★ Thought for the Day – Confidence IN WHOSE You Are ★

God has been working BIG time in my heart.  For the past 3 months or so I have been on a roller coaster of emotions, both at work and in my personal life.  August was a chaotic month as I wrapped up a project, and once the dust settled at work in September, a loll in my spirit set in without me realizing.  It took most of the month before I came through to the other side.  Once I did, God has been so graceful in reminding me over and over about His love for me and His faithfulness.  As I have gotten back to a more consistent quiet time, praying and reading the Bible, and drawing closer to Him, God has helped me to get back to a good place, (resulting in October being much better.)  Why do I tell you this?  First, to share why in 3 months I have only posted 6 blogs, but more importantly, I want to be honest with you so that you can see that the author behind these posts is no different from you.

As I type this newest Thought for the Day, I am sitting in the airport, with an additional hour to wait for my flight to leave due to weather delays so I am making the most of this time.  This “Thought” has been percolating for some time but yesterday, God gave me this illustration…when I was flying to 85 - Daily Dependence - First ClassIndianapolis, this was my view.  I don’t know about you, but this see-through mesh curtain is hysterical to me.  As a permanent member of the “Coach” community, I have never had the privilege to sit on the other side; (in fact this is probably the closest I have ever been,) but it is amazing what that flimsy barrier equals…

= Priority boarding and disembarking,

= More comfortable seating,

= More leg room,

= Better service

And the list goes on.  Essentially, if you are on that side, you are considered “First Class,” (at least in the eyes of the airline)…but in God’s eyes, we are ALL FIRST CLASS!!  I am not sure who said this, but this really captures what God has been speaking into my spirit…

            “Be confident in who God says you are, not in who Satan says you are.”

We need to be CONFIDENT IN WHOSE we are.  Seems simple but it is so easy to forget this.  King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” prayed this prayer in Psalm 17:8-9 (ESV),

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”

“Keep me as the apple of your eye!”  Have you ever thought about that?  God looks down on you and me and says ‘YOU are the apple of my eye.’  WOW!!!  But just like David prayed to be hidden in the shadow of God’s wings, to be protected from his enemies, we need to do the same thing because we have an enemy that attacks our confidence that God loves us daily.  There is a battle raging on for our souls (see Ephesians 6:10-18), our enemy; the Devil will use every weapon in his arsenal to take us out.  The challenging part is to realize that the attacks are even happening, because he is a deceiver and a master of lies we can be disarmed and not even realize it.  Just like I spent September in a spiritual loll, so often we can fall into the Devil’s traps as a result of voice we listen to, which will lead us to believe the wrong thing and not live in the abundant life that Jesus came to give us, (see John 10:10-11).  Bob Hamp said made this powerful statement,

“Spiritual Warfare is the battle in which you choose which voice to listen to in the midst of your experiences.”

So what voice will you believe?  The lies screamed by Satan or the still small voice of God?  Listening to my friends prayer requests I realize the enemy is telling each of them a different lie

“You’re too much ____”

“You’re not enough ____”

“You’ll never ____”

“You always____”

And the condemnation goes on and on!  Sound familiar to you?  Have you ever had any of those thoughts?  Or maybe I should ask…how many have you had today?  Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) says…

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

God loves us so much and wants us to come to Him, not to condemn us for mistakes we have made, but to extend grace when we are in need.  The Devil however uses our mistakes and our sins to create a barrier between God and us….but that is not God’s desire.  Augustine of Hippo made this insightful85 - Daily Dependence - Augustine - God Made Us For Himselfl statement about the heart of our heavenly Father, the creator of heaven and earth,

“Because God has made us for Himself, hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”

“God made us for Himself,” to have a relationship with us, with no barrier between us, and until we understand whose we are, our hearts will remain “restless until they rest in Him.”  Just like the curtain separating first class from coach, Sin will keep us from God.  One of the most famous scriptures, John 3:16-17 makes it very clear that we are the “Apple of God’s Eye” because He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins so that “whoever believes in him [Jesus] should not perish but have eternal life.”  1 Timothy‬ ‭2:5-6a‬ ‭(NLT‬‬) says

“For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”

‭This is the truth that the Devil wants us forget and shift our focus off of.  He knows that is we understand how loved we are from God that we would be unstoppable.  Just look what Matthew‬ ‭27:50-51‬ ‭(ESV‬‬) recalls that happened when Jesus died on the cross.

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”

The Devil thought he defeated Jesus but instead, Jesus death tore the curtain that separated us both literally and spiritually!  Trusting in Jesus is the single most important decision we can make which will result in giving you all the confidence in the world.  There was a man early church after Jesus had died, named Stephen who was described as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”.  He was arrested and put on trial because of all the work he was doing for God and gave us all an example of how confident we should be as he gave a powerful defense of his faith in Jesus (You can reach the whole account in Acts 6:8 – 7:53).

But what has always amazed me about Stephen is what Acts 7:54-60 (ESV) tells us about his confidence as he died…

“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.  Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.  And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.  And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

That is so incredible that “as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”  What would happen in our lives if we had that kind of confidence and faith?  You know we can.  In Matthew 7:7, Jesus invites us to…

85 - Daily Dependence - Matthew 7-7

The only thing is that we have to act.  Notice that Jesus says that we need to ask, seek and knock and if we do it will be given, found and opened to you.  God gave my 14-year-old daughter this incredible truth which she emailed that I wanted to close with…

“I’ve been ADOPTED by Christ and I’m being ADAPTED to living a life that’s honoring to Him.”

Can you say the same?  Today you can choose to start living your live to honor God, remember you are the Apple of His Eye!!  God is just waiting for you to come to Him, what will you decide?

Check out the continuation of this blog called ★ Back to the Basics – Silencing the Noise ★

If you want even more you can check out ★ Thought for the Day – You Are Chosen! ★ which we posted in the past that relates as well.

If you don’t have that confidence and have not trusted Jesus as your savior, below is a prayer you can pray to start your relationship, Continue reading

★ Thought for the Day – Five Truths That Will Change Your Life! ★

69 - Daily Dependence - 5 TruthsI know this is a bold claim but I believe it is true if you will have an open mind to what you are about to read. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines truths as:

1. Sincerity in action, character, and utterance
2. The state of being the case :  fact
3. A transcendent fundamental : spiritual reality

Truths are indisputable facts that transcend what the latest thought that is trending on Twitter. They are black and white, that are constant and do not change as a passing fad. In this fast pace, pleasure driven, my way or the highway world we live in, beliefs in absolute truths have become the exception, rather than the norm, but if you accept these 5 Spiritual Truths, I promise your life will be forever changed!
I have shared in previous posts how remote God was in my life, not because of Him but as a result of being hurt by people in the church.  As I think of my self absorbed teenage years and early twenties, God was way, way down on the list…if He even was on there.  Except for the obligatory Easter and Christmas Mass, I never was present in church.  But Jesus gives us our first truth in Matthew 6:33 (NLT) of what will happen if we do place a priority on God…

God and what He cares about should be ahead of everything else, if we do, everything else will be added to us.  Too often we have it backwards, we chase after everything and God comes last, if at all.  Part of Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount, Matthew 6:33 is a great scripture to stand on.  I have always loved this verse, but the Message translation of this passage has opened my eyes to see this bit different…

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” 
 

When God is first, He promises to meet our needs!  Where else do you get that kind of guarantee??
69 - Daily Dependence - Truth #2 - Realize that You are NOT a Good Person????
Ouch, that ones hurts doesn’t it??  But it’s true, (that includes me also.)  John 3:16-17 (NLT) says,

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
 

Until you realize that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, and accept Jesus, as payment for your sins, your life will remain in brokenness and you will be separated from God.

If you want to learn more about this and how to have a relationship with Jesus, check out the post called,  ★ Thought for the Day – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian… ★

Francis Chan breaks down our second truth why “being good” just doesn’t cut it…Watch it!

 

69 - Daily Dependence - Truth #3 - Life is Not Always Going to Be Easy
Amen??  I don’t have to say much to convince you of that right?  Even if you have accepted truth #1 and #2, that does not make you immune from trouble or pain. Are you suffering today?  Aching from being hurt by someone’s betrayal or persecuted for something you did not do?  You are not alone, the Bible recounts in Genesis how Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, only to then be wrongly accused of attempted rape and thrown into prison…BUT God used these horrible betrayals that people inflicted, and elevated Joseph to second-in-command of all of Egypt.  Our #3 Truth comes from Genesis 50:20 (NLT),

69 - Daily Dependence - Genesis 50-20 - God Intended it for GoodI love that, what was “intended to harm me,” was used by God to “save the lives of many people.”  We cannot see the whole picture, God is always working and you never know how God will turn a bad situation around.  What is interesting is that early on in Joseph’s teenage years, he was given incredible dreams of what God’s plan for his future was going to be, but he had to go through a season of struggle first before he was able to step into his destiny that God had planned for him.  Psalms 105:19 (NLT) gives us insight into Joseph’s life.

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the lord tested Joseph’s character.”

Genesis 50:20 is one of my favorite verses that illustrates that even in the worst circumstances God can use the pain to produce something great!  It is the Old Testament parallel verse to the often quoted passage from Romans 8:28 (NLT),

69 - Daily Dependence - Romans 8-28“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

God can bring something good out of any situation.  He causes everything to work together for the good.  Trust Him to use your current situation to mold you into something beautiful!  God can and will turn any trial into a triumph!!!

69 - Daily Dependence - Truth #4 - Put on Your Armor
Wars are won or lost based on your defensive capabilities, so we need to make sure we are equipped for the battle.  Spiritual warfare is very real! You don’t have to live too long on this earth before you’ll find out that there will be trouble from those around you.  People will hurt you, betray you, cheat on you…you name it.  There is evil in this world and we need to be aware of it.  (You can read more about this in the post called ★ Thought for the Day – All the Time in the World ★.)  There is a war is occurring in the “unseen” realms as our #4 Truth warns us that we need to put on “The Whole Armor of God.”  Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) says, 

There is a battle raging on the enemy of our souls, the Devil will use every weapon in his arsenal to take us out.  The challenging part is to realize the attack as it is happening.  The Devil is a deceiver and master of lies, so often the attack will come in the form of voices in our own mind, that will lead us to believe the wrong thing.  Bob Hamp said made this powerful statement,

“Spiritual Warfare is the battle in which you choose which voice to listen to in the midst of your experiences.”

So what voice will you believe?  The lies screamed by Satan or the still small voice of God?  I encourage you to continue to read Ephesians 6:13-17 that goes into all the Armor of God (which one day I will write a Thought for the Day on.)

69 - Daily Dependence - Truth #5 - There is hope!
The things we go through in this life are temporary, but Jesus promises us that we can have peace because of what He did for us on the cross.  John 16:33 (NLT) says,
69 - Daily Dependence - John 16-33 - Oval Alt

We all go through different storms in this life, whether relational, financial or physical health, but no matter the storm, the answer, and the solution are the SAME… Lean into God and rely on His strength.  Arm yourself with Bible verses that you can speak out loud and pray, when doubts and worries creep in.  If you want to read more about God’s presence in the midst of the storm, check out this post called ★ Thought for the Day – The Storms of Life ★.

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.  I promise you will never be disappointed that you did! 

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