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Got Confidence?

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I have some questions for you. Have you noticed how hard the devil works at stealing your confidence? If you pay close attention throughout the day to your thought life, you will easily discover this. Have you noticed him constantly trying to strike you down with fear? The devil really enjoys doing this to us for the sole purpose of keeping us from moving forward in the mission that God has planned for us, both our daily mission and the general calling of God on our life.

Do any of these lines sound like familiar thoughts you have been attacked with? I wonder what they are thinking of me? What are they saying about me? Maybe I said the wrong thing.

Employees, how about this one? What if I am not adequate enough for this job? What if I fail?

Mothers, recognize this? I wonder if I am a good enough Mom? I’m afraid I’m not doing enough.

The most frequent question in my mind for many years was, I wonder if God is really pleased with me? I think maybe I should be doing more. After all, I messed up in that other area this morning and now I just messed up again. When am I ever going to get myself together?

Steve, my husband says a big mental hang-up for him, similar to mine was, Am I ok with God? Steve also struggled with a lack of confidence on his job, wondering if he was going to be able to perform to the standards he had set for himself. He feared that he wouldn’t be an adequate enough employee to be able to provide for our family. This stemmed back to several poor examples he had growing up where he experienced certain male relatives failing to provide for their families due to irresponsibility.

The truth is, Steve has a great job where he is excelling and provides beautifully for our family and because he now has a deep understanding that he is not suppose to be relying on his own strength and ability, but on the strength and ability of Christ in him, he is being freed from these fears.

Anything negative from your childhood can have a huge impact on your current mental attitudes, but God is more than willing to heal you of the pain from your past. In fact, God is so good at it that He can literally cause you to live and function as if you had never been hurt.

Forgiveness is an important part of the recipe for your healing. You can’t properly let go of the past without it, but the good news is, God will also give you the ability to forgive. All you have to do is be open and honest with Him about how you’re feeling and ask for and receive His grace to be able to let go of the past. I absolutely love the simplicity of prayer. Prayer is so powerful and God is listening every time you pray, no matter how big or small your prayer request is.

Your decision to receive or not receive emotional healing from past hurts will have a direct affect on your confidence level. God is willing to meet you where you are and bring you through to complete healing and I encourage you to let Him into those painful areas.

Before we go any further, let’s define what kind of confidence we are talking about in this blog post because there are two kinds of confidence with a huge difference between the two. Self-confidence is believing in yourself but confidence in Christ is what I want to talk to you about today. Confidence in Christ is knowing that Jesus can do what needs to be done through us. He gives us the strength to do whatever it is we need to do, from training up our children to tackling that mound of laundry to keeping our priorities straight to excelling on the job.

Self-confidence is discussed often in self-help books, motivational seminars, t.v. talk shows and the list goes on, but the thing I have found out about self-confidence is that it puts an enormous amount of pressure on you and me. God doesn’t want a life of stress for us though. He has a much better way! Now, I didn’t say that we will never go through anything hard. Actually, Jesus promised we will, but by the grace of God we can remain calm on the inside through the trials of life. (see John 16:33)

The Apostle Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 

9 For I am the least of all the apostles – I do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God’s church. 10 But by God’s grace I am what I am, and the grace that He gave me was not without effect. On the contrary, I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, although it was not really my own doing, but God’s grace working with me. (GNT)

Paul, who was actually named Saul at the time, was aggressively persecuting Christians for years until one day on his way to Damascus to seek out and persecute more Christians, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed down around him. Saul even fell off his horse from the sudden surprise. He heard Jesus ask him this, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting Me?” When Saul got up he was blind. He went without food and water for 3 days and received instructions from the Lord during this time. (see Acts 9)

On the other side of that three days Saul went from being a self-confident church hater to the single most influential person in church history other than Jesus, but he himself says it wasn’t his own doing, but God’s grace working with Him. That, my friend, is confidence in Jesus!

Somewhere between Acts 10 (his conversion) and Acts 13:9, Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Although the Bible is not clear on exactly how his name came to be changed, it probably wasn’t a bad idea since Paul was now going to be hanging out with all the people he formerly made it a point to persecute and kill. I’m sure it was one more way to help Paul and his new friends forget the past and look forward to what was ahead. (see Philippians 3:13)

Within three days Paul went from mistreating people to spending the rest of his life working to help people. This is the difference between confidence and arrogance. A truly confident person, keeping in mind we have defined true confidence as trusting completely in Christ’s ability in us, will treat people right. A truly confident person will treat people with respect and walk in love toward them. They will be moved with compassion for people just like Jesus was.

On the other hand, an arrogant person only cares about advancing their own agenda. They do what they do to be thought well of by all the people around them. An arrogant person, sometimes mistaken for a confident person, does not really live for Jesus. They live for themselves. I know because this person used to be me. It never crossed my mind to point people to Jesus because I was too busy trying to get people to look at me, hoping they would think I was great. I behaved this way because I was insecure. My insecurity was a result of my dependence on my own efforts to succeed. The only problem was, the majority of the time I couldn’t succeed by my own efforts so I felt like a failure. Then, because of feeling like a failure, my insecurities would drive me to grab for confidence in any way that I could. I didn’t even know what was going on in my own heart at the time because I was deceived, but finding the truth was the difference between night and day for me.

True confidence, that is confidence through Christ, can get us further in 3 minutes than we could get ourselves over a lifetime. Imagine all that we could accomplish through Christ if we stopped allowing the devil to trip us up with doubt!

After the blinders were taken off my eyes last year, I started on a journey that was so different from the way I had previously lived that I began to record everything in my MacJournal. I didn’t want to lose the memory of what God was doing in me.

I wrote this in my journal on July 31st of last year (2012).

Just the other day I realized that I am so much more confident now. I thought, I wonder how that happened? Then I realized that once I stopped looking to my own self-efforts to help me be a good Christian and started depending on the power of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, my confidence level began to increase. I know that Jesus’ finished work will never fail in any way so having confidence in His work instead of my own has been the key.

So if I could choose for you to remember only one thing you read today, this is what I would choose:

Put all of your confidence in Jesus’ finished work on the cross and none in your own self-efforts and your confidence will soar because Jesus’ finished work is perfect and never fails in any way!

Jesus literally did it all. How can we be anything but confident once we really believe it!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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