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Fear Takes Us Backwards

Jesus, in Luke 10:1–2 points to the opportunity. He said to the people, “There’s tremendous opportunity but there’s a shortage of laborers. There’s a job to be done, but we don’t have enough people willing to work.” There’s not a jobs crisis; there is a worker crisis.

In Luke 9:57–62 Jesus is approached by three men. Each one seems to want to work in the Harvest, but each one has some kind of excuse. The third man’s excuse is fear.

This guy says, “Lord, I’ll follow You [work in the Harvest], but let me first go home and say goodbye to my household.” That sounds  reasonable. He says he wants to go and say goodbye to his loved ones and then he’ll follow Jesus.

Jesus calls him out and says, and I’m paraphrasing, “This isn’t about you going back and saying goodbye. This is about you going back before you’ve even taken a step forward. This is about you being so paralyzed by fear to step out and step up that before you do anything you’re already wanting to retreat.”

Isn’t this how it works? There is a stirring in our heart. We say, “Lord, I’m going to get ready; I’m going to do this.” Then, even as it comes out of our mouth, we start retreating. We think, “I can’t do it; I can’t do it. I don’t know enough. I think I’ll probably get it wrong. I haven’t been a Christian long enough. I’m not a good enough Christian. I don’t know enough people. So, hey Jesus, I’m going to get to that someday, but right now, let me go with one of my responsible excuses.”

Jesus sees way past it. He says, “This isn’t anything at all about you being responsible. This is about you wanting to go back. And, by the way, nobody who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is even worthy of the Kingdom of God.”

Consequently, we’re not serving. We’re part of the Pareto problem (The eighty percent who choose not to be involved).

Here’s the solution—you can’t do it alone. Fear doesn’t need to paralyze you, it needs to drive you to Jesus and the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. Do you think Peter or Paul weren’t afraid of what God had called them to do? Of course they were. However, they chose (as have thousands of saints since) to call upon God for help, guidance and they trusted Him to deliver. It wasn’t their strength, but His. It was their desire coupled with God’s enabling.

Read 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Philippians 4:13. Do these verses give you confidence? They give us the attitude we need to have when we put our hand in the harvest. Don’t they? We don’t need to be fearful. We need to trust and obey and not look back.

Are you looking back? Or, do you trust God enough to have your heart in Heaven and your hand in the harvest opportunity?

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