God Calls Us to be Humbly Daring!

 

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.  By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of You.

Psalm 71:5-6 (NASB)peak-experience

Psalm 71, written by David, speaks of God as a refuge and fortress and rock in the midst of the plots and schemes of ruthless men against him.  As I read again this morning verses 5-6 stood out to me.  It is clear that our great God is our refuge and strength in times of trouble.  If you’re facing trials and difficulties, know that you can find salvation and help in Him.

But as I read these verses this morning, the word that jumped off the page was confidence.  David declares that the Lord has been his confidence since his youth.  David understood there was no room for self-reliance.  Sure, there were huge failures in his life, but in the end, he always returned to the truth that without the Lord, he was hopeless.  Think of David’s defeat of Goliath, his willingness to trust God’s timing in becoming king as he fled from Saul, and his reliance upon God as he led Israel.

Two Mission-Cripping Mindsets
As you consider your own life, maybe you realize you are looking to yourself for confidence in far too many instances.  Doing this leads to two mission-crippling mindsets:

  1. Pride – If you fail to recognize God as the strength and provider of all things in your life, you begin to take credit for things that only God deserves.  This makes you a glory thief, and God will not share His glory!  This pride will quickly lead to Kingdom ineffectiveness.
  2. Fear – The opposite mindset created by self-reliance is that of fear.  If you believe it is up to you to change the world in your strength and abilities and you recognize how short you fall in being able to do this, you will be handcuffed by fear.  You’ll never dare to do great things because you think its up to you.  This too hinders you from experiencing the fullness of what God wants to do through you.

A Proper Balance
When we find our confidence in the Lord, we’ll find proper balance between pride and fear.  Pride is dispelled by confidence in the Lord because we recognize God as the source of power working through us to accomplish His mission.

Fear is dispelled when we understand its not up to us. All God is asking from us is surrender and obedience, and when we do this, we’ll see Him do things through us we never dreamed of doing.  We will risk boldly when we know it is Him working in us.

Both of these proper mindsets give God all glory for what He does.

O Lord, may we find our confidence in You today, and may this keep us humble while daring greatly as we see You at work through us to change the world.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

 

Chronological Bible Reading – February 3 – The Reminder We All Need

Today’s Reading: Exodus 4:18-7:13, 1 Chronicles 6:1-4

I am the LORD!

Here in the beginning of Moses’ tenure as leader of the Israelites, we continually see the phrase, “I am the LORD!” Moses is still very reluctant to answer the call that God has issued. He will lead this people out of slavery, but in this early stage, Moses cannot see how it is possible.  He is viewing this monumental task through the lens of his own abilities.  According to his strength, Moses is correct in his assessment.  He will NEVER lead this people out on his own.

So, over and over again, God reminds Moses who will do this work.  “I am the LORD” is the tag given to every action and the answer to all his doubts.  Moses doesn’t get it just yet, but very soon he will understand and walk in faith with this truth.

It is the same for us.  As we see the commands of God set before us, and the life He has called us to live, it is clear we cannot do it alone.  Just as the impossibility of delivering the Israelites from Egypt causes Moses to rely fully on God, so the high calling of a life lived for Christ causes us to rely on God’s power working through us.

Don’t cower in the face of the impossible.  See it as an opportunity to see the LORD work in and through your life.   This is the joy and adventure found in pursuing Christ, and it begins with the constant reminder…I am the LORD!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Jehovah Shammah – God is There!

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (ESV)

Nearing the end of Moses’ life, Joshua is given the charge to lead the Israelites into the promised land. However, as he leads them, the man who has been his leader will not be making the trip. Joshua was there as Moses met with God face to face in the tent of meeting. (Exodus 33:11) Joshua was Moses’ faithful servant. Moses had made tremendous investment in Joshua’s life. Now, the time has come for Moses to depart and for Joshua to take over as the leader. I can only assume there must have been some level of anxiety in Joshua as this task lay before him. However, in the midst of the charge of God on Joshua’s life, we see this promise…”it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave your or forsake you.”

Yes, Joshua was losing his earthly leader and mentor, but in this promise, he is reminded that God is constantly with him. Such a word of encouragement allowed Joshua to lead the nation into the promised land against all odds and overthrow the nations that inhabited their possession. Something that was humanly impossible was accomplished because God was with them.

This is a word for us today. The same God who overthrew nations and gave Joshua the courage to lead the nation is the same God who walks with us on a daily basis. No matter your difficulty or struggle, the reminder to Joshua stands for us today. “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you, and He will never leave your or forsake you.”

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Fear’s Remedy

“…Do not fear, only believe.” – Mark 5:36b (ESV)

Fear paralyzes us often.  it can come from many different sources.  Situations we face, or even thoughts that we dwell upon as we consider the “what ifs” in life lead us to fear.  Before we know it, we find ourselves crippled by fear as we cower under the weight of our struggles or what might happen.  How are we as Christians meant to deal with fear? Continue reading