I can feel my heart beating faster as I near the mall. Even as I prepare to turn in to the parking lot, I can hear my mind making excuses for why I should just go home and forget about it. I park my car, sit there for a few seconds, say a quick prayer, and go towards the building. As I walk around, I can feel my mouth getting dryer, and my palms starting to sweat. I scan the crowds of shoppers, looking for someone by themselves who might want to talk. I check my purse, making sure the gospel tracts are still tucked in the pocket. I take one out, spot someone, and starting walking towards them.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Your flesh is screaming at you not to move forwards, and you feel completely inadequate for the task God is calling you to do. Yet here is what I have found. God does not give us grace before we complete the task. He gives us the grace in the exact moment that we need it. We are to walk by faith, trusting that He will equip us with everything that we need. It’s so tempting to think, ‘Oh, I can’t do that. I have to wait until I have exactly the right words, or the right skills, or the right timing…’ You and I will never be fully ready to do something that God wants us to rely on Him to accomplish. Remember that we are the branches who are abiding in the Vine, for apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). We are to fear God and not man, because it is not men who will be judging us, but God. Jesus tells His disciples,
“And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations. But when they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand what to say. Instead, speak whatever you are given at that time, for it will not be you speaking, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:10-11).
Don’t buy the lie that obedience to God will make you miserable. It will only ever lead to more joy, peace, and freedom. I only pray that we can submit to Him more completely, more quickly, and more willingly each day. God does not promise that we will have grace before or after we obey. We must step out in obedience, and the grace will be supplied.