It is in my experience that many believers talk much about God but have difficulty living in a manner which expresses or validates the talk. One area this is found is in the area of confidence. I’m not going to make an argument for self-belief, self-esteem, or even self-enablement. What I want to illustrate is a level of living which is borne from confidence in God in such a way that my actions express to God how thankful I am for His Word so that I live with His Word as my guide and my rock. A great passage to illustrate this is Deuteronomy8:1-11.
Every time I play with our dog, Daisy, she gets excited, wags her tail so hard that her whole body shakes, and waits for me to throw her favorite toy for her to go get and bring back to me. She’ll run, get her toy, and run straight back, but won’t give up the toy. What ensues is a wrestling match to get the toy out of her grip, so we can play. What she fails to understand is we can’t play ball if she won’t release it to me to throw.
So many times we want God to deal with the issues of our lives, but we won’t release our grip from dealing with those issues. We say we want His intervention, but we are too busy micromanaging our lives that God is really given no place to be God. When I can release my plans to the LORD, I will find Him to be dependable and sustainable. Not only does God use the very issues of our lives to remind us (if we want to be reminded!) that He is able and willing, but He sustains so many other areas of my life which are not needs because God is supplying those needs so readily. Unfortunately for us, we see the one issue we are dealing with and may begin to wonder about God’s faithfulness all the while forgetting how God is sustaining so many areas of our lives. God really is good! It’s hard to be able to declare that unless you’ve learned to stop worrying, stressing, and managing all of your life and learn to turn over control to Him. Do that and you will see God do only what God can do.
We easily can get discouraged in life. Discouragement sets in when I fail to understand what I should have been sure of. A runner knows the course, the beginning and the finish line, and he knows the length of the race. If he were to ever become discouraged, he could remember how far he had already come, know exactly where he is, and know how much further he would need to go. Rather than get discouraged with unknowns, he could continue on because of what he knows to be true. The same is with God. We ought to be able to look back and remember how God has been faithful in our lives – how He has led you, guided you, provided for you, given you strength and hope – and we should be encouraged God will not change from who He was towards us before. Even more so, we can look at our present condition and be able to see how God is moving on our behalf today. The Israelites could see their clothes had not worn out all the 40 years in the desert and their feet never swelled. That was a present day faithfulness of God they could remember and press on. Lastly, let’s not forget what is ahead. Jesus said He would go ahead of us and prepare a place for us. We may never experience heaven on earth, but we will experience eternity with Him as we continue to run the race with perseverance and finish strong!
In our passage we read the phrase, “the LORD your God.” When I read this, I’m reminded of my relationship with God. My relationship isn’t based on another person’s relationship with God, but I have my own relationship with Him. He isn’t the LORD God of another person’s life, but He is the LORD my God! In each passage we see this phrase (vs. 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11) it reveals how a personal relationship of reverence for God should look like. First, I remember His faithfulness to me. I can praise Him for His faithfulness to others, but I have my own testimony of God’s faithfulness towards my life! Second, I will serve Him. When God is another person’s God, I have no obligations to Him, but He’s my God, so I will serve Him. Third, I will obey Him. Since He is the LORD my God, I am compelled to obey His Word. Fourth, I choose to allow Him to lead me because He is the LORD my God. Fifth, I praise the LORD my God. Lastly, I will not forget the LORD my God. I can’t reduce Him to acts of faithfulness, but He is personal to me, and my love is for Him, not for what He does.
When a believer has a confidence driven thanksgiving, we won’t just have something to talk about, but our living will reveal the validity of our claims.
Live it out this week….
I will show God thankfulness by living confidently in His ability, faithfulness, and for His glory.