Phillipians 1:25 “And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith ..”
Confidence is a wonderful servant and a lack thereof a miserable master. Confidence plays a major role in our everyday lives. I am not speaking of human confidence based on skill, talent or charm. I am referring to a God given confidence emanating from the very depths of my spirit, shaping my heart, mind and soul.
I had a life changing experience midway through my forties. One morning after waking up, I stumbled through to the bathroom in a half awake, half asleep state and stood staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
After splashing some water on my face to try and properly wake up, and as I stood there like a zombie, my mouth opened and I heard the words, “I like you .. I really like you.” I twas a little confusing and shocking. Then I suddenly realized it wasn’t me speaking but the Lord Jesus using my own voice to tell me that He likes me. That He doesn’t only love me – He loves everyone, after all – but that He likes me. I began crying as I felt my insides begin to shake, so I went downstairs in order not to wake up Delray.
The thought came to to me to read Psalm 139 in the Bible. Slowly and surely, the Holy Spirit gave me understanding that the Father had made me in my mother’s womb to have the personality I had. My serious spirit. My enquiring mind. My creative and adventurous soul. My loving nature. And my somewhat uniquely odd sense of humor. My tears gave way to feelings of profound joy and freedom as I realized that Jesus had chosen to like me and He even enjoyed me! It was a life transforming experience and in some ways my life really began that day.
I began studying Psalm 139 in depth and quickly discovered that in reality it was studying me. What I mean is that this Psalm became a mirror reflecting me back to myself and the image I saw was not who I was used to looking at. Underneath the exterior of the self-made Lorenzo was a God-created Lorenzo He was daily transforming into His image.
The Bible teaches that the Truth will set you free and that is exactly what happened to me. I began to enjoy my walk with the Lord as never before, this new found freedom enabling me to be bolder for Him. In essence, I had gained a God-confidence. I now see that He had been working this truth into my heart for many years but on that day when I looked in the mirror and heard His voice, He fully opened the door enabling me to step into the wonderful, powerful confidence which only He can give to us.
My leadership changed profoundly. I now led with a certainty, clarity and strength I had not known before. My family, friends and the congregation all noticed that something had changed in me. I no longer apologized for myself: my way of thinking, my humor, my affectionate behavior, and my very public declaration of love for Christ. I now say to leaders all over the world: never apologize for who God made you to be and for what He made you to do. Be yourself! Your God-designed self.
Confidence enables secure and responsible leadership. You are able to give the direction those following you require. It empowers you to make decisions more quickly and not be double minded. It also facilitates saying “No” tot eh wrong things and “Yes” to the right things.
In Joshua 1, we see Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan river into the Promised Land with confidence after God has spoke to him, reminding him to be strong and courageous, rejecting fear and uncertainty. Joshua could be certain as he issued commands to his leaders to prepare to move out because He had a God-confidence in him. He knew God had spoken and was sure God was with them.
The biggest difficulty I faced as a leader was working under and with insecure leaders. Men and women who lack God confidence and instead rely on their own character to lead. To be frank, it is the one aspect of leadership I now dislike the most. I have been so mistreated and let down by insecure leaders that today, I won’t work with or place myself under the authority of such person. Insecurity is very destructive. It immobilizes leaders. It causes them to be petty and punitive. It fosters jealousy, smallness, control and division.
I fully understand that every human being has some level of insecurity in them as a result of our sin nature, so I am referring to leaders who know they are inherently insecure yet refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to heal and deliver them of this weakness in their life. Instead, they make excuses for their behavior and insist on leading through their smallness.
True confidence for life and leadership comes from personally knowing, loving and serving the One who made you, and from humbly, joyously and freely expressing your true self to His glory. On so many different and important levels, the best thing you can give your family, friends and followers is true, Godly confidence.
When you are confident in God, anything is possible!