I’m a planner. Day planners are some of my favorite things. I fight fits of ecstasy when I walk through the bookstore or the school supply aisle and see rows and stacks of day planners. I like to write in them with different colors, or scribble a single sentence about my day or my thoughts at a particular time, almost like a journal.
Lists are good, too. I l.o.v.e. looking at a list and seeing everything crossed off. There is such a sense of achievement! I even have special paper and pens for making lists and crossing off completed jobs. Yes, plans are good.
In spite of my best efforts, my plans don’t always work. Life happens. Littles scream. Obstacles pop up and demand priority. Things on my list fall to the bottom, get moved to a different list, or get forgotten entirely. As frustrating as that is, I take comfort in today’s confession.
God has a plan for me.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks to Israel about His plans. We can read this piece of Scripture and know that it applies to all believers. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” And we can rest assured that God’s plans always work.
So even when my lists are incomplete, scribbled messes, and my plans fall through, God has a plan for me. His plan is for good and not disaster. He gives me a future and hope in Jesus Christ. Knowing that, I can live confidently in His power.
Are you a planner? How does it feel knowing that God has a plan for you?
What is faith?
Hebrews says faith is confidence that what we hope for will actually happen (11:1 NLT). And the Bible talks in great depth about hope. Our hope is in the Lord (Psalm 42:5). Jesus gives us hope (1 Timothy 1:1). We have eager hope (Romans 8:20), enduring hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3), Christian hope (1 peter 3:15). As believers in Christ, we are meant to have confident hope (Romans 12:12).
All this to encourage our faith, something that seems so difficult to hold on to in struggles and dark times. Without hope, our faith wavers. The two go together.
Another way to explain faith is to say that we pray and wait expectantly for God to answer (Psalm 5:3).
I bring my requests to God and wait expectantly for His answer.
This isn’t quite the same as requesting my three year old to pick up his toys and waiting expectantly for his obedience. I could wait forever for him to acknowledge my voice. But simply by praying and waiting for an answer, God shows that He hears my voice. His spirit confesses to mine that I am heard and He will respond.
My timing is not His, but waiting expectantly shows our faith that He will answer. I might not hear His answer immediately, sometimes not for days or even weeks or months, but I still wait, expecting to hear His voice and His response to my requests. It gives me comfort to remember that the Bible encourages us in this way. So speak this confession out loud each time you feel like He’s not listening. Pray it. Confess that you will continue to bring your requests to God, and that you will wait expectantly for His answer.
What are you requesting of God today? Leave a comment and let me pray with you.
Ever wonder about God’s love for you? I have, lots of times. Usually when I’m feeling sorry for myself or when my life seems too difficult compared to others’. (This does relate to our talk of confidence. Bear with me, people. I’ll get there.)
There are a lot of places in Scripture that tell of His unfailing love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). For His unfailing love is higher than the heavens (Psalm 108:4). He is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). Mark those references and then do a word search on God’s love. You’ll find that’s what the Bible is all about. His love.
This relates to confidence in two ways. First, it’s about being confident in Him, in His love. Second, it’s about being confident that His love positively affects your life. Tell me how certain are you of someone whose feelings toward you are unclear. He might be the most powerful force on earth, but if he’s lukewarm toward you it doesn’t do you much good.
The truth is that God loves you. Desperately. Not only did He send His only Son to die so you could live in paradise forever, He sent His Spirit to stay right here with you. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” (Romans 8:11) To give you life. To empower you. To remind you of the truth. With the Spirit of the Most High living in you, is there anything you can’t do?
The Spirit of God lives in me.
What are you doing with the Spirit of God living inside you?
One of the many great things about publishing your own books is the creative control you keep. Titles, covers, character names and places, even plot to an extent all remain what you envisioned for your story.
Of course, the downside is also that you get to keep creative control. No one else takes ownership of this project. No one else sees the potential and has as much passion for it.
Yes, it’s a wonderland of control and isolation. For decisive control freaks, it’s the life they dream of. For wishy-washy, I-can’t-decide-between-potatoes-or-pasta people, it’s a little more complicated. I have controlling moments (especially since becoming a mom… Okay, I have controlling days. I blame the toddlers!) but I’ll just be honest. I can’t decide between potatoes or pasta in the best of situations. Love ’em both!
That’s why I crave the solid certainty of the Bible, and today’s confession is a great example of the necessary middle ground between uber-control and indecisiveness. “Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6) I can’t leave out the scripture immediately before this. Verse 5 says, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.”
And that’s the key, friends. When you make a decision, make sure your faith is in God alone. Our certainty rests on Him. If faith in God is the basis for my decisions, I don’t have to waver.
So take a few minutes today to focus yourself on this truth and to let it impact your decisions. You’ll be glad you did!
No matter what I do today, my faith is in God alone. I will not waver.
Do you struggle to make decisions, or do you need to control every situation?
There is some absurd statistic that says people are way more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. Well, that’s true for me because I know where I’m going when I die. Frankly, it’s a lot nicer than where I am now. The point is that they’re afraid.
I never counted myself in this group because public speaking didn’t seem to bother me. Until I began thinking about it in marketing for my novels. And I’m SCARED. Paralyzed. Can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t speak.
I. Can’t. Speak.
What do I have to say that people would care to hear? What experiences to I have that would benefit others? Why, oh why, would anyone sit in front of me and give up their precious time to listen to something I say? Am I credible? Am I interesting? Funny? If nothing else, humor is a good way to keep people from throwing things at me.
Today’s confession and truth come together. I am confessing the truth to this ridiculous fear.
Confession: As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Micah 7:7
The truth is that when I read these words from the Bible, I do gain confidence. But not in myself. I will remain confident in God. He will save me. He will hear me. He will deliver me. Will I be funny? Interesting or credible? I don’t know. But it’s not about me. It’s about Him.
What is your fear, and what is your confession of truth?