I’m afraid so…

…what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God…
Deuteronomy 10:12

I have only recently begun a new role as some sort of youth leader at our local church. I had looked forward to the position for some time, ever since I began discussing it with the elders of the church. I waited over a year before I was commended officially by the church and have now begun working two days a week in youth ministry. Over the last year I had imagined what my role would look like – the sort of things I’d be able to do and all the exciting ideas I had for the youth group – I couldn’t wait to get into it!

Then the day came (time really does fly sometimes) when I was commended by the elders of the church during the morning service in front of the congregation. And suddenly it dawned on me about what I was getting myself into! The elders spoke so warmly and were so encouraging and really smothered me with prayer and Bible reading; but suddenly I felt this overwhelming pressure.

This church isn’t particularly small (200-300) but as far as I’m aware, I’m only the 3rd person to ever be ’employed’ by this church. I thought of the other paid workers in the church and now  there was me: a somewhat immature 25-year-old who still pinches himself to remind him that, yes, I am married and yes, you are a father now, and you really are grown up, working, paying rent and doing the grocery shopping!

How or even why should I be supported by the church to lead the youth ministry? What if I’m no good? What if it all falls to pieces? Why should anyone trust me? All these expectations suddenly – so many supportive people encouraging me and assuring me of their prayers and counseling me to keep up the good work. What if I let them all down? Who am I? What do I know?

I was afraid. I really feared what people would think of me. What if they really knew how selfish and hard my heart can be. What if they found out I wasn’t perfect?

I feared man.

How wrong of me. Who, ever, has been perfectly equipped to serve God? None of us are able, and if we were then why would God want you serving him? Instead of casting my eyes out to all those now watching me, I’ve been reminded to cast my eyes up to the only one who matters. God.

Fear God.

How about you? Are you more worried about those before, after or next to you as you walk along the narrow path? Instead, let’s all fear the one who has his eye on the whole path, rather than those who can only see the short stretch we’re on right now.