I wish I could be a more confident!

So many times I’ve whispered this prayer. Sometimes God asks us to do crazy things. Following Him requires a great deal of faith, and confidence is a good thing—or is it?

Confidence: a full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.

This culture heralds strong, confident women. But strength and confidence in what? In ourselves? We need to guard ourselves from this bad idea. What happens when we come to the end of our strength? Or when someone comes along who is more talented?

As a social worker, I have watched the feminist movement champion the power of femininity and self-reliance. They encourage placing our confidence in our sexuality, accomplishments, or wealth. But how is that any different than placing it in our beauty, children, or marriage—something they so vehemently decry? All of us can wake up one day stripped bare of all of these things by the circumstances of life.

It matters not to our enemy whether women are subservient or self-reliant. If he can’t keep us down, he is satisfied to set us up and take us down by making us fall flat on our faces when we hit the wall of our own self-reliance. And if our confidence is wrongly placed in ourselves, we will find ourselves there again and again.

Paul reminds us that pride in “self” is deceptive.

 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Everything that we have been given was placed in us by God. There is nothing in us that we can take credit for.

True and lasting confidence comes from a dependent reliance upon Christ for all things that we need. Our trust is in His infallibility. Our belief is in the power of His omnipotence.  No matter the situation or challenge you face, Paul says the secret to real “confidence” is this:

I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

We don’t have everything we need inside of us to do ministry.  But we do have all we need available to us. Our talents cannot transform hearts. Our “skills” cannot convince people of their need for Jesus. Only His Spirit can do that—a both humbling and freeing thought.  Freeing because it relieves the burden that self-confidence requires.

Place all that you are and all that you have into His hands. You will find the truth David discovered,

It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure (Psalm 18:32).

True confidence is found in a gracious, giving God who desires to partner with us to do those crazy things. He will give you exactly what you need and you will find yourself truly confident to follow Him wherever He leads!

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise marked, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblicia, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The NIV and New International Version are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.