How do you feel when you’re asked to take on a new challenge? Are you filled with confidence, eager to give it a go, or are you hesitant, unsure whether you have what it takes? As Solomon took over as king and prepared to build the Temple, he lacked confidence, but his father, David, encouraged him to place his confidence in God, not in his own abilities.
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT
Lacking Confidence in Your Own Ability
When I was asked to take on the task of leading a camp for young people a few years ago, I felt completely inadequate. This was no simple task I was being asked to do. The request came as a result of someone else pulling out, leaving a messy, complicated situation, which I knew would present challenges. I definitely lacked confidence in my ability to take it on, and yet I could see that at this point, if the camp was to go ahead, there were few other options.
As I considered my response, I was flicking through my Bible, and my eyes were drawn to this verse from 1 Chronicles, as if it leapt right off the page and spoke directly into my situation.
Solomon’s Daunting Task
Here we see Solomon facing a similarly daunting task. His father, David, is nearing the end of his life, and Solomon is poised to take over from David as king. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Solomon has also been given the job of coordinating the building of the Temple where the people will go to worship God.
As he considers this task, it is clear that his confidence is lacking.
Even later, once he has taken over as king, the Bible records him praying about this: “O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around.” 1 Kings 3:7 NLT
It is striking to look at how David encourages his son amid his lack of confidence in God and feelings of inadequacy. He doesn’t just attempt to encourage Solomon that he can do it, that he has what it takes. He doesn’t list the skills and attributes Solomon possesses which will equip him for what lies ahead.
Instead he is honest about Solomon’s limitations and the magnitude of the task:
“My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous.” 1 Chronicles 29:1 NLT
Having Confidence In God
He calls Solomon not to a confidence based on his own ability, but to a confidence in God because he was chosen for the task. He doesn’t look to boost Solomon’s self-esteem, but to encourage his confidence in the God who has called him.
- Not: “You can do this!”, but: “God is with you.”
- Not: “You have all the skills you need!”, but: “God will see that the work is completed.”
- Not: “Just work hard, and do your best!” but: “Trust in God — He will not fail you or forsake you.”
He calls him to confidence not in himself and his ability, but in God and His faithfulness.
And just as David’s words encouraged Solomon to get on with the work of building the Temple, they encouraged me, several years later, to get on with the work it had become clear that God was calling me to — to step out in faith, putting my confidence in Him. It didn’t make the task easy, and there were many challenges along the way, but, like Solomon, I saw God’s faithfulness and experienced the truth that when God calls us, He enables us. Our confidence in Him is not misplaced.
What is God calling you to today?
How can you step out in faith, putting your confidence, not in yourself, but in Him?
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