“If God is so powerful, we should be more confident”
A friend of mine was sharing with me what she had learnt about being intentional with the environment around you. She said, “that which you allow, you permit.” It was a challenging thought for me, “What am I unhappy with that I keep allowing in my life?”, “What have I been too scared to confront.”
As she was speaking, she was saying we need to be confident in the things we want and ruthless with the things we don’t want. It sounds a little aggressive, but I’ve come to see the incredible importance this needs to have for our lives. We ought to be aggressive with the things we don’t want to grow in our lives, and intentional with the things we do.
It’s a simple answer, Jesus was aggressive with culture. Jesus didn’t allow laziness, doubt, fear or bitterness to grow into something more. He wasn’t just focused on doing this in his own life, but with the people around him. Time and time again you see Jesus confront culture within his disciples because he cared about his environment and he cared about his disciples. We ought to be aggressive with culture and stunt growth of fear and doubt and encourage faith in our lives. But what does that look like?
For me, it’s as simple (and frustrating) as being self-disciplined. With my words, with my actions, with my time, with my money. I don’t want to allow myself to speak words of discouragement, harm or fear. I don’t let myself say, “I’m such an idiot,” or, “I could never do that.” Because that’s not the truth! I want to be ruthless with the way I use my words.
I want to be self-disciplined with my time. I don’t want to become greedy but always generous. To give more of my time to people than they expect, to take time to text someone a nice message or to take time to listen to what’s happening in someone else’s world. To be generous with my time means that my time creates a generous environment. It’s easy to just say ‘have self-discipline!’ and a little harder to stick to, but thankfully we don’t have to do it alone.
I believe God is powerful, I believe it because I see it. Not just in the world around me, not just in history, but in my own life I’ve seen the reality of his good power. If I believe God is powerful, do I believe he’s powerful enough to move any obstacle in my way, to destroy any evil that comes up against me, and fight any battle I cannot fight? Yes! Jesus is always for victory in my life.
Even in the seasons where I don’t see God’s provision or see God moving mountains and parting seas, does that mean he’s lazy? Does that mean he only sometimes cares for me? No. We know this because the Bible reiterates more often than it needs to, that the love of God is unconditional.
So, if God is really in every season. If God is in the hills and in the valleys, what is there to be timid about? In my life I know I get timid and cautious when I’m uncertain. If I don’t know what my next step is or if I’m not convinced that the next risk is going to be beneficial to me, I lose all my confidence. But we should remember that Proverbs says, “For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs chapter 3, verse 26), and in Hebrews it 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” (Hebrews chapter 4, verse 16).
The Bible is clear that we can lean on God and trust his plan for our lives. So why not live bold and live free. Let’s not let our own timidity, our own laziness or lack of attention for our self-discipline, be the thing that takes us out of the race. Instead, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1).
Rochelle Ross lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She loves people, the moon, dirty food and Jesus and is very passionate about seeing young people know God. She loves a great story and one day wants to write about people’s lives and achievements.