Fighting Feelings of Inadequacy By Karol Ladd, Positive Life Principles When was the last time you felt like God was leading you to do something that would most certainly stretch your abilities and take you beyond your confidence level? Maybe you were pushed into circumstances for which you did not feel equipped or prepared, whether it was a new work assignment or big speaking opportunity or even counseling a friend in need. How do we handle these feelings of “I just don’t think I can do this?” First, it is good to know we are not alone in these feelings. Not only have most of us in Christian media felt this way a time or two, but we can even find a fellow strugglers in God’s Word. In fact in the Old Testament we find one of God’s most faithful men who was burdened with feelings of inadequacy. The place is Mount Sinai. Moses drew close to a burning bush, and there he encountered a Holy God. God directed Moses to go back to Egypt, talk to Pharaoh, and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. What was Moses’ response? “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God reassuringly answered him, “I will be with you.”
→We, too, can listen to his gentle yet strong voice saying, “I will be with you.” Now it would be lovely if those words completely eliminated all our feelings of inadequacy, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, negative thoughts and what‐ifs may still seep into our thought life even when we know God is with us. Moses struggled with worry, as we see when he continued to make excuses to God. “What if they won’t believe me, or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you?’” Moses was thinking up some good ones, wasn’t he? He was almost as good as you and I in conjuring up opportunities to worry. God responded by showing his power through transforming Moses’ wooden staff into a live snake and then back again. God also made Moses’ hand leprous and then healthy again. Even after witnessing these amazing miracles firsthand, Moses still pleaded with God, “O LORD, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue‐tied, and my words get tangled.” Moses may have been questioning God because this was not the plan Moses had for his life. Not so different than what we think sometimes, right? We may protest, “But I’ve never been good at . . .” or “I always thought I would be . . .” Sometimes God calls us to a new territory and a task that stretches our abilities, and it isn’t the safe plan we had for our life. Yet it is often when we are taken out of our comfort zone that we can see God at work far beyond what we can do on our own.
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God responded to Moses’ plea of inadequacy by saying, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” Again we hear God’s reassurance of his presence, and this time he encourages Moses by letting him know he will guide him. Dear sister, do you believe the God who made you can equip you for the road ahead, even if it is an unpleasant road? Throughout Scripture we are reminded God is able to give us “hind’s feet for high places.” In other words, God makes us as surefooted on our new journey with him as a deer that can scale rocky, treacherous mountains. Now you would think after God gave Moses reassurance after reassurance, Moses would be ready to take on the task in front of him. Nope! He continued to plead, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” At this point, God became angry with Moses and told him he would send along his brother, Aaron, too. The good news is, after all Moses’ worrying, God still used Moses in a powerful and significant way. Moses didn’t stay in a rut of worry. He moved forward in faith, and with each step forward, his faith increased. What can we learn from Moses and his big worries? Sure Moses struggled with feelings of inadequacy, but he told his fears to God. Then he chose to move forward in faith one step at a time. In the same way, when we are consumed with feelings of inadequacy or when we feel as though the task is too much for us, let’s listen to God’s gentle voice saying, I am with you. I made you and will give you everything you need. Once we are focusing on God’s presence, we can tell him our worries. As we give our worries to God, we must still step forward in faith. Moses went from a worrier to a man used by God and is considered one of the great fathers of our faith. Don’t be discouraged by your worries; give them to God and continue to step forward in faith, watching what God can do. Karol Ladd, Positive Life Principles Karol Ladd is known as “the Positive Lady.” Her heart’s desire is to inspire women with a message of lasting hope and Biblical truth. Karol is open, honest and real in both her speaking and her writing. Formerly a teacher, Karol is the best‐selling author of over 20 books including The Power of a Positive Mom and The Power of a Positive Woman. As a gifted communicator and dynamic leader, Karol is a popular speaker to women’s organizations, church groups and corporate events across the nation. She is co‐founder of a character‐building club for young girls called USA Sonshine Girls and serves on several ministry boards. Karol is a frequent guest on radio and television programs. Her most valued role is that of wife to Curt and mother to daughters Grace (senior at Baylor)
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and Joy (junior at A&M). Visit Karol’s website at PositiveLifePrinciples.com. This article contains excerpts from Karol’s new book Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive – Passionately Live the Life you Didn’t Plan (Howard/Simon & Schuster). The story of Moses’ discussion with God can be found in Exodus 3 & 4.
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When was the last time you felt like God was leading you to do something that would most certainly stretch your abilities and take you beyon...