This week, as I meditated on the goodness of God, He gently taught me a powerful lesson about obedience in the midst of self-doubt.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
I Had a Moment
I struggle with moments of self-doubt just like everyone does. There’s a continuum that we all land on, and I’m naturally at the higher end of the “self-doubt” scale. As I’ve gotten closer to the Lord, the rate of occurrence has lessened. But now when it hits, it strikes very close to my heart.
I had a moment: I had a lapse in confidence about my call to pursue writing and, specifically, this blog.
Since I started the blog in July, you’ve all been watching my baby steps on this new journey; it’s very public and very odd to see myself in this whole new way. Just the idea that I’m trying to become something else feels uncomfortable.
It’s like putting on a coat that’s too big, hoping I’ll grow into it.
We All Have Moments
Self-doubt is universal. It affects everyone, and has a special power over those who are facing a change in roles: becoming a spouse, a parent, an employee, a boss . . . stepping into the unknown.
“Who am I to do this thing?”
“I’m not prepared.”
“What if I fail?” “What if I succeed?”
“Why do I even think I’ve been called to do this–am I a little full of myself?”
“Shouldn’t I be more humble?”
Which leads to, “At what point does humility become ineffectiveness?”
Ugh. All the thoughts . . .
Even Moses, when talking to burning-bush God, responded to the call with, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
Just to remind you–he was talking to God as a burning bush–and Moses still had self-doubt. On one hand, if God started talking to me as a burning bush, I’d like to think I wouldn’t second-guess anything. On the other hand, maybe it would take more than a burning bush to convince me to do what Moses had to do. Perhaps I shouldn’t judge.
A Gentle Lesson
Back to my moment: Just as I started rummaging around in the trunk of self-doubt to see what other layers I could pile on, I received a text from a friend thanking me for being a vessel for the Lord. That got my attention!
Of course I’m not capable! Because He is.
Of course I’m not prepared! Because He is.
I’m not called to anything more than being a vessel for what the Lord needs me to do.
The problem with self-doubt is that there’s too much self in it. Any work for the Lord is not about self; it’s about Him. It’s about others. If I take myself, my ego, my pride out of my work, who am I left doubting? God?The problem with self-doubt is that there's too much self in it. Any work for the Lord is not about self; it’s about Him. Click To Tweet
If God is calling us to something, and we bring self-doubt into the process, we are being disobedient.If God is calling us to something, and we bring self-doubt into the process, we are being disobedient. Click To Tweet
Rejecting a calling because you feel inferior may feel like humility or deference, but it’s plain ‘ol disobedience.
And accepting a calling may feel prideful or arrogant (especially if you’re really excited about the prospect of that calling), but it’s not. It’s simply obedience.
An Obedient Response
Mary’s response to being called to His service should be our model. She was called to the most important mission any human could do, and her obedience proved she was the girl for the job. After hearing from Gabriel that she will carry the Christ child, and once she understands the logistics of how that will happen, she replies:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.”Luke 1: 38
Mary’s Song of Praise goes on to recognize that she will become known for her place in the story of salvation, but at all times, she is humbled by the power, glory, and goodness of the Lord working through her.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.Luke 1: 46-49
Mary demonstrates pure obedience with no self-doubt because she recognizes the complete sovereignty of the Lord.Mary demonstrates pure obedience with no self-doubt because she recognizes the complete sovereignty of the Lord. Click To Tweet
In God’s goodness, He sent a blessed friend with the perfect words at the perfect time. I’m thankful that she was willing to answer a call on her heart to reach out to me right then. I needed the encouragement, the comfort, and the lesson.
This week, He was my sun bringing renewed energy and life. He was my shield, protecting me from myself. God’s goodness provided grace in the form of a dear friend. He offered His glory to shine through me.
What a good God we have!
What about you? Do you allow self-doubt to keep you from obeying the Lord? How can be better prepare our hearts to have a Mary response to His calling?
I’d love to hear what you’ve been meditating on this week. Were you focused on our weekly verse? Or did the Lord lead you somewhere else?
Feel free to comment here or in our Facebook group.
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