It’s a common thread in everyone’s life. We start out innocent, unaware of the good and the bad that we are capable of. Children who are so unafraid of consequence and unaware of reason that we will climb a house to the roof just to say we did it and then leap off as if superman to find that we aren’t. Our proverbial broken limbs and bloodied noses proving to us once again that we are and forever will be imperfect, and sometimes prone to doing really dumb things. It’s not like we always mean to screw things up, sometimes it’s as simple as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time just to find that someone is standing there ready to pounce at the opportunity to make you feel like an idiot. Thus our insecurity grows and grows until it makes us a people burdened by the memories and paralyzed by the fears of mistakes.
Basketball has always been my favorite sport by far, nothing makes me happier than watching a good Carolina/ Duke game or a great NBA finals. Something about the sight of a thunderous dunk or a great buzzer beater shot lights my fire… makes me want to go pull out my high-school jersey and head down to the local park to take on the world. That said, I was really serious about basketball in high-school my Junior and Senior years. It was my LIFE. I mean I lived and breathed for game day when the time would come for the few individuals on the basketball team to get up and leave class early while the rest of the students had to stay and listen to Mrs. Ferguson lecture on Biology. (I practically mocked them as I was walking out of the room) I lived to get on that bus and ride in a quiet anticipation of the game. To arrive at our rival’s gym (Texarkana’s Texas High) head to the locker room…. Put on the uniform, listen to our coaches game plan and then fly onto the court. I lived for the warm up music. Honestly I lived for it all. But I remember a time before that when I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the game… I had every Jordan video that ever came out, I studied it I practiced hard… nobody wanted to win more than me ever. But I was scared to death to shoot the ball. That’s right, I loved to handle it… loved to take the ball to the hole, but I hated to shoot the jumper and I hated to shoot the three… why??? Well I wasn’t very good at it. The problem was that I had a few people tell me that I wasn’t very good at it and that I probably should just remember that I would be a good point guard who ran the offense for the shooters.
So for about 2 years I just accepted it as truth… as unchangeable truth and I became a guy who was in the game… but not IN the game. By my sophomore year I started to notice something. When the ball came to me the guys guarding me would simply back off because they knew I didn’t want to shoot. Oh occasionally I would shoot, and if I made it I would shoot again, but the first time that I missed a jumper was the last time I would take a shot in that game. I managed to have a couple of high scoring games, but for the most part I was a non-factor. Suddenly the other team could double team as much as they wanted because I wasn’t a big enough threat. Because of that I started to spend more and more time on the bench. I was faced with a huge decision… keep doing the same thing and end up riding the bench for the rest of my days, or change.
One day my step-father said something that really opened up my eyes. He said “Jason even the pro’s miss 60 percent of the shots they take.” Of course I was 15 years old and I didn’t believe him, but then I decided to check out the stats… and do you know what?? He was right. With that knowledge I went to summer camp that year at Campbell Universty in Buies Creek, NC. They had a guest “shooting Coach” in that year who told us that if we really wanted to be great shooters we would have to “shoot 200 shots a day” for the rest of the summer and that if we did that we would be different players by the time basketball season came around… so you know what I did?? I shot 200 shots a day for the rest of the summer. I didn’t care if it was 100 degrees outside… every day I’d catch a ride to Roland-Grise Middle School and I’d fire away. My poor sister, God bless her beautiful soul was my rebounder and we worked our tails off. Guess what happened?? When I got back to Texas the next year I was a different player. In pre-season games people tried the whole “we’ll back off of him” trick only to have me drain shot after shot on them. My coach was excited, I was excited and for the first time I felt like I was really gonna kick some tail that year. The next season was a whole different world for me… and for my team. Suddenly if I was open the three ball was going up and I was going to hit quite a few. I flew back into the starting lineup and even noticed that our BIG scorers were getting open a lot easier and scoring a lot of points because the other team had to cover me… if not I was going to make them pay.
That was a long aside story, but isn’t it interesting how many of us are in the game, but not really IN the game. For some reason we are all extremely insecure people…maybe because we should be. After all God’s picture of who we were supposed to be was shattered long ago, and ever since the first time that Adam and Eve recognized their nakedness we have been a race plagued by insecurities because perfection is unattainable. So now that we’ve stated that… I want all of you big dogs out there who are reading this book to raise your hand and say this aloud “I AM INSECURE”. It’s ok, because if anyone dares to ask you what your problem is you can honestly say “my problem is the exact same problem that you have, but won’t admit.” So say it out loud… I AM INSECURE. Yes, you are insecure, about many things. That is a very normal admission, but the question is…. Have you been taken out of the game because of your insecurities??
What voices do you hear in the back of your head when you are about to step out on faith to follow the Lord’s calling on your life? Let me open up my heart and share with you some of the voices I hear… and maybe they will help you recognize all the untruths that you’ve accepted in your life.
Jason, your voice is worn out and if you don’t slow down all this touring and singing so hard, your gonna lose it completely… you better cancel tonight’s show.
Jason, seriously man, do you really think that a guy from Mt. Pleasant, TX with no background in music should ever sing on the same stage as Skillet, the Newsboys, and SCC… come on man that’s stupid.
Jason, what are you gonna do if someone asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to?? You’ve got to have all the answers to be in a Christian rock band. You’re not good enough to do this.
Jason, your son is sitting at home wondering where you are right now… your daughter looks different every time you see her. You’re missing moments that you only get to live once. You’re gonna have to stop this soon. Are you a good dad??
Jason, you can’t write anything new under the sun… there’s nothing left to be said that isn’t already being said by more eloquent people than you’ll ever be. Just admit it, you can’t write songs.
Jason, your tired tonight, and it’s understandable… your voice is shaky and you haven’t even hit the stage yet… and brother, worst of all you’ve got nothing to say. Just go up there and play your little songs and don’t talk… just play the songs and get off the stage, we don’t need any more talk about Jesus at this festival.
Jason, no matter what you say in the media you will always have people who say you’re wrong and that you’re an idiot… so just be quiet.
These are some of the voices I hear as I wait in the wings of every stage that I take or get ready for an important interview with a large media outlet. Sometimes admittedly I am extremely confident, but many days I have these thoughts run through my mind… and lets be honest, those thoughts are enough to paralyze me. They are… if I accept these thoughts as truth then I’m done… cruise control comes on and I become a bystander in my own life. Kind of reminds me of what it would be like to live out the MATRIX. Accepted as reality, these thought processes would change not only my history, but the history of those who come to Building429 shows. How do I not accept those as truth??? Because I know something, a secret that Satan would do anything to keep you from knowing.
“Your life is a series of attacks from the evil one who knows how powerful you can be, and fears you”.
That’s right he fears you. I’ll say it again… even Satan knows how powerful you could be… and fears You. What power does satan have in your life… he comes to “steal kill and destroy” and one of the best ways that he knows to keep you out of God’s will for your life is to keep you in the game as a secondary player, and off of the front lines where you can really hurt him. You know what I’m saying… he desires to have you become the “yes” man so that you’ll feel good about what your doing for the “kingdom” while never truly doing anything that will have a lasting impact. He knows that if you are a passive person who is afraid to truly dive fully into the mission then you are a non-factor and you can’t hurt his divisive plans for this earth. Satan loves to see you living comfortably, in fact that is his biggest mission… to make you comfortable. Which begs the question, are you living a comfy life? Do you have everything mapped out in front of yourself the way you want it?? Are you passed those bygone years of taking risks and doing crazy things? If you are, I’ll submit to you that you might not be where the Lord wants you to be. In my brief life I’ve found that the moments when you find yourself attempting to do something outside the box are the moments when God begins to stretch and build your character.
So check this out: Are you a card carrying member of the monster Church in your town where the programs are the same every year, yielding the same results every year, which is just enough to keep everyone from the elders to the deacons happy and the the tithers tithing?? Hmmmmm. Is your church living inside the boat where in fear of the stormy waters that Jesus is walking on?? Are you living inside the boat in fear of the stormy waters that Jesus is calling you to walk on?? Just some questions to ponder.
Let me share with you what I think God would like to do with your insecurities. I think God would like to use your insecurities as a basis for powerful Godly relationships. That’s right I think that the one thing you hide from every person you meet, could well be the one thing that takes your relationships to a new level beyond that which you have attained on your own. Why?? I believe that God, in His infinite power had a backup plan for the day after Adam and Eve sinned against Him. I believe that our God is so powerful that even our biggest mistakes/misconceptions/miscues are still redeemable for his purposes and plans. So you have a hard time speaking because you stutter. That is your humanity, but your God would have you lead millions of people to the promised land just like a man named Moses who stuttered as well. Maybe you’ve got a past that allows satan to tell you “You’re not good enough, don’t forget what you used to be”. Hey guess what, you’ve got a God who knows who you ARE, and doesn’t see who you WERE. We’re talking about the same God who chose Paul, the persecuter and murderer of Christians, to become the most influential man since Jesus.
I believe that God would have us as His church to be in a communion so deep that our darkest secrets and most intimate insecurities would be on display for all to see. Why?? Just for everyone to see them?? NO. So that you and I would have a multitude of people who constantly lift us up when the voices start ringing in our heads. So that you and I would understand what it means to be in deep committed relationships powered by the love, grace, and mercy of our God. I believe that God showed us through His son Jesus, what it looks like to be in deep and meaningful friendships that empower us to live out our mission with God and face the fears that rob us of action. Notice, Jesus had 12 disciples in whom he confided in and trusted deeply. He had 12 of His closest friends by his side almost constantly… by his side in prayer, by his side in speech, and by his side in action. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples was one that was a constant growing pain… One second they were wild and crazy and prone to angry outbursts. The next they were humble servants. One second they were strong and confident in the face of danger, the next they were denying their savior… because they like you and I battled insecurities and fears. Isn’t that great news??? That even thought we are a mess most of the time… so were they!! Man I’m glad I’m not alone! You aren’t either.
Today I challenge you to recognize the voices in your head and the fears that come with them as the things of Satan. “the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and joy, and peace, and sound mind”. Today I challenge you to remember that everything you have, and everything you could gain still pales in comparison to know the Lord Jesus. Today I challenge you to begin the search for Godly men/women who would become your inner circle of brothers who would walk with you in recognition of your fears, and insecurities. Today I tell you again that you were born to do great and powerful things in the name of Jesus Christ. No matter where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, or the severity of the sin in your life, I want you to know that you are called to throw off all of those things in your past to strive toward the Goal for which Christ has called you heavenward. No matter what stands in your way, I want you to remember a boy who killed a giant, a murdered who led multitudes to the Lord, a man who could speak that lead a nation of believers out of bondage, and that God incarnate in Jesus Christ chose insecure, messed up, fearful dudes to walk with, teach, and ultimately toe You too, are called heavenward. You too, are born to lead.
So I’ll end with this statement again.
“Your life is a series of attacks from the evil one who knows how powerful you can be, and fears you”.
What does that thought mean to you?