Confidence, not bravado

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One of these days, before I depart this world, I would like to try sky-diving. I’m fairly certain that when I stand in the open door of the airplane my legs will be trembling, my heart pounding. It does defy good sense to jump into thin air, with life depending on a nylon parachute. But, I’d like to do it. I would never attempt it on my own! The only way is to be strapped to an experienced person who will guide me through the terror of the moment.

When we listen to the voice of the Lord, He often calls us to do things that push us beyond our comfort zone. Joshua, the man who was Moses’ assistant, found himself in charge of Israel after the leader’s death. In the first chapter of the book bearing his name, in the opening 9 verses the Lord says the same thing three times.Be strong and courageous!”  In spite of all his years of experience and his faith, the new challenge must have been terrifying to him. So, God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

How does the Lord encourage him for the new task?
He does not say, “Everything’s going to be easy.”  Conquering Canaan would not be a simple thing to do.
Nor does He say, “My people are suddenly going to become compliant and easy to lead.” They were not and never would be!

He said, “I will be with you!”

 Disciple, the Lord is with us! “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6, NIV)  “God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NLT)

Accept that declaration by faith. Whether or not you sense Him, regardless of your emotions that may be churning, take His promise at face value and tell yourself – “God is here now!”

Joshua had experience with faith. For more than 40 years he had walked with God, loved His will, and pursued His ways. If we hope to live confidently in times of crisis, we need to live intimately with God now.  Trying to find sustaining faith when a hurricane blows through our life is nearly impossible if we have not built a relationship with God prior.  There are those who live carelessly, without any real ongoing desire for God’s Presence, who come running to church, crying, asking “Where is God?” when they run into a life-shattering situation. Desperately they seek a place of comfort. My heart breaks when I see their frantic reach for the peace that they know exists but that seems beyond their grasp.

So we need to steadily walk, keeping step with the Spirit, loving the Lord whole-heartedly today – so that when we are called to some hard task or when we find ourselves in the middle of the storm, we can go through it with assurance.

Here’s the word from the Word. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17, NIV) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:25-27, NIV)

Confident – not in our intelligence, our strength, because of our resources – but because we walk hand in hand with our Abba, we can change the world. Ready? Ours is true confidence, not mere bravado. Let’s do it.

__________

No Longer Slaves

(Zach Williams sings this amazing song in Harding Prison and it brings me to tears!)

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone 

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

 From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

 You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser © 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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