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The Struggle to Initiate

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

1 Corinthians 2:13

Watch Week Two Day Four

The Struggle to Initiate

In order to have relationships with others and participate in discipleship, we must take initiative and reach out to the people around us. This is the first step, and it can be the most difficult. It can even seem scary at times. Why is it so difficult to reach out to others?

We’re busy. With work, family, and life, it just takes too much effort to initiate something new with others in a meaningful way. It takes time we don’t have. At times we are so busy that we don’t even see the people around us who might need encouragement or love. Think of the story of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years and was healed by her faith when she touched Jesus’ cloak (Luke 8:40–56). When Jesus healed this woman, He was actually on His way to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. Even in the midst of chaos, Jesus saw people and changed their lives forever.

We lack the words. What do we say? Sometimes we just don’t know how to begin. It might feel awkward to initiate a meaningful conversation with those around you. Or you might think you have to speak perfectly, so you don’t initiate at all. First Corinthians 2:13 (NIV) says, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” When we speak to others about Jesus, we do not need to worry about having persuasive skills, seminary degrees, or even eloquence because the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals the truth of the gospel despite the we choose to use.

Fears in Initiating

Not only do we struggle to initiate with others but we also have fears in initiating with others. Let’s explore a few of these fears.

Response. At times, we don’t initiate with others because we are fearful of their response. What if they say no? What if they make fun of us? What if they want nothing to do with Jesus? Whatever their response, it’s okay because we are not in control of their response. God knows the heart, and He is the one in control of transforming the heart. And we can calm our fears by being secure in who we are in Christ; He’ll always be with us even if we face push-back.

Vulnerability. When you initiate, you open yourself up to others. When you invite people into your lives, you allow them into the most vulnerable places. This can be a scary thing. If you fear being vulnerable, remember that Jesus is your defense. Despite our faults and failures, He still chose to redeem us. Therefore, we don’t need to defend ourselves to anyone.

As we identify and process the fears associated with discipleship and initiating with others, remember Jesus’ words at the end of the Great Commission: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

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Daily Question

What keeps you from initiating with others? Which women in your life may God be leading you to disciple? Ask God to provide opportunities to pursue deeper, intentional relationships. Who are women in your life who have discipled you?

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