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The last couple of weeks I hit a major writing block. I would stare at a blank computer screen, for what felt like decades, with just fragments of thoughts. I knew the topic I wanted to explore but every time I went to set pen to paper (or fingers to keys as the case may be) my mind would go completely blank.

 

It was disorienting. I had deadlines to meet, to-dos to cross off and here I was with zip, nada, nothing. As time went on, panic set in, and fear crept up the back of my throat.  Doubts started to plague me.  “Who do you think you are?” it yelled, “You aren’t qualified to write about this topic”.

 

As deadlines came and passed, a cloud of discouragement and fear came with it, whispering in my ear, “You obviously don’t know anything. Sit down and let the professionals handle it.”   

 

Have you experienced the paralyzing fear of inadequacy? Have you worried that if your friends, family, and coworkers really knew you, you would be seen as a failure, a big disappointment, and a fraud?

 

So, what do we do when fear of failure rears its ugly head?  

 

  1. The Imposter

2. Who Am I? 

3. Daily Surrender

 

 

1. The Imposter

 

The Imposter mentality is all around us, we see people filling their lives in a flurry of activity, maintaining superficial relationships, shouting their achievements, all desperately trying to keep the overwhelming sense of emptiness and failure at bay.

 

This crippling fear that we are not enough can paralyze us. We can end up leading lives of stress, pushing ourselves to higher and higher levels of achievement all in the desperate search to find validation. To get some relief from the doubts and fears that harass our thoughts.

 

We can also see this mentality popping up in our relationship with God. We work so hard to do, say, and be all the right things, only to worry that we might be a modern-day Pharisee.

 

Do you ever feel exposed before God?  Do you wonder if he is sitting in heaven passing judgment over our many failures?   If we are honest, we can quickly fall into the trap of feeling like our relationship with God is like a soul-sucking list of “should’s”. 

 

  • I should know the correct way to pray.
  • I should know how to hear from God.
  • I should know more about God.
  • My prayers should sound more spiritual.

 

The list goes on and on.  And so we begin to run on the wheel of performance, trying to prove our worth to God, to others, and trying to fill that hole in our hearts; with a book list, a workshop, a podcast, or a conference. 

 

This exhausting cycle can keep us from embracing all that God has for us. It can keep us from living a life of freedom.

 

 

2. Who Am I? 

 

So, what do we do when we feel the need to find our validation in anything other than God?

 

We need to know who we are.

 

1 John 3:1 says, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.”

 

We are called children of God.  God chose us. He knows all of our sin, all of our mistakes, all of our frailties, and yet even then he extended his love to us.  The God of the Universe calls us by name, and showers love upon us.  He knows our innermost thoughts, and yet he still chooses to shower lavish love upon us.

 

Romans 8:32-35 unpacks it with these words, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?  

And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!”

 

There is nothing and no one that can separate us from the love of God.  We don’t have to work for, manipulate, or portray something that we are not in order to gain his acceptance or approval.  

 

He loves us just as we are, no performance necessary.

 

3. Daily Surrender

So how do we live out of our true identity as beloved children of God?  It needs to become a part of our core DNA.  

1. The Imposter

 

The Imposter mentality is all around us, we see people filling their lives in a flurry of activity, maintaining superficial relationships, shouting their achievements, all desperately trying to keep the overwhelming sense of emptiness and failure at bay.

 

This crippling fear that we are not enough can paralyze us. We can end up leading lives of stress, pushing ourselves to higher and higher levels of achievement all in the desperate search to find validation. To get some relief from the doubts and fears that harass our thoughts.

 

We can also see this mentality popping up in our relationship with God. We work so hard to do, say, and be all the right things, only to worry that we might be a modern-day Pharisee.

 

Do you ever feel exposed before God?  Do you wonder if he is sitting in heaven passing judgment over our many failures?   If we are honest, we can quickly fall into the trap of feeling like our relationship with God is like a soul-sucking list of “should’s”. 

 

  • I should know the correct way to pray.
  • I should know how to hear from God.
  • I should know more about God.
  • My prayers should sound more spiritual.

 

The list goes on and on.  And so we begin to run on the wheel of performance, trying to prove our worth to God, to others, and trying to fill that hole in our hearts; with a book list, a workshop, a podcast, or a conference. 

 

This exhausting cycle can keep us from embracing all that God has for us. It can keep us from living a life of freedom.

 

 

2. Who Am I? 

 

So, what do we do when we feel the need to find our validation in anything other than God?

 

We need to know who we are.

 

1 John 3:1 says, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.”

 

We are called children of God.  God chose us. He knows all of our sin, all of our mistakes, all of our frailties, and yet even then he extended his love to us.  The God of the Universe calls us by name, and showers love upon us.  He knows our innermost thoughts, and yet he still chooses to shower lavish love upon us.

 

Romans 8:32-35 unpacks it with these words, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?  

And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!”

 

There is nothing and no one that can separate us from the love of God.  We don’t have to work for, manipulate, or portray something that we are not in order to gain his acceptance or approval.  

 

He loves us just as we are, no performance necessary.

 

3. Daily Surrender

So how do we live out of our true identity as beloved children of God?  It needs to become a part of our core DNA.  

In order for our knowing of God’s love to be truly transformational, it must become the basis of our identity…An identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God.”-David Benner

 

Instead of identifying ourselves in what we do, we need to see ourselves for who we are in Jesus. This also means that we have to daily (sometimes hourly) surrender ourselves to God.

 

Every morning I ask God to help me place my value, not in my roles (wife, mother, etc.), or in what I accomplish (or don’t) throughout the day, but as his beloved child. I pray that I would come to experience at deeper and deeper levels that there is nothing I need to do to gain his love or approval.  

 

This takes transparency and humility. We want to always be doing for God.  It can be scary, messy and countercultural to accept and rest in his extravagant love. And I sometimes fail miserably.  I get moving too fast and fall back into the lie that my worth, my very identity is tied up in what I produce.

 

Genuine transformation requires vulnerability. It is not the fact of being loved unconditionally that is life-changing. IT is the risky experience of allowing myself to be loved unconditionally.”-David Benner

 

In our independent culture, receiving an extravagant gift when we didn’t earn it can be uncomfortable. God has done so much for us, we just want to do our part to pay him back. 

When you learn what it means to just be with God instead of working for God, to experience (not just know about) his lavish love… it’s transformational.

 

When fear and self-doubt threaten to take over, remember God chose you. You are the beloved of the king of all kings.  You don’t need to perform to earn his love.  When you daily surrender your feelings of inadequacy to God, and you walk through life resting in the security that you are enough, just as you are, fear loses its grip. You have nothing to prove.

 

Today is the day.  Lay down fear, the rat race of performance and embrace God’s overwhelming, never stopping, beyond comprehension love.. for you. I promise you your life will never be the same.  

 

 

Do you want to learn how to live out of your true identity as one chosen by God? Check out David Benner’s Surrender to Love. This book was transformational in my own journey to laying down fear and living freely and lightly as a beloved child of God.



 What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to living life with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!    

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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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