“Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mark 10:48 GN)
If you’re going to make a fresh start with faith in your life, you have to face your fears. Don’t let them control you! Fear has an incredible ability to paralyze our potential, to keep us from launching out, to keep us from having faith in our lives.
When we choose fear over faith, it makes us skeptical — we’re afraid of trying anything new when we’re afraid. It makes us selfish — we’re afraid to commit to God and to others. It makes us short sighted — we focus on the past and not on the future.
Bartimaeus faced a fear that is familiar to many of us — the fear of rejection. He knew that to shout out at Jesus in that crowd wasn’t the right thing to do. He knew that people would look down on him for it, but he was desperate. And he knew that Jesus Christ was the only one who could help him.
And look what happened: When he shouted out to Jesus, everyone around him told him, “Don’t do that. Be quiet. Don’t make a scene. Surely Jesus Christ isn’t interested in you. He has more important things to do.”
The devil whispers things like that to a lot of us. When that opportunity for faith comes into our heart, thoughts like “God surely wouldn’t be interested in you” or “Don’t make a scene” or “What would people think of you?” keep us from having faith. When you see an opportunity to change, there are all kinds of shouts from inside and around you that tell you not to rock the boat.
But God is asking you to do something greater than you’ve ever done before: He’s asking you to depend on him completely. Don’t you think that’s going to feel a little bit scary? Of course it is. And when God asks something of us, you and I have a choice. Are you going to fall back on your fear and stay the way that you are? Or are you going to tame your fear and step forward in faith?
Talk About It
Whose disapproval do you fear the most?
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that” (MSG). Pray that God would help you receive his protection from what other people think by trusting in him.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.