How to stop disqualifying yourself
Updated: Jul 7
One of my favorite messages I heard in church was about Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-23). This is a familiar story about getting out of the boat and fixing our eyes on Jesus. Usually, I feel spiritually hyped up after hearing this story about the power of God and how He can allow us to do impossible things like walking on water.
But this sermon was different. We glanced at Peter for a moment, but then our attention was given to the disciples who were in the boat.
This pastor drew our attention to this part of the story and made this simple statement that stuck with me for years:
the other disciples and Peter all went to the same destination, Peter went the supernatural route but the disciples went the natural route.
In the book Pearls of Wisdom Lailah Akita wrote,
"We can achieve our goals either by human effort or by the power of God. The dependence on God's power is the best choice."
Last week, I wrote about three signs that you're disqualifying yourself from what God wants to release through you. If that's you, here's how you can stop disqualifying yourself:
Stop thinking about yourself
The self-talk that disqualifies us almost always comes from belief (or lack of belief really) in our own abilities. The focus is what we see in the natural; if we have a boat, we can get to our destination. If we don't, we stay on the shore.
When we look at what we have to offer, we look at our present circumstances. We insist our circumstances are not what would equip us to move in a way that God invites us to. We all have our excuses, often born out of insecurities, and then we insist on disqualifying ourselves.
When I was thinking about writing this devo, I kept wondering what I could put on a list of how to stop disqualifying yourself.
But it really is just this one thing: stop thinking about yourself and what you think disqualifies you, and start thinking about what qualifies God.
Every insecurity or excuse you have is fulfilled in the person of Jesus. If the first thing you think when God invites you to dream bigger is, "I can't because..." you're in good company. This is actually the whole point of the gospel message. You can't! I can't! But Jesus can, and we have His Spirit.
Stop thinking about yourself; about your own abilities, your wealth, your education level, your experience, your preferences, your personality...and start thinking about God.
Becoming depending on God starts with rejecting the idea that we can and should do things ourselves. 2 Chronicles 16:9 gives a great example of the consequences of looking for human solutions:
"Just after that, Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said, 'Because you went for help to the king of Aram and didn’t ask God for help, you’ve lost a victory over the army of the king of Aram. Didn’t the Ethiopians and Libyans come against you with superior forces, completely outclassing you with their chariots and cavalry? But you asked God for help and he gave you the victory. God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help. Now you’re in trouble—one round of war after another.'"
God is capable of bringing victory in every circumstance.
Without that confidence, this army turned to help from their own natural resources. It created more problems and labeled them "foolish."
Our world today would often point at us and call us foolish for relying on God, but relying on the power of God is the only thing that will stop you from disqualifying yourself. When you rely on God's power, it isn't about you and what you can or can't do anymore. The focus is His power and His ability, not yours.
When Jesus was walking on water, most of the disciples were afraid.
Often, we're afraid of a move of God. It keeps us in the boat, because it's scary and unfamiliar. But Peter chose to get out of the boat and because of God's power (not his own) he walked on water. Maybe imperfectly, but I think I'd rather be in the position Peter was in crying out "Master! Save me!" relying on God because it allows us to witness a move of God up close.