Confidence. It’s something most of us struggle with. And I’ll be the first to admit that at different times in my life, my confidence has been shaken to the core; mostly by the words spoken to me by others.
- Words that caused me to question myself.
- Words that someone thought were funny but were hurtful.
- Words that spoke defeat instead of victory.
- Words meant to guilt me into something.
- Words meant to quiet me instead of empowering me.
Words from the childhood playground to the company meeting room. And with each and every word, I’ve felt inadequate. Less than. Unqualified.
Not only have the words of others impacted me, but also the words I have spoken to myself. Words like:
- Who am I kidding, I can’t do this.
- Why would God use me?
- I’m not smart enough.
- I’m not like so and so.
- I don’t have the right connections or training.
- Why would anyone listen to me?
Maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation. Why would God use you? Why would He call you? Why would He fulfill your heart’s desire? Why you? You just feel so unlikely, so unqualified. You’ve screwed up too many times. You’ve failed more than you would like to admit. You feel as though you’ve missed out on God’s Plan A and honestly, you’re just trying to make it through Plan B. You’re not smart enough, rich enough, good enough, and quite frankly, you just feel less than qualified.
I believe that, in many ways, we are like Moses. God called Moses to help rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians. But yet instead of being excited about the call, Moses gave God 5 excuses as to why he couldn’t fulfill the calling:
- I’m not qualified: In Exodus 3:11 we read, “Moses answered God, ‘But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Does this sound familiar? How many times do we say the same thing, “God, I can’t do this. I’m just not qualified.” When God shows us something or starts opening doors for us, we begin to doubt ourselves. We start second-guessing everything. It’s as if we feel like we are not worthy or capable of actually being used by God to make a difference in this world.
- Fear of not having the “right” answers: Exodus 3:13 says, “Then Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the People of Israel and I tell them, The God of your fathers sent me to you; and they ask me, What is his name? What do I tell them?’” Oh, how I can relate to this! There are so many times that I fear I will not have the right answer or the perfect response to something that God has called me to. And instead of moving past that fear, I let it grab ahold of me and keep me from moving forward, all because I don’t want to look foolish. And I think that’s exactly what Moses was thinking and feeling, he feared that if he didn’t have the “right” answer, that he would look foolish.
- Lack of belief: In Exodus 4:1 we read, “Moses objected, ‘They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, God? Appear to him? Hardly!’” Oh, how our lack of belief can get the best of us before we even start. God shows us something and instead of taking God at His word, we immediately start rattling off all the reasons why it won’t work. Instead of trusting, we allow unbelief to grab a hold of us.
- Focusing on his weaknesses instead of God’s strength: Exodus 4:10 says, “Moses raised another objection to God: ‘Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.’” Honestly, I think this is the one “excuse” that most of us fall prey to. We focus on our weaknesses, what we think we are not capable of doing, instead of focusing on what God can do through our weaknesses and us. But isn’t this how God works? Doesn’t He LOVE to take our weak spots and work in such a way that all we can do is point back to God and give Him all the praise and glory?
- He was giving up before he even started: Finally, in Exodus 4:13 we read, “He said, ‘Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!’” And this just breaks my heart because I know there are countless women out there, who much like Moses, gave into fear and disbelief. Instead of moving toward the calling, they let it go. Ultimately deciding, “God, send someone else. I can’t do this.”
How do we move past fear and disbelief when it comes to the calling that God has given us? The calling that we feel so inadequate to accomplish? It comes when we shift from focusing on our personal confidence and instead, focus on having a God-confidence.
If we look at Mary, the mother Jesus, we see a young woman who allowed her God-confidence to lead and guide her into something that she could never do on her own.
In Luke 1:35-45, we read about the encounter that Mary had with an angel. When this angel shared all that would be taking place with her, Mary didn’t voice multiple excuses as to why it couldn’t be done, she said, “Let it be with me, just as you say.” And then we read in verse 39, “Mary didn’t waste a minute.” And later, we read that she was blessed because she believed: “Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!”
Oh, how I long to be more like Mary. How I long to take God at His word when He calls me. No excuses, no doubt, no fear, no focusing on myself. But instead, to be able to heed the call, to trust, and to not waste a minute with excuses; to get up and move forward.
Maybe today, you are feeling inadequate for the calling that God has given you. And maybe you find yourself sharing too many excuses with God as to why it can’t be done and why you are the wrong person for the assignment. If so, let me encourage you to study the story of Mary in Luke. And as you study her reaction to the calling that she was given, ask God to give you His confidence. When you ask, He will give it to you, but then you will need to do your part by moving forward.
And don’t forget the importance of having someone in your life (much like Elizabeth was for Mary) that will lift you higher. Someone that sees what you can’t see. Someone that sees your potential and speaks to that potential. Someone that will keep you moving forward, even when you want to quit. Someone that will say,” You’ve been called by God and you have what it takes to make a difference in this world.” If you don’t have someone like this in your life, start praying and start asking God to bring that person into your life. He will be faithful to do that.
You need warriors in your life and God longs to bring them to you, quickly!