Saturday, September 17, 2011

Confident, Courageous & Committed


Have you ever noticed that someone has to make decisions? Decision making is a part of life and sometimes life positions us where either we are responsible to make decisions concerning others or others become responsible to make decisions which affect us.

We have all experienced the effects of being blessed by people who make the right decision and as well the ill effects of those who make the wrong decision. Right or wrong, decisions still belong to those who occupy positions which demand decisions. And, there are some things which only you can decide.

This morning we are not going to look at the decisions which are made by others but rather those decisions which we are responsible to make, decisions which may affect others, but are nonetheless our individual responsibility because of our position in life.

Today we will discover how we can make decisions with confidence, courage and commitment. To begin our journey, let’s look at

Joshua 1

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:

2 "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them — the children of Israel.

3 "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.

4 "From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

5 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

6 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

This passage of scripture leads us to three basic conclusions when it comes to God placing any person in a position to make decisions.

1. God is committed to His model.

2. We must have confidence in God and His plan.

3. God has made each person perfect for the position to which they are appointed.

Does this mean that a person in position to make decisions cannot be wrong? No … not by any means. Every person however must needs be deeply dependent on God, prayerfully connected and fully committed to God’s will and not their own agenda in order to have confidence in the decisions which they are appointed and positioned to make.

Throughout history, ancient biblical history as well as modern world history, success in life has catered to men and women who exhibit courage, confidence and commitment when it comes to making decisions.

Both heaven and earth choose aggressive, decisive and determined individuals to lead the defining battles of life … and often the greatest battles we face deal with having confidence in our own decisions.

During the US Civil War President Abraham Lincoln wrestled with his decisions. Our nation was deeply divided and the Republic stood on the brink of destruction. Even though he had many advisors and counselors on every side, he was nonetheless responsible for each decision because the presidency rested squarely upon his shoulders. If he had allowed any other person to assume that mantle or have final say, he would have ceased to be the leader of our nation and would have been president in name only.

It is certain that in many instances he was torn as to what direction to take. He knew the overriding goals but how to achieve them was another matter. However, he realized the power of bold and confident leadership. He listened to his advisors but he also had a confidence beyond their counsel. A survey of his writings during this crucial time of our nation reveals his heart and his habit. He said:

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.” Abraham Lincoln

We have confidence because we have faith – faith not in ourselves, but faith in God … Faith that the God who appoints and positions will also provide in times of decisions.

400 years after Joshua led the Children of Israel into the Land of Canaan to possess it, the people still had no king but were guided by prophets, priests and judges. At times Israel followed God’s will and at times their own. It was during a very difficult time that God began to favor a young boy named Samuel. The scriptures say:

1 Samuel 3:19 So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.

No doubt it was God who gave Samuel a chance but it was Samuel’s choice as to what he would do with that chance. When Samuel proved to be someone who would listen to and obey God, God responded and it is declared that God let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.

The Bible says that there was no open revelation, no widespread knowledge of God in those days. However, when God found that He could speak to Samuel in a still, small voice in the middle of the night and Samuel would obey … God opened heaven and began to use Samuel to lead His people. Samuel was the perfect choice. Of course, God’s choice is always the perfect choice … only many times people don’t realize that they are God’s choice. God has surely appointed and positioned even you.

Just like Samuel, Joshua and Abraham Lincoln, our confidence will come from the fact that we choose God and are wholly sold out to do His will. Our confidence is but a reflection of the Word of God in action. When we hold the principles of God’s Word as a guiding light and do not stray into darkness, we can trust our heart.

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

However, if our heart convicts us, or if the Holy Spirit brings a scripture or principle to bear or we hear that still small voice say, “That’s not right”, we lose our confidence in God’s approval and then we are left only to proceed with our own agenda. (Romans 14:23)

God’s plan has chosen you to play your part for His glory. You may not be at the best place in life but there is a best way you can go from here.

What is God’s will? Joshua 1:7 says it best – allow me to conclude:

1. Be Strong – Confident

2. Be Courageous

3. Be Committed – To Do God’s Will

… in the position of life to which He had divinely appointed and positioned you. Perhaps you are not the President, a Prophet or King, but you are someone of importance … important to the will and the process of God. And, many decisions you make have far reaching and eternal implications.

We need realize that God is committed to His model and since He has divinely appointed and positioned you to whatever level of decision making you face, He has therefore obligated Himself to speak to you and guide your every step. Certainly, He will let none of your words fall to the ground if you will only hear His Word and do His will.

Follow this guide and you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.

However, we cannot have confidence in God if we do not know God or if we have been distanced from God by neglect of our spiritual responsibilities or by the decisions we have made to stray into darkness.

The first order of the day is to repent and acknowledge our need for a Lord and Savior.

Abraham Lincoln said it best when he realized that truly, he had absolutely no other place to go.

Remember, you are the perfect person to play the part God has positioned you to fill: Husband, wife, son, daughter, parent, employer, employee, supervisor or friend. Have confidence that God is speaking to you and be courageous and committed to do play your part.

No one else but you can be you and that’s why God is speaking to you about what you should do! Be strong, courageous and committed.

God is committed to His model and He is committed to you. There is an open heaven waiting for you to hear and obey with confidence.

How can we have confidence, courage or be committed when we have no confidence in our relationship with the Lord?

Close … with real life application.