Prayer for boldness
Maybe it's just me, but I think there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance or humility and insecurity. So, for a while now, I've been trying to decipher how to live confidently - not in arrogance or insecurities, but in complete trust and assurance that I am capable, intelligent, loved and above all, perfect in every way.
I can't say I've come far though, since even writing those words made me feel all sorts of awkward and insecure. It's in times like these that I turn to God and His word, and as always, He responds with His wise advice. So here's what God has been teaching me lately about confidence (although I'm sure it's just the tip of the iceberg!).
The first thing God has taught me about finding confidence is that I've been looking for it in all the wrong places. For the longest time, I thought confidence was about me - if only I could see how awesome I am, then I would be confident. So I thought more about how awesome I am and I tried to fake it (as they say, fake it until you make it!), but that didn't work so well, because my insecurities were stronger than the voice of reason.
On the other end of the spectrum, confidence can also easily bloat into excess pride and arrogance - and we've all known one of those people who walk around like they're the best thing since sliced bread.
So, if confidence so easily slips up into arrogance or down into securities, how was I ever going to learn and accept it?
...in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. -Ephesians 3:12
That is where true, unshakeable, powerful confidence lies - in our Lord. This confidence doesn't fall victim to insecurities, because with Him all things are possible, even if heaven and earth should disappear, He remains. And this kind of confidence doesn't grow into pride, because a woman whose confidence lies in God knows she is nothing without Him, that everything in her life is because of Him and only Him.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And realized that they had been with Jesus. -Acts 4:13
I love, love this verse! The apostles walked in boldness and people noticed. Here were a couple of fishermen - with no social standing, wealth or education - performing acts beyond their abilities or society's expectations - healing, teaching, advocating and leading hundreds of people. Even the unbelievers, when they saw this boldness, didn't attribute it to Peter and John! No, they automatically concluded that their confidence and ability came from Jesus.
I want that confidence to shine through me. I want people to look at me and my life and see Jesus - not how smart, pretty or successful I may be. I don't want to have a confident stride or a "Look at me and everything I can do" attitude. I don't even want to say that "I can do it." I've tried that confidence and it's failed me over and over again.
So, I'm going to seek a different confidence - one that is entirely out of my hands, but within the hands of the greatest power there is.
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. -Acts 4:29-30
He alone is my strength, my life and the reason for my entire existence. Everything I do, I do because of His grace - all my accomplishments, actions, words, and dreams are. I can't do anything on my own, but I can do everything through Him.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. -Colossians 3:17
So, now when I think of confidence, I don't think "Look at me!", instead I think "Look at Him!" as I bow down to the ground in complete trust and humility. I start every day, praying for boldness to testify His name, to smile and love more, and be His shining light in a dark and lost world. So now, when It speaks up with it's insecurities, I can dismiss it with a smile - because yes, I'm not the smartest, prettiest or most accomplished person, but that doesn't matter, because He is poweful and almighty.
What does confidence mean to you? Where do you find your boldness?