by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to carry an unjustified confidence about everything they think and do—and possibly an ego to match? Confidence is a huge and necessary character quality in life. Without confidence, leaders, athletes, professionals, nor anyone, would rise to the fullness of their potential. Yet confidence is not supposed to be based on vain imagination or inflated ego. Confidence is to be based on a number of factors having to do with knowledge, understanding, ability, skill, and potential. There is one more thing confidence must be built on that is more important that the rest; a revelation of God’s love, purpose, and direction for our lives through His Word.
Pride, ego, and boasting shut God out of one’s life. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLT) warns us, “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Let me tell you a powerful truth. God hates pride. Satan’s original sin was pride. Pride hinders God’s help in our lives. James 4:6 (NKJV) says, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 14:26 (NKJV) says, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence…” The words “strong confidence” literally means “mighty assurance.” What this verse is telling us is that when we put our faith in the promise of God’s Word, we can have mighty assurance or confidence in His grace (His supernatural help) to help us fulfill our God-given destiny for our life. .
Strong confidence rooted in anything outside of God is nothing more than disguised pride. Pride boasts about what it knows and about what it can do. It boasts about its future and its greatness. James 4:13-16 (NLT) says, “Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”
These verses aren’t telling us not to make plans or plan ahead. They are telling us that without praying for God’s guidance and participation in our day-to-day plans, we are on a journey all by ourself. Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) says “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” As a believer in Jesus Christ, we ultimately live our life to fulfill His purposes, not our own. This the most fulfilling and joyful life possible!
God’s word promises that He will provide the desires and direction to guide us in our daily path and destiny. It’s not like you’ll notice it every day. When you are driving down a road that goes straight for many miles, you notice the turns more than you notice the long straight drive. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
You will never extend your faith in His promise to lead you in your life if you don’t know He has a destiny for you. Once you understand that, then you will need to learn to trust and stand on these promises of God. And as you do, over time you will see God’s hand leading you.
You can’t know your future except concerning your salvation and eternal life with Him. But concerning the future you walk out here in this earth, you can have strong confidence that God will lead you step-by-step in your destiny as you trust Him and live for Him. In life, some people have destinies that outwardly seem more profound than others. Jesus modeled that His destiny was not about impressing others, but about being true to whatever His Father led Him to do, despite how others felt about it. Likewise, your life is about fulfilling those things that He has called you to do.
Be faithful to the small things! Don’t confuse your livelihood with your destiny. Your livelihood is what you do to provide a living. Your destiny might include your livelihood but it has more to do with how you live out your life for God, and how you influence others toward the plan of God over the course of your life. Again, that isn’t to be measured by someone else’s view of greatness but by obedience in your heart to do what God wants you to do. Whatever it is, it will include the giftings God has given you (which most are likely undiscovered by you yet), and being a light daily for Jesus to the world around you! Everyone needs to touch others with the love of Jesus according to their gifting and through walking out their daily lives. Over time, you begin to learn to follow the inward leading of God and be faithful to it. You’ll also see how God is developing your character and heart in preparation for your destiny in Him. Eventually you’ll have hindsight noticing how God has used you and shaped you for the things that lie ahead. Most Christians want to see the roadmap ahead of time. Rarely does God show you that. He wants you to pursue, grow, and trust Him as He takes you on your exciting road to and through your destiny in Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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