Steven Furtick - How To Build Your Confidence
This is an excerpt from: Borrowed Confidence
How many of you, your teenage years were kind of a dark part of your life? So, imagine you're there again. You're going back in that. Now, when you're young, you have a commodity that can help you have more confidence: ignorance. Just ignorance, the blessing of dumb. When they were showing a video for 15 years of ministry the other day, they had early videos of me preaching, and somebody said, "You were so bold back then". I'm like, "I was so dumb back then".
You know what? Ignorance looks like confidence from a distance. A lot of the times that God can do the most through somebody is when they know the least. But let me mess around and live for a little while, and I build a file of everything that can go wrong, things I didn't know I was supposed to be scared of when I was 17, things I didn't know I was supposed to be scared of the first two years of church. The benefit of ignorance is that it gives you this kind of confidence. Paul is not writing about that kind of confidence, though. He knows how much it costs to serve Christ. He knows how uncertain it is. He knows how hard it can be sometimes when you feel completely abandoned by the people you help. "No other churches? No other partners? Nobody is going to stand with me"? He knows all of that, but he's confident.
Like David in Psalm 27. "I will remain confident…" That's not a feeling; that's a decision. Do you know the difference? The feeling of confidence and the decision? The feeling can be stripped so quickly, but the decision can be made any moment. "I will remain confident". Being confident. Becoming confident. If we build the right kind of confidence… Paul calls this the righteousness that comes by faith. It's not the confidence in the flesh. It's not anything you can buy. It's not anything you can achieve. It's not anything a human committee has to give to you. It's none of those things. I guess you could say it's a kind of confidence that comes from above, so it never runs out.
If you go back over to Psalm 27… I want to marry these two Scriptures, because they're interesting together. You'll notice that David must have been fighting something in Psalm 27 that threatened his sense of stability. I don't want to leave this in the text so long you think this is a history lesson. There are so many people I'm talking to these days that life has taken on some new dimensions for them, and they no longer feel competent for the challenges of this season. They have experienced some things (I'm not talking about you; I'm talking about somebody you know) that made them bitter, that made them apprehensive, that made them timid about believing God. They prayed for somebody; they died. They loved somebody; that person took advantage of their love. All of these things that happen. If your confidence comes from that place, then it runs out when that ends.
When David starts Psalm 27… I love the whole psalm. "The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid"? He gets all the way to verse 13, and he says, "I will remain confident in this…" Go to 1 Samuel 17. I have to show you something. This is amazing. I'll show you what I'm talking about. So, David shows up. Remember that any given day, God is doing more in your life than you can imagine. He's delivering cheese and bread, but he's really going down to meet Goliath so he can kill him so the nation can move on, just like God is doing great things in your life. David didn't know what he was going to do, because probably if he had known what he was going to do he might have second-guessed whether he would go or not. Ignorance is sometimes to your advantage in trusting God.
All right. I know you know this story pretty well, but I want to show you something. In 1 Samuel, chapter 17, he goes down to the battle lines. He hears Goliath intimidating God's people, and it freaks him out. "How can y'all be passive about something God promised to give you victory over"? Remember, these are the experienced soldiers, and three of them are his own brothers. I want to show you a difference between Paul and David and see which one you feel more like right now in your life. Paul had some partners who believed in him enough to support him in his hard time, his dark time. Watch what happened to David when he went down to help his brothers. "When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men [asking, 'Who is this giant that defies the armies of the living God?'], he burned with anger at him and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness?'"
This is the person David came to feed. The person he came to feed is fighting him. Have you ever felt that way? If they're sitting next to you right now, we can just have an unspoken, tacit agreement. I feel you. It's hard to raise your hand on something like that when they are right next to you or in the other room. You're scared they might hear. No, this is crazy, because Paul is saying, "Your partnership in the gospel encourages me". Have you ever had somebody step up and believe in you when you didn't believe in yourself? Have you ever had somebody just see something in you that had gotten buried? They don't even realize they're doing it. They just say something in passing, and you're like, "Really"? And your chest sticks out, and you walk a little bit different for the rest of the day, just because they saw something in you. I think Paul felt that way about the Philippians.
I think when he went back, he said, "I remember when we started. I didn't have authority in this province. I didn't have the resources. You helped me with that. I didn't have a big brand or a big ministry. You believed in me like that". There is nothing like people who believe in you when there is nothing to see to prove what they believe. If God gives you somebody like that, do not let them go. Hold on to those "day ones" who had nothing to gain from loving you, people who gave you a shot, people who gave you a chance, people who said, "Come on and do this". That's awesome.
I'll always honor Pastor Mickey, because he said God had his hand on my life when I was 16. I'll always honor him. You need people like that when you get in one of these passages where you're like, "I never did this before. I've never been a mom before. I've never been through a divorce before. I haven't been unemployed in my adult life before. I've never been to college before. I never tried to quit smoking before. I never tried to get my drinking under control before. I don't know how to do this". God will send you a partner, somebody who sees potential in you that your pain has blocked from your own visibility. That's why I called you over the other day when we were in the middle of the project. I was dealing with uncertainty. "Is this the right thing"?
I was so in the middle of it I needed you to come over, because you've been there with me since…well, let's be honest…since we were doing the dumbest stuff that two teenagers can do, since riding around in your Jeep. I needed that first-day faith. When you saw what I was creating, you said, "This is it"! He was so excited. He said, "This is it! This is what we were doing. This is what you were doing". He helped me connect the dots of what God was doing, because I couldn't in the moment. I was in the dark. I needed that first-day faith, like Paul had from the Philippians. He was like, "Oh man. I don't know what God is going to do, but I'm going to choose what I remember".
Instead of calling to mind all of the people who didn't support him, he remembered the church that did. Isn't that hard to do? You thought I was going to say, "Isn't that great"? No, isn't that difficult? A lot of what we call believing is really just remembering right. He said, "Every time I remember you, I get joy in this prison cell". Or like the prophet Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:21. "This I recall to my mind…" What? The calamity? The ruins? The desolation? The betrayal? The feelings of forsaken? No, no, no. "This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. It's because of the Lord's mercies that we're not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They're new every morning. Great is your faithfulness". "This I recall to mind".
So, imagine right now. A million things are going through your mind. Right? Like, "Should I be mad about this? Should I be upset about that? Should I be worried about that? Should I fear about that? Should I forget about that? That, that, that, that, that…" Then that one God thought comes through. When it comes by in your mind, it comes by fast. It moves along. Here comes doubt. Here comes hatred. Here comes envy. Here comes comparison. Here comes jealousy. Here comes all of that, and then here comes that one thought, that contentment. This. Grab it. This right here. David is actually in the opposite situation that Paul is in. Paul is preaching to people who support him, but they can only do so much for him because he's in prison. He's saying, "I am confident for you in what you can't even believe about you right now because we've never been through this before". He's saying, "Borrow my confidence".
Did you know you can do that? I don't know what your philosophies are on borrowing money. It's fine. I don't care. We all think different things. So, you're Dave Ramsey. You don't borrow or you do, or whatever. I don't care. Rich Dad Poor Dad, Dave Ramsey… I'm not a money man; I'm a preacher. All right? I'm not talking about borrowing money. I'm talking about a different currency called confidence and what you believe about what you can be and what you believe about what you have inside of you and what you believe about what God called you to do and what you believe about what you're going through. That's what I'm talking аbout: the currency of confidence.