Archives

A Lamp For My feet -W212 – Let Go of Your Doubt to Build Confidence

Let Go of Your Doubt to Build Confidence
by Rick Warren

“Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 LB)

Doubt is the single greatest enemy of confidence. It limits your potential. It causes procrastination. It will cause you to miss God’s best. James 1:6 says, “Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind” (GNT). When you doubt, you let your circumstances control you.

“Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 LB). God tells Joshua to “Get rid of that doubt stuff! Banish it!” Banish means to dump it. Throw it out the window. Get it out of sight. Don’t deal with it any more. Get rid of it.

There are two things that rob our confidence and cause doubt.
1. Comparing yourself to others causes doubt. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that people who compare themselves to other people are foolish. You should never compare yourself to anybody else because you are unique. God made you to be you; he doesn’t want you to be somebody else. Most people start off in life as originals and end up as carbon copies – and poor carbon copies at that!

God says not to compare yourself for two reasons: One, you’ll always find someone who’s doing a better job than you, and you’ll get discouraged. And two, you’ll always find somebody you’re doing a better job than, and you will be filled with pride. Don’t compare yourself. You are unique, so you are incomparable!

2. Past failures cause doubt. Some of you think that because of certain things in your past, God could never use you. Have you ever read the Bible? The spiritual leaders of the Bible did not exactly have a stellar record. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Abraham gave his wife away – twice! Jacob stole the family inheritance from his brother. Paul was a religious terrorist. Peter was a hard driving, hard drinking, hard living fisherman – a salty sea dog!  And he probably cussed like one, too. God uses people with checkered pasts because none of us are perfect. God uses average, ordinary, dysfunctional people. If God only used perfect people, what would get done in this world?

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. What matters is what direction your feet are headed right now.

Talk About It
o    If God tells you to banish doubt, then you have a choice. You can doubt your doubts instead of believing them. Today, start a habit of acknowledging a doubt, but then choosing not to believe it. How does it affect your confidence?
o    Believe the Bible when it says that God wants to use you, that even before you were born you were put on this planet for a purpose, and that he is going to use you for ministry. How have you let your doubts keep you from doing what God has called you to do in ministry?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional (c)2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Share This Post

A Lamp For My Feet -W211 – Satan Is Defeated

Satan Is Defeated
‘…the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.’ 1 John 3:8 NKJV

Have you ever watched one of those TV shows where the police show up, surprise the criminal and say, ‘You’re busted,’ then put them in handcuffs and take them off to jail? That’s what Jesus did to Satan. This word ‘destroy’ implies ‘to come un-glued,’ or ‘to fall apart’. Imagine the mortar crumbling and the wall coming down, or the spool running out of thread so that when the garment is picked up it falls apart. On what basis would you like to fight Satan? By the power of your own intellect, or by the power of God’s Word? By your own will, or by knowing God’s will, standing on it and enforcing its terms? Ever turn on the lights in a dark room and watch cockroaches run for cover? You didn’t do anything, you just turned on the light! Every wall Satan builds to keep you locked in crumbles when exposed to the light of God’s Word. Satan’s act literally comes un-glued. And it happens fast, because light travels at over 299,000 kilometres per second. Satan’s greatest weapon is your ignorance of God’s Word. That’s why he will fight you over Bible reading more than most other things. Jesus said, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:32 NIV) The truth itself doesn’t set you free; it’s ‘knowing’ the truth, standing on it in times of trouble and trusting God to do what He has said, that empowers you not only to survive Satan’s attacks, but to triumph over him.

Satan Is Defeated
‘…He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.’ Hebrews 2:15 NLT

For many of us, death is our greatest fear. One comedian quipped, ‘I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens!’ But we can’t joke away the sobering reality the Bible describes as ‘the last enemy’. So what’s the answer? Jesus! ‘…only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.’ (Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT) Until Jesus came, Satan used the threat of death. Until then we all lived in fear of it. But because of the resurrection, all Satan has left are the lies he can tell about death. The word ‘destroy’ implies ‘to reduce to zero’ (1 John 3:8). Wow! By His death and resurrection, Jesus reduced Satan’s power to zero. And today Jesus says to you, ‘…Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.’ (Revelation 1:17-18 NKJV) After destroying the prison of death, Jesus came out and said to Satan the jailer, ‘I’ll take those keys,’ then He went back to Heaven.
We grieve the loss of a loved one, and that’s a healthy thing to do. But you can handle the grief when you know you can live through it, and that you’ll be reunited in Heaven with your loved ones. So even in death, we win and Satan loses.

Satan Is Defeated
‘…He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.’ Colossians 2:15 NKJV

Standing on the deck of a US aircraft carrier at the end of the Pacific war, in an historic moment never to be forgotten, General MacArthur walked over to Tojo, the Japanese leader, and publicly stripped him of all his symbols of power. And that’s what Jesus did for you at the cross. ‘Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.’ First, Tojo wanted peaceful coexistence, then compromise, then concessions. But he got none, because he was powerless. In a card game an opponent with an empty hand will try to bluff and bully you. But when you know you have a winning hand you can face him down, because knowledge is power. And your power over Satan comes from knowing that he’s a defeated foe. He was once known as the anointed cherub, but now Christ is the Anointed One. He was once known as an angel of light, but now Christ is the Light of the World. He was once known as the morning star, but now Christ is the Bright and Morning Star. He was once a heavenly worshipper, but now Jesus says, ‘In the presence of the congregation, I will sing Your praises.’ (Hebrews 2:12 NIV) He was once known as one of the sons of God, but now Jesus declares, ‘I am the Son of God.’ Satan is called the prince of this world, but Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan is called a roaring lion, but Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who has prevailed over him (Revelation 5:5). Rejoice, Satan is defeated!

Satan Is Defeated
‘The serpent…asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat?”…”Of course we may…”‘ Genesis 3:1-2 NLT

The only power Satan has over you is the power of persuasion. ‘The serpent…asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat?”…”Of course we may”… “You won’t die…God knows that your eyes will be opened…and you will be like God”…The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some…Then she gave some to her husband…At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame…When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard You walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”‘ (Genesis 3:1-10 NLT) Never forget that story! And keep this in mind also: Satan is a talker, and you’ll never out-talk him. The power of persuasion is an incredible thing. The fashion industry can persuade you to take a wardrobe you paid a small fortune for last year, and replace it with what they’re selling now. Clothes you felt good about then, you don’t even want to be seen in now. The trouble is, in a few years’ time the clothes you wore last year will be back in fashion; you’ll be poor, and the fashion moguls will be rich. Temptation is all about persuasion. But if Christ has already persuaded you, Satan can’t make you do anything.

Share This Post

A Lamp For My Feet W210 – Five Winning Choices

Five Winning Choices
by Rick Warren

“Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 LB)
Ultimately, your identity is based on your choices. Here are five winning choices you can make that will help determine your destiny:

1. I can choose to get healthier. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you don’t have an Olympic body, find ways to increase your energy, lower your stress, get more sleep, and have more power. Psalm 119:73 says, “You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands” (LB). Improving the controllable factors in your life helps you reduce the impact of the uncontrollable factors.

2. I can choose to deepen relationships. The fear of rejection prevents connection, and the only way to get rid of fear is to do the thing you fear the most. Learn communication skills, replace bad relationships, reach out and risk connecting with someone. “Let love be your highest goal!” (1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT)

3. I can choose to trust God no matter what happens. “I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising him” (Psalm 34:1 LB). When you get to the point in your life where you can say, “I praise the Lord no matter what happens,” that is a confidence that you won’t find anywhere in Hollywood, on Capitol Hill, or on Wall Street. That is a confidence built on a relationship with God!

4. I can choose what I think about. Throughout the 20th century, scientists believed the adult brain could not be changed. When the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner finally proved that you can rewire your brain, science finally caught up to the Bible: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2 NLT). Your self is created by your memories, and your memories are created by your mental habits. Feed your brain with truth – God’s Word.

5. I can choose Jesus as my Savior. I’m not just talking about Jesus saving you from your sins. I’m talking about letting Jesus be your savior every day. Letting Jesus save you gives you the power to follow through on the choices you make. “Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 LB).

You get to choose how much God blesses your life; he is just waiting on you to use your wild card. It is never too late to change. When you make these five winning choices, God gives you a winning hand.

Talk About It
Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, there are some things you’ve dealt me and life has dealt me and others have dealt me that I don’t like. But I thank you for the wild card. Thank you that you made me in your image and that I can make choices. Today, in your power and your strength, I choose to get healthier. I choose to do the things that will give me more energy and a healthier mind, body, and emotions. Lord, I choose to build healthy relationships. I’m scared to death, but I’m going to risk building new, healthy connections. I want love to be my highest goal; I want my life to be built on love.

“God, I choose to trust you regardless of the circumstances. I will praise you no matter what happens! I will trust that every detail of my life is being worked out for good. Lord, I choose what I will think about – no more junk. Help me to fill my life with positive memories and the Word of truth. Most of all, Jesus, I choose you as my savior. I need your salvation, but I also need you to save me from myself. I need you to help me rewire my body, my heart, my mind, and my relationships so that the rest of my life is the best of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional (c)2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Share This Post

A Lamp For My Feet -W209 – To Win in Life

To Win in Life
‘…Run in such a way as to get the prize.’ 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV

William Arthur Ward wrote: ‘Believe while others are doubting. Plan while others are playing… Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others are frowning… Persist while others are quitting.’ To win in life requires three things:
(1) You must start. That may seem obvious, but many of us are stuck in the starting blocks waiting for something to get us going. What has God called and equipped you to do? Step out and do it, and He will empower you!

(2) You must give it your all. Divers in the Olympics don’t save all their effort for their final dive. They concentrate on nailing every single one, increasing their chances for a gold medal. Don’t settle for mediocrity at any stage of life (Philippians 3:14).

(3) You must never quit. In the 1992 Olympics, Derek Redmond of Britain was competing in the 400 metre race when he suffered a torn hamstring and fell. As the other runners breezed past him, he began to struggle to his feet. His father, whose face was covered with tears, suddenly ran down from the stands to help him up. Slowly, agonisingly, they made their way around the rest of the track and crossed the finish line as the stadium in Barcelona burst into thunderous applause. Redmond didn’t win a medal, but he won something more important-the respect of the world.

The Bible says, ‘Run in such a way as to get the prize.’

Share This Post

A Lamp For My Feet -W208 – Be Willing to Change

Be Willing to Change
‘…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.’ Philippians 4:8 NIV

If you’re not moving closer to your dream, you may not be tenacious enough in your pursuit of it. And the key to greater tenacity is not necessarily working harder at the same things, but being willing to change. Change what?
(1)Your thinking. Are you convinced you can’t succeed? Do you describe yourself and what you’re doing in negative terms? Are you afraid to get started because conditions aren’t favourable? Do you stop trying to move forward when you don’t have the resources you need? If so, you need to change your mindset, to break the cycle of negative thinking.

(2) Your perspective. Do you have a short-term mindset? Are you expecting success in days, weeks, or months? The greater your assignment, the longer it’s likely to take. So recalibrate your expectations and create a more reasonable timetable for yourself; otherwise, you’ll live in frustration and defeat. That’s not God’s will for you. Paul’s desire was ‘…that I may finish my race with joy…’ (Acts 20:24 NKJV) God wants you to experience joy in the pursuit of your goal.

(3) Your ways. How are things going in your personal life and in your home life? Are you ready to deal with the habits and hang-ups that stand between you and success? What can you do today that will bring you closer to your dream-no matter how small the progress? Author and publisher Robert Collier says, ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.’

Share This Post

A Lamp For My feet – W207 – Have High Expectations of God

Have High Expectations of God
‘…I will…tell you…things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

In tough times we’ve a tendency to lower our expectations. As a result we end up settling for less than God wants. The Bible asks, ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord?…’ (Genesis 18:14 NKJV) Now it’s easy to answer, ‘No!’ But what you do next proves whether or not you actually believe that. Jesus said: ‘If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’ (John 13:17 NKJV)

To walk in God’s blessing every day you must do what He tells you. And He may tell you to do something different! The problem is, we get attached to methods which worked in the past and keep going back to them. But by always looking to the familiar, you limit God. He’s much greater than any proven method, and He’s never predictable. His Word says, ‘Call to Me and I will…tell you…things you do not know.’ The Living Bible says, ‘I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen.’ What an offer!

When God decided that Moses would lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses never questioned God’s ability, he just questioned whether God could do it through him. What was God’s answer when Moses complained that he wasn’t an articulate speaker? ‘Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’ (Exodus 4:12 NIV)

God is neither enhanced by your strengths nor inhibited by your struggles. There’s more He wants to do through you than what you’ve experienced so far. So have high expectations of God and respond in faith to whatever He tells you.

Share This Post

A Lamp For My feet -W206 – Four Benefits of Understanding Your Uniqueness

Four Benefits of Understanding Your Uniqueness
by Rick Warren

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:14 NLT)
Once you understand your shape, it explains how you respond to authority, how you handle criticism, how you deal with confrontation, how you make friends, how you deal with guilt, why you get close to people or why you don’t get close to people. Your shape explains what makes you mad, sad, worried, happy – because it’s you!

There are four benefits of discovering and building your life around your “S.H.A.P.E.” (your spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences):

1. It reduces stress. When you are confident in how you are shaped, you stop comparing yourself to other people. Instead, you build on your strengths, recognize your limitations, maximize what you’re good at, and don’t worry about the rest. It’s a guaranteed stress reducer!

2. It increases success. Success is not making a lot of money; it’s knowing God’s will and being right in the center of it. It’s being what God meant you to be. It’s figuring out who you are and then being you!

3. It deepens satisfaction. A satisfying life is when you are doing what you’re shaped to do. Freedom comes from doing what you’re gifted to do and enjoying what God made you to be. When you build your life on God’s shape for you, you feel the love of God a whole lot more because you’re in harmony with his plan.

4. It builds self-esteem. There’s an epidemic of low self-esteem in our society today. Studies say that over 50 percent of people are in the wrong jobs. I believe that genuine self-esteem is not built on positive thinking but on two biblical truths: First, you matter to God and, second, you were shaped by God for a purpose.

Talk About It
o    Once you know your shape, spend some time evaluating how your time is spent. Are you pursuing activities or goals that God specifically shaped you to do?
o    Would you say that you have a satisfying life? What is your satisfaction or contentment based on?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional (c)2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Share This Post
Categories