VIDEO Adjusting Your Self-Doubt

So the Lord said to [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” Exodus 4:11-12

Sometimes self-doubt is a reasonable response. As we enter into new challenges in life, we wonder if we have what it takes to overcome them. Setting our mind to playing in the NBA is likely not possible for most of us. Sometimes our human desires and goals need to be adjusted.

But what about those goals to which God calls us? Would God call us to do something for which He has not equipped us to succeed? Moses wondered that when God called him to go to Egypt and lead the Hebrews from bondage. Moses raised four different objections, and God gave him an answer for each one. The final answer was the best: “I can make the mute speak, so I will equip you to speak to Pharaoh.” Moses went and succeeded because God enabled him.

Don’t let self-doubt tempt you to doubt God. Whatever God’s call for your life, His enabling will be there.

Faith enables us to so rejoice in the Lord that our infirmities become platforms for the display of His grace. C. H. Spurgeon

Exodus 4 – Jon Courson

Lift Up Your Eyes

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

The clouds hung low, blocking the horizon and limiting visibility to only a few hundred yards. The minutes dragged on. The effect on my mood was noticeable. But then, as afternoon approached, the clouds began to break, and I saw it: beautiful Pikes Peak, the most recognizable landmark of my city, flanked on each side by the mountain range. A smile broke over my face. I considered that even our physical perspective—our literal line of sight—can affect our spiritual vision. And I was reminded of the psalmist singing, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains” (Psalm 121:1). Sometimes we simply need to lift our eyes a bit higher!

The psalmist pondered where his help came from, maybe because the hilltops around Israel were dotted with altars to pagan gods and often contained robbers. Or it could have been because the psalmist looked up beyond the hills to Mount Zion where the temple stood and remembered that the Maker of heaven and earth was his covenant God (v. 2). Either way, to worship we must look up. We have to lift our eyes higher than our circumstances, higher than our troubles and trials, higher than the empty promises of the false gods of our day. Then we can see the Creator and Redeemer, the One who calls us by name. He’s the One who will “watch over your coming and going” today and forevermore (v. 8).

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How can you “look up” today—beyond your circumstances—to see God? What would it look like to call upon Him for the help you really need?

Dear Father, thank You that You’re the Creator and Keeper—the One who made the heavens and the earth and watches over me. Help me to lift my eyes higher to see You and to put my trust in You.

Turning From Discouragement

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Many people view discouragement and disappointment as the same thing, but there’s a slight difference. Disappointment is an emotional response to a failed expectation, whereas discouragement, or despair, usually comes from prolonged disillusionment or continued hardship.

Since we cannot experience perfect success in a fallen world or keep ourselves from suffering, there’s no way to avoid all disappointments in life. However, we don’t have to yield to discouragement. With the right perspective of God and His sovereignty over us, we can avoid feelings of despair. When He, in His providence, allows failure and disappointment, it is part of His perfect plan, and He promises to use it for good (Rom. 8:28). 

If our confidence is in ourselves and what we can accomplish, we will always be disappointed. The only true remedy for discouragement is to put our hope in God. He alone can give us the courage to persevere, but we must be willing to look beyond the immediate to the eternal.

The Lord wants us to succeed but not necessarily in our self-reliant endeavors. Instead, may we all become victorious over despair and disappointment by trusting in and depending on Him.

Many Books

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12)

It seems amazing, at first, that we should be reading a complaint from almost 3,000 years ago that too many books were already being published. The greatest book, of course, is the collection of 66 books known as the Bible—that is, the Book (which is the meaning of “Bible”). This Book has been “for ever…settled in heaven” and “endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:89, 160).

The first mention of “book” in the Bible is found in Genesis 5:1: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Similarly, the first mention of “book” in the New Testament is Matthew 1:1: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.” These “books” are now incorporated into the Book and, in a striking way, emphasize the continuity of Old and New Testaments—the one dealing with the first Adam, the other with the last Adam.

The final mentions of “book” also are very important, again dealing not with books that are temporal but with books that are eternal. In the Old Testament we have the beautiful promise of Malachi 3:16: “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”

The final mention of “book” in the Bible, on the other hand, is a sober warning not to tamper with the Book. “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:19). Let us honor it, guard it, believe it, and follow it. HMM

Longing for God

As me hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? —Psalm 42:1-2

God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.   POG020

“I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” Amen.

The Godhead of the Spirit

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter…even the Spirit of truth. —John 14:16-17

In her sacred hymnody the Church has freely acknowledged the Godhead of the Spirit and in her inspired song she has worshiped Him with joyous abandon. Some of our hymns to the Spirit have become so familiar that we tend to miss their true meaning….

In the poetical works of Frederick Faber I have found a hymn to the Holy Spirit which I would rank among the finest ever written…:

Fountain of Love! Thyself true God!

Who through eternal days

From Father and from Son hast flowed

In uncreated ways!

I dread Thee, Unbegotten Love!

True God! sole Fount of Grace!

And now before Thy blessed throne

My sinful self abase.

O Light! O Love! O very God

I dare no longer gaze

Upon Thy wondrous attributes

And their mysterious ways. POM068-069

[T]he Holy Spirit is a Being dwelling in another mode of existence….He nevertheless exists as surely as you exist. HTB011

Have The Mind of Christ

Philippians 2:5

What is the mind of Christ? First, Jesus had a nonstop God-consciousness. God was part of every experience of His life. He did not split His life into two parts: the sacred and the secular, the religious and the ordinary.

When questioned about His miracles or His teaching He would reply humbly, “I do always the will of My Father,” (John 8:29) or “I speak only what My Father tells me to speak” (John 12:50). Life was all of one piece, like the seamless robe He wore.

The awareness of God’s presence and purpose was most perfectly seen in His obedience to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He prays beneath the olive trees lit by the Pascal moon, we hear His words in that sacred moment,

“Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus was prepared to subordinate His own will, good and blameless as it was, to the will of God. So He rose from His knees and went forward to face the cross and become the world’s Redeemer. That was the mind of Christ. Unquestionably obedient.

How obedient to the will of God are we? Does the world crowd in too much and put God to the margin of our experience? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to shape our attitudes to Christ’s, to make us more aware of God’s presence and ready to do His will above all else. Let this obedient mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Secondly, a beautiful characteristic of the mind of Christ was His awareness of others. He was never self-absorbed, but always concerned for the people He met among the crowds that milled around Him.

It is fascinating to watch Jesus in the Gospel stories, calling the children closer to Him when His disciples would chase them away, or noticing a poor woman quietly putting two coins in the temple treasury. He made friends with unsavory characters. His ear caught the faint cry of a blind man almost lost in the noisy crowd. His compassion reached out to each one. He was love personified.

The mind of Christ is a loving mind. Do we have a mind like that? That kind of love is costly. To have the mind of Christ is to love like that.

Eva Burrows, The Salvationist Pulpit