Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
When I write, I always think of it as though I am writing to a friend. It is basically a conversation I would have with a dear friend, and to me that is what my readers are…friends I just have not met in person, yet. I am going to spill my heart today as I would with a friend over coffee. This is one reason you see a lot of coffee pictures at the beginning of my articles. So grab a coffee and come sit with me. Let me tell you what has mulled over in this busy brain of mine.
Yesterday, hubby and I went to meet our daughter for supper. Her car has a broken axle and they cannot fix it until Monday. She cannot drive it, so she took my car. In hubby’s vehicle sometimes the heat works and at other times it doesn’t. He went out to start the truck and turn the heat on while I got ready. “Is the heat working?” I called out to him. “Let’s hope so!” he called back. We were expecting temperatures in the lower 30s last night so I prayed it would!
We got into the truck, and I brought a fleecy throw just in case. “WHOOP”, my husband said as he clapped. The heat was working! I silently thanked God I would not freeze this time. Then I made the mistake of thinking!! Thinking can get you into the worst of trouble if you don’t watch the kind of thoughts you are having. For those of you who may be wondering why hubby doesn’t just get the truck fixed (I have wondered that at times, too) the answer is he doesn’t so that he is sure if an “emergency” comes up, we are in a place where we have an “emergency” savings because we try to pay cash for everything we buy. With putting children through college, helping them get established, helping others who have needs greater than ours, my husband has not had the heart to put everything in savings, or even to put the truck in the shop.
I began to think of him and his generous spirit. We are both tithers and givers. We love to give! One time I would have given our house away had my husband not stopped me. I know that sounds crazy, but we feel the pain and suffering of others that much and we know God will provide for us so we give joyfully. Well, back to my point. As I thought of my husband and his giving that no one knows about, how he never complains about driving a 15-year-old truck, or anything else, I began to have a talk with the Lord. I should say “to the Lord” because I was doing all the talking!
“Father, here we are in a 15-year-old truck, our daughter is in a 13-year-old car, and I am still in my starter home while everyone else has new cars, beautiful homes, and I don’t know what else. Why? We do what You tell us. We give and tithe, gladly!! Where is the surplus?” At that point God brought Paul back to my mind. Paul said in Philippians:
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be [a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.
13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [b]infuses inner strength into me; I am [c]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
No matter what Paul faced, whether in plenty or in leaner times, he had taught himself how to be content! He knew God would meet all that was necessary and it wasn’t Paul’s aim to get rich in material things, but to be rich in the things of the Spirit! When he was in that place, he had things money could never buy! Like good sense and wisdom for one thing, but more than that, a personal relationship with Christ and a mighty grasp of the cause of Christ and the importance for it to continue!
I am not telling you this for you to say, “Oh, bless her heart! We need to send money!” OH, NO YOU DON’T! God is my supplier! We truly don’t need money! What I needed was a lesson. Before I voiced my thoughts to my husband the Lord had spoken to me days earlier, “Juliana, what if this starter home, this income, this way of life is the way it will always be? Will you still trust me to meet your needs? Will you be satisfied with what I have chosen your life to be?”
I had to think about that one for a bit. How would I choose? I mean it is indeed my choice! I can choose just as Paul to be content with the way things are, or to be upset with not having exactly the life I wanted instead of trusting God with how my life turned out whether I would ever know the reason for it or not. I had to decide to be bitter or to know my true treasure is in heaven and God would supply my needs on the earth, not necessarily all my wants!
I didn’t tell hubby that part, I only voiced the whys. Guess what hubby said? The same scripture God had given me and the same thing God had spoken to my heart. Confirmation always brings me satisfaction.
I think that is one of the reasons why I love Mother Teresa as I do. I am not Catholic, but I admire her and her work greatly! She lived a life of abasement, but yet she was rich in God! Her reward is great in heaven and that is forever, where moth cannot corrupt or rust decay! God’s purpose and plan for us is the very reason for our lives. God didn’t give life to me so I could drive an expensive car, live in a mansion, or wear designer clothes. He gave me life to make a difference in the lives of others in this world for the better! Anything else in life is just fluff that will never last, and most of the time, fluff leads to ego and sinful indulgence. I don’t want to face God with that on my “record”.
A life worth living is a life lived for God. This is a hard lesson learned, but so great when we finally truly conceive it!! Only then do we see things in a different light. We see things in the light of God’s heart, not His hand. We see the whole picture, not just in part. We see what truly makes us who we are meant to be, not what we think we should be for public opinions sake! We are free to be ourselves and to get off the rat race of the materialism of life and to take our place in what we were made to do and be!
When we face God, and we all will one day, then we will hear from His lips, “Well done, my faithful servant…enter in!” What does it matter if you gain the world and all of its wealth if you are shut out of heaven and are thrown into hell for all eternity? You can’t take it with you folks and you were never meant to!
My treasure is Jesus, and my satisfaction is knowing I lived my life His way. I never want the song sung over me, “I Did It My Way”! That would be the greatest tragedy!! I saw a saying not long ago, and I can say it has changed my outlook forever. It said, “My life may not have been what I had planned, but it is exactly what God has planned!” That, my friend, is a life truly worth the living!
And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. Philippians 1:9-10 Amplified Bible
In today’s society, insecurity is an epidemic. Too many people—including many Christians—walk around timid, afraid, lacking confidence and feeling bad about themselves.
But when Jesus died on the cross for us, something happened that I like to call “the divine exchange.” He took away our sins and everything we are not, and then He gave us right standing and made us perfect in Him.
God wants you to be confident, bold, fearless and free. He wants you to be healthy and whole—fully able to pursue your destiny. And He desires for you to feel good about yourself and your relationship with Him.
Insecure people tend to compare themselves with other people and feel a need to “keep up” with them.
For years I tried to be like everybody else. I tried to be steady and easy-going like my husband Dave. Then I tried to be like my pastor’s wife, who was super sweet and sensitive. But the truth is that we are only anointed to be ourselves!
For example, it’s amazing how excited you can be about your prayer life until you happen to compare notes with someone else who gets up before daylight each morning and prays for four hours.
Now, if you don’t know who you are in Christ, you suddenly feel like your prayer life is nothing. Then, just to keep up, you frustrate yourself trying to do what they are doing.
How do I know? Because this happened to me years ago. As a result, I got myself a clock, locked myself in a room and declared to everyone, “I’m going to pray for four hours a day! I’m not coming out of here, and you can’t come in!” Everything went well until I fell asleep five minutes after I began.
God made you an original…and He has a unique plan just for you. Comparing yourself to others just leads to frustration. But having the confidence and freedom to be yourself leads to peace and joy.
Too many times we look at ourselves when we should be looking at God. We stare at all of our own weaknesses, and before we know it, we are timid, fearful, and convinced that everything is too hard to accomplish.
If this is you, then Philippians 3:3 can change your life. It says to …put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh….
Some people look at their weaknesses and think, I could never do something great for God. Then there are others who look at their own strengths and think, I don’t need help…I can do this on my own.
Regardless of what we can or cannot do, God wants all of our confidence to be in Him. Because the truth is, apart from Him, we can do nothing!
David was one person who knew who he was in Christ. The entire army of Israel was too frightened to fight the giant, Goliath. But David wasn’t. Why? Because he was looking at God and not himself. He knew that his God could do anything. As a result, he walked straight out to the battlefield and killed Goliath with a stone and a slingshot.
You, too, can have this “David” kind of confidence. You can become a giant-killer when you learn who you are Christ.
God wants you to feel good about yourself. He wants you to be bold…to be fearless…to believe Him for big things.
Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to …do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].
I believe God is just waiting for some of you to boldly step out and ask Him for things that go beyond your mind or what you think is possible. Our insecurities will make us feel like we’re not worthy to even ask. But remember, in God’s economy, you don’t get what you deserve—you get what Jesus deserves!
Wherever you are in your journey with the Lord, He wants you to know that you are right with Him. You may not be perfect, but God sees you as perfect because of His Son. And because of this, you can go forward with boldness, joy, and the divine confidence you need to fulfill your destiny.