This is my greatest fear about speaking/ teaching the Bible. I’m afraid that as I travel from microphone to microphone teaching about Jesus, I’ll forget He’s even in the room.
What if I become great in my own eyes and forget that I was created, called, and commissioned by the God of the universe?
This fear makes me sick to my stomach because I know it is highly, highly probable.
When I confessed this fear to God, I immediately remembered Galations 2:20: “I’ve been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Jesus Christ now lives in me.” As a Christian, I live for Christ’s sake – not my own. This truth has to pervade every area of my life – my relationships, my hobbies, my homeschooling, and my ministry work. If I don’t remember this truth, I’m just as likely to deny Christ at the grocery store as I am when I’m speaking from a podium. “For Christ’s sake” must be my heartbeat, my motto, and my theme.
There are no easy answers, but there is comfort: When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, he seemed to say that he totally understands the temptation to feel ashamed of your calling in Christ. Ashamed – not that you think you’re too big for it, but that it’s too big for you. That’s when he writes,
“I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:12-14)
My fear dissolves when I stop trusting myself to be so impossibly faithful. Paul was right: the only way we can get out of bed, show our faces in public, and say, “I have great work to do on behalf of the Messiah,” is because it all belongs to God. Jesus created, redeemed, and called me. So, He will keep me. He will never leave me, despite the countless times I will leave Him. With the Holy Spirit’s supernatural help – and only with His help – I will guard His unspeakable gifts as I fan them into flame.
The ancient phrase wells up in my soul anew: praise be to God.