Have you ever felt a calling on your life so big but thought, “I am nobody. People don’t care what I have to say. Who am I to think my words matter??“
I often feel this way. However, when I close my eyes, my hearts home is standing in front of hundreds of women spreading the word of salvation. I never thought I would have the desire to pursue ministry. Truth be told, I never lived the type of life worthy of ministry. When encouraging others, I have often said, “Jesus didn’t sit at the table with the saved. He ate with the broken…the tax collectors and sinners.” Recently, I heard my pastor say, “Jesus looked for people with issues.” I laughed on the inside, because if this was so, He hit a gold mine with me!! So, if Jesus looked for people with issues, why do I find it so hard to believe that He would use someone like me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
I recently learned that when we ask the question, “Who am I?,” we are working from a place of insecurity. When God puts a calling on our lives, the last thing we are supposed to do is question our ability. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “work with a servant’s heart.” Well, when we are told to do something by God, we must imagine that we are standing face to face with him, bow our heads, and reply with, “Yes, my Lord.” My questioning His call on my life does not get me any closer to where I am supposed be to fulfill His plan. It delays my purpose. If I delay my own purpose, I prolong its benefits on my life. It is supposed to come from a place of humility, not insecurity. Humility and insecurity cannot go hand in hand. To understand this more clearly, we must take an in-depth look at the two.
Insecurity says, “I am not equipped to do what you have asked of me.”
Was Jeremiah equipped for prophetic ministry at the time of God’s call? No. Matter of fact, Jeremiah protested with claims that he was just a child and could not speak. Jeremiah was insecure in his abilities to do God’s work. If God had not touched his lips to put words in his mouth, Jeremiah would have been held back by his own lack of confidence. I am not suggesting that a lack of confidence is bad, but not acting on our purpose because of a lack of confidence can be dangerous. We must learn to persist when confidence is not present. We do not stop because we are feeling insecure, we continue in spite of our insecurities.
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:17-19
I found hope in the life of Jeremiah in a time that I needed it the most. Recently, I had a mentor who encouraged me to put on a seminar, which, I thought, would be an incredible experience. However, I, now, have reasons to believe there were underlying motives with his support and encouragement. To make a long story short, I made a terrible decision by going against my intuition and got romantically involved with him. Though I fought the urge for three months, two weeks in, I realized this was not a healthy situation. Since I could not continue to pursue the relationship, he chose not to mentor me through my seminar. Excitement turned to overwhelming fear and insecurity. The joy I had in this new love of speaking was depleted with disappointment. It felt as though he punished me professionally because I could not be what he wanted on a personal level. Hurt does not describe what I was feeling at the time because this was once a man that I admired and looked up to. The night I realized I would be delivering this message alone, my, then ex fiance, opened my bible and handed it to me. I told myself that whatever page he landed on will be God’s message regarding the future of my seminar. This is where the book of Jeremiah made an impact on, not only my life, but my, now, soon to be husbands. This was the first time Jacques became a witness to God’s messages in my life that I had been speaking of. He stood by as I read the following study of the above passage from my NLT Life Application Study Bible:
Often people struggle with new challenges because they lack self-confidence, feeling that they have have inadequate ability, training, or experience. Jeremiah thought he was “too young” and inexperienced to be God’s prophet to the nations. But God promised to be with him. We should not allow feelings of inadequacy to keep us from obeying God. He will always be with us. If God gives you a job to do, he will provide all you need to do it.
Two weeks later I delivered my very first seminar without the help of a mentor and I will forever be grateful that God taught me that human hands cannot shape what God creates.
Humility says, “I will rise above my insecurity, use what I’ve got to the best of my ability, without the expectation of reward and recognition.”
The lesson I learned above potentially changed the course of my life. I believe there are many ways to go about pursuing the things we love. However, when it comes to pursuing God’s calling on our lives there is only one way. When I was working on my speaking, I found myself coming from a place of ego. The crazy thing about that is, I am not a person of ego. I am anything but! I am ashamed to admit, though, that I am a person who can be sensitive to my surroundings. If I keep company with people who dispay a certain type of behavior, unfortunately, I feed off of it. I used to think this made me a weak person. There are so many passages in the Bible, however, that reminds me that I am, by default, vulnerable to this, as we all are. So, this does not make me weak, it makes me human.
Looking back, I feel a sense of clarity, for I believe that God was leading me to the only place that could help me answer His call. He gave me a real life example of what an ego driven purpose looked like verses a faith based. You see, God put this calling on my heart a long time ago. He, obviously, knew that I needed a lesson in humility before releasing me to the hands of His church to fulfill His purpose for my life.
I have slowed down tremendously since all of this has unraveled. I have seen the beauty in waiting on God’s timing, not my own. I will put my trust in Him and Him alone. I am currently working through our church’s Growth Track and will soon be baptized with the love of my life standing right beside me. I know what God is asking of me in terms of ministry, so I have to trust that He will deliver a responsible, Godly mentor to guide me to through that journey.
Are you, or someone you know, struggling with ego while pursuing your faith based purpose? Turn to the one who created you for guidance. He is the way and the truth in all things, especially insecurity and humility.
Sweet child, be free.