Do you remember the scene in Karate Kid (the one from the 80s) where Mr. Miyagi and Daniel go into the Kobra Kai dojo. Mr. Miyagi proclaims that Daniel will fight in the All Valley Tournament. Only an amateur, Daniel is terrified at the thought of being defeated by any of his highly-trained adversaries.
We’ve all been there haven’t we? Like Daniel-son, every man fears failure.
Are you faced with an opportunity that causes you to step out of your comfort zone? Is it a new opportunity with a different company that may also have a greater risk than staying where you are? Is it a chance to walk across the street and ask your hurting neighbor if he knows Jesus Christ? Do you need to talk to your wife about a sin that you’ve been hiding for a number of years?
We ask ourselves over and over in different ways, “Do I have what it takes?” Do I have what it takes at work, with my wife, as a dad, and the list goes on. The answer is to that question is, “no, at least not by ourselves.” But, the good news is that God delights in raising up the weak and desperate to accomplish His purposes. Remember Abraham, Moses, David, Noah, Job, and um… us.
It’s easy to get caught up in fear. The world thrives on tangible measures of success: fancy cars, big boats, large televisions, etc. The world also thrives on tangible failures: watching a celebrity fall from fame, watching a professional athlete choke, etc. We’ve all seen it, and so we’d much rather stay in the middle. We don’t want to draw too much attention to ourselves and then have to worry about failing.
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you
The reality is, God never leaves our side. That’s the clear promise we read in Deuteronomy 31:6. We know God’s Word to be infallible, but still we often waiver in our dependence on God. In the New Testament Paul affirms the same truth: “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Tim. 1:7). Yet still we walk in fear.
So the next time you struggle with the fear of failure, remember His presence. He is never going to leave you, especially when you are afraid.
What is something God has placed before you to do that you have put off because of fear?
God, we turn our fear of failure over to You. We know that You are with us, and we welcome Your strength to do Your will.
This article is adapted from the January issue of Stand Firm, a daily devotional for men.
View a sample issue of Stand Firm.