Confidence

Do you consider yourself confident? Are you an outspoken person? Often those two things go hand in hand. I’m not naturally either of those things. If I’m going to speak up, I really have to have something to say. Once I have, I seem to second-guess everything I just said, including sermons and teaching in other settings. So if I don’t absolutely have to speak, I don’t. Often that takes people by surprise because they see me blabbing so much from the stage that they naturally think I’ve always got something to say. It makes me wish I did. So in that way, I can relate to Moses.

Moses seemed to lack the confidence to speak up before Pharaoh when God commissioned him to do so. He made excuses as to why he wouldn’t be a good candidate. But isn’t that what we all do when we choose not to speak up? We have reasons for our perceived inadequacies? It really boils down to a lack of confidence. What does it mean to lack confidence?

“Confidence” comes from two latin words: con (or cum) fide, which means “with faith.” With faith is how every great feat and significant accomplishment recorded in the pages of Scripture came to pass. It might have started with doubt, fear, uncertainty and resistance, but confidence became the key to making the difference between an unknown, forgotten story and one that has inspired thousands for millennia.

It is interesting to note that God seems to use those not prone to self-confidence, like Moses. The world loves to rally around notable people, confident in themselves. Everybody loves a “winner,” and if they brag about it, as long as they keep winning, the lack of humility is overlooked. But from Abraham to Moses to Jonah to Isaiah, God appears to favor the ones inclined to total dependence upon Him for any success they might claim. Even the apparently self-confident ones, like the Apostle Paul, are stripped of that which gave them confidence in themselves so they are ready to move ahead with faith in the One with whom our faith can really make a meaningful difference.

Sometimes confidence is missing until we become desperate. We may be content to settle until we realize we are at the end of our proverbial rope. A life without God might have seemed just fine. Even previously self-confident people come to the realization that they have run out of that resource in which they had falsely put their hope. Desperation has been the motivation for many to bend the knee to Jesus, recognizing that only with faith in Him can they find what they truly need.

Or perhaps you have faith in Jesus but desperation helps you move with faith toward something, some accomplishment you previously would not have seriously considered. If you attend Living Oaks, you attend a church born of such desperation! Yes, I can’t imagine personally planting a church and had no intention of doing so 15 years ago. But God used just the right desperate circumstances to give me confidence in Him to begin a work that I now can’t imagine not having begun.

Moses’ story began out of desperation: parents desperate to protect their child. Confident in God, they hide him for three months. Unable to hide him anymore, they place him in a basket and float him down a river, confident that God will protect him. His parents make the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11 as a result (Hebrews 11:23).

Are you desperate? Are you facing something unknown? Where is your confidence? Do you have any? Go with faith. Like Moses and so many others, whose faith was not in themselves or their skills, abilities, experience and talent, but in God, take the next step with confidence.

 

“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God”

—2 Corinthians 3:4-5

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