“I failed my way to success.” - Thomas Edison
One type of fear that is very common is the fear of failure. We are conditioned and pressured into believing that we HAVE to be the best, in control, on top of our game, excellent, a success! It is therefore, inevitable that whenever we aspire for our goals, big or small, we are incapacitated by fear of failure.
What is fear? According to Wikipedia, “Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behaviour, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events.”
Important aspects to note here are these;
Fear is one element that has been consistent in the lives of men throughout history. It is found in the great and the bold as well as the feeble and unknown. We have all experienced fear at one point or another, for one reason or another. Even the people that we have looked up to have encountered fear and yet what has distinguished most people from the rest is the manner in which they faced their fears.
It has been said that “courage is not the absence of fear, but what you do in the face of fear.” When we look at the significant figures in the Bible we find that they too experienced some form of fear and yet they were able to overcome those fears by simply putting their trust and faith in God.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Phillipians 4:13
Moses was afraid of the call made upon him by God and yet he managed to play a significant role in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Imagine the power, authority and contempt as well as the threat on his life that he faced as he approached Pharaoh time and time again with God’s command to, “Let my people go!”
How many of us would have the courage to do that; to face up to one who wielded so much power and influence that men trembled before him? Do you suppose that Moses was confident in the quest that he was sent to fulfil? Did he “KNOW” that he would succeed? Did he even “KNOW” that God would ALWAYS be with him? Was he absolutely sure? I do not think so. I am sure that he was very afraid and would have preferred that God had picked someone else to be the messenger in this case because he had no fail safes or safety nets to visibly and physically reassure him that he was going to be just fine and that he would ultimately complete his treacherous mission.
Now, imagine the relief that he must have felt when he FINALLY managed to convince Pharaoh to let them go. And THEN, after all that stress and tension to be faced by the Red Sea ahead and having the raging chariots on their backs? I know for sure that for me that would have been an extremely heart wrenching and stress filled moment. I would certainly be overcome with fear and despair as well as disappointment. I would be asking, “But why God? What is this now?” I would be so fearful I would probably end up surrendering to the very people that God had commanded me to walk away from. But let’s look at Moses, although he was afraid, he turned back to God and sought the way out of this frightful and horrifying situation...and God? He created one of the most miraculous scenarios in all history.... he parted the Red Sea and the Israelites crossed on DRY land all the way to safety. I cannot but continuously marvel at this miracle but I am also very aware that it was made possible by two things, a) faith and b) obedience.
Fear has this effect on us that can be so depleting and deflating that we see no way out of our circumstances. We feel that we are surrounded by danger and utter despair. We feel condemned to the worst case scenario.
After Moses came Joshua who also had to face his own fears and inadequacies. Another deficiency that we face in times of fear as shown in Joshua’s case, is where we EXPECT that God MUST do for us exactly what He has done for others in similar situations. I imagine that Joshua turned to God and asked that He rescue him as He had done with Moses, because after all, God did say that, “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with thee.”
NOW! In Joshua’s case, what God meant was that Joshua was not Moses but that they were distinctively similar. As Bishop T.D. Jakes aptly put it, “You are not who inspired you. You are not who trained you. You are not Moses. Discover your own purpose. He will be with you to the same degree but creating a new and unique experience”
I often look with minute concentration and fascination at the people whose lives I admire and whose successes I aspire to attain, in my faith, life, family, career, etc. I try to “walk in their shoes”, to replicate the manner in which they achieved their goals and overcame their challenges. Having listened to Bishop Jakes’ analysis of Joshua’s situation I have now realised that although we may face similar challenges and aspire for similar goals, God has unique and special assignments and blessings for each and every one of us. We just need to trust in Him and be obedient to His calling on our lives.
This morning I read a testimony from a Facebook friend of mine called Mary V. Davids on why consistency, prayer and obedience will equate to blessings. Mary gives an account of how she had a dream/goal that she even wrote down but let fear and negative thinking get her into thinking that she would not qualify to be part of a Small Business Executive Program that would help elevate her business. However, after following God’s instruction to take on the “small” engagements and address a rather disappointingly small crowd (and doing so very well at that), she was approached by a representative of the company whose program she dreamed of being accepted into. Now! What God did here was not only get her to work with the dream company, she was actually invited to become a speaker for those same people that she had admired for so long. She is not going to be a trainee in the Program, as she envisioned, she is going to be a TRAINER instead! Talk about elevation and miracles.
Mary’s advice is this, “If you’re feeling frustrated about not seeing your blessings soon enough, stop it. Timing is everything. Some things require you to be seasoned and most things require you to be consistent and trust the process.
Keep doing what you were created to do. Your blessings already have your name on it…
However, the access to your blessings require you to be obedient, nurture your gifts, be patient (having faith) and be consistent. Do the work.”
Did you hear that? Your blessing already has your name on it! Just cast out the fear and the negative, doubting thoughts in your head and trust God, be obedient, be consistent, be patient, have faith and do the work!
I pray that you will reach into the inner recesses of your being and see yourself for who you truly are and what you truly are capable of and allow yourself to fail your way to success. Do not take failure as a stumbling block but rather as a valuable lesson as you move forward and higher in your calling. Do not allow the fear of failure to hold you back, you have everything that you need to succeed and you have the mightiest force on your side in all situations.