When I am afraid to follow Jesus, I hesitate. Have you ever been afraid to do something? Maybe you were afraid to go by yourself, or the task seemed too daunting. I believe if we were honest with ourselves there have been times in our life where we were afraid to move forward.
Many times, we can exaggerate what we are afraid of making it much worse than what it really is. Sometimes people are afraid to follow God because they don’t like the idea of giving up their plans for life for God’s plans. Also, if I follow God will it stretch me and make me uncomfortable.
Jesus Tells Peter Not to be Afraid
In the stories of Peter, we often see him charge ahead without thinking. This was just Peter’s personality, and, in many ways, it was a fearless personality. Peter often did things the other disciples may have thought about but were not brave enough to try. He was the only disciple to walk on water until he took his eyes off Jesus.
However, when Jesus called Peter to follow Him, he was hesitant. Peter knew his sins, like we all do, and didn’t think he was worthy of following Jesus. As he was telling Jesus how sinful he was Jesus said something that he needed to hear. Luke 5:10bJesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. Peter needed encouragement when he felt he was not worthy and fearful of the unknown.
Jesus Tells us Not to be Afraid
Like Peter we need to hear the words of Jesus, “Don’t be afraid.” Maybe you need to hear those words right now as you read this. Jesus knows our sins, yet He invites us to participate in His work of building the Kingdom of God. That is amazing when you think about it. The Lord knows our flaws, yet He chooses us to be fishers of people.
All through Scripture, we read of men and women who were afraid when God called them to jump into His plan such as Moses, Jeremiah, Gideon to name a few. Allowing the fear of “what if” to mess with our minds and rule our hearts will smother our faith. Faith is trust in God’s promises. Fear has no choice but to leave when we stand on God’s promises. It is then that we can say to fear: “You are not welcome here.”
I have found this verse to be helpful: Joshua 1: 9 This is my (God’s) command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Don’t be afraid to take the Lord’s hand as He guides you to step out in faith because He has more for you.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I am afraid to move forward in faith. Sometimes I’m not sure I am hearing Your voice or my own. I pray that You would give me wisdom to know Your voice. Help me to remember the times You were with me when I walked by faith and not by sight. Give me the courage to move when You say move, to speak when You say speak, to jump into the deep end of Your will when You say “jump in.” Amen.
When I am afraid to follow Jesus, He speaks through scripture. Listen here: