Twenty years ago my father went to be with the Lord. I had worked comfortably behind the scenes here at Lakewood for seventeen years doing the television production. I felt fulfilled. I thought that’s what I’d do the rest of my life. But when he died, I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, but I had never ministered before. All the “what ifs” came—what if you fail, what if nobody comes, what if people don’t like you. There were times when I was so afraid that I couldn’t do it that I had to hold on to the podium. But it was in that scary place that I discovered talent I hadn’t known I had.
In 1 Kings 19, God told the prophet Elijah to anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. Elisha had a good job in the family business, with a bright future there. His parents were going to turn the farm over to him one day. But when Elijah came and put his mantle around Elisha, something came alive in Elisha’s spirit. He knew he was supposed to leave the familiar and go into the unknown. But it was scary. Staying on the farm, his whole life was lined up and secure. His mind said, “A prophet’s life is hard. Stay where you are! Play it safe.” But down in his spirit something said, “This is your destiny. This is your moment. Step out in faith,” so he did.
Some opportunities don’t come a second time. This was a destiny moment for Elisha, where it was either now or never. That’s what it was for me with pastoring the church. I didn’t have two years to think it over and prepare. My attitude was, “I’m not going to go to my grave wondering what would have happened if I had not let this scary place hold me back.” I was afraid, but on the other side of the fear was a destiny bigger than I ever imagined.
Life is too short to settle for things that you know are less than what’s in you. I’ve learned that if it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough. If we can do it in our own strength, it doesn’t take faith. I dare you to pray, “God, bring something across my path so big that only You can make it happen. Scare me again.” When He does, don’t shrink back; take that step of faith. If you do, you’re going to rise to levels you never thought possible, accomplish dreams bigger than you’ve imagined, overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable, and reach the fullness of your destiny.