One of my biggest temptations, or “weights which doth so easily beset” me, is the temptation to feel inadequate.
I generally have a positive attitude about life. I like and act upon the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I usually see life as the glass half full.
So, it really is baffling that I would be one who would struggle with an “un-positive” attitude about myself and my God-given abilities…But I do.
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We are in good company, at least. Even Moses struggled with this temptation.
When God told Moses that He wanted him to go back to Egypt and lead his people out of Egypt, he responded with a list of his inadequacies. He couldn’t speak. He was no one that Pharaoh or the people would listen to. Surely, he wouldn’t be able to convince them. (Exodus 3-4)
And you know what? God had the answer to each one of Moses’ concerns. Just like He has the answer to each one of my concerns and each one of your concerns.
In our reading this week in John Chapter 6, Jesus performs an amazing miracle. He feeds well over five thousand people from a lad’s sack lunch containing five loaves of bread and two small fishes!
And just so we know that God not only can supply enough, but more than enough…there were twelve baskets full of left overs!
Feelings of inadequacy come when we allow fear to take hold as a result of our loss of focus on, and lapse of faith in, Jesus—Who is our more-than-enough God.
It is true—I can’t. But Jesus can!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christliveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
I can’t. But God will.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
We need not fear being inadequate to any situation, for God is more than adequate and will do through us what we cannot do on our own. All we must do is keep our focus on Him.
That really is the problem anyway, whenever feelings of inadequacy come. Our focus is off.
When we focus on ourselves, all we see is where we fall short. We are filled with doubt and ask—
“What if I can’t?”
“What if I fail?”
“What if what I am, or what I do, isn’t enough?”
Or we tell God what we think He doesn’t already know—
“I’m not funny enough or entertaining enough.”
“I’m not a good enough speaker.”
“I don’t have the energy it would take.”
“My health isn’t good enough.”
Feelings of inadequacy also cause us to be tempted to compare ourselves with others. Then we suggest to God how much better someone else would be at doing what He has set before us to do.
We become so focused on ourselves that we forget to trust Jesus and His infinite abilities. And to trust that He will share those abilities with us so that HE may accomplish through us His purposes.
Feelings of inadequacy can paralyze us with the fear of failure. Until we don’t even try.
But those same feelings can also be a positive thing. IF we let them cause us to turn to God.
My feelings of inadequacy keep me on my knees seeking God and drawing closer to Him. I freely acknowledge to God my need of His ability, strength, courage, boldness, help, creativity, and wisdom.
Feelings of inadequacy are also useful to keep us humble and giving God all glory for any good done through us. Those of us who struggle with feelings of inadequacy know full well that it is God, and God alone, who deserves any praise for any good that we might do!
This miracle of the feeding of the five thousand plus is a reminder to me of the truth—
“Little is much”…when we, like the lad, give it to Jesus.
Your little ability, your little resources, your little time, your little money, your little education, experience, whit, creativity, etc., etc.—God can multiply and make useful to His glory!
There really is no such thing as inadequacy, when we surrender to God all that we have and all that we are.
What is God asking you to do for His glory that has you scared to death?
Be a wife?
Be a mother?
Go to college?
Take a new job opportunity?
Be a witness?
Start a new ministry?
Serve in a new ministry?
What lies is Satan whispering in your ear right now to discourage you? What inadequacies is he pointing out to you right now? Satan doesn’t want us to obey and accomplish God’s will.
But remember…You ARE enough.
Because JESUS can!
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
Do you sometimes struggle with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy? In what ways do you feel inadequate, and how do you fight those feelings? Is God asking you to do something for Him that you fear you won’t be able to do?