Write 31- Day 2 Jeremiah 17:7-8

Jeremiah

So yeah did you see that Day two thing in the title GRRRRR!  It has been a rough two weeks.  We have been crazy Busy a snap shot of exactly what that looks like will be in tomorrows post, but for today we are going to talk all about Jeremiah.

Jeremiah has some passages that in my own personal life have brought great peace in moments of great trial.  But whenever dealing with an Old Testament book we MUST MUST MUST remember that these promises, we so often like to claim, are written for the Israelites.  We have a different set of promises mapped out in the New Testament and we must be VERY careful not to try to take what was promised to Israel and claim it as out own. That is replacement theology and dangerous territory.  Now that my disclaimer is over, I want you to understand that I am not addressing a promise from Jeremiah BUT it is a description.   More specifically it is the  description of the person who has confidence in the Lord.

A Visit with Jeremiah

Let’s talk just a minute about the book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah is a major prophet.  This does not mean he is more important than the minor prophets. it just means that the book itself is bigger than the minor prophet books. Jeremiah was often times referred to as a prophet of doom relating to the prophecies he told about the impending exile.    He is also referred to as the “weeping prophet.”  we have the most detail about this prophet because of his transparency through his writings.  He often shares his innermost thoughts about God, his enemies and his own thoughts of himself.

First the Cursed- Jeremiah 17:5-6

Actually verses 7 and 8 are the second part of a comparison God is making.Verses 5 and 6 start the comparison by saying:

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

The Lord lays out what exactly is considered cursed.

  • the one who trusts in man,
  • who draws strength from mere flesh
  • whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Those all come from verse 5. so then in verse 6 we see what will happen to such cursed people:

  • That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
  • They will not see prosperity when it comes.
  • They will dwell in the parched places of the desert in a salt land where no one lives.

We know from both history and the Bible that the Israelites lived in a wonderful promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. and yet they were about to be kicked out because of their continued disobedience to God.

Then the Blessed- Jeremiah 17:7-8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

In contrast, God goes on to show us who the blessed one is:  This in’t a promise of blessing.  This isn’t a “if you do the right thing you are going to be rich” sort of thing.

So what does this blessed one  look like?

  • They trust in the Lord
  • Their confidence is in Him

The analogy of a tree planted by water is not a new concept.  David talks about a similar type tree in Psalm 1.  This blessed person is saturated like a tree planted by the water.  Saturated in the relationship with God.  Their heart fully trusts Him for all of their needs. Because heat will come.  Notice it does not say in the verse “if heat comes” but rather it says “when heat comes.”  It is expected. And it does NOT fear the heat!   It has NO worries in the year of a drought.  And yet in the midst of the heat and the drought it still never fails to bear fruit.

YIKES….Ouch!!!!

So many times when we struggle we sit back and throw ourselves a pity party of sorts (I am so guilty of this myself).

A  “woe is me” sort of attitude.

Look at how awful this is.  To quote one of my favorite movies “we can’t see past the nose on our own face.” we don’t look to God and acknowledge our trust that he has this!  he knows the outcome and whatever it is it’s ok with us.  Instead we have to “figure things out.”  “we have to find the answers.” ” we have to talk to the right people.”

So how does this apply to little ole me?

I am a fixer by nature.

  • I want to fix things.
  • I want to fix circumstances
  • I want to fix people

But here is the thing, and I know it’s gonna shock you all…..Ready for it….

I’M NOT GOD!! Go figure!  So here is the thing.

If I give all of my junk over to God.  All of the control.  All of my fears. All of my worries.  All of my stress.  and I drink deeply from the stream of His word and I work to have this amazing relationship with Him.  I will be blessed.  Not because I have self-confidence, because that has fears and worries. But instead I have God-fidence which gives all of my fears and worries to Him and I live blessed, like Jeremiah, in a relationship with God.

Write 31-Day 1 – Why Confidence?

ConfidenceI know I know, it’s day 2 and I am already behind.  That’s because I have been wrestling with….you guessed it a lack of confidence.  It has been something that I have wrestled with since I was very young.  And I must confess right here and right now that some of this has to do with my personality and then some of that REALLY has to do with circumstances that have happened as well.

And that leads me to tonight’s topic, WHY CONFIDENCE?

Well last year at this time I was beginning to really contemplate my word for the following year.  But life was about to get CRAZY!  We went from a household of 6 to a household of ten.  The circumstances of that change is not something to be discussed on the internet, but it was something both hubby and I felt very strongly that hubby and I were called to do.  And to this day we will stand by that decision and we are glad we did!  But in all of this I came to become glaringly aware that I doubted almost all that I did.  But as I prayed about this new found fear that gripped my life I began to pray….HARD! And you know what I realized?  It has ALWAYS been there.

Fear of doing the wrong things ruled my life.

Fear of making people angry.

Fear of disappointing people.

Fear of failure.

Fear of Failure to make the wrong choice.

Fear of ruining someone else’s life.

FEAR ran my life.

Fear is the antithesis of confidence.  Fear gives control to someone else. HMMMM.

I cannot pin down the moment that confidence became my word in January of this year but I knew it two or three weeks into January when the lightbulb finally went on.  Then came the study, searching out the verse that would become my verse for the year and I landed in the book of Jeremiah

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

7.  “But blessed is the one who trusts the Lord,

whose confidence is in Him

8.  They will be like a tree  planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.

WOW WOW WOW

Did you catch all that verse  said?  Well Have no fear, WE ARE GOING TO BREAK IT DOWN!

Because this is so important for ALL of us to understand.

So That is why confidence.  I needed confidence .   But not just confidence in myself either.  I have NOTHING to offer.  Despite all my friends thinking I am the strongest person they know, That is a direct quote people .  I stand back and I look at myself in the mirror and I see this weak, broken person who doubts every  little thing.  I needed a bigger answer.  I needed God-fidence .  It did me absolutely no earthly good to have confidence in me.  I had nothing to offer outside of what Christ has done in me.  I was fearful.

Now the thing is I am still fearful.  I am 9 months into this journey.  I have not arrived and I have to give that fearfulness over to God, and realize He is far bigger than me.

So even though I lack confidence when …

I am fearful, He is  all-knowing and all-powerful

I am weak, He is strong.

I fail, he ALWAYS succeeds.

I am not enough for whoever, He is always enough for everyone AT ALL TIMES!

I am imperfect, He is perfect.

And there is so much more.

I know this word places a high value on self-confidence.  Even the church does.  Because only the self-confident will stand up for themselves.  But I am here to tell you that standing up for yourself, tearing another person down to get your point across and voicing your pet peeves is NOT a biblical principle.( NOTE:: There  is a difference between  fighting for your  ” self imposed rights” versus  your physical safety.  If you find yourself in danger LEAVE!!). Fight for what God says is right not what you think should be right!  That is called entitlement.

Time and again we are told not to fight for ourselves but that God will fight for us.

Bible Knowledge .Com lists out 29 verses that Talks all about relying on God  to fight for us!

May I encourage you to look at the verses tonight and tomorrow.  Then tomorrow we will delve into my verse for the year and we will be discussing what God-fidence REALLY looks like.

And then hopefully later tomorrow I will get caught up with Day 3 and we will look at the differences between self confidence and God-fidence.

Have a GREAT NIGHT

Blessings

Mary

Write 31 Days-God-fidence- Writing Through My Word for the Year

Hi All

I am Mary and I am new to this place, though I have been following this group for a couple of years , this year is my first  year!  I have jumped in with both feet and I will be writing along with all of the others within this group

So a little about myself.

I have been married to my pastor hubby for nearly 15 years!  I can’t believe it has been that long.  We have 4 kiddos, ages 12, 11,alomost 10 and 7 1/2. There are 3 boys and a girl.   One of our children has Autism Spectrum disorder in the mid-functioning range and another child has a learning disability known as  Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  We also have 3 cats and a dog.  Hubby has been pastoring at tour church for nearly 9 years.

I have been blogging for about 10 years now  and my goal is to reach my 1000th blog post by the end of this year..and I am so close I can taste it!I love being a pastor’s wife. I felt the call to be in full time ministry at the age of 16 or 17.  At the time I thought it was to be a missionary but over time God redirected my path and I met my hubby.  Today not only do I serve within my local church but also in our community through the local crisis pregnancy center as a mentor and also on the planning team for the Raising Generations Today Conference .

What I do for fun:

Write- I love to write!  it is one of a few creative outlets.

Paint-  I have been learning how to paint- watercolor

Paper crafts  qulling, scrapbooking, card-making

home decor-  I love my Cricut and I will beginning  a fun project creating a Christmas villageincorporating some paper antiquing and some paper houses.

Dance parties in the kitchen with my kiddos

Reading

Write 31 Topic- what I will be writing about-

When I was praying about this upcoming month of writing about a specific topic I meandered through many topics and finally landed on something I have been studying all year!  It’s my word for the year : CONFIDENCE.  Though I know that is not what the title says, but I am stealing a term that is coned by Renee Swope  called God-fidence.  I wanted to build my confidence in God, rather than myself.  and I’m not gonna lie, its been a testing year in that area.  I have grown a lot but when I write about it, it’s not about being an expert because quite frankly I am still very much learning!

A Few of the Topics

  • Confidence- what is it?  God-fidence? And what is the difference between the two?
  • Confidence put in it’s place
  • Confidence Broken to Bits
  •  when you have lost your confidence….and there is NONE to be found, what to do and how to do it!
  • What it feels like to be confident-less
  • what does God say on the subject
  • Even if ….I still will (Yes that has to do with Confidence)

And that is just to name a few.

I want this to be an opportunity to grow together.  So won’t you join me as we journey to gain a new understanding of what it REALLY means to have full confidence in God!

When I Picked the Word Confidence for 2017……

….I had no idea what was looming around each corner. CONFIDENCE. Confidence In God NOT myself!  I know I haven’t blogged about my word much, if at all.  Let’s be honest and right up front, I haven’t been blogging much at all..  I have been caught between crazy schedules and exhausted.    I had hoped to blog a lot on our two week vacation BUT that did not happen…I have less than 2 days left…..SIGH!  Oh well  but how do I move forward in the future?

CONFIDENCE

So back to Confidence.  My confidence has been tested and stretched SOOOOO many times over the last few years.  Confidence in my abilities, confidence in my faith in ministries (including blogging), ,confidence in God . For instance if when I started at the pregnancy  cente you would have told me that my role there would include people who had been in jail OR that I would be introduced to women who had been in human trafficking situations I would have told you NAH that’s not what I am called to do!  HAHHAHA I was so naive. And Naive is not a word I would use to define me…EVER! However just when I had thought I had heard it all a client made me cough coffee out my nose with one question…..(Yes Amy insert laughter)

The other thing, if you asked me if I would ever be involved in a conference planning ministry that  I am a part of the team I would have laughed and told you “not introverted me.”   Now I am in my second conference Planning session and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

And did I mention that I never thought I would be a pastor’s wife…ok so I didn’t want to be.  I wanted to be a missionary to a country that didn’t’t allow missionaries.  I wanted to be an inner city youth leader….Amongst some other things….Pastor’s wife was never on the list…EVER!!

Confidence or GOD-FIDENCE

My confidence was not there.  I need to have God-fidence as Renee Swope  calls it in her A Confident  Heart Bible Study.  and now I’m in yet another transition period….Another confidence area…A God-fidence area if you will….and it has to do with fear!    We have been listening to our friend Marc preach on it for the last week, and quite honestly it’s been hard.  Im not the same scared  young bride I was when I married my husband 14 years ago BUT there are certain things that grip my heart and mind tighter than anything else in this entire world.   It’s the area of people pleasing .  I worry about this ALL THE TIME. I obsess over this.   BUT there is a big problem about this…Worry means a mind divided!   I am torn between two masters….God who has called me to do this.  I have made a commitment to do this.  It is my  responsibility to use my gifts, to sharpen them, to hone them in, however I hide.  I hide this from social media.  I have not shared my blog on social media( as in my own personal wall) in  over two years, because I am AFRAID!  I worry about criticism, critique….people being angry with me .   and that leads me to my second master….Satan AND other people.  I am a person divided.

The Problem

The problem with all of this is Jesus himself promises struggles, that we will be persecuted that there will be problems . (John 16:33)  So I am trying to avoid and run away from the trouble that is promised. It’s what I do with that trouble. It’s not hiding from it, BUT it is taking it to God and allowing God to work it out.  It is having trust that HE will work through my words.  It is having confidence in Him…confidence to know what He wants me to write and share and when people aren’t pleased with me knowing that HE is because that is all that matters!

Instead I want a sound mind….a whole mind, a mind with one master, God.I want to serve Him and pleaseHim with all I say, do, and WRITE!  And that means if He has all of my mind then there is NO other room for anyone else.  This also means that I need to make sure that I keep my heart in check with God’s word because out of the condition of the heart Man speaks!! (But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. Matt. 15:18 NIV)

The end result

So here it is…

This blog will go back on my social media.

You are now free to share it.

  • I’m not living afraid I’m choosing freedom.
  • I’m choosing one master.
  • Im choosing to have a whole minded God-fidence.

Remember this is my story, a story that God is writing and I am sharing it to bring Him Glory, hopefully to bless others so look past you opinions and feelings and think on this that our friend Marc shared the other night,

Without Misery, there can be no Ministry

Yes it is going to look messy and yes we are going to get raw and we ARE going to talk about hard things, BUT if I don’t do this Im NOT in God’s Will.  He didn’t give me a story to hide it under a bushel….NO, THIS is my light and I’m going to let it shine!

 

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My Brain, My Filing Cabinet : Confidence Uncluttered

Confidence

This is my journey to finding my confidence.  I’m not sure I have  really experienced true confidence.  I can fake it well enough! Not the kind of confidence that I have in myself with, but the confidence I should have in my relationship with Christ!  This is a journey I am currently on.  I have not arrived, nor do I have complete understanding.  Will you join me on this journey and we will begin by unflattering confidence?

I have this filling cabinet, it sits in my living room.  It looks all nice and neat around it.   BUT I almost never open it.  Do you know why?   BECAUSE I knew what the inside looked like!  It looked like two years of paperwork crammed inside of it.   It was overwhelming to even consider the amount of work it would take to get back into it and make it use-able again.   It haunted me …it called to me from deep within me. There was no more room in it so the papers that were most recent were siting in mostly neat stacks…on the piano, on the couch, on my desk…and on the floor.  That is until last week.  And as I sat for HOURS every day,Sorting, and tossing, a thought crossed my mind….

The thought was this

This filing cabinet is really as my mind and heart have become over the last two years as I stuffed emotions, and  thoughts and…well anything else you shove into every crevice of our hearts and minds saying, “I will deal with this tomorrow or not this week I’m just too busy! ” It’s not a matter of it being to busy, it really is a matter of being too uncomfortable.    It’s too painful to deal with the hard places so we stuff it.  Just like my filing cabinet, I stuffed so much stuff into it that it started overflowing other areas. And that is what happens with our hearts and minds, stuffing things leads to negative overflow in the rest of our lives….It can lead to angry outbursts or even negative health effects llike high blood pressure and physical illness.

as I prayed the beginning of this year for God to show me my word for the year I asked Him for it to be one that would change my life, change me for the better and that at the end of the year I would be closer to Him than ever before. About a week after praying for that, the word CONFIDENT came to mind.   All the other years words were already set in my mind in November BUT this year it wasn’t until the second week of January.  I felt lost. I felt as though I no longer knew who I was…at all.  I felt as though I had to be all things to all people and I just could not do that anymore.  I was at a crossroads with a slippery slope straight ahead of me .    So as soon as I got my word I was off digging in scripture.  It took me two days searching God’s Word looking up verses and cross referencing them.  I went deep and I continue to do so.     My verses for the year to go along with my word landed me in the book of Jeremiah.  Here is what it says:

Jeremiah 17:7-8

But Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

But my study hasn’t ended there.  God directed me to various books.   Stripping away the years of clutter that had accumulated in my mind and heart muddying the waters of understanding as to who I was in Christ and who he created me to be.  I had lost my creativity.  I had lost my passions to pursue things that I loved.  I have asked God to reteach me , to show me who I really am  in Him,  And  to show me who He created me to be. I’m learning a lot and I have found a new sense of peace.

Am I there yet?  BY NO MEANS!   But where I am at this moment in time is knowing that I AM HIS.  My circumstances do not define me…HE DOES! And that is exactly where he wants me to be at this moment.

As for my filing cabinet, it is organized and back to working order!

How about you?  What is your word for the year?  Do you have some heart and mind clutter that needs to be stripped away?  And if so, have you taken that to God and given it to Him?  If not I challenge you to do so TODAY!

Next week We will discuss what the difference is between Confidence and “Godfidence”