Stepping Out of Reluctance and Into Purpose

Reluctance…that could be my middle name sometimes. There have been several times in my life when I knew God was asking me to do something, and my first response was, “Um…thanks, but no thanks!” Can you relate? It’s usually fear and insecurities mixed with pride and stubbornness that is our first defense mechanism, whether it is fear of failure and what others might think, fear that our inadequacies would be on display for all to see, or pride that we are better than the job that’s asked of us.

But still, He calls. Still He wants us to step out into the unknown. Still He woos our heart by putting so much faith and trust in us. We think we are not important enough. Yet, He says you are more than enough, and reminds you that whether your influence spans to thousands or just a few, you are loved, needed, and valued. You are VITAL to the kingdom of God. Stepping out of reluctance and into obedience will reveal purpose.

In hopes that this will stir encouragement, let me give you examples in my life where God turned MY reluctance into HIS purpose:

Reluctance: After graduating college, I reluctantly took a job which required me to clean bathrooms in a medical office.
Purpose:  I worked with a boss who mentored me, and encouraged me to go to grad school. I graduated with a Master’s Degree, and accomplished a dream of becoming a physical therapist.

Reluctance: During grad school, I went to a church that wasn’t necessarily “my style.”
Purpose: I met my husband there, and formed close friendships I still have to this day.

Reluctance: Homeschooling.
Purpose: In the last three years of this unexpected journey, our family has grown more than I could have ever imagined. It has also opened doors for me to mentor and encourage other women who are trying to balance and prioritize family, work, dreams, and ministry.

Is God asking you to do something you don’t necessarily want to do? Maybe it’s staying in a current job, ministry, or role; or maybe it’s venturing out to do something new. Whatever it is, may I encourage you to step out into obedience to Him. Here are some practical steps to help you:

  1. Write down the things or areas where you know God is calling you, but you feel inadequate or reluctant.

  2. Pray and ask God to give you ideas, motivation, and boldness in those areas. Write these down, along with any Scriptures to encourage you.

  3. Be intentional about not letting your insecurity, fear, or pride keep you from your calling. Allow God to turn your reluctance into purpose and kingdom productivity.

1 Peter 4:10 says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Allow God to turn your inadequacies and insecurities into the tools necessary to equip you for His call. You CAN do what God has asked of you in the space where He has called you. There is purpose and blessing in obedience to Him.


Karen Harmon

Karen Harmon is a wife, homeschooling mother, and physical therapist. She is active serving in her church through worship, small groups, and media. You can connect with Karen on her website.