Finding Your Confidence
How often have you heard advice like this before?
• You just need to believe in yourself more…
• He needs to work on his self-esteem…
• If she just had more self-confidence she could really take off…
Our society has bought into the notion that a greater confidence in self or a greater value of who we are is the bridge needed to cross the chasm of life’s personal challenges. Book after book has been written, article after article has been published, and seminar after seminar exist to promote just this kind of thinking. We even hear it in parenting advice, as parents we are told that we need to nurture our child’s self-esteem. You can’t escape this kind of thinking as it has grown to permeate our culture’s thought process.
While this is what psychology tells us about how we can overcome life’s challenges or how we might learn to take risks, what we really need to know is how God would equip us to face trials, difficulties, or challenges. Does He want us to simply believe more in ourselves? We can find answers to these questions when we look at the story of Moses who stood at a crossroads in his life.
God had just called Moses to a monumental task, to lead the liberation of Israel from Egypt. Moses was one man who was being called to go up against the most powerful nation in the known world and free a million slaves. Egypt would have no interest in allowing this to happen. Why would they want to give up their free labor? Feel the weight of that… one man verse a nation! The odds didn’t look good. This seemed like an impossible ask from God. As you read through the account (Exodus 3:1-4:17) what you hear are a number of inadequacies that Moses confesses about himself…
• He is a nobody… how could little Moses take on this task?
• Nobody will believe that he is on a mission from God, he will never convince anyone… he would get laughed out of Egypt.
• He isn’t eloquent… he would never be able to address the Pharaoh with his slow tongue.
As Moses shares inadequacy after inadequacy and insufficiency after insufficiency God responds to each. And how does God respond? Does He give Moses a pep talk about believing in himself? Does he tell Moses to stop and reaffirm his value and worth? Does he tell Moses to rebut the inner critic he has and take it easy on himself?
Listen to what God says to each of Moses’ voiced insufficiencies…
• You’re a nobody? I am THE Eternal Somebody and I will be with you!
• Nobody will believe you? I will work wonders in their presence and they will believe!
• You are not eloquent? I made the mouth! I made words! I will give you my words and make you my mouthpiece!
God didn’t stop to reaffirm Moses’ greatness, God reaffirmed HIS OWN greatness. You see Moses didn’t have a problem with self-confidence, he lacked God-confidence. Moses’ issue wasn’t that he was short on self-esteem, he was missing God-esteem. What Moses really needed in this moment of fear wasn’t to feel better about himself, he needed to bask in the magnitude of God and dwell on the reality that the Eternal Creator of limitless power and faithfulness was going to be by his side empowering him for the mission he had been called to.
Finding a Sure Confidence
This is what we need as well. It feels good to have people speak of our greatness and worth, but the feeling is empty because the reality is that we are all insufficient, inadequate, and unqualified. None of us are all that God has called us to be in and of ourseves. The good news however is that God has promised to fill up what we are lacking from His grace. As Jesus told Paul when struggling through a trial, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Knowing this means that our focus when dealing with the challenges of life shouldn’t be at looking inward to find redeeming qualities about ourselves, but rather looking to God’s Word to meditate on the greatness of God, His power, His sovereignty, His faithfulness, His love, His character, His grace, and our list could go on and on. As we see His greatness and remember His promises to be with us in every situation He calls us to we can be confident HE will see us through it. May our confidence always lie in our great God!
 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,  but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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