I’m a big fan of Sharon Jaynes‘ writing, and her book, Listening to God Day By Day*, is packed with simple truths for deep meditation; but as I read one devotional, I burst into laughter!
Sharon wrote in the devotional “Confidence to Bank On” of her attempt to act confident as she went into a bank to buy traveler’s checks. She didn’t know what to do, and admitted that she didn’t even know what they looked like!
“I walked in the bank,” Sharon wrote, “and confidently, as though I had done this a million times, announced to the teller, ‘Excuse me, I would like to buy some traveler’s checks.’
“Without looking up, she asked, ‘What denomination?’
“I thought that was a strange question,” Sharon said, “but answered, ‘Presbyterian. We go to a Presbyterian church.’
“The teller looked up, the corner of her lips curled into a sardonic grin as she said, ‘No, honey. I mean, do you want your checks in twenties or fifties?'”
Sharon’s confidence plummeted, and later, as she sat in her car praying, she heard God’s still, small voice speak to her heart: “Sharon, you will never have true confidence until you understand who you are in Me.”
I have to confess that when I read those words, my eyes filled with tears. They reminded me of a turning-point moment when I heard God’s voice ~ a moment that changed how I speak.
As I spoke to a group of young women, I waved my arms and knocked my notes from the podium. That might not be a biggie for some speakers, but for me ~ overly dependent on notes ~ it was a catastrophe.
I bent over to pick them up. And you know how, when you bend over, the blood rushes to your head? I almost fell off the stage, and the audience didn’t know whether to laugh or lunge forward to help.
Finally stabilizing behind the podium, I looked down at my out-of-order notes, and then, wide-eyed, shot hopeless glances across the audience. Some women were still grinning; others shook their heads with their mouths open. A few had their heads bowed ~ either embarrassed for me or praying.
“Well now,” I said, leaving the notes on the podium and walking toward the edge of the platform, “I wonder what God’s going to do with the mess I’ve made of things.”
I prayed for a miracle, and it turned out to be one of the best messages I ever shared, because as I tried to remember what I’d written, the Lord filled in the blanks with fresh messages of His own choosing. I remember thinking, even as I spoke ~ Dawn, who you have become in Christ is more powerful than any words on a page.
That day, I had amazing God-confidence in a crazy, messed-up circumstance. I learned that “I can do everything through Him (Christ) who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:19). I discovered ~ though I often forget ~ that my true confidence is always in Christ and nothing else.
Friend, do you need a reminder of who you are in Jesus and all that you have because of what He accomplished for you? This link, titled “In Christ: Identity, Security, Dignity,” has a list of truths to consider. If you let them sink in, they will change your heart; and meditating on them will certainly boost your confidence level!
I want to close with the simple prayer Sharon offered at the end of her devotional. Will you pray this with me?
“Dear God, You are my confidence. I know I can do very little on my own strength, but because of the power of the Holy Spirit that You have placed in me, I can do everything You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
* Sharon Jaynes, Listening to God Day by Day: A 15-minute Devotional (Harvest House Publishers, 2008/2011), pp. 69-70.