Monday, March 3, 2014

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL: Cocky Faith Vs. Confident Faith

I have found that living for God is the essence of FAITH. According to Hebrews 11:1, "What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Every night that I go to sleep I have FAITH that God will wake me up in the morning. Every time I stay up late and sacrifice countless hours to my studies I have FAITH that all of my hard work will someday pay off. Whenever I am talking to someone and tell them that I'll see them later, I have FAITH that God will allow me to do just that! Why do I have FAITH that all of these things will happen? I can't think of anything else, besides that I simply have FAITH in God. I have FAITH in his power. I have FAITH in his love. I have FAITH in his blessings. I have FAITH in his protection. I have FAITH in his presence. And most of all, I have FAITH in his existence. 

God has been dealing with me regarding the topic of FAITH and he has used those around me to help unravel this topic for me in my life. I once read a quote by Lauryn Hill that said that FAITH is setting your alarm clock every night. Although I remember seeing this quote years ago as a little girl, I found it so profound that it has stuck with me years later. This quote reminds me that every single thing we do....we exhibit some glimpse of FAITH. We set alarm clocks, we plan trips in advance, we reserve future dates, we essentially plan our entire lives down to even the most minute details. Why? Because we have FAITH. FAITH is hope! I recently had a conversation with four of my friends who have become like sisters to me since we all met in college. We were all reminiscing about our lives and all of the different paths we are now taking (all positive!). I told them that I remember planning my life out and at 25 years old I was supposed to be married, have my dream house, and expecting twins. Even as I voice my former plans I laugh hysterically lol. The thought scares me because that would mean this would all be occurring next year (YIKES!). I don't even think I have the patience for twins, I feel like I'm too young for marriage (unless the man that God created for me finds me because we all know I'm not chasing any man), I don't even have a job that will be able to even finance my dream house, I'm still in school drowning in debt, and I have no prospective husband lol! My dreams back then were all founded on FAITH -- HOPE. That isn't to say that my dreams won't come to pass, it just means that if I want them to happen perfectly, and according to God's plan, I have to keep my FAITH and be patient. And quite frankly I'm willing to wait.

Since it is apparent that we all exhibit some form of FAITH, my concern is what kind of FAITH we are exhibiting because that reveals where our FAITH actually lies. 

Have you ever met a "cocky" person? Websters defines "cocky" as conceited or arrogant especially in a bold or impudent way; egotistical; boastful. If you're like most people then you canNOT stand a cocky person. They are a complete turn off (although we still love them as Christ loves us) and they're probably hard to be around. Cocky people often feel like they're perfect the way they are and often don't desire any criticism or self-reflection. Cocky people evaluate themselves. 

Is your FAITH cocky? Do you believe that God will answer your prayers even though you barely go before him? Do you only go to God for things when you have a need because you know that God has a perfect track record and hasn't failed you? Have you gotten so accustomed to God's blessings that you have stopped seeking him?

I can admit that I once exhibited cocky FAITH. This was the FAITH that allowed me to go out clubbing before church or even before exams because I just knew God was going to bless me and/or give me that A that I clearly didn't earn. This was the FAITH that allowed me to celebrate a friend's birthday at a strip club the night before my LSAT exam. This was the same FAITH that told me that I would go to law school without even applying. My God was just that good in my mind. I can go on for days about my cocky FAITH and my avoidable problems. When I was cocky in my FAITH I felt stagnant in my growth. I wasn't happy because things weren't going as planned. This was the same stubborn FAITH that would prevent me from going to the altar because I just felt like I didn't need to go. I literally kept hitting dead ends because I stopped seeking the desires of God and made my life about me (as Jael stated last week). It was everything that "I" wanted and the only time that God became relevant was when I had a need that I personally couldn't meet. The truth is, at that stage in my life, if I could've satisfied or met that need I would have. Why? Because I was so cocky in MY FAITH.

The line was blurred for me. When we have exhibit cocky FAITH we're not necessarily having FAITH in God, I think it's more like we have FAITH in our abilities in the world. The cockier your FAITH, the further away from God you become because your goal is self-control and self-satisfaction. Cocky FAITH will have you resorting back to your old ways believing that you will be able to come back to God once you have enjoyed the "perks" of the world. The truth is, not everyone returns back to the will of God after they've been entertained by the world. Cocky FAITH will also have you walking around saying that "Only God can judge me" only to forget that one day God will actually judge you. The Bible states, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18). Don't be so prideful and boastful in your FAITH that you blur the line between your abilities and God's abilities. God honors the believer that works, not the one who sits back and expects everything. You want something? Seek God. You can't expect to be on time for your blessings if you don't set that alarm clock. Remember, FAITH without works is dead (James 2:17).

Have you ever met a confident person? What about that one person who just exudes confidence in everything that they do? I find it that I'm easily attracted to confident people. They're convincing. They're captivating. They know their limits. It seems as if they are always learning and growing. They are always humble. They know exactly who they are and because of that they're easily respected. That's exactly what my FAITH mirrors! I have confident FAITH!

My FAITH understands where I fall short and where God surpasses. My FAITH understands that all of the glory is the Lord's. My FAITH understands that when this world is over, God's word will remain. My FAITH understands that I am nothing without God and I am perfectly okay with that. My FAITH constantly seeks him because I know that I don't have the answers. The Bible states, "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." (Psalms 9:10). Lord, I seek you because of who you are and who I am not. My FAITH tells me that as long as my heart remains fixed on you, that everything will fall into place. 

As I grow closer to God I begin to understand the strength of
my FAITH. My FAITH tells me that seeing is NOT believing. Instead, My FAITH believing is seeing, because when I apply my confident FAITH to my situations, my FAITH in GOD can turn any situation around. I don't care what my situation looks like, because according to my confident FAITH, "we walk by FAITH not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). My FAITH speaks over my situations according to how I want them to turn out. My FAITH is also submissive to the will of God. I have learned that you cannot run from the will of God. What God says goes so the fight is useless.

I recently met someone that I have been dying to meet. I remember researching somewhat everyday people that I wanted to meet because I was intrigued by their success stories and also found through their interviews that they have always given thanks to God for their blessings. Well I met this one lady who is extremely successful. I told myself I was going to meet her and it happened (My confident FAITH did that)! As we were talking our conversation immediately shifted from her worldly success to focusing solely on God. I was shocked and happy at the same time because my heart felt at home. Out of all of her success (and trust me her resume is extremely long and amazing), she told me that she was most proud when she, "kneels by her beside, and bows her head before God in prayer." From that moment I once again realized how amazing OUR GOD is!!! Confident FAITH tells us that no matter how important we become in the eyes of the world, that God still has to be the most important person in our lives. And as the world moves farther away from him, that's when we have to move even closer to him. Confident FAITH reminds us that there is spiritual warfare even in the midst of our blessings, but that as long as we remain fixed on God that there is no way we can lose. Confident FAITH reassures us that as long as we continue to seek God wholeheartedly, he won't EVER give us on us. Don't get caught up in the hype...make sure your FAITH lies in God and not in the world. 

As of right now I don't know what the future holds for me, but I'm confident that:
  1. God will see me through
  2. I'll keep my FAITH in God
  3. I'll give God the thanks and the glory regardless
  4. My greatest success will be doing his will

Dear God, 

We come before you with heavy hearts. We ask that you restore HOPE in mankind. We ask that you heal the hearts of the broken. We ask that you bring your children back where they belong--kneeling before your feet Lord God. For that person who has strayed we ask that you bring them back in your grace. Give everyone a desire to serve you and only you. Give us the strength to turn away from the enticement of the world because we know that it only leads to a life of destruction. Lord it's time for us to make that shift from cocky FAITH to that confident FAITH. Lord remind us of your power. Teach us to lean on you. Teach us to move mountains with our FAITH. Teach us to put our hope solely in the hands of you. Lord without you we are nothing and with you Lord God we are everything. Continue to keep us, guide us, protect us, and love us. All the glory belongs to you. We love you Jesus. 

By: Jamera

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