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What are you doing that scares you?

Nick responded to yesterday’s blog with a comment referencing Francis Chan’s, book Crazy Love. A lot of people have been reading it. I actually like his ten short videos on the accompanying web site better. Chan is a great speaker who pounds the theme of radical faith.  In chapter eight,…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Nick responded to yesterday’s blog with a comment referencing Francis Chan’s, book Crazy Love. A lot of people have been reading it.

I actually like his ten short videos on the accompanying web site better. Chan is a great speaker who pounds the theme of radical faith.  In chapter eight, he asks his readers the question one of his professors asked him, “What are you doing that requires faith?” 

Chan responded to the question, “Man, there’s nothing in my life that requires faith – nothing that scares me.” So he decided to do something. He got in his car and drove into L.A. and began sharing his faith. He recalls, “I was terrified, but I remember seeing God come through in ways I’d never experienced before. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He exhorts us – try something, anything that requires faith that may scare you a little bit.

You have to love what Heidi and Gabe Landes are doing with her three young kids (check their blog out here). They were challenged by James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  They decided to respond as a family, so now they ask God what to do and do it. Heidi explains it here:

“I read somewhere about a saint who would read the Gospels in the
morning, and then go out in the afternoon to do whatever he had read
that morning. Sounded very interesting! So this summer, the kids and I
are going to dedicate Fridays to trying this out.

Our kids are pretty little (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1) so I am not sure how
much they will understand. But I want them to know that Jesus is alive
and active today, living through us as Christians. So I am trusting
that God will maybe use us to be His hands and feet as we try to love
others as Christ did.

What about you? What are you doing that, if God doesn’t show up, will certainly fail? What are you doing to build his kingdom that leaves you scared?

Comments (11)

  • The God of the universe did something “scary” which was to entrust Himself in the form of His son Jesus to a human body. He/She then sent the Messiah on a quest to deliver improbable plans for saving the planet and doesn’t have a “plan B” that we know of. The greatest message ever. Delivered to the most unpredictable of people. Through a frail human messenger. We can learn a great deal from observing the pattern of the One who made us. And the stars. Thanks, Seth.

  • only one thing I am scared of, its not dying, its not facing demons….its preaching! The only thing guarenteed to get me shaking from head to foot!

  • What an absolute blessing of God to have “found” Heidi & Gabe’s blog. Thanks for sharing that Seth and thanks to Heidi & Gabe for teaching their children that Jesus is alive and well while at the same time furthering God’s kingdom! I love your ideas and your passion for Jesus!

  • I absolutely agree with Sue… I preach my first sermon on Sunday and feel kind of like I am falling to pieces. It is definitely and absolutely something that I can only so through Christ. And He is all over it. : )

  • Chan’s chapter 8 video was great. Sell everything, give it all to the poor, go be a missionary, face death, persecution. None of that really gives me pause – and in fact I’m about to put my house up for sale as I think I made a poor choice. But my scary thing right now involves facing longheld emotional fears and pain that have controlled my thinking since an abuse event in my childhood. Despite the truth that I know from Scripture, I’ve only now recognized a pattern in my life that still has its root in lie-based thinking. This is alternately scary and enticing, as it is challenging me to review nearly everything I’ve done in life up to this point and to accept a new perspective about so much. Talk about debunking my pride and judgmentalism. Step by inexorable step, God has untied the little box of my life that I thought I had wrapped up so nicely! For each of us, i know that scary place is different, in different seasons of life. But it does indeed come back to faith, giving the reins to Him, and setting our affection on the One who is so jealous to be our #1 that He will sometimes Himself get rid of anything that stands in the way. Woo hoo – I guess that is good news. I read today in Philippians 3 – For God’s way of making us right with himself (continually, not just once) depends on FAITH. I want to know Christ and EXPERIENCE the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to SUFFER with him, sharing in his DEATH (OK, God – i’ll try to “want” this and even rejoice in it 🙂 so that one way or another I will experience this resurrection from the dead!

  • Anything that’s new, that I haven’t tried before, to me that’s scarey. You may think I’m a total whimp but I don’t care! There might be other people like me out there.

    I am confident with what I know but worry about doing new things. Worry about inadequacy, about not having the knowledge or the skill to follow something through. I worry about failing other people. I worry about failing my precious Lord. There’s a perfectionist streak in me that wants a thing done properly or not at all. There’s a bit of me that worries if I heard God right. There’s a bit of me that wonders if He will always come through for me.

    I know all “the right answers” and could reel ’em off. I come back again and again to that scripture about His power being made perfect in weakness, about His grace being sufficient for me. I come back again and again with a faith that I used to think was big but I now see as only a grain of sand, but a persistent one. It won’t go away. I wouldn’t be anywhere but here loving Him and wanting to please Him.

    I guess what scares me the most is not pleasing Him and not fulfilling what He made me to be. And I want to give Him my yes to whatever He asks, I want to see Him move and do amazing things in other people’s lives. Sometimes the fear holds me back from trying in case I get it wrong. Courage isn’t the lack of fear they say, it’s being afraid but doing it anyway. That’s where I live more often than not and the courage part is where I want to live more.

  • Question: “What about you? What are you doing that, if God doesn’t show up, will certainly fail?”

    This might seems insignificant, but I’m trying to start a choir at my church and I’m nervous about it. My church is musically deprived and nothing like what I envision has ever been done. When I’ve tried to garner interest people have actually laughed at me. Well, our first practice is next Wednesday and I don’t know if anyone will participate. If God isn’t in it, it will fail.

    One evening last week I was passing out flyers door to door telling people about a ministry arm of World Impact I’ve been volunteering with. The neighborhood I was in was located in about the worst part of my town. I was nervous being there.

    I was reminding myself there is no Bible verse that says God will keep us safe when we put ourselves in a dangerous situation for Him. God does promise to work all things out for good though. Take the example of the five missionary martyrs in Ecuador (Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, etc). They weren’t kept safe, they all died. But I think God DID work the end situation out for “good”. Was their plan necessary God’s plan A? That question is open to endless debate, but I personally don’t think so.

    Anyways, for me the SCARIEST thing I’m putting into God’s hands is my future. So scary in fact that I repeatedly take it back out, then grudgingly pry my fingers back open, cringe, and give it back to Him…

    HEY! I just got a text message while I was typing this from Matt, the man I was out with passing flyers last week. He told me one of the men we met last week was just led to the Lord this evening. Wow! I guess we never know how God is working, do we? Really, it’s God that does the work, we’re just his instruments.

  • I love reading what this family is doing! Thanks of letting me know. Crazy Love is a great book and the videos that accompany the book are fabulous. I think the one about the cars is my favorite. As far as what scares me, just about everything.

  • I’m right there with Jodi, I’d be out on the mission field in a heart beat! But I’ve been dealing with the same extremely scary thing. Looking at the abuse in my past. I’ve learned that as an abuse victim we most often always respond in an unhealthy way, even if it doesn’t seem that way to us. It takes healing, truth and awareness to be able to be effective for God. It seems unfair, but its taken going back int all my childhood memories and feeling everything all over again and hurting and grieving in order to really heal. Its terrifying, but its redeeming my broken relationship with the Lord and making me whole. It takes more faith than I’ve ever felt to use before to press through acknowledging lies and re-learning the truth in a truly healthy organic way.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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