Sometimes I’ll be thinking about something I want to do or something I sense God calling me to, and all of a sudden a feeling of doubt washes over me and whispers to my heart, "You can't do that. You're not good enough."
Out of the blue. I'll just get that awful, insecure sense of not being good enough. Or smart enough. Or _______ enough. Does that ever happen to you?
For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who struggled with doubt. And I didn't want anyone to know because I figured they might start doubting me, too.
Now, I didn't always call it doubt. Maybe you don't either. I sometimes called it fear. Fear that I'd fail. Fear that I wouldn't measure up. Fear that I'd look stupid. Or fear that I'd look prideful thinking I could do something special for God.
Other times I'd call it worry. Worry that I was going to disappoint someone. Worry that I might make a mistake and get criticized for it. Worry that I might get started but not be able to finish.
What I've realized over the past few years is that these may end up as fear or worry, but they stem from a source of doubt: self-doubt.
I think oftentimes we find ourselves standing in the shadow of doubt because we're really good at focusing on all that is wrong with us (real or perceived), instead of anything that is right with us. It’s like someone’s telling us we can't measure up and we believe it. We agree with it. And we live like it's true.
Rarely do we stop to ask, "Who is saying these things?" Who is causing me to doubt myself? Is it me? Is it someone from my past? Or is it the enemy of my soul disguising his voice as my own?
The Bible opens with the story of a woman who had everything she could want but somehow it wasn't enough. I think Satan knew Eve's weakness and tapped into her insecurity of not feeling like she was all that she could be, or should be. His questions and suggestions implied that she lacked what she needed to measure up. He told her she could "be" more and "have" more if she'd just seek after what God told her to stay away from.
Satan convinced Eve that her good enough could come from something other than what God had promised and provided. By believing Satan's lies her heart revealed that she didn't believe God's truth.
Jesus was tempted like Eve, and like you and me. Tempted to find His "good enough" in possessions, position and power - a false promise offered by the devil himself. Yet Jesus' response was different.
He really believed His Father's promises. He knew Who He was and Whose He was. His identity and confidence came from the Words spoken by His father. It was the only thing that could defeat the power of Satan's lies.
You and I have the same power to overcome our enemy of doubt and live confidently in who we are in Christ. But it doesn't just happen because we know it's possible. The first thing I've learned to do is listen to my thoughts and compare them to God's Word to see if they match His thoughts towards me. If they don't, then I start looking for truth to replace the lies that have filled my heart with doubt.When doubt tells me I'm not good enough, God's Word tells me I'm wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
When doubt whispers that I am going to let others down and they may give up on me. God's Word tells me He will never leave me and He knows the plans He has for me that include purpose and hope. Deuteronomy 31:6, Jeremiah 29:11
When doubt whispers that I have nothing to offer. God's Word tells me that I'm His gift to the world and that I was created in His image. Psalm 127:3, Genesis 1:26
I wish I could share more, and eventually I will...
*********************************************************Because this is the topic of my book (title TBD) that will be released March 2011! I've been in Michigan for two days meeting with the publishing/marketing team at Baker/Revell and it was truly amazing. I am so excited to be working with them. And I want you to be part of the process! It will be such a better book with your thoughts and wisdom (and prayers)!
- Will you first let God use you to bless and encourage those who read this (and me) by sharing a doubt you have and a promise from God's Word that helps you overcome it?
Please click the word "comments" below, type in the white box and publish. If you don't have a blog, click anonymous. Or if you just want to be anonymous, that is fine, too. And I'll do a drawing for some kind of gift card just to get you all talking. I know you love to win stuff and I love to give it away :-).
- Can I quote you in my book? This is the message God has called pour out from the pages of my heart to the pages of a book. A book I pray will set the captive free and release many prisoners (everyday women like us), from living in doubt, discouragement or defeat so they can become all that God has created them to be!