How many times have you thought–or been told–that you need more self-confidence? Zillions, I’m sure. When I think back on all the effort I put into trying to become self-confident, I realize that it was an exercise in futility. Such a pursuit is also ungodly. Let me explain. The word “confidence” means with (“con”) faith/trust (“fid”). Immediately, it becomes clear that self-confidence means “with faith or trust in self”. The wisest man on earth gave a stern warning about this in Proverbs 28:26 (NIV) “He who trusts in himself is a fool…” It is indeed foolish to limit our pursuits to only those things that we have learned or experienced. This is not to say that we should not pursue education or excellence in all things, however, we ask for trouble when we rest our faith on them.
God wants us to rest on His word. Entering that rest is the challenge that every problem presents to us today. It was the challenge that faced the Israelites who found themselves confronted with that super-sized human called Goliath.
Fourteen generations before the battle with Goliath, God gave Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, His word about how He would take care of him. He promised, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…” (Genesis 12:3 NIV). Later, when He extended this and a host of other promises to Abraham’s descendants, He inserted a key provision:
“This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you” (Genesis 17:10-11 NIV).
Abraham believed God’s promises. So did David. David knew that his circumcision was a sign that he was an heir to the covenant. Thus, he could not help becoming righteously indignant when he came to the scene of the battle to bring food supplies and saw all those circumcised Israelites running from the giant. Apparently, no one remembered that they had a covenant with God. Thus, David felt compelled to ask that famous rhetorical question: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26 NIV)?
David was asking, “How could this man who has no covenant with God even think about conquering us?” Sadly, in fleeing from the giant, the Israelites proved that they had no confidence in that covenant. Can you relate to their action? How confident are you that God will keep his promise to bless, protect and prosper those who are in right standing with him? If we continue to run from the giants in our lives, we will never see the power of God manifested.
When we believe God’s promises, we do not have to tolerate any giant in our life. We are heirs to the same covenant that God gave to Abraham. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”(Galatians 3:29 NIV). How long have you tolerated limiting beliefs? Do you believe that “…God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV (emphasis added))? Or, have you chosen to let unbelief reign in your life and keep you from pursuing your goals or from having meaningful, trusting relationships.
Learning and Resting
Too many of God’s children think that the Bible is not really for today, that many of its promises are antiquated. They are sadly mistaken. David rested on a promise of protection that was fourteen generations old and it is still good today. The word of God endures forever; there are no expiration dates on His promises. We must be diligent to hide them in our heart. For every project that I embark upon, I print out and memorize or refer often to passages from the bible that remind me that apart from God I can do nothing and that He is faithful to complete whatever work He starts in me. For me, such Scriptures take the focus, the weight, and the responsibility from me and put it on Him. That’s “Supreme Confidence”
It is not enough, however, to simply memorize Scripture. There is a difference between learning the word and resting on it. Rest implies that we have ceased our negative thoughts and speculations. Our minds have stopped the doubting, stopped rehearsing the “what if” scenarios, and stopped being influenced by present realities. In the Appendix, there is a listing of insecurity-banishing Scriptures that are sure to address an insecurity that has plagued your life. As you meditate on them, you will soon realize that there is no insecurity that is outside of God’s ability to heal. Nothing is too hard for Him. He said so. “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me (Jeremiah 32:27 NIV)?
Write out and memorize the following personalized paraphrased version of the Scripture below noting the emphasized words.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward me, so that I,
in all things at all times, having all that I need, will abound in
every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV (emphasis added))?
Make a conscious decision to rest on it in the upcoming weeks. Share it with a friend.