If you are going to be someone who walks in the realm of the supernatural, you must first say yes to Jesus’ invitation to get out of the boat. But there is one more hurdle you will face if you are to see power released through you. When Peter saw the waves swirling around him, the Bible says he became “afraid” (see Matt. 14: 30). Fear will keep the anointing that is on your life in the boat. Fear of people and fear of failure are two things that will neutralize the power of God in your life. We often quote Second Timothy: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
(2 Tim. 1: 7). Did you know that particular Scripture is written in the context of using our gifts for God? In the previous verse, Paul summons Timothy to stir up the gifts inside of him. When you desire to operate in your gifts it is sometimes scary. But the Bible proclaims that you don’t have a spirit of fear; you have spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. I talked earlier about the fear of people, but the other fear that despairs and debilitates us is the fear of failure. Bill Johnson told me one time that the difference between men and women of God who go down in the history books and those who don’t is the former were not afraid to fail for God. We must progress beyond our fear of failure if we are to be effective in the Kingdom. So many of us are petrified of failure. We don’t think we can cope with being confronted by our weaknesses and shortcomings. But the major problem with being afraid to fail is that you stop taking risks, and the truth about risks— the risks that flow from faith— is that they eventually pay off.
Peter failed. He began to sink. He walked for a while on water, but eventually the fear gripped him and he was submerged in defeat. But he never allowed the possibility of failure to stop him. You will face disappointment and deficiency as you step out and begin to take risks in the supernatural. You will lay hands on people, and they will not be healed. You will have a prophetic word or word of knowledge for someone that will be inaccurate. For all the testimonies of people being healed on the streets in our city, there are many stories of people not being healed. The point is we can’t let our sinking blockade us from trying again.
There is no getting around it— you will fail when stepping out in the supernatural. It’s what you do with that failure that really matters. Will it hinder you from ever stepping out again, or will you continue to press in? I really don’t even like the word “failure” in this context. For example, if you step out in faith and obedience to pray for someone who is sick or prophesy over someone, then you are a success no matter what happens so long as you continue to learn from every experience. There is a great story of Thomas Edison that illustrates this point beautifully:
The genius inventor Thomas Edison was one day faced by two dejected assistants, who told him, “We’ve just completed our seven hundredth experiment and we still don’t have an answer. We have failed.” “No, my friends,” said Edison, “you haven’t failed. It’s just that we know more about this subject than anyone else alive. And we’re closer to finding the answer, because now we know seven hundred things not to do.” Edison went on to tell his colleagues, “Don’t call it a mistake. Call it an education.”
What a profound approach to life. If you wish to learn to walk in the realm of the supernatural, you must face your fear of failure and learn to embrace every situation as an opportunity to grow. Risks will eventually pay off. One day you will stretch out your hand to a man born lame and see him jump up healed.
One of the traps people become caught in when they are hungry to see the supernatural released through their life is thinking their risk has to be something gigantic. Most of the testimonies we hear are large and impressive in nature because they are the ones that seem easier to share. In fact, the majority of testimonies you read about in this book are not necessarily everyday accounts. I realize it is easy to hold back on taking a risk when you think it involves climbing into the backseat of someone’s car, standing on a bench preaching, or some other act that is terrifying to you. Many of the risks you will take may not seem vast at all but are still crucial if you are going to release the Kingdom around you.