Do It Scared
By: Derieck Lopez
Fear: “An unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger.”
Fear: The thing that stops a high school boy from asking a girl out to homecoming.
Fear: The very thing God tells us not to do because He is for us.
I’ll never forget the moment God called me to ministry. There were moments throughout my life where people would tell me “You should be a priest. You’d make a great pastor.” And as much as I enjoyed being a Christian, as much as I enjoyed talking to people about Jesus, I was always scared I could never do it.
I used to watch Pastor Dudley from the pulpit and tell myself, “I want to be just like him, but I can’t. I don’t look like him, I don’t talk like him, I don’t know enough about the Bible, I’m bad at public speaking, no one would ever listen to me, what if I fail?”
You can’t even hear my voice, but you can hear my fear. And for the longest time, I allowed moments of fear to run my life. I did what fear told me to do. Fear told me I didn’t look the part, so I chose to hide. Fear told me I wasn’t worth listening to, so I never spoke. Fear told me I would fail, so I never tried.
What about you? Is there something you want to do, something you want to become? Is Jesus calling you to walk in the life He has prepared for you and you’re just scared?
If that’s you, congratulations you passed the human test. But being human doesn’t give you an excuse to live in fear. God tells us that it's His perfect love that casts out all fear. He tells us He’s our fortress, our champion, our loving Father, our hope. And so if He is for us, if He has called us, if He has redeemed us, if He is calling us to something He desires; and if we know who He is: perfect, never changing, wise, loving, never failing; why should we ever fear what He’s called us to?
4 years ago, I found myself trying to be something God never intended me to be. I switched my major 4 times, I tried career paths that would only make me money and not things that actually brought me meaning; and I was scared.
Deep down inside I knew that I wanted to be a preacher. I wanted to share the greatest story the world has ever known to whoever would listen. But it was myself and fear that got in the way. But even in the middle of my fear, God kept knocking on the door of my heart, and He kept calling me to Himself.
And I remember calling my mom feeling conflicted with tears in my eyes. I told her, “Mom, I feel that God is calling me to be a preacher, but I just don’t know if I can do it. I know the Bible says God is my rock and He will lead me and use me, but I’m just scared. I’m scared I don’t know enough, I’m scared I’m not a good enough speaker, I’m scared I’ll lead people astray, I’m scared that I’ll fail.” And then mom, with all of her wisdom and with the truth of God, told me this, “Well then son, Do It Scared.”
And it was those three words that gave me the greatest peace I could’ve ever asked for, because I knew that God was speaking through her, and I knew that God was behind me and for me.
I’m not telling you to make a risky investment, I’m not telling you to jump out of a plane. What I am telling you is that if God is truly calling you to something, if He’s made it so evident in your heart and spirit that you just can’t deny it, even if it seems like the furthest thing from safe, Do It Scared.
On the other side of my fear, I’ve come to know the greatest joy is living in the will of God. Today I’m proud to say that because I “Did It Scared”, I’ve become a preacher and pastor. I’ve traveled to South Korea for a mission trip, I left my home to pursue bible college in the middle of nowhere Missouri, I became the lead minister of a church I couldn’t even spot on a map, and I married the most amazing woman of God at the young age of 24.
I get scared all the time. I’m not always comfortable when I speak, I don’t always feel equipped or prepared, but fear no longer runs my life. I do things scared not because I know who I am, I do things scared because I know who He is. I know that because He is with me, because He has called me, and because He is for me, I am never alone when I do the things He asks of me.
I love you all. Do It Scared.
Derieck Lopez is a Ministry Intern at Shepherd Church in our Kids, Life Groups, and Young Adult department.