From Our Hearts to Yours
“I used to be so confident. But now I feel like such a loser.” Do you feel this way? My friend, God never asks for us to have confidence. He only asks that we have confidence in Him! And when God commands, He also supplies. This is true for every area of your life.
In Old Testament times, the Midianites periodically destroyed the crops of the children of Israel. A young man named Gideon secretly “threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites” (Judges 6:11). He doesn’t sound very brave, does he? And yet we learn that God enabled and strengthened the meek man Gideon into a mighty warrior, a man of valor, a man of mighty faith (Hebrews 11:32-33).
God will transform you too. Yield to Him. Trust Him. Allow Him to do great things in and through and for you.
Father God, when I’m hesitant to show faith in You, give me courage and the right words to say that will lead people to You. Open doors for me to bravely serve You and share Your truths. Amen.
One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal… Philippians 3:13-14
August 31, 1974 was a red-letter day in my life. That was the day my wife and I sat down together and each wrote some lifetime goals. Up until that day, I had flopped and floundered and made little or no progress in achieving much of anything with lasting godly influence. Basically I had spent the first 30 years of my life drifting from one desire to another…and most of the time, without God in mind.
But then, on that life-changing Sunday afternoon, I decided I needed to ask God to give Elizabeth and me wisdom as we sat down to write goals-goals that we hoped would give us direction and line up with His will for our lives.
Today, both Elizabeth and I are still operating our lives according to those goals that were written with hearts full of hope-goals that have simplified our focus in life, goals that have allowed me to influence not only my wife and children, but also fellow believers in my church and the Christian community nationally and internationally.
Why are goals such an important key to becoming a man who makes a difference? Because they help us to define our purpose. The poorest of all men is not the one without gold, but the one without a goal. Goals give us direction and purpose, and help us know how to best use our time and energy = thus making us men of impact.
What can you do about decision-making and the will of God? Follow this scriptural battle plan. These “weapons” work for every area of your life and lead you toward God’s best.
First, ask God for help. Pray, “Lord, Your Word says in James 1:5, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God… and it will be given to him.’ So here I am, Lord! I need wisdom, and I’m asking You for it! Please reveal Your wisdom in this matter.”
Next, pull James 4:17 out of your arsenal and pray, “And, Lord, Your Word says ‘Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.’ Lord, I don’t want to sin. I want to do the right thing, the good thing. So I’ve got to know what that is. Please show me the right thing so I can do it!”
Finally, reach for Proverbs 3:5 and 6 and pray, “And, Lord, Your Word says to ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.’ I don’t want to rely on my own heart, so I’m asking You right now, Lord, to guide my footsteps. What is the right thing to do here? What is the right decision? What is the path You want me to walk in? What is the right way?”
“What I need is rest. About a hundred years ought to do it!”
Don’t we all feel this way at times? If I asked you to fill out a survey with one of the questions being, “What causes you to seek peace?” how would you answer? I responded to this question quickly: busyness. It’s #1 on my list. There’s always just “one more” of something to do. Responsibility is next. Tension is on the list too. Stress drains my energy. I’m sure you have your own list of feelings and activities and issues that make you crave peace.
Here’s the good news! Psalm 23:2 says, “[God] leads me beside the still waters.” Still waters! Can’t you just feel it? God knows your need for peace and He provides it. He ensures the restoration and calm you need to continue fulfilling His will for your life.
Father, replace my stress with Your peace and contentment. Renew in me the joy of life and service to You and those around me. Amen.