YLD (21/03/07) – Turn to God for strength, making the name of Jesus known!
What is the world telling us?
- The world tells us to believe in ourselves, to be fearless, and to believe we can do anything we put our minds to.
- But what about those times you need to take action but are painfully aware of your limitations?
When you place your confidence in yourself
o When our confidence relies on ourselves, we can’t measure up to it. We are in a shaky ground due to our limitations and imperfection.
o We don’t have the skills sets and confidence.
o There are many things out of our control.
When you place your confidence in God
- Having confidence in God makes sense when we know God
o God is holy, all good things are coming from God
- Having confidence in God becomes easier as that relationship grows
- Having confidence in God because we encounter Him before (Psalm 56:3-4, NLT)
o You also see God’s power and strength have been proven again and again, in the Bible and in lives around you
- You have courage because your confidence is placed in God
o God would never leave you or forsake you
o God is a promise keeper and he never fails
Two examples are given: Paul and Gideon place their confidence in God
- How did Paul keep going despite the difficulty and hardship?
o Many rejected the teaching of Paul – he was often beaten, thrown in prison, or driven out of the city or being stoned
o Paul not only had 1 but had 3 missionary journeys:
- Then a trip to Rome. Paul arrested in Jerusalem and imprisoned in Caesaren and beheaded in Rome (AD 60-67)
- For Paul, Jesus Christ his only source for life, the one for whom he would die
- Paul was warned time after time that there was danger ahead of him as he returned back to Jerusalem
- A prophet named Agabus was told by the Holy Spirit that Paul would deliver into the hands of the Gentiles
- But the Holy Spirt kept pushing Paul to go back (Acts 20:22-24)
- Paul did what God wanted not what he wanted
- His confidence is not placed in himself but in God
- Gideon was a military leader, a prophet and a judge. He received a call from God to take on the Midianites.
- In the book of Judges, we see a man struggled with self-doubt and a complete lack of confidence.
- The task ahead of him seemed impossible. Yet he trusted God could save Israel, and he was willing to obey once he was sure he understood the messages God sent him.
- God told Gideon to reduce the army from 32,000 to ten thousand, then three hundred against a Midianite force of 135,000 men!
- At that point, no amount of self-confidence would have helped. He had to depend solely on God’s power and faithfulness, and he dared to do that.
What Paul and Gideon have in common is to recognize the ultimate source of power: their creator and the Lord. We, too, can live courageously in the face of difficult circumstances when we confidently turn to God for strength and making His name known.