I’m reading a book called How to Succeed at Being Yourself by Joyce Meyer, and I like what she said:
A poor self-image causes us to operate in fear instead of faith. We look at what is wrong with us instead of what is right with Jesus. He has taken our wrongness and given us His righteousness. (2 Cor 5:21). We need to walk in the reality of that truth…It took time and a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, but I determined that I would not live below the blessings Jesus had provided for me…In Numbers 13, only two of the scouts, Caleb and Joshua, had the attitude God wanted them to have…The fear of the giants prevented God’s people from entering the land that He had promised to give them. They only saw the giants; they failed to see God.
It dawned on me, that many of us operate in fear instead of faith. I think we focus way too much on what is wrong with us. I look at my own life, and I realize that I have allowed fear to hinder me from seeing myself reaching my spiritual potential. How many of us are defeated by “giants”, the fears that plague our minds? A wrong attitude toward ourselves can hinder us from receiving all that God has for us.
Our focus and outlook on life affects whether we succeed or fail. In the Bible we read about all the blessings that God wants us to have, and we desire to have those blessings. But where is our focus? Do we focus on the obstacles and fears and give place to a negative self-image? Sometimes I find myself approaching my walk with God like most of the spies did in Numbers 13. I find myself focused on the fears and hindrances to living for the Lord: “What will my friends think of me?” or “I am just not qualified to do anything great for God.” But I once read a quote that makes so much sense: “God does not ask about your ability, just your availability.” And that is so true. We can approach life with the outlook that Caleb and Joshua had…”Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). Their focus was not on their weaknesses but on God’s strength. I pray that God will give us the ability to see obstacles and challenges through the eyes of faith like Caleb did. Because by God’s power, He has made us more than able to overcome.
I recently heard a missionary evangelist speak on the same topic. He talked about Gideon. In Judges chapter 6, God tells us not to fear the gods of this world. Gideon is hiding out from the enemy, and God tells him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” That really spoke to me. Here Gideon is hiding out because he’s afraid, and God calls him a might man of valor! I can really relate to Gideon. The enemy is always trying to intimidate me and cause me to fear him. I don’t see myself as a mighty woman of valor, but God does. I am praying that I can see myself the way God sees me.
Gideon stepped out in faith and “subdued kingdoms…obtained promises…out of weakness was made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens (Hebrews 11:33-34). That is how we will subdue the kingdom of darkness, through faith in Almighty God. His Word is full of promises and they are true. Out of my weakness, I am made strong to battle the enemy. Deep down inside, I am starting to realize the strength of God that has been dormant just waiting for me to activate it in faith. In Judges chapter 6, God instructs Gideon to “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save God’s people from the hand of the enemy. Haven’t I sent you?” Then Gideon makes excuses based on his weaknesses and basically says that he can’t do it. Boy does that sound familiar. I find myself telling God the same thing. And notice how God answered him: “Surely I will be with you and you shall defeat the enemy…Be peaceful. Don’t fear, you won’t die.”
In Judges chapter 7, notice the repeated phrase “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand.” That is God’s message to us. “Get up and go fight the devil, for I have delivered him into your hand.” He has already given us authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). It is up to us to focus not on our fears and inability, but to have faith in God’s ability and be willing to be used by Him.