Too many of us are operating by fear instead of faith. I can say I have operated in fear too many times in my life. Fear will definitely keep you from doing what you need to do to truly please God, if you let it. "What will people think if I do or say that?" or, "What if I don't succeed?" or even, "What if I DO succeed?" are questions that represent the fact that fear is at work ... Refuse to let fear cripple you. Sometimes, we fear the unknown. We don't know what to expect after certain things happen, so it's easy to become afraid because you feel like you cannot get ready for it or have a sense of control. Let your faith in God, Who you can get to know intimately, outweigh your fear of the unknown. Today ask yourself what you are afraid of, go to God in prayer about it, thank Him for His solution in advance, and then walk in victory over it!
I look around and see so many people do things "in the church" based on tradition, but some of those traditions fail to fall in line with God's will ("you can't do this and that" but none of it is based on Scripture). Some people never grow into what new thing God has for them because they're so stuck on the old things they've always done. Let go of the old traditions that have no eternal weight so you can embrace the new for a fresh start (Isaiah 42:9; Isaiah 43:19). When we truly obey God in a way that we have not obeyed Him before, He will break us from traditions that actually misrepresent Him.
God can get our attention in different ways, even by allowing certain things that should shake us to our right senses if we are off track. Sometimes it takes going through a bad ordeal to break a bad habit. As I grow, I am learning more and more about how God will allow us to go through certain things so that we can come to a better knowledge of Who He is.
Don't ask God to test you. (The tests and trials are going to come anyway.) What you should ask for is the courage to remain true to God when the tests and trials do come. Peter said that he would not deny Jesus. He even said he would go to death with Him, but when people asked Peter about his affiliation with Jesus (the test), he denied Him three times (Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75). Peter thought he knew himself so well, and became overconfident in himself, but when the pressure came, he cracked under it. Ask yourself, "How well do I know myself?" You'd be surprised at what you find when you do some deep digging around and soul-searching, and stop pretending like you have it all together, when you really do not.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.