The Confidence to SucceedSeptember 1, 2022 - 12:00 am
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. — Deuteronomy 20:1
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Shoftim, which means “judges,” from Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9.
One day, when I was about 4 years old, I was outside with my father, watching my sisters ride bikes. Suddenly my father looked at me. “Yael, you can do it. You are ready to ride, too!”
He took off my training wheels, and I got on. He held on to the back of the seat while I pedaled, following behind to keep the bike steady. We went around the entire block this way, but when we went around a second time, he let go and I kept going without realizing that I was riding on my own.
As soon as I realized that my father had let go of the bike, I totally panicked — and I crashed right into a bunch of bushes!
When we know that God is with us — helping us, protecting us, and cheering us on — we have the confidence to succeed. But as soon as we start to doubt His presence in our life, it directly effects our confidence and our ability to achieve our goals.
The Confidence to Succeed
We see this message of the confidence that faith brings in this week’s Torah portion. We read, “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”
It’s interesting that the verse refers to the Exodus from Egypt. The Egyptians were the most powerful nation on earth at the time of the Exodus. The children of Israel almost certainly thought it was impossible that the Egyptians would ever be defeated. Here the Bible is telling us that one of the messages of the Exodus is that we must never fear any enemy or challenge.
People often make the mistake of thinking that faith in God means that we sit back while God takes care of everything. But from this verse we see that it’s just the opposite. Faith in God is meant to give us strength to press forward, to do battle with whatever challenges come our way. That’s how we can gain confidence we need to succeed.
Your turn: Do you have challenges in your life that you are afraid to tackle? Have faith that when you make the effort, God will give you the confidence to succeed.