NEXT and not try to figure out the END that only he knows. I truly needed this reminder at this moment so thank you again!!!


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