“I’m not worthy.”
Do any of these strike a chord with you?
I was recently part of a small group discussion in which one of the questions was, “Do any of you have any fears, doubts or insecurities that hold you back from God fully using you?”
I didn’t just make that list of quotes up. These are actual quotes that I wrote down in my notebook as we went around the room sharing. And no, this wasn’t a group of unbelievers, a group of brand new Christians still young in faith, or a group of people that haven’t experienced God’s life-changing power in their lives. This group included a ministry leader, two Bible study/small group leaders, a pastor’s wife, two praise team leaders, and two Sunday school teachers. Many of them have been long-time Christians, and most are known as strong Christians and/or leaders at their respective church.
Including me. Five of the quotes listed above were mine.
Fear. Doubt. Insecurity.
These things can plague a Christian’s mind and hold us back from truly stepping into the center of God’s will for us. Satan is the “father of lies” (Jn 8:44) and will tell us these lies to deceive us, and use them at all costs to keep us from developing our relationship with God and doing God’s work. It was interesting because many of us in that room held the same ones in common as well.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is because I want you to know that if you struggle with any fears, doubts, or insecurities, then you are not alone. Even the most seasoned Christians have to pick up their cross daily and fight off attacks and lies from the enemy. But it’s not only the enemy we’re fighting, we’re also fighting the image we have of ourselves.
Let’s look at what Jesus offers us in opposition to that deception:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jn 10:10-29
Life. Abundant life that can only come from God. Jesus laid down His own life for us, so that we would not live a life bound by fear, but filled with the power and love of God!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
Hope. Joy. Peace. Love. Abundant Life… Jesus.
These are the things we should be focused on instead. We can exchange one set of words for the other because of His grace. It’s good for us to recognize and confess what may be holding us back from fully devoting ourselves to Christ, but at the same time we can’t dwell on those things- we must move beyond them. We must proclaim victory over them, knowing that we already have the victory in Jesus!
“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
As followers of Christ, we belong to Him. He says He has specifically called us by name. What?! Think about it – that should blow your mind! The one, true living God of the universe called YOU by YOUR exact name, and set you apart to be HIS and to do HIS good works! How can you not be excited and completely dumbfounded by that?! We can lean completely on Him and tap into His power to overcome whatever hinders us. We are redeemed, children of the living God, and these lies and deception should have no control over us!
It took a while for the first person in the group to speak up. But after the sharing started, the floodgates opened. When we were done sharing, we took time to pray over each other. We prayed specifically to be freed from the fears, doubts and insecurities that hinder us, and that our renewed focus would be on Christ and Christ alone. I truly believe some chains were broken that day. The power of prayer and Christ working in us brings healing!
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
I’d like to extend that offer to you guys today! If you’re challenged by fear, doubt, or insecurity and you’d like prayer, shoot me a message and I’d love to pray for you! I’ll also leave you a few verses below to meditate on, and use to confront Satan when he will undoubtedly attack.
May you all walk in the freedom of Jesus today!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5