“Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved, truly delightful.” Song of Solomon 1:16
OK, so I was supposed to be writing my review of Chapter 4 of Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us on Saturday… but I forgot. I was inspired after watching Mom’s Night Out to write a Mother’s Day post, so sue me. 😉 (Seriously, Go watch that movie!!!!!) So I’m writing my review of Chapter 4 “Good Company” today instead.
I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed when I first picked up my Bible and read the first half of Song of Solomon. Not that I haven’t read it before, I actually spent a decent amount of time in that book while writing True Intimacy with my husband. But it’s been a LOOOONG time since I’ve cracked open those pages and I’d forgotten how… steamy they were. Wooo! Those pages are not for the faint of heart are they friends? And then I picked up Beth Moore’s book and SHE was talking about sex too! Freaky!
Chapter 4: Good Company is all about the people in the Bible that show insecurity through their words and actions: Eve and her choice of fig leaves, Sarah and her choice of allowing Abraham to take her handmaiden as a wife, Leah and Rachel in their baby battle over Jacob’s heart, Moses and his insecurity over the role God chose for him to play in the salvation of His people, Saul and his insecurity over the role God chose for him to play in the ruling of His people, Paul and his insecurity in his status as an apostle (no doubt because of his previous role in the persecution of the other apostles). The list went on and on.
If at the end of Chapter 3 I was chattering my teeth in fear of the insecurities I was sure I had; by the end of Chapter 4 I was raising my sword and shouting a battle cry over them. I am not alone in the camp of insecurity! And what’s even more amazing to me is the role that insecurity has played throughout the lives of many of the founders of our faith.
Our spiritual ancestors have struggled with this very same enemy. Some didn’t fare so well, but others, like Paul, conquered this enemy with ruthless abandon. On page 54 Beth says that, “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss. Insecure people are always afraid that something or somebody is going to be taken from them.” Paul was a BIG name in the synagogues of his time. He persecuted the early Christ followers with such ferocity that his name was almost synonymous with death. If you knew Paul was after you, you cringed in fear. Period. He was ruthless.
But then one day Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and literally knocked him off his high horse. Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Jesus. And it was in that moment that Paul saw the error of his ways. He immediately turned from the persecution of the Church and became a member of the Church. He became an apostle and began going through the countryside preaching the name of Jesus. People were stunned by the change in his attitude toward Christ. Here’s this guy who had been out to kill anyone who taught in Jesus’ name, now he’s out teaching in Jesus’ name! Paul brought many many many people to salvation through Christ. But his past followed him.
While he had seen the error of his ways and had changed, people were very wary of him. Understandably so! But his past mistakes certainly played a part in his future security among the apostles. If you look at 2 Corinthians 11:5 he calls them “super-apostles” and affirms that he is in no way inferior to them. His mere defense of his position points us in the direction of assuming that he himself is fearful of his inferiority to them!
In the same way, our past can certainly play a HUGE role in our present insecurities. But it doesn’t have to! Our past can cry out to us from behind and beg for our attention. It can claim to us that we have shortcomings because of it, but WE have the choice to decide whether we’re going to listen to our past or not. It’s like Beth says on page 57, “The beauty of Paul wasn’t his superhumanity but his unwillingness to let his weaknesses, feelings and fears over ride his faith. Like us, the fiercest enemy he had to fight in the fulfillment of his destiny was himself.”
We each have a destiny to fulfill. God has created you for a PURPOSE, you have a calling. Moses was called to be God’s tongue, in SPITE of his “slowness of speech”. God CHOSE Moses. Moses was God’s first choice for the job. God believed in Moses’ ability to do what God called him to do because that’s what God had CREATED him to do. It was Moses who didn’t believe in himself. (See Exodus 3:1-4:17)
God CHOSE Saul. Saul was God’s first choice to be the first king of Israel. But when Saul’s coronation day came he was nowhere to be found! When they consulted the LORD as to his whereabouts they discovered that he was hiding in the baggage! Saul didn’t believe in himself and his own ability to be king. His own insecurity of his ability to be king was amplified even more when David came around and started winning battles and inspiring women to sing songs. Saul’s insecurity became such a problem for him that he literally lost his mind over it. Saul allowed his insecurity to incapacitate his ability to do what God had called him to do.
One of my favorite quotes from Paul is 1 Corinthians 15:10 “by the grace of God I am what I am. And His grace towards me is not in vain.” Paul never forgot what he had done to his fellow man. But he never let it stop him from achieving everything that God had called him to do either. God’s grace, His LOVE, covers over a multitude of sins. We make mistakes. It’s part of being human! But just because we’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean that we should give up the farm! God has called you to something that He made you for. He CHOSE you for a special task that you would be the only person fully suited to accomplish it. Sure, someone else can do it, but should they? We can’t let our shortcomings stop us from believing in ourselves enough to push forward and accomplish the goal that God has set for us to accomplish. I think Beth says it beautifully on page 57 when she says, “Human flesh and blood have no weakness so strong that God’s strength is made weak.”
Hallelujah sister, YES!
I’m sorry folks, but there is nothing in me that is strong enough to undo what Jesus has done for me! There is no weakness in me, no insecurity so strong that can overpower the power of Christ through me! Jesus paid it ALL. And while flesh and bone may fail, Jesus doesn’t.
My friend, you may be a mess, but you are a BEAUTIFUL mess with a beautiful message! You may be going through a massive test, but you will have a massive testimony! YOU are the Beloved of God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth and nothing in all of creation can separate you from the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And it is by the Grace of God that you are what you are! You are CALLED, checkered past and all. You are CHOSEN, messy weaknesses and all. You are LOVED with a ferocity that is beyond any and all human comprehension. You are BEAUTIFUL to Him who called you. You need only to BELIEVE IT FOR YOURSELF! Be unwilling to let your weaknesses, feelings and fears over ride your faith. Be unwilling to let the worst of you get the best of you! God created you to be more than a conqueror! So go out there and conquer!