“How do you not get nervous standing in front of all those people? I’m terrified.”
It was 10pm the final night of the women’s retreat and we were perched on camp-beds, blankets wrapped around us. This dear woman sitting across from me was sensing God’s call on her life to speak and teach. She was kind, humble, smart, compassionate, and sensitive. There was only one problem … she was scared spitless. With a sweet humility she had sought me out and asked what to do. Where to start. What had I learned in my experience speaking at retreats. And she asked the big question: “How are you not terrified?”
It was then that it dawned on me: Yes, this is the first year, of five years of speaking at retreats and conferences, where I don’t feel anxious and nervous.
Now, understand: I don’t mean that I’m just “whatever!” about it. I pray lots and get on my face lots and I fully understand that at any moment God can wipe me out off the face of the planet. He doesn’t owe me a thing. We are always to stand in a place of complete humility and utter dependence.
But here’s what I mean: I think I finally believe God loves me.
He does. He loves me. And even more, He loves every single woman who comes to one of these retreats or conferences. He loves them. He loves me. He loves you. He’s not out to pull a prank on me. He’s not building a big BOMB to drop on my head. He’s not planning to pull the carpet out from under me and make me a huge fool.
He. Loves. Me.
Yes, oftentimes things don’t go as planned. At this past conference I discovered that my last session’s notes weren’t with me! Yikes! But you know what? I sensed God saying that He allowed that to happen so I would rely more on Him and His holy Spirit, and not just find my security in my notes.
In other words, He wanted me to be confident in Him.
That’s where confidence comes from. It doesn’t come from knowing a lot of stuff or looking a certain way. I do believe we are confident when we know we are walking in obedience to Jesus Christ and honoring Him with the way we live our everyday lives.
But, true confidence, at the core of our being, simply comes from knowing:
God loves me and isn’t out to get me.
He loves me. He isn’t planning a prank on me. He isn’t looking for ways to make me fail. He loves me.
I told her all of this. Several days later she had her first opportunity to speak. I received these words from her that day: “I DID IT!!!! … I had your words echoing through my head as I did too: “God isn’t playing some cruel joke on me to make me fail, nor will He jerk the rug out from under me.”
This truth sets us free. Our children’s most recent memory verse:
“God our Father LOOOOOOVES to bless us!” Ephesians 1:3
In other words:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Do we believe the truth of Psalm 23?
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.”
He’s hunting us down to bless us. Mark Batterson explains that “follow me” is a hunting term. In other words, God is stalking us down with blessing. He’s hunting us. He’s after us. He’s chasing us around wanting to bless us and we just need to receive it! Believe it! Live in a way that opens up our lives to receive His blessing. Quit running from it and not believing it.
God our Father loves to bless us. He’s not out to get you. He loves you.
May this truth fill you with confidence this week. Thanks for reading.