Category Archives: Confidence

Are You Lying to Yourself?

liesHave you ever told a lie?  I know; what a ridiculous question because you have.  Have you noticed what happens the more you tell it?  You begin to believe it too.  Many times our own lies begin to convince us and our perception of reality is changed because what we say happened, actually never did.  Yet, its how we’ve begun to remember it and somehow the lie we tell becomes the truth we believe in.  Unfortunately, there’s no truth to be found at all.

Luke 13:24-30 is one of those passages which disturbs me the most because it reveals how the truth we believe can actually be based on a self-manufactured lie.  If you have this concern too after reading this passage, let me give you one clear directive which will guarantee you won’t live in a false reality where your relationship with the LORD is concerned.

One phrase Jesus says which stands out to me in vs. 24 is to “Make every effort….”…. What a game-changer.  I think many of us would have to admit there have been too many times where we did not make every effort and we expected an impossible outcome.  It was impossible because we gave an effort which can be stated as “good enough.”  The “good enough” mentality somehow lulls me into expecting more while giving less effort.  For instance, we may settle for a marriage which is not ideal because it is “good enough” and so we never work to make it stronger.  Our lack of effort is realized when it crumbles under the weight of the pressure of life because in reality, it wasn’t “good enough.”

We will sacrifice eternity if we think we can live some sort of “good enough” in relation to the LORD.  First, the problem with this thinking is no one is “good enough,” so how could you even think such a ridiculous thought.  Actually, it is easy when the lie becomes the truth.  See, I look at myself and think what is good about me outweighs what is wrong with me, so I’m now “good enough.”

When you dedicate yourself to “make every effort” there is little room to miss the mark.  Jesus knew the most important goal for any of our lives was to find salvation in Him through our repentance of sins within His forgiveness for those sins.  Nothing less will move us to the other side of the threshold except for His grace.

The reality is this….if your life were to end now and you were on the wrong side of that threshold, you would be desperate to get through this door called salvation, but it will be too late.  The decision has to be made in this life.  Rather than be desperate later, make every effort now to ensure you are saved.

Don’t shut out God’s voice to your life, and His direction.  Find joy in His Word of life rather than in things or even people which only last or stay for a time.  Trust in Him, so you will not allow the worries of life or the temptation to gain great riches draw you from His presence.  In other words, keep your priorities straight by making sure He is your first priority…your first love….the One you serve first…….your All in All!

There’s no sense in gaining the world and losing your soul.  If you will make every effort, you will undoubtedly enjoy a fullness in your life which only comes from Him and cannot be duplicated by anything or anyone else.

A Promise that could change your life!

life-change-aheadWhat could happen right now which could change your life forever?  Win a million dollars…..get married…..have a child…..or maybe meeting an extremely important person you admire?  I’m sure there’s many moments or opportunities we could list which seem like game changers for our life’s path.

What about trusting God?  Sure, we don’t think of this one because we’re generally oblivious to it.  Trusting in God is something we think we do subconsciously, second nature, or even in our sleep.  Think about this seriously…..wouldn’t learning to trust God, especially His promises change your life completely?  Let me challenge you briefly to learn to trust God completely, or you could continue to live the way you do.  “What’s wrong with how I’m living?”  Glad you asked, so let’s address two main issues.

When I fail to trust God and won’t live with faith in His promises…..

……Insecurity

governs my living.  We all make bad decisions; some more than others.  I’ve not met a person who was insecure and made good decisions.  Insecurity stems from a desire to do, or be, or attain something which you are not able to.  No matter what you do, you won’t be able and this doesn’t merely annoy you, but it makes you insecure.  The last thing we want anyone to know about us is we have limits, and yet we all know each of us is limited…how odd!  If you were to make a list right now of everything you’d like to do or be or have, that list would reveal where your heart is and where you put your confidence.  Where is your confidence?  It’s probably in yourself.  People put their confidence in the same person they know is limited and insecure about.  What you’ve found out even more so is your faith in God is lacking.  Faith in the promises of God guards you against insecurity.  What I have is given by God; whether that is my material possessions, my attributes, or my abilities, and whatever I do not have I can trust God to make up the difference.  What do we call this?  Faith in God, and with faith always comes trust.

When I fail to trust God and won’t live with faith in His promises…..

……Jealousy

governs my living.  Have you ever thought, “Why them and not me?”  If so, its because you were jealous.  Have you ever noticed people have such a difficult time being happy for someone else who has what they lack?  We will compare ourselves to others constantly, and pick apart their personality and character to justify why they shouldn’t have and we should have what they possess.  There’s probably a term for this…….oh, what is it?…….Jealousy!  Why do we find it so difficult to rejoice with those who are rejoicing.  We may be jumping up and down, screaming in excitement with them but deep down in the darkest recesses of our hearts we wish it were us and not them…..jealousy………it just eats at us and devours us, so we can never be thankful for God’s blessing on someone’s life.  Jealousy, like insecurity, stems from a life lacking faith to trust in God’s Word.  Faith understands and accepts God gives and takes away, and it receives what God does in either case.  You know what else….faith is satisfied with what God has given and is blessed.  God could give you and another person a cookie.  Jealousy looks and says, “God gave them a bigger cookie!” but faith says, “Thank you God for my cookie!”

If you want a pivotal moment which could change your life then I hope you will ask God for greater faith to trust Him, to be content, and be satisfied with what God has brought into your life.  What you have may not be what others have, and who you are may not be who others are but praise God for what He has given you and who He’s made you to be.  Often our insecurity and jealousy merely stem from misunderstanding how uniquely blessed we are.  The promises of God….His Word, and the faith He willfully gives us to accept both can be a life-changing moment which sets our course for eternity.

Confidence Driven Thanksgiving

Confidence word destruction

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.

Release it….

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.

Remember Him….

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!

Revere Him…

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.