“But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 VOICE)
One of the cruelest vampires leeching the life right out of you is lack of confidence. When I think of how many years I had let the approval of people imprison me and hold me back, it just sickens me…so I try even harder NOT to think of it! Seriously, it is paralyzing when you need affirmation. The devil will use that longing as a tool against you–always putting satisfaction just beyond your reach, always keeping you self-deprecating and in a state of the fear of not being good enough. Yes, that was me. And my imagination was in overdrive…thinking people didn’t really like me, didn’t think I was good enough, thinking I was going to mess up. So I approached everything timidly. What a setup for failure and more bruising to my fragile ego! I would watch other people do things so easily (especially public speaking and singing) and think, “why can’t I be like them?” You know what this does? It makes us avoid situations where we might be asked to shine!
How funny it is, that it’s taken me hitting my mid-late forties to shake that stronghold. Sure, we tend to chill out a little more as we settle into getting older; but may I tell you that the REAL act of liberation came when I stopped keeping my eyes on others and started focusing on Jesus. When I surrendered that need for approval to Him, and learned that His was truly the only approval I needed, something changed. I began even to cast down imaginations and subdue everything to the knowledge of WHO JESUS is, and I realized that I don’t have to please anyone but Him. I also learned that when we keep our eyes on Him, He does the rest THROUGH us. I can’t rely on my own strength and ability to be there every single time…but you know what? I can always expect HIS to be!
If you are struggling with confidence issues, talk to your Papa God about it. He can heal fears, emotional/physical abuse, wounded egos, and bitter disappointment…and can free you to step out and grasp that thing He’s created you to do. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit (ask Him to fill you if you’ve not experienced this) will unleash boldness.
I love the Apostle Paul. He had an education and life experience that any man would be proud to flaunt, yet he kept it to himself. Why? Nothing to prove! He came into Christianity fully aware that he would be distrusted, rejected by many for the years prior when he’d made it his life’s work to persecute followers of Jesus. He knew some might never accept him as good enough. Did it slow him down? No! Why? Nothing to prove!
My lifelong friend Jimmy Copley, a bold carrier of the Good News, made a FB post today which really cemented this point I’m making. He likened us to pizza boxes. The box isn’t what has worth–the pizza inside is. Be filled today with the Holy Spirit. People will smell the aroma and become hungry for what’s inside. The writing on the outside of the box, the fancy construction OR LACK THEREOF…irrelevant. You ARE a fragile vessel, capable of failing, messing up, falling short…yet THE GOD has chosen to use your frail container in which to place His Spirit! He does this so that when He works through you, people will know that it’s Him and not your own ability to perform which has brought forth good things.
Today when you are about your daily routine, you will be called upon to do something greater than your ability and experience can offer. If you are relying on merely those two factors, you may set yourself up for failure. Ask God to take your container, imperfect and incomplete though you may be, and work things through you that exceed your capabilities. As He does, give Him the glory. No more fixating on the judges’ scorecards! GOD Himself endorses you! With your confidence in His ability (the One Who cannot fail) instead of your own (which may or may not succeed), you walk into your situation with the full assurance that you really CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Like Paul…nothing to prove, so you can afford to be all in. Go forth empowered today, in Jesus’ name!