‘And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
The Bible says that we have a God that will supply every single need that we have, and this is not limited to financial, physical or needs related to success. This includes our need for contentment, our need for confidence and affirmation, our need for encouragement, guidance and stability. So why is it that with a God that promises to be all that we need him to be and to deliver and care for our every need, a God that promises to be our rock and our provider, we still look to people to fulfil what God has already promised us? Why is it that we still look to people for identity, despite already having our identity stated for us in the Bible? Why is it that we attempt to rely on people and get let down when they disappoint us, when God wants us to make him the sole shoulder that we cry on and declares that he is our comforter? Yes, it truly doesn’t make any sense.
You see, when we rely on people to provide for us instead of God, whether or not we do this intentionally, we allow people to limit us. By allowing what should be unconditionally provided by God to be conditionally provided by people, we give those people the power to limit our confidence, limit our faith in God, limit our belief in our own capabilities and limit our independence from those people. This essentially means that we more often that not allow the people around us, whether it be our friends; family; or even our teachers, to fill positions in our lives that should be filled by God. This strains our relationship and intimacy with God, as it prevents him from truly revealing himself to us and prevents him from being all that he is able to be for us. Whilst it also strains the relationship we have with ourselves, as relying on people for affirmation, confidence and identity will inevitably lead to insecurity and an absence of contentment with who you are.
Lets start with addressing where we place our confidence and identity. When we place our confidence in others, we make our confidence and happiness dependant on words of affirmation from others. This means you will never know true peace with yourself or joy, as people will not always have positive things and words of praise to say to you. So do not seek affirmation in others, find it in God and what the Bible says that you are. This goes for our identity too. If you place your identity in the world, you will spend your whole life trying to be like other people and lose the person that God made you to be. Not only this, but it is impossible to live up to every standard that the world places on you, so you will spend your whole life trying to fit into the world, leaving you feeling incompetent and never good enough – a feeling I myself experienced when I placed my confidence and my identity in the world instead of who God says I am.
The Bible says that you are beautiful: ‘You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.’ Song of Solomon 4:7 (NIV)
The Bible says that you are God’s temple: ‘Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV)
The Bible says that you are a masterpiece: ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Whilst the Bible also says that you have a purpose: ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’ 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
God declares all this about you! So why do we even attempt to find our confidence, identity, happiness, purpose and more in the words of people who don’t even value you half as much as God does? And God loves us even when we do him wrong, compared to the conditional love people give each other. So think of how much better your relationship with yourself would be and how much deeper and stable your relationship and intimacy with God would be, if you truly made God the source of your confidence, your identity, and more.
For the Bible states: ‘My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.’ Psalm 73:26 (NLT)
You see, God never changes, but people do. This just goes to show that God should be the source of your confidence, identity and your every need; as opposed to making man the source of these things and allowing them to strip it from you without you anticipating it! As stated in the Bible: ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)