Without truth, you’ll never reach your potential. If you’re not committed to truth as God defines it, you will be more apt to believe a lie. There are numerous worldviews which means there are tons and tons of filters through which to process information. We know Jesus is the Truth (see John 14:6), Holy Spirit is Truth (see 1 John 5:6) and the words Jesus speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). Furthermore, Jesus is made unto us wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30), and if we lack wisdom, we are implored to ask God for it (James 1:5-8). We should ask a lot, since 1 Corinthians 13:9 informs us that we know in part. Perspective is a big deal. With all these various views, and agendas attached to many, information gets skewed. In fact, much of it gets misrepresented in order to influence thinking a certain way. We’ve seen division inserted into society because of it. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it infiltrate the Church as well. On important factor in knowing the actual truth is having a willingness to embrace it, even when it is counterintuitive to what we’ve always believed to be true. We’ve all had those conversations come our way that we didn’t want to have. And yet, if we didn’t have them, we would have remained ignorant, and fail to make necessary changes or adjustments. Meanwhile, some people are willingly ignorant to their detriment.
Some want what they want, regardless of the consequences. So we find a number of them drowning in debt because of it. Others enter into bad relationships and sabotage their lives. Why would those who deep down know their heading towards a cliff, still drive off it, even with all the warning signs in place miles ahead of the hazard? Ignorance is not bliss, especially when it’s chosen over truth. Because we’re equipped with a free will, we can choose life or death, blessing and cursing. We can decide to accept or reject truth, or create our own “truth.” Those who create their own, will fall headlong into self-deception. Those who follow them will fall into the same ditch. Luke 6:39He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?”
Personal potential gets lost in lies. How many have had an idea planted in their head and believed it? Believing the right things is a good thing; however, believing the opposite is not good at all. Words are powerful. They have a greater impact on our lives than the proverbial sticks and stones. In other words, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a lie. That being said, it is important to know we can reject words spoken over us. We can prevent them from becoming our truth. You can chose what to believe or disbelieve. A lie does not have to become your truth! You have the authority to reject it. Simply comparing what is said to the Word of God can prevent such strongholds from entering your heart and mind. Whatever thought you accept and then believe with your heart will greatly influence your life. This is one reason it is important to immerse yourself in the Bible, and ask Holy Spirit to teach you what it means. John 8:31-32Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Truth eliminates confusion.
Jeremiah 23:29Is not My word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? The Word of God works like a hammer which chips away the lies. What’s that mean for us? If we have a wrong thought process lodged in in our brains, they can be dislodged by God’s Word. If you received false reasoning, it can be replaced with the truth. This is part of renovation process of renewing our minds. Many of us have things of which to repent. Remember, repentance is a change of reasoning or the way we think. If we have incorrect thoughts, we will interact and behave incorrectly. For instance, wrong thoughts about God can lead to rebellion. If we believe He doesn’t love us, we will tend to push Him away. God hating us is an outright lie. That might be stating the obvious, but some tend to believe it. It would be a great idea for those sabotaging themselves to repent. They need to think differently about themselves, if they are to have a change for the better. Compare what you believe to what the Bible actually says. Look at the actual verses of Scripture. Why is this important? Some have received lies because they thought they were validated by the phrase, “The Bible says;” even though such conjecture does not exist. For example: “The Bible says God helps those who help themselves.” That phrase is found nowhere in the Bible. In fact, it is quite the opposite of what the Word actually says. Like the Bereans in the book of Acts, search the Scriptures to see if it be so (see Acts 17:11). You are who God says you are; nothing more, nothing less. The more we tell ourselves that simple truth, the more the lies will be dislodged from our beliefs.
Philippians 4:8-9Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
In the midst of the storm, there can be chaos and confusion. Everything looks bleak and impossible to overcome. The inner turmoil tends to heighten because everything looks completely opposite of what is true. In that place, the temptation is to cast away faith and hope, and to discard everything ever read in the Bible. The storm appears to be more real than God, which makes it more difficult to believe His Word. In short, focus on the storm, and faith and hope will diminish. The place to be in the midst of the storm is the Word of God. Pick it up and encourage yourself in the Lord!
Romans 14:4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The storm presents opportunity to see what you actually believe to be true. It’s a proving ground which is a place to learn how to actually walk by faith and not by sight. Baptism with fire burns the chaff. It leads to repentance. Ultimately, it leads to God and an intimate relationship with Him. It is the exact time to rejoice in the Lord and offer Him thanksgiving. Being grateful is powerful. It demolishes anger, bitterness and self-pity. It puts you in touch with the goodness of God. Remember what He has already done for you. One of those things is make you more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:31-39).
God uses storms to remove hypocrisy. Have you ever spoke about walking by faith; yet inwardly, you questioned whether you actually do? Those who say they have faith will most assuredly be tested, but that’s a good thing -a very good thing (see 1 Peter 1:6-9)! To be clear, God doesn’t create the storms; He uses them.
Another unique thing about those tempests is that they teach our hearts that God deserves all glory. We learn to give Him glory in all things, and stop taking credit for what He did in us, through us and for us. Consider this: God created us. He redeemed us through Jesus Christ. He filled us with His Holy Spirit, which means He lives in us. Holy Spirit comforts, counsels, teaches, prays and manifests through us (see Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:9-11). God gives us the ability to get wealth. In Him we live and move and have our being. He is the Reason we succeed. When we obey Him, it is He Who accomplishes through us what He asked us to do to begin with. Yet, He rewards us here on earth and will reward us in heaven. Who deserves the credit?
If you recall in the Bible, Jesus calmed the storm on the sea by His word (see Mark 4:34-41). He has the solution; in fact, He is the Solution. 1 Corinthians 1:30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom . . . Life itself on earth has a shelf-life, and so your circumstances. Rejoice!
Do you struggle with confidence? There seems to be a universal quest for self-confidence. Books, blogs and videos flood the market on the subject. There is a key ingredient that actually plagues obtaining true confidence: pride. In many cases, everything is about the self and looking good in whatever arena a person finds his or her self. The one crucial component required for true confidence is humility. Humility knows the true source of greatness. It does not put trust in the self; humility puts its trust completely in God.
If you are born again, you have Holy Spirit dwelling within you. That also means God’s grace is available to enable you to do the things you couldn’t do on your own. In short, put your confidence in God Who dwells in you. Remember, He also gave you gifts and talents to do amazing things. The gifts work, you merely need to cooperate with them. Cooperation may indeed require preparation on your part. That is a way of exercising your gifts. If you never put them to work, so to speak, you may find it a little awkward using them. If God has called you to do something, then He made the provision to fulfill it already. He equipped you for the assignment.
These things are not limited to the things pertaining to church as it were. For instance, the Lord may call you to a particular occupation. That means if you’re embarking on a new job or business venture, He made it possible for you to carry out the tasks that accompany your position. You will be able to obtain the proper knowledge necessary for the job, if you don’t already possess it. Of course, His wisdom is always available for the asking (see James 1:5-8). Not only that, His favor goes before you. To be sure, there may the trying of your faith attached to it, which means there may be a rough patch or two involved. Those rough patches often reveal that He indeed called you there, because you survived and actually thrived in the trials. It also shows He is on the throne, and His mercies are new every morning. That trying of your faith is precious (see 1 Peter 1:6-9). There are numerous things you can learn from these experiences, as long as you remain teachable.
You need not focus on the fear of failure. When you concern yourself with avoiding mistakes, you will be fixated on them, and tend to make more. On the other hand, focusing on excellence will actually help you make fewer mistakes, and better position you to learn from any you could possibly make. A mistake is not a death sentence; it is an opportunity to grow. Incidentally, this principle works the same way as relating to sin. If you focus on not sinning, per se, you will become sin-conscious. The flip side, is knowing your righteousness is in Jesus Christ, and by focusing on Him, sin is no longer an issue (see Romans 6:1-23; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Of course, there is much more that could be said on that particular subject.
One other key ingredient is love. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), and faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). When your inspiration is love, you’ll have the proper motivation to succeed. Love vacates the need to fulfill self-interests. It focuses outwardly. When you do things for love’s sake, confidence will not be an issue. Because of your love for God, you will gladly obey His calling. Because of your love for others, you’ll be more concerned with building them up than trying to look confident. Self-confidence in the worldly sense is based on pride; whereas, confidence in God is an act of humility that you enables you to walk confidently.
Daniel 11:32The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Through various mediums such as self-help books, videos, blogs and the like, people seek to reinvent themselves. They desire to create their own ideal identity. Nothing wrong with trying learn from other people in order to improve; however, this way of doing things may cause them to miss the mark. For one thing, the authors of such content are not the designers of one’s true identity. How can anyone become their best version apart from the Designer? This is not to take away from those who have gained insight from the Lord. Secondly, who gets the glory for the success? Some will give credit to those from whom they’ve learned. “They changed my life!” Yet, in the next breath, “I changed myself.” Where is God in all of this? Honestly, apart from God, no one comes into their true identity. Pride prevents truth, though it may try to leverage it for self-gain and glory. Remember the glory of man fades like a flower of grass but the Word of the Lord endures forever (see 1 Peter 1:24-25).
Identity cannot be earned; it’s given! If you’re a child of God, how did you become His child? It was nothing you did, other than receive the adoption by grace through faith. There is no such thing as the “self-made” person. Even your unique personality was given to you. It is self-deception to think otherwise. Did any of you gain wealth or are in the process of building it? Where did that ability to get it come from? The creativity to write and create content was not self-induced either. You get the point. Much of those attempts to become someone else, or someone more, stems from the need for affirmation or significance.
The reason some obtain numerous goals, and still feel unfulfilled is because they are trying to fill a God-sized void. It is only God Who is able to completely fill it. The way for that to happen is simply surrendering to Him. As long as someone sits on the fence in terms of surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, they will be hard-pressed to come into their full identity. By receiving God’s affirmation, you will discover you are significant.