Over the years, I have found myself saying something along these lines: “I am struggling with insecurity today.” The reality is that insecurity is something that has been a seemingly lifelong battle for me. I have begged God to deliver me from the bondage of my own mind, to move me beyond these destructive and joy-stealing thoughts into a life of freedom and confidence. Yet, the conflict wages on.
Last week was filled with lots of days like this. By the end of the week I was literally and completely on my face before God. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary. In that time, He challenged me with this thought:
“You don’t have an insecurity problem, you have a security problem.”
The root issue is where I am placing my security in the first place.
Insecurity is defined as an uncertainty or anxiety about oneself. To be insecure is to say that I do not have what it takes to be a good employee, to be a good spouse or parent or friend, to succeed in life (whatever that means), to be valuable, to be loved, to ______, fill in the blank.
The difficulty with this statement is that it’s all about me. What about God?
When it comes to insecurity, the heart of the matter isn’t founded in an inaccurate view of me, but an inaccurate (or might I even suggest, an absent) view of God. I have a God-confidence problem, not a self-confidence problem.
I have a God-confidence problem, not a self-confidence problem.
Moses suffered a similar sin (yes, I said sin!), which we read about in the beginning of Exodus. He is talking with God, who has appeared to Moses by way of a burning bush. (Can we just stop and imagine this for a minute – an audible conversation with a God who has caused fire to burn, but not consume, a bush … come on now!) As if that wasn’t enough, God proceeds to show His power in allowing Moses to participate in several miracles (see Exodus 3-4 for all of those crazy details!).
In summary, God is asking Moses to be His representative to deliver Israel (God’s people) out of Egypt. Moses pushes back – hard. God graciously, patiently, and powerfully responds. Yet even after all of this, Moses argues with the Lord:
“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
Translation: Pick someone else, God. You have the wrong guy – I’ve never been a man of influence or persuasive speech and nothing has changed since our conversation. In fact, I am a horrible communicator. I don’t have what it takes.
God’s response to Moses’ unrelenting insecurity (or shall we say, misplaced security) is incredible:
“Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:11-12)
Talk about a wake-up call and a trustworthy promise. God is saying to Moses, “Remember who I am! I am the God of all creation, including you. And I promise to be with you and to teach you all you need to know.” Pretty radical, isn’t it?
Apparently Moses didn’t think so … look at how he responds:
“Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)
If you’re anything like me, you’re reading this and thinking what in the world is wrong with this guy? How could someone stand before the God of the Universe, experience His miracles, hear His voice, and ask to be excused from participating in His mission? It seems preposterous, doesn’t it? Yet don’t you and I do it every day?
We look at ourselves, instead of God, and see not-enough-ness. We think it’s all up to us and we feel we come up short. We measure our success according to others and fail most every time. We place our security in self, and in essence deny the power and presence of God.
This is what we’ve labeled insecurity, which really isn’t about insecurity at all. I have a security problem, not an insecurity problem. I am more obsessed with my own abilities (or lack thereof) than with God’s. And like Moses, this attitude – this misplaced security – will keep us from responding in immediate and complete obedience to God. It will keep us from fully experiencing and participating in all that God intends for us and His people.
A.W. Tozer says “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves.”
We must come to the end of ourselves; we must stop looking in to self and start looking up to God. This is the answer – the solution to insecurity. It’s extremely simple, but certainly not easy.
Psalm 33:16-18 says, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.”
To place our security in anything other than God – who alone holds ultimate control and authority – will prove an empty and disappointing endeavor. Fear God, not man. Hope in His unfailing love, not your own ability to perform.
I pray that you, along with me, will have an increasingly abundant and accurate knowledge of the God we serve – that we would know Him more deeply, and see Him more clearly. And that as we do, we will grow in security and confidence in and through Him who is perfectly able. Rest secure.