What if you weren’t afraid?

I started my first Sunday of 2010 at Cross Point church here in Nashville. The title of the teaching was “My Prayer for You” by pastor Pete Wilson.

The title didn’t immediately hit me, so as he started to talk, admittedly, my mind wasn’t fully present until he said, “You may not want me to pray this for you, but I’m going to anyway.”

What? Why would he say it that way?

His message was simple:

  1. Faith
  2. Purpose
  3. Wisdom

But what he said wasn’t.

He spoke about faith, and fear, and limitations, and lack of faith. He said things like…

“Fears establish the limits on your life…”


“The reason why you’re paralyzed by fear is not because of fear, it’s because of “little” faith.”

All of these were fine to listen to, but I didn’t really hear them, like I hear a harp, until he started talking about money (of course). Basically the story went like this…

A man commits to giving $600, because it was doable. God asks him to step out in faith and commit to $2000. Man does. Questions his commitment. Man get’s a $2080 raise three days after.

But provision is not the point of the story.

A man commits to give what he knew he could. God asks him to commit to a number that wasn’t possible. Man’s heart was turned and expectant upon God. God surprises him. Man is overwhelmed. Man’s faith increases.

I wondered what $ amount I would have to commit to see my faith exercised? Then I wondered, “if God can do all things, what stops him from sending $100,000 my way, to commit and giveaway?”

My faith.

Honestly, I don’t believe that I have the faith to commit to that kind of faith. That’s just scary faith…like stupid scary faith. It would surely end up in failure? Right? I mean, how in the world could I dare to believe that God could do that?

And there you have it. My own “little faith,” rooted in fear, has already established the limits that I put on God’s ability to use me like that. This, my friends, is messing with me in ways that have only just begun.

For Discussion: Imagine if I/you really did believe that God could, would and will use me, you, us, like that? What then, could be possible? What’s stopping you/us from believing like that?

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  • http://www.christineelizabethphoto.com Christine Elizabeth

    Oh, wow….I came here after eavesdropping on Twitter to see how in the world you would reference a harp (good job, by the way ;) ). I was coming for entertainment – not to be challenged like this!

    Seriously, though, I think God is moving in big ways all over. Aside from everything else that He has been doing in my life lately, I had a potentially life-changing conversation yesterday that had me questioning how much (or little) faith I have and why I have so much fear in certain areas. Then, I saw your tweets this morning and fave’d them, because I want to keep thinking about these things. Thanks for challenging me further ;)

    • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle

      Wow! Thanks Christine. Please keep me posted on where your journey takes you.

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  • http://annieblogs.com/ AnnieBlogs

    In all honestly, I have no idea what to do with these thoughts.

    I’m going to be pondering them for a while.

    I took a huge faith step about 18 months ago and I think I’m still recovering for that a bit. i mean, hello Nashville, it went really well. But the steps and the amount of faith I needed truly wore me out.

    So the idea of brainstorming up another big faith step, or asking God for one, makes me tired.

    I’m not sure I’m ready yet.

    Maybe I just need to ask for the faith to be brave enough to have faith.

    How’s that for Serious Annie?

    • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle

      Maybe it’s not much about the size, but the step? This isn’t a go big or not at all idea. It’s a do I dare believe for what seems impossible: that job, that man, that blog design, that book deal, that car, that peace, that boldness. Maybe He’s less concerned about doing and more about believing. I wonder if the doing comes after the believing…and I mean the real believing…not the kind that just says that you do.

      • http://annieblogs.com/ AnnieBlogs

        Touche. Get out of my business, Serious Kyle. Quit listing. Sheesh. :)

        And you don’t know everything. I don’t need a car.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

          And to think that I was about to give you one.


  • http://kevindeleonphotography.com Kevin deLeon


    Good points. I do believe fear is probably the only limiting factor we have in life (outside of the obvious things like jumping off a building and expecting to fly). I struggle with it myself all the time. I find that my faith has dwindled over the years only due to fear, and lack of faith in my fellow man. Help-Portrait did a lot to restore that for me, but I still work at it everyday.

    My only problem with the message above is that I fear some people would take this to the extreme. I think God has given us quite the gift in a reasoning brain. I think he expects us to use this. It’s one thing to have faith, and give more of yourself than expected. I think that is a must. It’s another thing to be unreasonable (give 100,000) and expect God to make things alright. ;-)

    • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle

      Hey Kevin. I agree with you in concept, but you are making my point. If God is our sole provider and He can do anything, why wouldn’t we dare believe that he could move $100,000 through us? And maybe it’s the number that you’re referring to? I do believe that if one felt sure that God was asking to, in faith, give $100k, one should…not because it’s possible but because it would be positioning oneself to see their faith increased. Again, this isn’t about the number, it’s about the faith.

      • http://www.sorliearts.com Andrew Sorlie

        Hey Guys – I know what you're saying Kyle – and if we all had our faith in check – this would would be a much better place – but what I think Kevin is aiming at is that there may be some people who would write a physical cheque to a church or missions organization for $100,000 and the cheque would bounce and the organization would be let down in that situation. A friend of mine in England runs a church and that exact thing happened to his church. Someone felt that God lead them to write a cheque when they in fact were unemployed. I don't see that as the Unemployed guy not having enough faith – I simply see that as either Satan trying to discourage that particular church with a bit of false hope or the Unemployed guy not really getting the point that it's about faith itself and not the dollar amount (which is your point – i think).

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  • Mike

    Great words Kyle – thanks for sharing!
    I think you’re right about the doing comes after believing. I feel like God wants you to step into His story. He doesn’t show us the end or even major pieces sometimes because His isn’t comparable to others. It’s not a “I think I want to do this or this, but I’ll go ahead and see what God’s option is too, then decide”. His is the best way, the most exciting way, the one way with our best interest at heart, and the one where He can use us do immeasurably more than we can imagine. That’s where we trust, believe, start [doing] and the rest follows. At least that’s been my experience, trusting God to pay the bills as a freelance photo/video guy for the last 4 years. I had (2) $10k accounts lined up for corporate videos when I quit my job – thinking I’d be ok with $20k in the bank and could finally move on. 4 years later, I still haven’t done either of those videos. It was His way of saying “trust me, I’ll take care of you” – Then He provided 100 other photo/video projects around the world that were far more exciting – plus I realized I wasn’t talented enough then to do those projects anyway.
    Thanks again for sharing these words – they were a very encouraging reminder this morning!

    • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle

      Well said Mike. Thanks for your contribution.

  • http://rosacola.blogspot.com Rocco

    **Just expressing my random thoughts here**

    God really doesn't need our money*.

    What if He asked for something else? What if He asked for your time, your heart?

    What if you lost your job, ran out of money, and had no where to live? Where would your faith be? Do you believe God would be in all that? Would you still love God? Would you still believe that He still Loves you?

    What is Faith compared to Love?!

    I think a key statement above is "God asks him…". How often do we do something to prove 'our' faith to 'our self' or others, when God hasn't asked us to?

    Can Love take away the need for Faith? (1 Corinthians 13)

    (*I know this is not about money. )

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      Rocco — I get that God will provide. He always has and always will. It's his promise. But I think there is a level of faith that goes beyond the normal provisions…like when you are taken care of and you find yourself with leftovers—time, money, possessions, compassion, etc. To believe for more is to live with a perspective of abundance, not just enough.

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  • http://www.learningonthejourney.com Amanda

    Thanks for posting this! It's so great to be reminded of and has left me with lots to chew on. So much, in fact, that I decided to post a blog entry of my own about it. :)
    Thanks again!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/daviddentist daviddentist

    Great post Kyle. Several years ago I was struggling with a life changing decision. I wasnt getting the normal "feeling" I was used to getting when my logic lined up with my spirit. I was consumed with fear. How could I make a decision if I didn't have the "peace" I was used to? God wanted to stretch me this time.

    Time came to "fish or cut bait" and I pressed into God like never before. Finally, he spoke." David, you can make a Godly decision WITH fear just not BASED on fear". With that, the answer was clear as a bell.

    I think God was testing me to stretch my faith and not base it on what I was used to. Looking back, it allowed me to not waiver on a emotion but a clear Word from Him.

    God Bless you and your family with the move!

    David DeVore

  • Lori Miller

    Hi Cousin Kyle,

    I have a couple thoughts….to add yours :)

    I must say that in my own walk w the Lord, I am learning to trust Him when He says to take a leap…..but I must clarify that I am of the belief that we must take that leap only when He says to , not because we got a notion to do so ourselves. I have seen Him surprise me many times in many unexpected ways. And I have also seen some take pretty daring leaps, risking so much, and fall flat, which has led me to ponder over it. I believe the difference is that when God says to THAT is when we should not hesitate to obey Him and take that leap and then we will see miracles. But if we call the shots on things when He never led us to do that, we become presumptuous and set ourselves up for failure whether because of pride or overambition.

    I think the abundant life is lived by His Word in the moment He makes it alive to us. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.