"Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 LB)
Doubt is the single greatest enemy of confidence. It limits your potential. It causes procrastination. It will cause you to miss God's best. James 1:6 says, "Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind" (GNT). When you doubt, you let your circumstances control you.
"Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9 LB). God tells Joshua to "Get rid of that doubt stuff! Banish it!" Banish means to dump it. Throw it out the window. Get it out of sight. Don't deal with it any more. Get rid of it.
There are two things that rob our confidence and cause doubt.
1. Comparing yourself to others causes doubt. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that people who compare themselves to other people are foolish. You should never compare yourself to anybody else because you are unique. God made you to be you; he doesn't want you to be somebody else. Most people start off in life as originals and end up as carbon copies — and poor carbon copies at that!
God says not to compare yourself for two reasons: One, you'll always find someone who's doing a better job than you, and you’ll get discouraged. And two, you'll always find somebody you're doing a better job than, and you will be filled with pride. Don't compare yourself. You are unique, so you are incomparable!
2. Past failures cause doubt. Some of you think that because of certain things in your past, God could never use you. Have you ever read the Bible? The spiritual leaders of the Bible did not exactly have a stellar record. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Abraham gave his wife away — twice! Jacob stole the family inheritance from his brother. Paul was a religious terrorist. Peter was a hard driving, hard drinking, hard living fisherman — a salty sea dog! And he probably cussed like one, too. God uses people with checkered pasts because none of us are perfect. God uses average, ordinary, dysfunctional people. If God only used perfect people, what would get done in this world?
It doesn't matter where you've been. What matters is what direction your feet are headed right now.
Talk About It
If God tells you to banish doubt, then you have a choice. You can doubt your doubts instead of believing them. Today, start a habit of acknowledging a doubt, but then choosing not to believe it. How does it affect your confidence?
Believe the Bible when it says that God wants to use you, that even before you were born you were put on this planet for a purpose, and that he is going to use you for ministry. How have you let your doubts keep you from doing what God has called you to do in ministry?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.