Does God Expect Us to Believe in Ourselves?
He was a service writer at an automobile dealership, but really wanted to be a singer. He auditioned for a summer fill-in at a CBS reality show called, “Rock Star INXS,” and was deemed not good enough – yet he kept believing in himself. He came in fourth on American Idol, being judged by viewers as not as good as Taylor Hicks – but he kept believing in himself. Nobody saw him as a star, but today he has had two #1 best-selling albums in the country, received four Grammy nominations, and has acted in numerous television roles.
His name is Chris Daughtry, and he is a powerful example of what can happen when we believe in ourselves.
Or perhaps you’ve heard of Roger Bannister. For years, experts said that it was impossible for a human to run a mile in less than four minutes. And they appeared to be right, that is until 1954, when a young medical student proved them all wrong. They told him his heart would explode, but Roger didn’t believe that. He believed he could, and even had a special pair of lightweight leather shoes made to help him run. When the shoemaker asked him how long he would need them, he responded “not very long…less than 4 minutes!”
That’s the power of believing in yourself!
You won’t always hear it from the pulpit, but I believe God expects us to develop a healthy self-confidence. When God spoke miraculously from a burning bush and called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, he responded:
“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10).
We might think God would be impressed by that response; that Moses was showing himself to be humble. But we would be wrong!
“Then the Lord became angry with Moses” (Exodus 4:14).
Why was that? Because he didn’t believe in himself, even when God clearly did.
“Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12).
God expected Moses to have faith that God is all he needed to succeed; and God expects us to respond in faith and belief as well. When we don’t believe in ourselves, we are diminishing and questioning God’s handiwork.
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalms 139:14).
It’s not a sin to believe in yourself; it’s an expectation of the Creator God who formed you in His own image and likeness, filled you with His Holy Spirit, and has perfectly equipped you to perform every good work created for you to walk in. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:1.)
In fact, I believe it can be a sin to not believe in yourself!
There are many Christians who think they are being humble, but they are simply listening to the voice of the adversary. They are deceived about their identity in Christ, thinking they are just inadequate, insignificant, and therefore unable to succeed. And because they see failure in their future, they don’t even try to do those things God has called them to do.
In order to develop the faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6), we should first look into God’s mirror at ourselves and hear His voice on the matter:
“Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).
When you read and meditate on God’s Word, you will learn to hear the voice of God speaking to you, giving you a true picture of who you really are in Christ:
1. Understand That You Are an Original
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).
What is a masterpiece? The very best work of an artist!
It also describes a piece of art that earns recognition; a work of genius, one of a kind. In other words, you are not an accident or an experiment, you are a work of genius that deserves recognition. Anything that is a duplicate does not have the same value as an original, and does not qualify as a masterpiece.
What’s my point? In order for you to truly believe in yourself, you need to celebrate your God created uniqueness as His masterpiece!
Allow your significance and originality to define you, not confine you. Discover your uncommon message born from your unique purpose and begin to increase the significance of that message. Since you are God’s creation and not an accident, your very existence on this planet is proof that the world needs that special something that God gave to you – so celebrate it, and never compare yourself with anyone else.
When you compare yourself against others, your self perception will become skewed; you will either get an unrealistic sense of inferiority, or an equally unrealistic idea of superiority. Neither is true.
Your measure of success is not how you are doing compared to someone else, it’s how you are doing compared to what God intends you to accomplish!
2. Understand That You Are Priceless
Many people think that the value of a work of art is determined by what others will pay for it. There is some measure of truth in that, but I think the better understanding is that the true value of a thing is determined by what the master artist is willing to sell it for!
If someone is offered millions, even billions, for the purchase of a particular piece of art, and yet says, Sorry, not for sale, then that item is actually priceless to them.
And here is the truth about us – when sin entered the world, Satan’s deception stole us away from our Father, the Master. The ransom required for our return would be the priceless blood of the Son of God himself:
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
In other words, God said to the enemy… they are priceless and not for sale! Yes, you are a priceless, original creation. When you start seeing yourself as such, you will also start believing in yourself!
3. Understand You Are Bursting with Potential
Potential is a dormant ability, reserved power, untapped strength, unused success, hidden talents, and uncapped capability. It’s all you could ever be, including what you have yet to become and the things you have not yet done.
It’s the length of your reach, before you have begun to stretch; it’s how far you can go, before you have even started to pack for the trip!
Potential is unexposed ability and latent power, and you are overflowing with it. Moreover, you are full of potential that the world is desperately waiting to experience. How can you begin to understand and access your potential?
Realize the potential of a thing is related to its source.
We know that a tree can never be more than a tree, because it comes from a tree; a dog can never be more than a dog, because it comes from a dog, etc. In other words, the potential of a thing is directly related to its source. In fact, it is the source of a thing which ultimately determines the capacity of its potential.
Fortunately, the book of Genesis tells us who our source is:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground’" (Genesis 1:26-28).
Knowing this then, that the potential of a thing is related to its source, and that our source is God, we know that our potential is actually unlimited because our source is unlimited!
To access your potential, you must stay connected to your Source!
A grape vine is an interesting plant.
The vine, which is the thick wooden part running from the ground up the pole, is the only part of the plant that contains life ability. None of the life of the plant is found in the branches, or those little green tendrils on the side with the grapes hanging from them.
If you were to break one of those green branches off and plant it in the ground, it would wither and die because there is no life ability in it. Each small branch depends on life flowing up from the vine, to survive. And as Jesus said:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:5-7).
In order for you to realize your full potential, you must stay connected to your Source – otherwise yes, you will fall short. But if you stay connected, you can indeed accomplish much.
That’s who you are. As odd as it may seem to the natural mind, the fact is you are a child of Almighty God, and have been created with the potential to do powerful things. When you are connected to the Source, you have your Father’s ability on the inside of you to do every good work He has destined for you to do.
4. Understand What God Sees Is True
God doesn’t see like man sees. God sees the diamond in the rough, the potential amidst the problem, the prize at the bottom of the cracker jack box. It is not what you or anyone else sees that actually matters, but what God sees.
He sees the end from the beginning of our lives, and knows our potential even when we are not acting like it, are faithless, are off track, or have no track record at all! When we focus on these temporary things, we have a hard time believing in ourselves and accepting that we are what God sees and says we are.
But the fact is – God knows better! He knows who He created us to be.
And that’s the message we will get when we look into the mirror of God’s Word. God believes in us, and therefore, we must also believe in ourselves.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fcscafeine
Frank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Good Good Father. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit www.franksantora.cc. Photo by Michele Roman.