September 22, 2016
Whether or not we realize it, we are all looking for something, usually desiring more from life. These “desires” come in different shapes and sizes, but there are common themes in our pursuits. In my teen and early adult years, I sought identity, connection and attention — needing to be wanted for who I was. As an adult, I pursued purpose, meaning, my unique calling, love, acceptance and security for my family and myself. Our Creator builds these yearnings and desires into us. So what are you looking for today?
Actually, an even more important question is, “Where are you looking?” You will only find what you seek by looking to, at, and with God. God’s message, sent through His prophet Isaiah, is so simple yet so profound: “Look to me and be saved.” This obviously applies to our eternal needs but it also applies to every other desire, need, suffering and wayward path from which we need to be saved.
As we grow up, we are encouraged and pushed to learn how to take care of ourselves, such as holding a bottle, crawling to grab shiny toys, feeding ourselves, doing our homework, making friends, taking the SATs, getting a license, going off to college or work, paying rent and finding our spouse. So many milestones mark the journey of becoming an independent, functioning adult.
The trap or downside of this developmental model is developing a habit of putting our confidence in ourselves. Sometimes we rely on others’ opinions of how we are doing. The true source of our confidence, however, is God. Confidence is the attitude, hope and knowledge that we are able to accomplish or persevere in a situation. Looking to God, His character, His instruction and His promises is what gives us confidence to pursue the right things—to make Godly decisions even in difficult circumstances.
Confidence that comes from yourself relies on a very limited and shallow source. But when your confidence comes from God, you are drawing from an infinite, overflowing reservoir that is more powerful than you could ever imagine. You have minimal power to overcome your fleshly needs, desires, distortions, and hurts or pains. That’s how patterns of struggle, dysfunction and even addictions are born and fed.
Today, as you make decisions, especially when you make a mistake, ask yourself, “From where am I drawing the confidence, instruction or power to make this decision or soothe my pain? Is my confidence coming from my own meager skills, insights, intellect, attributes or power? Or from God’s immenseness?” Confidence that is centered in Him and generated from Him will save you in today’s battles and discomforts. Whether the source of your confidence is from God or your confidence comes from yourself or other temporary items — it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, You are indeed an awesome God. Who but You could be all places at all times? It amazes me to think that One as great as You actually cares about the many details of my life, but You really do. When I think about these glorious truths and when I turn to you I feel safe knowing I will never be alone again. Lord, Help me to look at You, to keep You before me always and to get my confidence from my ultimate bodyguard. Otherwise, I fall back into my default mode, getting my confidence from myself, straining constantly because all outcomes seem to rest on my meager skills. It seems to work occasionally for the little things, but for the big things in life, I am doomed without You. All these I ask with confidence in Christ’s name. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:15-16
“…which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:15-17