Luke discusses being content with who we are, what we have, and where He is leading us in order to have a mindset of cultivating “God Confidence”, courage and thankfulness all day long.
Self-Confidence vs. Cultivating God Confidence
Self-confidence comes with the definition of being self-assured in our own personal judgment, ability, power and qualities. Sure, self-confidence is something that every individual needs and it allows us to interact within communities. But, as a Christian dedicated to Jesus, self-confidence sounds a lot like being interdependent on self instead of aiming our eyes towards Jesus.
We seek self-confidence in order to seek out relationships that we know are from our own selfish desires. We seek power in social settings by showing off what we have materialistically and the qualities that shine bright in us that others do not show. We judge others who seem to have qualities that we do not have. Beauty in culture is no longer what we hold within us but instead it is all based on what’s on the outside.
When it comes to our own thinking, we can be relying on our self too much. Instead of thinking, “It’s not all about me”, we unconsciously think, “It is all about me”. I challenge you to look at your daily thoughts and emotions. When you find yourself getting frustrated, look at why you are feeling that way. Is it because you are thinking only about yourself? Someone cut in front of you; someone did not compliment you when you felt you deserved it, Jesus isn’t listening to your prayers? All of these thoughts are “I” thoughts. It’s not all about us. It’s all about Him. When we enter into the perspective of cultivating a God confidence, our identity will change, we will have empathy for others, we will see people struggling and want to help them find Jesus. You will forgive quicker; pour into others before worrying about yourself. Everything in our lives flows through Jesus; why not make him the center of the origin in where our confidence comes from?
Why would we want to change from having self-confidence to cultivating God confidence?
Cultivating God confidence changes how we see things. In 1 Corinthians 10:11-12, Paul reminds us that we should not be so naïve and self-confident. None of us are exempt. We could all fall flat on our face as easily as anyone else. It is important to remember that we are not reducing Jesus to what we are, but He is raising us to what he is. He instills confidence in every person who seeks Him with all his or her heart. Jesus wants all or nothing.
Feeling inadequate to be used for great things by Jesus is a common feeling to have. I lived in Seattle my entire life and never knew what it was like to live fully on my own. I never knew what true dependency on Jesus meant until I found myself lost in my 650 SQ FT. studio apartment in Orange County. I turned my back to Jesus and looked at becoming who I was based solely on my own desires. I sought self-confidence because I knew I could depend on myself. Relying on oneself will only get us so far. I focused on my own resources instead of the abundant resources Jesus offers. Love, Hope, Forgiveness and a never ending light within me that wants to shine through.
What I realized is that people will always fail us. We all make mistakes. People will have bad days. People will experience darkness in their lives that distract them from the life Jesus is offering them. So, how could I be putting my hope only in people if I knew I would end up hurt, defeated and let down?
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, The Message).
God is with us when we are alone. He is the person who listens to our yelling and welcomes our laughs. When we feel insecure about something, He is the person in our ear saying, We are enough, take a leap of faith and see all the things I have to show you. Let go of what you are chasing because He offers us the ultimate acceptance.
Cultivating God Confidence will Change our Perspective
Cultivating God confidence will change how we see personal appearances. Jesus made us into who we are at this very moment. Whether we like how we look or feel frustrated with how we present ourselves, having ultimate confidence in God gives us worth each second of the day. John 8:15 tells that we all judge each other according to appearance but Jesus does not judge anyone for this.
Each individual who looks in the mirror when waking up and before going to sleep will see that they are more than enough. When we start living by cultivating God confidence, we see through this new lens. A lens filled with forgiveness, admiration and hope.
Many people struggle with their self-confidence. But why? Jesus made us who we are today for a reason. He wants to use us right where we are. We might be hurting from others, feeling distant from Jesus or experiencing a time of feeling alone. Let God confidence build within you and it will show you a light that burns brighter than any form of darkness. Would you really choose to rely on confidence from your own degrees, accomplishments and relationships? Those will disappear as we pass away from this planet. I hope we can all understand that the only person worth praising every day of our lives is a person who died for every single person that has walked this planet.
“For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle” (1 Corinthians 4:7-8, The Message).
Coming into Chapman University as the new member of the basketball team, I found myself surrounded by new faces and personalities. I began to feel unqualified for what Jesus had planned for me in the new season of my life. Yet, when you look through scripture and see that God often chooses individuals who felt they could not complete God’s task: David, Esther, Mary and Paul. God used a teenage boy named David to defeat goliath, one of the biggest underdog upsets in the history. The Son of God came from a young couple in their teenage years. God chose an ordinary teenage boy to change the course of human history and create a permanent home in Heaven for every person. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (the Message). It’s God Confidence.
I did not see Jesus working on the Chapman basketball team for the first several months. But, that is how Jesus works. He wants to see if we are real about pursuing his plans for us. Will we depend on our own confidence and plans in ourselves or turn to having God confidence. Currently, as the season winds down, I have the privilege of seeing Jesus working his grace and love on the basketball team. Before every game, I am blessed with praying with 6-8 teammates thanking Jesus for the opportunity to glorify him. Seeing teammates want to attend church weekly and conversations that show me each person is uniquely wired to wanting to find out who Jesus is.
God Confidence is for Everyone
No one is unreachable when it comes to seeking Jesus’ love, grace and hope. God confidence doesn’t mean you need to have everything figured out. Just like being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t struggle, it means you won’t struggle alone. At the beginning of my time down here in Southern California, I was asking the question, “How can I do this? I am not worthy of such a task.” Looking back, I see Jesus smiling at me as if I was asking a question I already knew. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (KJV).
- What brings you out of a “slump” or feeling frustrated?
- Do you find yourself feeling inadequate of the things Jesus is calling you do in your life? What are those things?
- Where does your hope come from? (Self-confidence or God confidence)
- When you are in the lowest of lows in your day, month or year, what gets you moving forward again?
- After you try cultivating God confidence, do you see things through different eyes? Do you feel empathy for those you normally would not feel for? Do you feel that “you are enough”?
The easiest way to change someone’s life is to love them unexpectedly.
It’s All Jesus.
In my 22 years of life, I have never felt Jesus working in my life more than He is now. I see Him in everything, in everyone. Romans 14:13-14, “It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone; pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you” (The Message).
For those who are not feeling Jesus right now, that is ok. Many, hundreds, thousands of people are praying for you. Jesus, the person who loves you more than anyone else, has great things coming your way. I am excited for what is coming into your life because life with Jesus will be the best decision you have ever made.
A simple Prayer: Dear Jesus, Let me be content with who I am, what I have and where you are leading me. Help me to have a mindset of cultivating God Confidence, courage and thankfulness all day long. Amen.