I was wondering today how many times we fail at something because we tell ourselves that we will.
So much of our lives is spent believing our own bad press and swallowing our own lies.
My book (still yet to come out) is a case in point. I have wondered, in my less secure moments, who will really read it, find it and benefit from it. I have worried that it may turn out to be a very expensive hobby that rather ran away with itself.
But deep down I know it is of God. It is too good an idea to just be something I dreamt up… honestly.
One of the ways I try and combat negative thinking like this in my heart is very simple. I imagine that my mind is a large bucket or bin. If I put poor thoughts and rotten ideas into that bin, it will start to smell and leak into other areas of my life – it will pollute my mind further. It will also be fairly toxic for other people and start to bleed into their lives as well. No-one likes a moaner.
What we think about and what we cultivate in our heads and hearts really matters.
Recently in a sermon, the lovely Debra Green spoke about the fact that years ago, before her beloved Mum died, she spoke into being that Debra would one day be awarded an OBE. That hope has, of course, since come into being. I have often wondered how much of that was because Debra may have started to think differently about her own career path and her life choices. FROM THAT MOMENT.
Recently, I was offered a sort of job. It was a lovely position but was not one connected to my dreams, my heart or my ambitions. It was a small scale thing, not a long term hope. I started to question whether it was what God wanted or just a pretty cute looking red herring.
Good is often the enemy of the best, right?
So how do we know? What are helpful things to ask when we are faced with those thoughts?
My UCB notes today said this:
“It’s impossible to feel confident when you’re telling yourself you’re not good enough and that you’ll never amount to anything. One pastor says: ‘After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hid. God came to them and said, “Where are you?” They said, “We’re hiding because we’re naked.” I love how God answered…”Who told you…you were naked?” In other words, “Who told you there was something wrong with you?”
God immediately knew the enemy had been talking to them. And God’s saying to you today, “Who told you …you don’t have what it takes to succeed…that the best grades you can make are C’s…that you’re not attractive enough to succeed in your relationships…or talented enough to flourish in your career…or that your marriage isn’t going to last?” Those are lies from the enemy.
God said, “…No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11 NKJV); “Delight yourself…in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4 NKJV). The potential is inside you…and it doesn’t change because you don’t believe it, or because you’ve been through negative experiences. “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29 NKJV). He’s never going to take back the potential He poured into you…or say, “I’m tired dealing with you…you’ve failed too often and made too many mistakes. Give me my gifts back.” No…His calling on your life will be with you till the day you leave this earth, but it’s up to you to…tap into it.’ When the enemy starts chipping away at your confidence, take authority over him in Jesus’ Name; resist him and he will flee (James 4:7).
I have said it over myself and over my friends and family time and time again, God NEVER wastes HIS resources. He never invests poorly or wishes He hadn’t spent so much time growing something in us.
I have laughed with him recently about how much he has had to teach me about humility. I clearly needed bringing down a peg or two, because he removed the whole ladder!
I have had to adjust what my hopes were.. because they were mainly about my success. I am realising that there is a balance to be had here.
Confidence is not about competence and gifting. It is much more about anointing and timing… and those are not to be learnt. That is just given out by Heaven… at just the right time.
Delighting yourself in God means not delighting in yourself. It sounds simple doesn’t it? But the truth is we are good enough and able enough to do all Jesus wants us to whether we are qualified, popular, gifted, favoured or the exact opposite.
Recently at our Grow Group a member shared with us about some interviews he had conducted at work to fill a management position. Whilst many CV’s had come across well on paper, every person he had interviewed was rather a disappointment in person.
Feeling more than a little disconsolate, he was not very pleased to receive a recommendation about a totally unsuitable-sounding woman from a colleague. He listened to her lack of experience coupled with the fact that she was deaf and wondered why this lady was wasting his time. More to humour the member of staff concerned, he wearily agreed to see the person in question. Within seconds of the interview he realised he had, at long last, found his dream manager. On paper she was a disaster but in person… she was dynamite.
Let us trust God today with our decisions about the big and little. But let us be very clear never to utter the phrase ” I am not good enough.”