Secure with God
“I guess I’m just not very secure in our relationship.” So said a character in a movie after she incorrectly analyzed a conversation with her boyfriend. She was certain he was about to break up with her, but it turned out he wasn’t. His words in that conversation didn’t hint at a breakup at all. Her own insecurity simply led her to interpret them that way.
Our insecurities can cause us to misperceive God too. We see him through our own filters, and depending on how we’ve been wounded in the past—not by him but by others—we may see the wrong things. Plenty of people try to correct these misperceptions intellectually—that is, by having a good theology of grace vs. works, for example. But I don’t think this is just a matter of understanding the right things. There’s something deeper, a relational issue of trust. Our insecurity is a matter of the heart.
How can you know if you’re insecure in your relationship with him? See if any of these statements are true of you …
I spend more time regretting my mistakes than I do thinking about opportunities. Are you focused on the past or the future? Is your discipleship more about getting over sin or advancing the kingdom? If you’re constantly dwelling on your faults, you probably haven’t fully accepted his forgiveness. That’s insecurity.
I'm not yet qualified to do great works of God. Yes, you are. If Christ is in you and you are in him, you have everything you need—no matter how badly you messed up yesterday. Discipleship isn’t about you. Well, it isn’t primarily about you. It’s about him, and he’s enough.
I’m more convinced of God’s love for others than of his love for me. If you’re like most of us, you can say “God loves you” to someone else much more easily than you can hear it said to you. Most of us hear an internal, “Yes, but …” after it. “Yes, but he has to. That’s his job. He’s God. He loves everybody.” “Yes, he may love me, but he doesn’t actually like me very much.” You know how it is, right? That’s insecurity.
I add “if it’s your will” to the end of every prayer, even the ones he’s already said are his will. Jesus was more empowering than that. If you are in him and his word is in you, “ask whatever you wish” (John 15:7). Don’t be self-centered, of course, but God invites us to pray big, bold prayers. Tentative praying is a sign of insecurity.
When things don’t work out, I wonder if I’m being punished. Or disciplined like a child. Or being taught a difficult lesson. Yes, it’s true that God sometimes disciplines us and teaches us lessons. But if this is the first place our thoughts go when circumstances go wrong, that’s a problem of an insecure heart.
I don’t want to bother God with the small things. Some of us have been unintentionally trained by significant people in our lives not to be a bother. Therefore, we don’t want to bother God with our petty little problems. We only bring him the big ones, and only after we're desperate about them. But unlike others in our lives, God has unlimited capacity. And relationships are forged in the details of life, right? So a secure relationship has to include the small things.
I dare not tell God what I truly feel. As if he doesn’t already know? Of course he does. In human relationships, we encourage people to be themselves because honesty is at the foundation of all good relationships. Why wouldn’t that also apply to God? If we can’t be completely honest with him, we don’t open ourselves to let him deal with our real issues.
When I think I’ve heard his voice, I ask for a hundred confirmations. Somehow we seem to have more faith in our ability to get it wrong than in his ability to make it clear. In seeking his will, trust that you’ve found it—and trust him to get you back on course if you haven’t. Remember that steps of faith are steps of faith. It’s okay to "see" without seeing. And to take risks.
My desires don’t matter. Really? What if the ones you have are ones he has put within you? Sure, it’s good to test your desires and be discerning. But don’t deny all of them. Remember that it’s God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
According to God’s own word, it’s okay to approach him boldly, to pray big prayers, to trust the Spirit within you, to do the works of God, to fully embrace his love, and to live in confidence of his grace and power. Insecurity in your relationship with him is perfectly natural but completely unnecessary. There is zero chance of coming to him in honesty and humility and not being accepted. That’s the freedom of his promise. And it’s meant to sink deep into every corner of your heart.
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