“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
There were very few situations I remember being in, as a kid, that made me feel confident. I don’t know if it is because I am the youngest in my family or if it’s just my God-given personality. In any instance, my confidence, contrary to popular belief, did not come naturally to me. In fact, I felt more connected to my insecurities than my confidence. I vaguely remember feeling confident during a dance recital. I felt confident in French class. I felt confident writing in my notebook or painting, alone, in my room. I also felt confident in church activities. But really, that was it.
…and I know God knew this.
He knows everything about us. He knew all along that there would be an Erika Kimberly born in 1985 who wouldn’t feel confident. He made me after all. But, just as surely as God knew this, He knew that the remedy would be Him. I’m also 100% sure that God wanted me to know what a lack of confidence felt like because He was preparing me to learn what it is like to rely on Him completely.
I’ve been praying to be stronger and more confident for what seems like most of my life. I felt God pressing me, as early as 15 (when I got baptized), to DO and to BECOME. That may seem vague, but I’m sure you can think back to a time when God stirred a sense of urgency in you. I had no idea what I needed to be doing, so I just prayed and prayed.
I believe these tender moments are the foundation for real transformation. Communicating with God in honesty gives Him room to act. Part of what I learned in prayer, even as a teenager, is that prayer is one place we can access God’s power. Every time I prayed about something, someone, or for myself, I felt more able. I believe that’s what confidence in Christ is: God’s covering over our inabilities enabling us to do and become more.
So, when I read about our brothers Peter and John who spoke boldly about Christ, I relate. This is the same Peter who denied Jesus THREE times. This Peter hid in the courtyard when Jesus was being arrested. This Peter went to his old job when he thought Jesus, his friend, and Savior wasn’t coming back. This Peter sounds a lot like Erika. Maybe it sounds a lot like you, too.
What’s amazing is that Peter didn’t remain a fearful runner doubtful of his call and unsure of himself. Jesus met this Peter, again, and allowed His love to transform him.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
When I look back at all of the years I’ve walked with God, I realize that He has had to remind me of 2 Timothy 1:7 on more than one occasion. Whenever I have to do something scary, different or a large task, I feel like the Holy Spirit whispers to me “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity”. I’m sure Peter and John had their own moments with the Holy Spirit that reminded them of who they were in Christ. That’s why they were able to boldly profess their love for Jesus in the midst of their critics. The Holy Spirit had transformed them in Christ.
I cannot imagine reading my Bible without 1st & 2nd Peter or the book of John or 1st, 2nd & 3rd John. I’m so thankful God let these men be a part of the larger book. It’s proof that our confidence matters. If we let our fears, our low self-esteem or our small view of ourselves get in the way of who God wants to transform us into, we run the risk of ruining the impact God wants our lives to have.
Your confidence matters. Your purpose does, too. And since I like, to be honest, dear friend, your purpose and your confidence are married to each other. So step up for Christ! Step out for Him, too! Find your strength in Him and get bold in Jesus name! You never know where your boldness will lead. I had no idea I would be able to touch the lives of so many women just by allowing God to transform my lack of confidence into power.
Make it your business this Summer to get bold for Christ. God is waiting for us to step up and take action because our confidence matters.