Why are we so afraid to act?
I ran track for three years in high school. I was a long distance runner. I ran between 5 to 10 miles a day in practice and about 3 and a half miles per meet. Running long distance was exhausting to say the least. However, the hardest part about track for me was simply thinking about how difficult the run was going to be. The running aspect of track wasn’t even that bad. I had no real reason to dread running other than the fact that it made me a little tired to work so hard. All that was in my way was my own fear or lack of desire to run. I had some kind of fear that prevented me from experiencing the freedom of running the race without hesitation and without fear.
There are still times in my life when I experience that same kind of fear. That fear prevents me from experiencing good things God has for me. And there are times when that fear stops me from doing the good things that God wants me to do. It is at those times that praying to God helps relieve my fears. Although, at some point I must also realize the need to act. We disobey God when we don’t act when there is opportunity to do good to others. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.” ~ Proverbs 3:27-28
God desires action, not apathy
It seems easier for us to ignore the problems that show up in our lives. It seems more convenient for us to turn from the problem than it is to fix it. It is much easier to just give up. And we are so afraid sometimes that we decide not to act when there is opportunity to do good. We need to remember that God commanded us to be courageous. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
We need to face some hard truths as Christians. Too often we use prayer as a crutch for apathy. We say we will pray when we really just don’t care to act. Please don’t get me wrong. The power of prayer should not be underestimated. God answers prayer and works wonders through it. We should pray fervently to God, without ceasing. However, the point I’m trying to make is that prayer shouldn’t exclude our taking part in God’s good works. We should pray and act.
Run the race
Remember that God told Noah to build an ark in order for he and his family to survive the flood. Noah could have decided to make excuses instead of building the ark. He could have just ignored the Lord and gone on with his every day life. Instead Noah heeded God’s word and did what God commanded. Even in the face of human extinction, he never gave up. Noah decided to run the race that God had for him by building the ark.
The Christian life is like a long distance run. It can be tiring and difficult. We may be afraid to go all out, but in the end running the race will bring us closer to God. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1
What race has God called you to run? What is holding you back?