“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3.13-14 NIV).
I was talking with a friend who was asked to speak Sunday morning at a large church service about a topic for which she was extremely passionate. I asked her if she was nervous to go in front of all those people and talk.
She answered wisely, “It’s not about me and how I feel. It’s about what God wants.”
Many times, Christians allow their own insecurity to stop them from obeying God’s commands. What we don’t realize is that insecurity is the negative form of pride. We are so self-focused and self-conscious that we have trouble seeing God and His will passed our own self-centered insecurities.
Granted, it is difficult once we know God’s perfection and our imperfection to humbly submit to some of the great things God calls us to. Many people in the Bible struggled with feeling unworthy to allow God to use them for His greater plan.
Moses didn’t want to submit to God’s call to set His people free because he wasn’t eloquent (Exodus 3).
Gideon struggled to believe the angel when he called him a “mighty man of valor” (Judges 6.12).
Even Peter demanded that Jesus leave because Peter saw himself as a sinful man (Luke 5.8).
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks John the Baptist to baptize Him in the Jordan River. At first, John allows his insecurity to prevent Jesus from having His plan accomplished. He probably wonders how he could baptize Jesus when he isn’t fit to untie His sandal (Luke 3.16). Jesus has to convince John to obey by explaining that His baptism “fulfills all righteousness” (Matthew 3.15).
Thankfully, John the Baptist gets over his self-focused worries and consents to Jesus’ request! Can you imagine what would have happened if John the Baptist allowed his insecurity to prevent the fruition of God’s plans for Jesus on this earth? It seems so shocking that John would “deter” the will of God, but Christians do this so often today!
We must realize that it’s now about us. It’s about what God wants. If God wants to use us in our imperfect state to accomplish His perfect will, who are we to stop Him? God wants His Children to play an important role in His Kingdom, and I marvel how it must grieve the Holy Spirit when we reject His plan because we are too focused on our weaknesses and not God’s strength!
So I’m encouraged today to not allow my insecurity to prevent the fullness of God’s purpose in my life. I’m determined to look past my flaws and the defects of my self-effort and grab tightly to the perfection of God and the redeeming work of Jesus at the cross. What about you? What great things has God called you to and how can you overcome your fear to stay obedient?
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NIV).