Keys to Faith and Boldness

Last weekend, we had a group of young adults over at our house for a time of fun, food, and fellowship. Our ‘New Generation’ group has been a great addition to our church. Those young people who’ve graduated from High School and are moving on to college and careers need ‘a place to belong’…as we all do! We have a lot of fun together, but we also have some pretty crucial discussions around our faith.

Last week, we discussed that virtually every one of them was about to ‘step out’ into a new direction…a new college, a new town, a new job, and even (in a few cases) a new marriage! These are exciting times! How can these young people know that they are staying on track with God? How can they know that He is leading them?

Not surprisingly, there are some nerves, some anxiety in these moves. However, IF we know that we are following the Lord, we can have confidence.

In our discussion, we read from Joshua 1. In this chapter, Joshua is taking over leadership of the people of Israel from Moses. Moses, the strong, faithful leader…the one who would go up on Mount Zion and communicate with God, so closely that he would come down radiating God’s presence, was now gone. It was now Joshua’s time.

What did the Lord say to Joshua?

Joshua 1:6-9: “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The obvious parallel for these young people can be very important for us, to…but we can’t take God’s presence and blessing for granted! If Joshua did not continue to live by the principles of faith that the Lord had set out through Moses, then he should not expect God’s blessing. Similarly, if we don’t continue to walk with Him consistently (not ‘perfection’, and not ‘works’, but consistent, growing Faith), then we shouldn’t expect it, either.

Could Joshua have ‘Bold Faith’? Yes–because God was pledging to be with him, to lead him, and to guide and bless the people.

What about us–can we expect God’s blessing?

I believe, by His grace, that the answer is YES!

IF we walk with Him, by faith, and let Him conform us into His image (Romans 8:39).

If we do that, then we can experience the blessing of “Life…to the Full!” (John 10:10) that Jesus promised His followers.

Tomorrow I’ll write about 4 Keys to Faith and Confidence.

The key: The Faithful Love of God, and our welcoming and following Him.

He has ‘Never Once’ failed us: https://youtu.be/722zPX1npcA

 

 

 

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YOUR Motivation For Living

WHY?

That is one question that we all answer, every day…although sometimes unconsciously.

WHY do you do What you do?

Simon Sinek wrote an excellent book about this, Start With Why, and the premise is simple: If you’re going to lead people well, (including yourself) you need to…’start with Why’?

Why should I do what you say?

Why should we follow this course?

Why should I get up early to exercise…go to work or school?

Why should I pay my bills?

Why should I eat right?

If we don’t answer that question, then we are much more likely to live halfhearted, unfocused lives. We are more likely to move from one job to another, one major to another, one relationship to another, one diet to another, one credit card to another, and so on.

In addition, the ‘quality’ or our answer will determine the joy and satisfaction we get out of life.

Take a job, for example.

If the answer to my question of ‘Why should I go to work?’ is simply ‘To get a paycheck’, that’s a great recipe for a bad job, in which I get no satisfaction, end up doing the bare minimum that I need to in order to keep my job, complain the whole time, etc.

In contrast, if I can honestly say something like, ‘Because my job matters. I am called and gifted for this job. This job is an important training ground for my next job, and the things I learn here will help me in the future…’, then I am much more likely to give my all to it.

 

So…let’s apply that to faith.

Why should I go to church?

Why should I pray, read the Scriptures, and worship?

Why should I give your money to the work of God?

Why should I conduct your relationships according to His Word?

Again, if the only reason is, ‘Because I’ll get in trouble if I don’t’, or ‘Because it’s good for me’, then I’ll completely miss out on the blessing of knowing God and the pleasure and security of knowing that your life is secure in His hands, and His ways are best.

The Scriptures say,

The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
    but it is the ruin of those who do evil.” (Proverbs 10:29)

In fact, you will find in many places in the Word of God: God knows what is best, God loves you and wants the best for you, and the best way to the best life is by following Him and His Word, period.

Our society tells us lies. It tells us that ‘Looking out for #1’ is best, or that ‘Using others for my pleasure’ is best. It will tell you that ‘Living for today’ is best.

Hogwash. Poppycock. Lies!

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have LIFE and have it To The Full!” (John 10:10, emphasis added).

This especially shows up when God’s Word says one thing, and my friends (or culture/my appetites/my family) says something else. What will determine which I choose?

That depends: What is your ‘Why’?

My ‘Why’ is this: I know that I exist by His design, for His glory, and that I live in His grace. Therefore, my desire is to know and please Him, in all things.

That gives me meaning, direction, and joy–no matter the circumstances. It guides me along. It teaches me what to say ‘yes’ to, and what to say ‘no’ to.

It is both for His glory and for My good…at the same time!

What about You?

What is Your ‘Motivation for Living’?