And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (1)

God‘s always teaching us about Himself.  Sounds vain?  It would if we were to do the same, for we are a self-absorbed people.  God, on the other hand, is pure.  And being pure, He wants us to experience Him now, thereby experiencing real peace, real purpose, real life, and real freedom.

 

It’s fair to say, based on what we know; a baby in the womb knows not what awaits him or her beyond the womb.  The baby’s world is small by comparison to what awaits.  In the same way, each of us is being birthed into another realm.  This world’s like the womb.  We aren’t designed to be in this form long term and will outgrow it. 

 

Think of the mother talking to her baby in the womb.  She speaks softly, “I can’t wait to hold you.  You are amazing.  You have no idea what’s waiting for you here.  I love you and will do all I can to insure you know experience this love.”

 

As children, what do we desire most?  The answer is the presence of our parent(s).  Children mostly want us near, to hold, to snuggle, to experience our warmth, grace and love.  Like children, we are no different.  When anxious, scared or in need, if we believe, we seek God’s presence.  We want to know He is with us.

 

God is Spirit.   We discover Him in His creation, through His Word and through the person and Deity of Jesus.   Its only when we submit to Jesus that we truly can experience being born again and living by the Spirit.  Just as the baby is born in the womb and born again into this world, we too must experience the life changing power of the Holy Spirit to connect with God.

 

If you struggle with depression, self-worth, anger, relationships or any number of overwhelming thoughts that beat you down each day, choose Jesus.  Peace and liberty aren’t found in self-denial, mediation and the like; for these exercises, of themselves, are rooted in self.  Think on Jesus.  Mediate on Jesus.  Consider Jesus.  Seek the Jesus.  There’s a difference.

 

As you and I seek Jesus we become less absorbed and more focused on Who is truly for us.  “For if God is for us, who can be against us.” (2)  Dwelling on Jesus, reading His Scriptures and thinking on the character of Jesus is the only way to experience God’s presence.  For He alone is enough.

 

1: Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

2: Romans 8:31 (NIV)

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…” (1) 

 

Throughout Scripture, whenever an Angel or the Lord Himself revealed the unseen realm to an individual the greeting was always, “Don’t be afraid.”  Why?  We are often afraid of what we don’t understand as it reveals within us our finite status.  As long as we have charge over our domain we are not confronted with the reality we control so very little.  This is why it’s essential for each of us to develop a foundation rooted in Jesus, so when the waves of life topple us, we are steadfast in our confidence of He who holds us.

 

My daughter and son wrote a song the other night and shared it with me and my wife.  The name of the song is “I’m not afraid.”  Throughout the song the lyrics reflect the character of God and how knowing Jesus frees us to live fearless lives.  If He truly is for us and in us and walks with us and knows us and forgives us because of His magnificent love then we are transformed by Him.  His power is unmatched.

 

There is no fear in love.  We are children of the Lord God Almighty, Maker of all that is.  How could fear hold any power in the presence of the One who is without fear?  It’s the opposite.  God’s love, perfect love, drives out fear.  What are you and I fearful of that God can’t handle as we abide in Jesus?  “He is the vine and we are the branches (2)”.  There is no fear.  There is no worry.  There is no fretting over this or that.  “All things will work together for good to those who love God (3). 

 

So be encouraged.  Choose to live each day recognizing fear and letting it go.  Know God is love and He is actively driving out fear.  It cannot co-exist with Him.  You and I, we are His.  He pursues us relentlessly.  Reflect on His character when anxious and woo your soul to recount His promises.  “For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good (4).

 

  1. 1 John 4:18a

  2. John 15:5a

  3. Romans 8:28

  4. Psalm 107:9

Parents often ask me, “My child’s self-esteem seems so low. What can I do?” I always follow up with, “Tell me how you’ve been investing in the development of your child’s self-confidence?”

 

The response or lack of tells me a lot. There is a difference between the pop culture in vogue love affair with the term “self-esteem” and the reality of developing self-confidence.

 

Self-esteem does not exist. Building self-confidence does exist. How are you, as parent, investing in this process? Look at you conversations with your child. Do you focus more on what he or she does well or where they fail?

 

If you are like most of us, you highlight where they mess up, rather than do sincere cart wheels over what they did well. So how do you address the mess ups?

 

We build up our confidence, courage, essentially our overall ability to navigate this world by “doing.” If we “do” well we tend to “do” more of what is working well.

 

If we fail we tend to want to stop “doing” that which we fail. Letting our children off the hook for failing is rescuing them from this process. We must learn to persevere and this trait starts in us as children.

 

Parents also interrupt this process through their interactions with their children when the child fails, don’t try as hard as the parent wants or encounters limitations that the parent just doesn’t accept.

 

While it is great to have high standards and challenge your child to aim high and go for the brass ring it is your role as parent to teach them the skills to reach the goal.

 

If your interaction with your child is always focused on the negative or what they did wrong and less is on what is right, would you want to be coached by this person?

 

Each time you interact with your child you make an emotional investment into their psyche. They don’t always believe in themselves. They depend on your belief in them to get them through until they experience success and your voice is replaced by their voice.

 

In the scripture Jesus declares seeing Him is the same as seeing the Father. The apostle Paul encourages the church of Corinth to follow him as he follows Christ.

 

Just as God does with us, we want our child to follow us, to imitate us, to have the experience of their mommy and daddy believing in them playing in their head when challenges present.

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (1)

 

Moses was minding his own business. Long ago were the days of trying to be involved in the affairs of others. He spent his days tending sheep. He had come to enjoy this simple way of life.

 

When he fled Egypt, he wandered for a time until he settled in the terroritory of Midian, which is the area of modern day Jordan and Saudi Arabi. Egypt was miles away and years ago.

 

He was eighty years old. Forty years had past since he was last in Egypt. His days involved sheparding sheep up on the mountain side. Little did he know he would be trading his current sheep for a sheep much more difficult to shephard.

 

When God speaks, Moses is unsuspecting. Perhaps Moses was praying as he was guiding the sheep. One thing is clear; Moses was not prepared for God’s mission. Neither are we.

 

God tells Moses to go to the most powerful ruler of Moses’ day and tell him to let all the Isralite slaves go.

 

Moses offers many excuses why he is not the person to go on this mission. God is unrelenting. Isn’t God still like that with you and me?

 

Moses resigns himself to go. He is scared and lacks confidence. He says to God, “Who should I say sent me?” God responds, “I am who I am.” Was God’s response supposed to inspire confidence within Moses? Does it bring confidence to us?

 

God is! He is the same, without change and without compare. Living in the moment, being present and learning to live in the now of life is where and who God is. We tend to miss this reality as we struggle to live in the past or the future.

 

Take time today to sit in silence for 2 minutes. Focus on your breathing. Clear your mind, relax your body. Jesus is. He is present in this moment. The Holy Spirit is now.

 

Allow His peace, confidence and courage to wash over you. He is with you. He is forever, the Great I Am. “Be still and know I am God.” (2)

 

(1) Exodus 3:14

(2) Psalm 46:10