“Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 LB)
Doubt has been the single greatest enemy of my confidence. I have found that not only does it limit my potential and cause procrastination, but it has been causing me to miss God’s best. Last Sunday I went through the darkest day of my life. I truly wanted to die and felt the world would be a better place if I was not in it. I need a mindset revolution and I am aware of that.
James 1:6 says, “Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind” (GNT). By doubting my God’s sovereignty and ability to take care of me and doubting his purpose for me, I allowed my circumstances to control me. And I made a desperate, bad decision.
“Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 LB). God tells Joshua to “Get rid of that doubt stuff! Banish it!” Banish means to dump it. Throw it out the window. Get it out of sight. Don’t deal with it any more. Get rid of it.
There are two things that I have found to rob confidence and cause doubt.
1. Comparing yourself to others causes doubt. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that people who compare themselves to other people are foolish. I have to say that this is my biggest struggle. And because of circumstances in my life, it has become more of a struggle recently than ever before. I think about the sensual models, the half-naked girls on facebook, the utter sexuality of our culture, and find it almost impossible not to compare and find myself inferior in some way or another. But I know that we should never compare ourself to anybody else because God created us each to be unique. God made you to be you; he doesn’t want you to be somebody else. Most people start off in life as originals and end up as carbon copies — and poor carbon copies at that! I don’t want to be a carbon copy. I don’t want to try to live up to anyone else’s expectations anymore. And I am learning that it is my choice and my thoughts that cause me to be jealous and petty. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt says “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I have consented far too much in my past.
God says not to compare yourself for two reasons: One, you’ll always find someone who’s doing a better job than you, and you’ll get discouraged. And two, you’ll always find somebody you’re doing a better job than, and you will be filled with pride. Don’t compare yourself. You are unique, so you are incomparable!
2. Past failures cause doubt. This one is also very difficult for me. I have made some HUGE mistakes in my life. I have screwed things up beyond recognition in my life several times. And it is difficult to believe that God has a plan and a purpose for someone as messed up as me. I don’t think I am the only one, though. Someone reading this may think that because of certain things in your past, God could never use you. Have you ever read the Bible? The spiritual leaders of the Bible did not exactly have a stellar record. I saw a quote on facebook the other day and it really put things into perspective for me. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Abraham gave his wife away — twice! Jacob stole the family inheritance from his brother. Paul was a religious terrorist. Peter was a hard driving, hard drinking, hard living fisherman — a salty sea dog! And he probably cussed like one, too. God uses people with checkered pasts because none of us are perfect. God uses average, ordinary, dysfunctional people. If God only used perfect people, what would get done in this world?
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. What matters is what direction your feet are headed right now.