Have you ever felt “in over your head?” Have you sensed God calling you to do something—and you hope you’re wrong!? Those are precarious moments, and one thing changes them dramatically. Someone else’s belief and biblical affirmation! Let me explain.
Everybody responds to others “cheering them on!” We all need godly voices compelling us to follow God in faith and inspiring us to courage and confidence in God’s call and God’s Word.
When David was developing a vision for the Temple, Nathan responded to him in 2 Samuel 7:3 “And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.” In a moment when David was considering doing something great for God, one of his godly influences breathed confidence into his call.
How powerful it must have been for David to hear from Nathan, “God is with you!” What an amazing affirmation! It’s one thing to believe personally that “God is calling.” It’s another thing for others to affirm that call. It’s powerful to hear someone else say, “I believe God’s hand is in this and that He will enable you and use you.”
When God was calling me, I was certain it was everything BUT a call from God—for one simple reason. I knew I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t in me. I had long ago settled the fact that pastoring wasn’t what God created me to do. So in the process of “working through it” I kept arriving at the dead end of “God’s Call.” At every attempt to put to rest the stirring of my soul, I kept coming back to the same directive—”obey God.” It was confusing. God was asking me to do something of which I was incapable, and therefore sure He would never ask. He was asking me to consider as “possible” a thing I had long ago settled as “not possible.”
During that time, and since that time, there have been people who agreed with me. “You can’t or shouldn’t do this.” They didn’t legitimize the call or express their belief that God was in it. Perhaps they doubted as much as I did! That’s fair, and realistic. Frankly, it’s what I expected, and on some level, even wanted.
BUT there were also people who voiced encouragement and belief in God’s hand. It began with much older counselors, whom I invited to tell me this was “not a call.” Every one of them smiled at me (some actually laughed), and spoke strength, encouragement, and inspiration into my heart. The older the counselor, the more encouraging their words. The power of their belief was inspiring on a level that is hard to describe. To a man, every one of them essentially said, “God appears to be calling—so do it! He will be with you!”
When you know so well your own weakness and limitations, you tend to believe the worst. “How could God use me?” “Why would God want me?” “I must be wrong about this!” It’s easy to side with the disbelieving voices. It’s easy to conclude the risk is too great and “I must be misunderstanding God’s voice…” (In my experience, even through those doubts, when God is calling, He refuses to let me go… He keeps pressing, keeps pursuing, keeps wrestling with me until I acknowledge the truth.)
Consider Moses when he said to God, “…If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” (Exodus 33:15) Moses knew his own inability. He knew the deep waters he was entering. And he knew apart from God, he was hopeless. “God, if you don’t go with me, I don’t want to go! I can’t do this!” Joshua faced similar circumstances in Joshua chapter one, and both God and the people said, “Be strong and of good courage! We are with you!”
Nearly every day, I doubt my ability to do what God has called me to do—and for good reason. But nearly every day, God answers those doubts with either His Word or the encouragement of His people. Few things touch the core of those doubts as powerfully as someone saying “Hey, I’m with you!”
Three points here. First, don’t die in your doubts. Don’t let your fear or inability keep you from following God in faith. Second, don’t let other doubters cause you to reason away God’s clear call in your life. If you try, expect Him to keep pursuing you. And third, most importantly, don’t underestimate the power of your affirmation to others!
Your affirmation and encouragement is deeply meaningful to someone who is doubting their potential in God’s plan. Your belief in someone else—your confidence of God’s hand in their life—just might be the one thing that breathes that last bit of courage into their soul. Your strengthening words might be just what someone needs to hear to take the next step of faith.
What do you see in someone that they cannot see in themselves? Say it! And say it again!
You could use your voice to discourage. You could choose words that hinder or give pause to courageous faith. You could refuse to see potential and possibility in the will of God for another. OR… you could inspire, encourage, dream, and affirm.
There’s GREAT POWER in saying to someone else, “I believe God is with you! I believe God’s hand is upon you! I believe in your potential in HIS GRACE and HIS CALL! GO FOR IT!”
So, speak up. Affirm. Use your voice to inspire and strengthen someone else who might be teetering on the verge of doubt—someone who may be about to retreat and miss a marvelous moving of God in their lives.
Think of Nathan and David—
“…Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.”
Choose to cheer someone on today!