The other night I was working diligently on the final proofread of my manuscript for my upcoming book, Stressed-Less Living, and as I progressed through the pages, reading words that I had written months ago, I began to feel very inadequate.
An onslaught of insecurities and doubts began to flood my thoughts, and I seemed to lose my ability to focus on the content of the pages. Questions began to swirl through my mind like debris caught in a tornado, clouding my ability to focus.
Questions like……. Who do you think you are? You’re not a bible scholar, an ordained preacher, a doctor, or even possess any of the qualifications that might make someone qualified to write a book. You are not worthy. And you are certainly not always stress free. Remember just last week when you were so stressed your head was spinning? You are not equipped. In fact, why would you even think God called you to do this? Maybe you misunderstood? Seems a little presumptuous that God would call you to do anything, considering all your flaws. Maybe you should quit.
I suddenly felt paralyzed by feelings of inferiority, unworthiness, and fear of failure. But thankfully, within moments, I sensed God whispering to my spirit, gently overriding the other voice I was listening to, and reminding me that the enemy was up to his tactics again. Tactics that cause discouragement, doubt, self condemnation and fear. Tactics that lead to quitting when we feel unworthy, and when the path seems unknown.
You see, many times in the past, I have fallen prey to these tactics. On countless occasions, I have experienced this flood of insecurities raging into my heart and mind, like a knife plunging into my self confidence, causing me to doubt myself, my willingness to obey God, and even teeter with the idea of quitting.
So when the devil began to fill my head with these same types of insecurities again, I was prepared to fight back. I stopped what I was doing, closed my eyes, and prayed, asking God to reassure me of what He had called me to do. Asking Him for courage and strength and confidence., while seeking confirmation that I was following His will, and not my own.
The very next morning I opened my Jesus Calling devotion, and tears came to my eyes. God’s Words washed over my spirit with sweet, unexpected reassurance.
The daily post that I read said this :
“Wait with me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such as assignment. Do not worry about what other people think of you. The work I am doing in you is hidden at first. But eventually blossoms will burst forth, and abundant fruit will be borne. Stay on the path of Life with Me. Trust me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.”
As I allowed this divine message to sink into my heart, I was refueled by witnessing the reality that God heard my prayer for reassurance, and answered. Excitement coursed through my veins as I read that He has much to tell me; that I am on the right path, even though it feels unsure; and that although I feel unworthy and unqualified, He has a plan, though it may be hidden from me right now. A reminder to trust Him, even when I am feeling unworthy.
As I thought back about all those swirling questions that caught my focus that night, I realized they all had one thing in common. They were all focused on what I am not – instead of what I am.
I am a child of God. I am imperfect, but made whole in Christ. I am blessed with a Savior. I am privileged to serve God, despite myself and my sin. I am His child, His beloved, His chosen.
And so are you.
The devil’s job is to discourage us from pursuing the assignments that God lays on our hearts, by reminding us of all the ways we don’t measure up. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but those shortcomings do not prevent us from being used by Him for good things. And those shortcomings definitely do not change who we are in Christ.
Have you ever stopped doing something that you felt God had laid on your heart, because the enemy fed you a heaping portion of insecurity and doubt? Have you felt presumptuous in assuming that God wanted to use you to glorify Him in some way?
Have you walked off the path you felt called to, because you felt paralyzed by your own limitations or flawed opinion of your self worth?
If so, take a moment today and pray for God to reassure you of His love, your value in Him, and His call on your life. Be aware of whose voice you are listening to, and ask yourself whether or not the things you have been believing about yourself can be backed up by God’s Word.
Most importantly, make a conscious choice through prayer to stop focusing on all the things ‘you are not’. And instead, remember all the things you are, simply because of Whose you are.