Acknowledging God's call and responding to it is a life-changing experience. Not only does agreeing to follow what He wants us to do as an individual change the course of our life on earth, in many cases it changes the course of our life after death.
But as glorious as it is to discover what your God-given purpose is, not everyone is fearless in the face of their calling. Here are three things worth remembering when you're afraid to say yes to God.
He's not out to harm you
As scary as His requests may seem at times, you are safe with God. No matter how comforting and secure the alternative options appear to be, only He offers guaranteed security. Remember, it's not just your physical safety that you need to be concerned about but your spiritual safety and that's only secured through following Christ.
God loves you and His plans for you reflect that, even if you can't always see that they do immediately. Proverbs 3:5-6 illustrates this by reminding us that our understanding is often flawed but God's is flawless: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
He's always there to help you
What's the biggest fear you have about following God without limits? Is it that you're afraid you might fail? It's a lot easier to ensure our success in following God and doing what He asks of us when we're in familiar settings faced with familiar responsibilities - forgiving a friend for a minor mistake, looking after those we know, devoting one day a week to observe the Sabbath. But when we attempt to ignore God's call to do more - devote years of our lives to a vocation which prioritises Him at every turn, be compassionate to strangers, or whatever it may be - we fail without even trying.
You don't need to count yourself out of answering yes to God's call because of a lack of experience or a seemingly incompatible skill set. If God has really chosen you to do something, then He has done so for a reason and He will equip you with the necessary tools to complete the task. And He'll be by your side every step of the way. You can always call on Him to keep you on track.
He wants the best for you and only He can give it to you
Depending on what God's calling you to do, the command may mean that you miss out on what you currently view as some pretty major stuff. Agreeing to follow Him and the plan He has for your life could mean spending less time with your friends and family, moving to a remote part of the world, putting your career plans on hold or delaying starting a family of your own. But don't be afraid of missing out, trust that God's plans for you are greater than your own. As we read in Proverbs 16:9, it is always God who sets us on the right course: "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."
If you hear God calling you to do something which requires you to step outside the race to obtain earthly gains, don't despair. God will reward you for your faithfulness and the sacrifices you make (Luke 11:13). And what he gives to you will be far greater than what you feel torn about leaving behind.