Although everyone who is born again overcomes hell, they don't always overcome things that hold them in bondage in this life. In order to be an overcomer in every aspect of our lives we must walk by faith (I Jn. 5:4). We have three main enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil. We must defeat the enemy within before we can ever defeat the enemy without. The enemy is very sly. He has many methods of ensnarement. One of the main ways he ensnares man into living according to the "course of this world" and under the dominion of the "spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience," is to play on our insecurities (Eph 2:2).
Fallen man is insecure. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they were afraid and hid themselves (Gen. 3:10). Fear breeds insecurity. We see this character flaw exploited by the world system. Fashion designers exploit the insecurity of our children by promoting ever changing styles. Our kids think they must have the most popular designer labels on their clothes to avoid being rejected by their peers. People struggle to gain acceptance by the "in crowd" driven by insecurity and the fear of rejection. Most people are insecure in one or more areas of life whether they realize it or not. People who are insecure often do not really realize they are insecure. Some of the most outgoing people are insecure. In order to overcome insecurity we need to understand it.
I. Insecurity Defined
Insecurity is a state of being unsafe or a feeling of mind characterized by self doubt and vulnerability. It is a lack of confidence that inspires timidity, uncertainty, reticence, and can be the driving force for many ungodly behaviors.
Here are some of the characteristics of insecure people. As I define them you will become more aware of insecurity in your own life and the lives of those around you.
1. Insecure people need an identity.
After the fall, Adam and Eve immediately made themselves a "fig leaf covering" (Gen. 3:7). Fallen man is still
making fig leaf coverings for himself. Anything other than finding a true identity in Christ is a "fig leaf covering" which represents our inadequate attempt to "find ourselves". It all goes to heart motive. If we are doing something to make us whole or complete or secure in who we are, then it is for the wrong reason.
People sometimes try to find identity in their jobs. They define themselves by what they do rather than who they are. When people who draw their identity, security, and worth from what they do, lose their job they go into a state of depression and some even contemplate suicide. The reason is, they don't really know who they were created to be. They were created to be a Son or Daughter or God. When we draw our sense of identity from our Creator like we are supposed to, then we won't feel like the carpet has been pulled out from under our life when we lose that job.
Our teens sometimes try to find their identity in another "fig leaf covering" called "peer acceptance" When children grow up without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they lack a sense of identity. Their whole little world can
evolve around fitting in, and being liked by the popular kids at school. If they place their sense of worth and identity in their acceptance by the kids at school, then they will easily conform to peer pressure to do whatever the "in crowd" tempts them to do.
Religion can be a "fig leaf covering." How many times have we tried to share Christ with some one with a religious spirit and the first words out of their mouth are, "I'm a ________." That blank is filled with a major brand religion like
Methodist, or Baptist, or Pentecostal, or Catholic, or even a cult like "Mormon" or Jehovah's Witness. Wearing religion like a spiritual badge can be a "fig leaf covering." If we are trusting in a church membership for our identity
rather than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ we are drawing our identity from what we belong to rather than who we belong to. These fig leaf coverings will never get us into heaven. They will leave us empty and insecure.
Only the blood covering of the Lamb of God can give us true identity.
Everyone has struggled with insecurity. It is a common trait of fallen man. Adam and Eve made fig leaf coverings for themselves, in a failed attempt to compensate for the fears and insecurities they experienced after they sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. Insecurity entered mankind at this point. History is full of people inventing fig leaf coverings to cover their fears and insecurities.
We live in a world full of people trying to impress each other with how "cool" "macho" or "In" they are. Before I started living for Jesus, over 30 years ago, I worked as an electrician by day, but I was "disco king" by night. At least in my pride I thought I was. How ridiculous I must have looked with my platform shoes and my polyester shirt and that gold chain around my neck, living the party lifestyle of Las Vegas in the early 70's.
In the night club, party "scene", I met many people like me, trying to be someone they were not, trying to make an impression on a lot of other people who were trying to impress us. I must say that never in my life have I encountered so many people putting on a facade. We used to say, "Vegas is tensile town and the people are plastic." Putting on a front, and inventing an identity is what insecure people do. They are always trying to impress other people. Usually
they are unhappy with who they are so they invent a new identity.
Who we really need to impress is God. The Apostle Paul discovered this truth after he began serving the Lord. "Am
I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Gal.1:10).
God shows us the way back to wholeness and security in His Word. He took the fig leaf covering man had made, sacrificed a lamb, and made them tunics of lambskin. In order to become complete we must allow God to strip us of our fig leaf coverings (religion, occupation, social status, bad boy front, bad girl persona, or whatever we wear to cover our insecurities and fears). Then we must allow the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the World to wash away our sin in His precious blood. We must allow God to put us under His chosen covering.
Note: Adam and Eve didn't chose their sacrifice, God did. They didn't chose their covering, God did. Spiritually that teaches us that we must receive God's sacrifice, Jesus Christ. In order to be under God's covering, we must receive
the covering God chooses for us. When we are really submitted to the Lord, He chooses our church, and our pastor. We must simply submit to Him and obey Him and allow Him to lead us and guide us.
2. Insecure people need attention.
Insecurity makes people crave attention. We all know from attending High School that most people are looking for attention. Young people are crying out to the world, "look at me." Whether they are acting out in class or peeling out in the parking lot, they are wanting attention and acceptance from their peers.
Every generation has its "fads" which is an attempt to create a generational identity. In my High School in the 60's it was long hair, long sideburns, (if you could grow them), bell bottom pants, tie-dye t-shirts, and a string of beads around your neck. You know, the John Lennon, "Magical Mystery Tour" look. Today it is a ring just about any where but on their finger, studs, tattoos, and bizarre hair do's, or should we say "un-do's". Among teens, it seems whatever is counter culture at the time is "cool." Actually these young people are crying out for attention and acceptance that goes beyond their surface identity. They need attention all right, but not the kind they are usually seeking and certainly not from the people they are seeking it from. They really need to seek the attention of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Adults play the same kinds of games. They want to fit in at the country club, or be included among the political elite, or keep up with the Jones's.
When we discover that we really need God's attention, then we are on the road to transformation and joyous living. We can declare, "no more facades, no more games, no more struggles for acclaim, I'm a child of God. His approval is all I need." Today, begin your journey to freedom. Seek the attention of the one who matters. Do as the writer of Hebrews says, " "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb.12:1,2)."
How To Overcome Insecurity III
Don't feel bad if you see insecurities in yourself. It's not totally your fault. Insecurity came to all mankind as a result of the fall. In the past messages on insecurity we discovered that insecure people are unsure of themselves, they are searching for their true identity, and they need attention. They also tend to seek acceptance from the world. There is a way to overcome insecurity and walk in confidence in the Lord.
When people get saved they don't automatically change. They need to renew their minds in order to receive the transforming work of the Lord (Romans 12:1,2). Most Christians are carnal which means they live to satisfy the pleasures of the body (II Peter 1:4). This is because few really read the word, pray, or worship regularly to walk in the Spirit and receive the transforming work of the Lord. The World system still has a hold on the carnal Christian. It appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (I John 2: 16), which are the characteristics of a carnal Christian still walking according to the old nature.
When we live carnally, we are susceptible to much insecurity because carnal living is relying on the arm of the flesh. Deep down we know we are not able to overcome the world by the works of the flesh and this puts a great deal of pressure on us. When we trust only in ourselves we have to do it all by ourselves, and most people know we are continually facing situations that can not be won by our strength alone. Cancer, success in business, breaking bad habits, protecting our children, are just a few areas where our own abilities can be insufficient.
3. Acceptance by the World.
Most people seek acceptance by the world. They want to look, talk, and act, like those worldly icons that appear to "have it all". Many of our young women seek to be like "Britney Spears" or one of the "Valley Girls". Some of the young men want to be identified with the latest "hip hop" artist or rock star. Worldlings follow fads, and do the "in" thing.
In reality we the Lord's acceptance is what really matters. Once you know you have His acceptance, you really don't need to impress the people of the world. When the Lord opens the eyes of your understanding, revelation of who you are in Christ dawns upon you and you find perfect peace and security in being His child.
When I was playing basketball in High School, I always wanted my parents to come to the games. And they often did come to the home games. However it seemed that when they were there, I felt more pressure to perform to impress them. I wantedtheir acceptance and approval. The first year this pressure made me very nervous and kept me from playing my best game. It wasn't until I learned to relax and focus on the game, that I played my best. My point being, that oncethe pressure to perform is off you can actually be your best. The same is true for those in the body of Christ. Those who are still trying to perform to gain the Lord's acceptance find it difficult to walk according to the Word of God. But when they really understand that they are a child of God and loved unconditionally with full acceptance based on the blood of Jesus Christ, rather than upon their performance, then they are able to walk like sons and daughters of God.
As long as we are trying to gain the acceptance of the world we are not pleasing the Lord. James said, Adulterers
and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5
So how do we overcome the world? By faith in who we are in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:17-22; I Jn. 5: 4)! As soon as we discover that we really are accepted in the beloved the pressure to conform to the world is gone and we begin to please our father effortlessly, as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. The secret is keeping our eyes on the Lord and letting His Spirit flood our spirit, so that we have the power to say no to the world, flesh and devil. Then we effortlessly walk in victory. It is when we as fleshy beings struggle to try to overcome the flesh that we fail. Flesh can never conquer flesh. But "walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh"
II. The origin of Insecurity.
We have already discovered that insecurity is inherent in fallen nature. Now, let's look at a few other origins of insecurity.
Doubt is a type of faith. It is faith in the wrong things. Doubt is more accurately defined as misplaced faith. It is trusting that the Devil's word is more reliable than God's Word. It is believing the enemy's report rather than believing God's report. It is trusting in man, or self, or science, or man made theories rather than the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability. Doubt brings defeat, faith brings victory.
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I John 5:4,5)
2. Rejection and Abuse.
We all know of situations where a person leaves their spouse and the children read rejection into them leaving the family. The child thinks there is something wrong with them. This is one example of rejection that results in insecurity. The child's world is shaken.
Gideon, was threshing wheat in the wine press, because the gentiles were plundering their crops and harming. The Israelites had a very low opinion of themselves at this point in their history. They were afraid to even process their harvest in the open. Yet, God called Gideon, the unsure, insecure, timid thresher, "a mighty man of valor." The Lord saw him as He would make him, not as he currently saw himself.
God sees past your present to your potential. He sees you as His finished product, not according to your current shortcomings. Remember, Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith. You are a work in progress, but while God is working on you, you are still fully accepted in Him. You can be secure in Him. We're simply in a growth process. Enjoy the journey.
Bishop Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship