I will never forget the time God began to challenge me about my confidence.
I had been singing and leading worship for about 5 years consistently and every time I would go to sing, I felt sick to my stomach with nerves. Pre-roll music would start, and I would feel nauseous that I had to stand up in front of people and lead worship. For a long time I had low level PTSD whenever I would hear “Bitter Sweet Symphony”- all my early HopeUCers know what I’m talking about!!
The crazy thing is that I had led myself to believe that this fear kept me in check.
The fear and the nerves being present meant that I still had to rely on God completely. Which meant that by proxy to not feel sick with nerves must mean that I wasn’t leading in “his strength” anymore. The next level to that was that I actually had a sense of “pride” that I felt the way I did. Ironic right? I had read about false humility but didn’t really realise what it looked like- until I realised I was living in it.
In my heart, all I wanted was to honour God. All I wanted was for people to experience Him and not me- so I thought that if I played down my skill or if I ensured that I was “humble” I would be fine. I was so worried that if I had confidence I would become arrogant.
I love the patience and kindness of God- I love that when our hearts are positioned towards him, he will speak and set things straight.
He said to me: “Tell me how it is that you think you can honour me by telling people that you are not good enough? How is it that you think that by shrinking back, and playing yourself down you are honouring me? The best way for you to honour me is to use all of what I gave you, the the measure I gave it. I need you to be who I have called you to be and nothing less… and then leave the rest to me.”
It was like having chains broken off. It began to dawn on me that godly confidence and arrogance are nothing alike. I’d been so worried about getting in the way, or having “pride” that I didn’t realise that I was actually placing limits around myself and even on him. My insecurity was still pride- It just had a different outfit on.
Confidence understands that HE is the only one who can change the hearts of people.
HE is the only one who can actually save and transform a life.
But confidence also understands that we partner with him in this holy work. The more we grasp that he has filled us with his spirit- he has called us to participate in the body and he has given us gifts so that we will use them as Paul says in Romans 12, the more confidence we will have.
Now our gifts differ according to the grace God has given us- Paul says. If God is the one who gives us gifts to use for his glory, then how can we possibly boast- or how can we possibly say that what we have is not good enough? Each of us have something that is unique to bring. It doesn’t make us more important- it doesn’t make us better than or less than anyone else. We simply have to own who we are in God, and step into the places he calls us, knowing he is the one who does the work.
We serve him with our gifts- we serve each other as well.
Steer well clear of comparison, dear ones- steer clear of criticism. Those are sure ways to find yourself without confidence and caught up in chains. Freedom in worship comes when we really understand who He is and what He can do- and who we are called to be in Him.
When we step up to preach, to lead worship, to encourage, to serve in any way, let’s understand that God actually made us intentionally. He equipped us intentionally.You’re not meant to be like anyone else- and that’s so liberating. And when we step out in joy and confidence, we show others that this is the freedom we are called to live in as believers.
Bring your best, knowing he will bring the rest. God actually partners with humanity and this is perhaps the most humbling and encouraging thing of all.