When a desire is awakened, something else comes to attention. Fear. Fear of the everyday kind takes many shapes. It might look like procrastination. It might look like insecurity. It might look like humility (this is a tricky one). It might look like a busy schedule. It might look like disorganization. It might look like many different things, all of which seek to tell us the desire is not worth exploring.
Fear prefers to squash the desire because it knows that the desire will morph into passion given enough freedom.
See fear is fear. Fear fears. Fear is itself. Does that make any sense at all? Fear fears what you may do. Fear fears what is inside you placed by God. Fear fears you chasing that dream. Fear fears you discovering a passion you believed wasn’t grand enough. Fear fears your heart quickening at the thought of using your gifts and talents. Fear fears what is inside of you waiting to be awakened.
If fear’s whisper is given too much authority, it might just convince us to put desire back to bed.
Nehemiah recognized what was needed to fully awaken the passion that burned inside of him. Prayer. Nehemiah prayed before each step he took.
Nehemiah went to God in prayer throughout his journey of rebuilding the wall. He was confident in his calling, and he recognized he couldn’t do it without the Lord every step of the way.
Before Nehemiah approached the king, he prayed God would give him favor in the sight of the king (Neh 1:11). Before Nehemiah answered the king’s question, he prayed (Neh 2:4-5). When the enemy plotted against their plan, they prayed (Neh 4:9). When the enemy tried to intimidate their work, Nehemiah prayed (Neh 6:9-10).
When passions and purposes are awakened in us, fear begins to talk louder. We will be tempted to listen to fear because it’s a familiar voice. Prayer will silence the inner voice whose name is fear. Remember fear is a deceiver.
Remember back to the post Everyday Fears – Nehemiah’s Awakening. Neh 1:4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Neh 2:4-5 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king….
Guess what happened? The king granted Nehemiah’s request.
When our desires come awake, when our passions begin to burn, we pray. Each. step. of. the. way. Fear would love us to forget this critical component. Prayer is a direct assault to fear, so fear wants you to think you can move forward without it. Fear will even twist its message and let you believe you only need prayer for step 1.
Each step of living out our gifts and abilities will bring new challenges. That inner voice may sound the same, but it will whisper different things. The sole purpose…..to make us doubt our calling and purpose.
What do you love? What pulls out emotions? What makes you talk faster? What animates you? He has gifted each of us for specific purposes. We each have a purpose in this life. Each purpose looks different from another’s. Each passion is unique, even when it looks the same.
Pray. Pray to know how the Lord has gifted you. Pray to discover your unique purpose. If you know it, pray for the courage to fight the everyday fears that wage war to hold you back from fully living out the person He created you to be.
This is Part 3 to a mini-series titled Everyday Fears. We are looking at Nehemiah and how a desire, which turned into a passion, was awakened in him and how he fought through fear to accomplish a purpose. Nehemiah is a big example. Don’t let that intimidate you. Our purposes aren’t always as grand as rebuilding a wall for a nation. Some of our purposes may seem so small that we feel silly sharing them. That’s what fear wants us to think. I pray through this series we will begin to examine what God has placed in us that begs to be awakened. Big or small, if God placed it in us, it needs to be awakened.