Plenty of experts teach strategies to become confident in our bodies, confident in dating, confident in professional environments, confident in social settings, and more. However, few people teach us how to become spiritually confident. Since our culture is enamored with what we can see with our own eyes, we underestimate the impact that spiritual confidence will make.
Spiritual confidence changes EVERYTHING.
Those who are spiritually confident are often referred to as “anointed” or “powerful” because of the authority and influence they carry. While many assume this influence comes from a higher degree of spiritual verification, the real thing only comes through a deeper degree of spiritual connection.
Sometimes we rely too heavily on spiritual leaders, especially when we assume a pastor, teacher, or prophet is far above our realm of giftedness, favor, or closeness to God. If we become infatuated with their anointing, we can become disinterested in cultivating our own.
Insecurity can also plague us when we spend time alone with God. We may find ourselves wondering:
Is this God speaking, or is this me? Am I reading this verse right?
Should I be feeling God’s presence right now?
This happens because we’ve relied so heavily on other people’s connections with God that we distrust our own connection with God. However, when Jesus died on the cross, the veil—the barrier that once separated us from firsthand access to God—was torn. Christ’s sacrifice granted us direct access to connect with God for ourselves.
Jesus says it Himself in John 15:5–8:
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
This passage shows that our connection with Christ will deter- mine whether what we do on earth will have any lasting value. Whatever we accomplish without Christ is forever useless, but what- ever we accomplish with Christ is eternally meaningful.
Simply put, our partnership with heaven will affect our purpose on earth.
We can’t produce anything for God without a direct connection with God. The more we partner, the more we produce. So as we partner with God, we produce the best work for God.
During a certain time in my life, I became spiritually insecure because of the people I saw around me. If their convictions were more rigid than mine and if they presented themselves as hyper- spiritual, I would assume they were closer to God than I was.
These same people devised accusations disguised as prophetic words to tell me that I was secretly living in sin, possessed by an unholy spirit, and operating with ill intent. While their words were far from true, their judgments devastated me.
Since my security in my own relationship with God had eroded with time, I would question myself whenever their “prophecies” didn’t align with what I knew God was showing me. In this process, I began doubting my own encounters with God, questioning if I had really experienced that spiritual encounter or if it was simply a mirage.
In the thick of my spiraling, wondering if I needed another round of repentance, another session of deliverance, or another self- assessment, God sent me a real prophet. Her name was Tiphani.
At one of my lowest points, Tiphani knocked sense into me like a coach getting a player’s head right for the game-winning shot. With great authority, she told me that the reason I was going through this pain was not because I was some hellion or Jezebel who didn’t truly love Jesus; the real reason I was in so much despair was because I was trusting the voices around me more than I was trusting the voice of God.
She told me two important things I’ll never forget. The first was this: “Your love for people clouds your discernment about them.”
With those few words, she helped me to recognize that I was blinded by believing the best about those who’d already shown me who they were. The truth that Christians had the desire to deceive and manipulate through spiritual language and Scripture was a hard pill for me to swallow. But when I finally accepted that truth, I was able to see both them and God clearly.
Then Tiphani left me with this: “Amanda, you need to PLEAD to God. Literally BEG God to break the opinions of people off of you.” She said this on the verge of shouting.
And you know what? Tiphani was right. She had given me the gospel truth. I had allowed myself to be tossed to and fro by every little opinion that a Bible-touting person had spoken of me. Gaslighted by what others were saying about me, I had begun to question the voice of God.
Like a player in the game, I decided to follow the coach’s advice. I didn’t just pray; I pleaded. Each day my aching soul wrestled with God. I struggled to believe that I was chosen, appointed, loved, cher- ished, considered, seen, and favored by Him.
With an exhausted body, I fasted.
With a weary soul, I wept.
With a shaking voice, I worshipped.
With a desperate heart, I begged.
Through it all, God was faithful. With my complete depen- dency on His chain-breaking power, He shattered the shackles that had constrained me to the idolatry of people. When I glorified God’s Word above every other word spoken by man, the idol of people came crashing down. When the false idol stopped blocking my view, I could finally see God’s truth clearly. I could see Him for who He was, and I could see myself in relation to Him.
He was holy, pure, righteous, faithful, and kind.
I was His beloved daughter—redeemed, cherished, accepted, purified, and sanctified.
Now, I want you to hear God’s voice for yourself too. Sharpening your ability to hear God’s voice will give you a confidence that can’t be taken away from you, no matter how many other opinions come your way. It’s time to challenge the temptation to rely on the voices of people and learn how to hear God’s voice for ourselves.
Adapted from Stand in Confidence: From Sinking in Insecurity to Rising in Your God-Given Identity by Amanda Pittman (David C Cook, 2022). Reprinted with permission.