By Mimi Greenwood Knight
Standing Firm on the Finished Work of Jesus
Do you know your God-given identity? Amanda Pittman thought she did. Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, with a Dominican father and a Minnesota-farm-girl mom, Amanda found identity in her flute playing. She entered college ready to make music her life. But God had other plans. He led her to rededicate her life to Him and set her feet on a unique path. That path took her out of a life where she was mired in insecurity and self-doubt and into one where she’s helping others find their confidence in the finished work of Christ. For Amanda, it’s not about “fake it till you make it” but rather about an authentic journey with God. She sees that journey as having four distinct components — clarity, connection, competency, and conviction.
Knowing who you are and Whose you are changes everything. And it’s all documented in one precious book. Throughout the Bible, God goes out of His way to let us know we’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Our bodies are cherished temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). As Christians, we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9). We are sons and daughters of the King. (John 1:12). Yes, we fight against an enemy who comes to still, kill, and destroy our identity, one who plants lies in our head about who we are. But the Word of God tells us clearly and concisely that we are the apple of our Father’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)
God created us to have a connection with Himself and connection with other believers. “Connection with God has to come first because that relationship affects every other,” Amanda said. “I found that when I put my connection with God first, and my relationship with Him deepened, He gave me direction and discernment and helped me choose my people and establish secure, Christian relationships.” God has a lot to say about our relationships. Jesus tells us clearly that He expects us to love others the way He loves us (John 13:34). God implores us to encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Ephesians 4:29), to strengthen one another because “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and to demonstrate faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love within our relationships (2 Peter 1:5-7). And He had so much to say about the relationship between husband and wife that He dedicated the entirety of Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) to celebrate that connection.
For Amanda, competency has to do with expanding your capacity and “getting in reps” to become good at what you do. Philippians 2:13 tells us it’s God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. He is an equipping God Who never calls us to do something without equipping us to do it with competency (2 Timothy 3:17). But Amanda says sometimes, before we can realize a level of competency, we need to heal mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and we do this through God’s word. In it, He tells us we are His handiwork (workmanship, masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). He also promises to renew our minds through His holy word, so we can know what His good, pleasing, and perfect will is. (Romans 12:2)
God wants us to know we’re already equipped as Christ’s ambassadors to do what He’s calling us to do (2 Corinthians 5:20). “That sets us free from worrying what other people think, or even what we think about ourselves because our faith, hope, and confidence are no longer based on yourself or others, but on God,” Amanda said.
Amanda says conviction is all about deep-seated faith. The good news is that faith isn’t something you have to muster up on your own. Even our faith comes to us from the Father (I John 5:4). “I don’t believe it’s possible to never feel fear and never feel incompetent,” Amanda said. “But we can have a conviction that’s greater than our fears and that conviction is our love for people and our responsibility to them.”
If Christians were capable of fearlessness, God wouldn’t have bothered with scriptures like 2 Timothy 1:7, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If we were capable of never feeling incompetent, He wouldn’t have bothered to assure us His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and to offer us that blessed mantra, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Learn more about living boldly and confidently for Christ at ConfidentWoman.com.