7 Ways to Walk and Live Confidently
by Steve Backlund
“Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
God has called us to walk in spiritual confidence. Even so, at times we all have situations where we don’t feel as confident as we would like to be. Here are seven keys for you to increase the confidence that you have in Him:
1) Get your identity from God, not your past!
If we don’t know who God says we are, we are going to have a difficult time having confidence in this life. If we get our identity from our past, we will be plagued by doubt and inner weakness. God does not define us by our worst day, the worst thing that has happened to us, or our worst mistake. Corrie ten Boom put it well when she said, "God has taken our sin. He has thrown it into the sea of forgetfulness, and He has posted a sign that says, 'No fishing allowed’" (Micah 7:19). We are not who our past says we are, we are who God says we are – no longer slaves, but children and heirs! (Galatians 4:7).
2) Realize everyone battles some level of insecurity.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God does not hide the insecurities of those he used in the Bible? He doesn’t just play us the ‘highlight’ reel, but He delights in every part of their story and journey with Him. Every great person has battled, or is battling, some level of inner doubt about who they are and what they can do. How encouraging it is to know we are not alone, even though it may feel like we are the only one dealing with insecurity sometimes. The enemy uses insecurity and comparison to have us focus on who and what we’re not; imagine how differently our outlooks and responses to situations would be if we took those opportunities as a challenge to discover and declare who and what we actually are!
3) Understand perfect love casts out all fear.
1 John 4:18 reveals that God’s love is the antidote to fear and insecurity. This is a twofold process: first, as we experience God’s love in our own life, we naturally become more confident in life; secondly, as we focus on whole-heartedly loving and meeting the needs of those around us, we will be less prone to shrink back in introspection. Introspection is a very ‘me-centered’ way of life, marked with comparison, shame, and continual critiquing. Self-awareness, on the other hand, makes for an ‘us-centered’ way of life – a lifestyle marked with an awareness of our needs and the needs of those around us, confidence, and intentionality in what we have to offer that adds value to the relationship.
4) Deal with legitimate guilt in your life.
It’s safe to assume that most of you, our readers, are absolutely sincere in your heart to please God and to love people, but I do want to mention that it is difficult to walk in confidence if we are running from God in our lives and doing our own thing. With that said, it is important to also realise that many lack confidence because they haven’t learned how to deal with the devil’s accusations about things Jesus has already forgiven us for. Do we, at times, need to walk out the consequences of poor choices, or address bad fruit that we have allowed to develop in our lives? Of course. Does that mean we need to isolate ourselves out of guilt and shame? Definitely not! God does not ‘bench’ us until He deems us perfect enough to get back in the game (although that’s what the enemy would like us to think); He wants us on the team, always! God dealing with legitimate guilt in our lives is never from a place of punishment, but from a heart of restoration and empowerment – it’s Him coaching us from the sidelines, calling out, “You can do this! You were born for this! I am with you every step of the way!”
5) Be filled with the Holy Spirit – He gives confidence!
Consider Peter: an unconfident fisherman, who denied Christ three times who was then baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. It was after this powerful experience that he became one of the most bold, confident people who has ever walked on the planet! Holy Spirit is the greatest encourager, continually working in and through us to become who we were created to be in all its fullness. As we pursue deeper encounters in the Spirit and believe for fresh fillings, we too will walk in greater confidence – living a vibrant life with hope, boldness and purpose!
6) Understand your assignment.
Negative comparison with others greatly hinders spiritual confidence. No one else will ever be a better you than you. Do you want to know what the great news about that is? It means we aren’t called to be like everyone else! The gifts that you carry, the way that you think, how you communicate, your personality – they’re all purposefully created and endorsed by God in fulfilling unique assignments only you can carry out in touching people’s lives and reaching hearts. Take time to discover what your unique assignment is: for this week, for this season, for your life. Once we have clarity on what our assignment is, as well as what it isn’t, confidence will naturally follow because we will be doing what we’re supposed to be doing – living in the heart of God’s will.
7) Believe your past prayers are working!
“Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). If we actually believe that our prayers are working, we will have greater confidence. It is impossible for us to pray and have nothing happen; God is always working on our behalf, whether it is seemingly ‘behind the scenes’ or in overtly obvious ways. He is continually narrating ‘God stories’ in our lives, weaving His faithfulness, covering, and love into a tapestry of splendor. When we look at circumstances through the lens of our past prayers, then we will have confidence God is moving powerfully in the seeming uncertainties that we are facing.
In closing, I have a word for those who are reading this blog: I see you are entering a new season of confidence. I see God is touching you and healing you of insecurities and releasing boldness over you for the days ahead. You are important in what he is doing around the world!
Abounding in confident joy,
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.