Open, Reach, Do It Scared

And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers.  And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-12

I carry a picture in my heart, which is intended to guide the way I live daily in relationship with people. It’s not a Sunday walk or a special occasion walk. We’re on a lifetime journey toward our eternal home, so this is an everyday walk along the path we’ve been given.

Along our path are many people. Some share my same destination for eternity, and some do not. Yet, we share this earth walk for an appointed time, and in an appointed place by God’s grace.

In this picture, to which I hold dear, one of my hands reaches forward toward someone walking on the path a bit ahead of me, while my other hand reaches for a person walking along behind me. All the while my eyes are focused on Jesus who is the Pioneer and the Perfecter of my earth walk.

Have you ever doubted your ability to influence this world?

Did you read the Scripture at the beginning and say to yourself, “Well, that’s not me. I’ve not been given grace to build the body of Christ because I don’t hold any of those positions or titles. I’m just plain me.”

Did you just disqualify yourself for service?

May I encourage you take another peek at my picture? Remember, the picture is a goal for living – a plan of action. Just like many of my goals, I definitely do not hit the mark all the time or every day. Yet, because I have a picture in mind, and a mark to aim toward, I live this way more often than not.

So , put yourself back in the game with a plan and a goal.

Instead of me, place yourself in the picture. Eyes looking at Jesus. Now, do the next brave thing. As you walk along the path the Lord has marked out for you; ask Him to bring just two names to your mind. Ask Him to highlight the person walking just a little bit further down the faith journey in front of you. Then ask Him to remind you of someone who might be walking right behind you.

So, now that you’ve taken the first step in faith. Hopefully, you’ve written down two names in your Bible or in a journal. The next step is to ask our Good Shepherd to open a door of opportunity with each of these people.

I know. Most of us are actually very scared right now. Some of us are more bold and brave and will message the two people as a reach for a hand. Others of us, are asking Jesus to make the introductions. And a few of us are considering whether they want to ask Jesus to open even a window let alone a full door for relationship.

These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness in the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ. Ephesians 4:13

No matter where you find yourself in this spectrum. I ask you to be bold and brave enough – do it scared – and have a conversation with Jesus about everything you are feeling right now. Good Shepherd will take your fears, doubts and all your oppositions (if you will let Him) and strain them through His filter of love. He’ll hold your hand, and my hand, while He shows us in what direction to reach for the hand of flesh.

These hands reaching, and the people on the other side of those hands represent our need for discipleship and encouragement. We’re meant for community. We need each other, which is why we’re struggling so. We’re far too isolated – even within the family of God.

One hand reaching forward to grab hold of a sister’s hand in front of me represents my need to be mentored. This visual reminds me to remain teachable. No matter how old I am nor the number of years I’ve been walking with Jesus, I am not fully sanctified. There’s always more for me to learn about God, His character and who He says I am because I belong to Him.

Additionally, with every turn or dip on the path I’m faced with situations I’ve never yet encountered. Yet, guaranteed, someone in front of me has already traversed a similar rough spot. I want to hold her hand for awhile. How encouraging it is to know I’m not alone! Together, we can look to Jesus for guidance and wisdom because we know He’s overcome every difficulty we could ever experience!

One hand behind me reaching for the hand of a woman behind me represents the responsibility I have to mentor and encourage another person. As I have been loved, there’s someone who needs to be loved. As I have been taught there’s someone coming up behind who needs to be taught. There’s always someone coming up from behind struggling with something for which I can offer encouragement.

And then our immaturity will end! And we will not be easily shaken by trouble, nor led astray by novel teachings or by the false doctrines of deceivers who teach clever lies. But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth. All our direction and ministries will flow from Christ and lead us deeper into him, the anointed Head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:14-15 TPT

Does it sound all too good to be true? Is the concept seemingly unrealistic? Are you just too scared? Are you still disqualifying yourself?

May I take your virtual hand, and encourage you once more. Simply stop. Take a deep breath. Pull out something to write on and with. Do the next brave thing. Turn your eyes to Jesus. Ask Him what He thinks about everything your feeling and thinking right this very minute.

You’ll be so glad you received His perspective on the path. Jesus will lead you. He’ll make you brave enough to do it scared. He might even cause a hand in front of you to reach back so that all you have to do is grab hold.

Come on, sisters, let’s open our hearts, reach out and do it scared!

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,