Monday, March 6, 2017

3 Lessons Learned In February About Confidence and Contentment


February was a long month for me, how about you? In all of the challenges and trials that were presented to me, February did not go by without me learning a few lessons, no doubt, that were God appointed. His lessons are sometimes hard. His lessons are sometimes easy. His lessons are sometimes new ones, and sometimes they are repeats, but one thing about His lessons that are constant is that "later on, they produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by them" ( Hebrews 12:11 ). I would like to transparently share with you three lessons out of the many, that the Lord has been teaching me over this past month, in hopes that you might be able to relate and/or learn from them too!



One. 

It is wrong to be embarrassed by what you can't do. This past month God taught me that I shouldn't let what I can't do, keep me from what I can. I have been holding onto this phrase ever since he slipped it into my mind. God helped me to recognize that allowing myself to be embarrassed by what I can't do was inviting the enemy to come in and distract me by taking my eye's off of Jesus and onto myself, and oppress me with discouragement, hopelessness, and insecurity. I had the realization of this one day in the middle of rehearsal while getting frustrated with my dancing abilities (or my lack thereof), but I also believe that the truth of this lesson can be applied to all the other areas of my life as well, whether physical, mental, or spiritual! I shouldn't let what I can't do, keep me from what I can. From this lesson, I have learned the importance of focusing my thoughts on my giftings rather than my shortcomings, and then running with them in confidence knowing that the Lord can maximize my efforts and will be glorified by them, and that his plan/will for my life can't be thwarted, regardless of me.

  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

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Two. 

People-pleasing is a waste of time. A lesson I find myself relearning time and time again, people-pleasing is rooted from selfish pride and from the thinking that I actually have something worth making other people obsessively gawk over me about, especially when it comes to my "excellent dancing" or "righteous living". How selfish is that! Go ahead and just call me a Pharisee! Sharing my repulsive confession about how I think like this sometimes is painful, but is necessary to reveal. I find comfort in thinking, "Surely, I am not the only one who struggles with this?!" but that does not make it okay. The Lord has been showing me that putting my worth in my self-righteous works, my achievements, and in what other people think of me, is dangerous and is going to let me down. Not to mention that what may have started out as small, innocent self-accolades quickly can turn into the huge problem of self-idolization which is what happened to me, and this is very offensive to God. Galatians 1:1 0 says, " am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Yikes! I believe these selfish desires for self-exaltation come from the sinful nature inside me. I've learned that I must "never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14 - I LOVE Galatians! 😊) The solution lies in the basis of humility and gazing my eyes upon Christ instead of myself or anything else. After all, anything that I am is only because of Him and that is humbling!


  •  1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.











Three. 

There is great gain in godliness with contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6) With lots of change approaching on the horizon, I let fear of the future and a lack of trusting God get the best of me this past month. Self-examining my life led to discontentment and a fear and faithlessness that resurrected the 'control freak' inside of me. Sure, in reality, I don't make a lot of money, I can't afford to live on my own like I desire to, I haven't met the man of my dreams yet, I don't get to invest in my community as much as I'd like to because of touring, and I do get weary of doing good now and again (Galatians 6:9), and sometimes feel TRAPPED by my less than satisfactory circumstances, BUT that doesn't mean that my God isn't big enough to supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) or that He isn't working out all things for my good (Romans 8:28) because He is. 

Through my unfortunate experience with frustration this past month, I can tell you I've learned that it is NEVER a good or fruitful idea to entertain the spirit of discontentment, wallow in unthankfulness, and/or step out of God's will by taking matters into your own hands. It only makes for endless misery and a skewed perspective of things. I had forgotten the promises of the Lord and who He is. Without getting into details, I simply lost patience with God; I wanted to call the shots and rely on my own strength and understanding because I found discontentment in what I thought He was doing in my life. I discovered that my actions of ignoring him and taking control only incubated excessive amounts worry, stress, and anxiety; bad fruit! Surely a supernatural thing, It wasn't until I humbled myself before the Lord (1 Peter 5:6) that my joy in life, and peace returned. And sometimes, it embarrassingly but truthfully takes me a whole month before I figure things like this out. ALL of PROVERBS 3 has now become especially close to my heart during this time of rebuilding proper eternal perspective, trust, and contentment in God and his plans for me. If you are struggling with discontentment I encourage you to turn to God's word and remember his promises, not a moment too late!

  • Philippians 4:11-13 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
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And Now, I leave you with this dear song sung by Brian Littrell containing very relevant lyrics that are my heart's cry! 





Be blessed and have a great month!



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