I can relate to Jeremiah.
He writes, “Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, LORD GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’
But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD’” (Jer. 1:4-8 ESV).
I, too, am a young man. Nineteen years old. And for some reason, I have the audacity to preach God’s Word. Why? Because, like Jeremiah, I know the source of my confidence.
So many people lack confidence. I believe the reason comes back to the source. Contrary to what culture says, confidence can’t be found within oneself. Instead, confidence comes from the presence of God.
God’s response to Jeremiah’s insecurity was His presence. While Jeremiah struggled with fear, God said, “‘Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you …’” (v. 8 ESV). There’s confidence in the presence of God.
There’s nothing I desire more than to abide in the arms of Jesus.
Jesus says, “‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me’” (John 15:4 ESV).
Don’t be afraid to abide in Jesus. Come close. He desires an intimate relationship with you. In the presence of God, there’s a confidence that surpasses worldly understanding.
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28 ESV).
In the presence of God, shame must bow. Regret subsides. Selfishness dies. Every ounce of pride soaked into the sponge called humility. Because in the presence of God, there’s confidence.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15 ESV).
God’s presence was hard to come by in the Old Testament. Only the High Priest had access to the Most Holy Place. He entered this section of the tabernacle once a year to atone for the Israelites’ sins (see Lev. 16). In other words, unless you were the High Priest, the real presence of God was more like a dream.
But God’s presence is completely available today. To you. And to me. Why? Because of Jesus.
The Bible says, “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Heb. 4:14-16 NLT).
Man, I hope you realize how amazing this is. There’s nothing like the presence of God. And you have the opportunity to live in it. Every. Single. Day.
Because of Jesus, we boldly approach the throne of God himself. We find confidence in His presence. Nothing to prove. Nothing to hide.
No matter what you say about yourself, God’s presence speaks louder. No matter what you regret, God’s presence stands stronger. No matter what you see, God’s presence shines brighter.
There’s confidence in His presence. Don’t hold back.
Isaiah Pauley is passionate about sharing Jesus in a simple way. Follow the journey of this young pastor at www.isaiahpauley.com, on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page, or on Instagram @isaiahpauley.