Who You Can Be

Who are you now? Is it who you thought you’d be? If not, why not? What is keeping you from being who you can be? It might be circumstances you can’t currently control, it might be God’s timing, or it might just be fear. Yes, sometimes we can be more afraid of greatness than of failing. It is then that we must choose courage. 

Living courageously is not easy and not for the faint of heart. As coined by Ambrose Redmoon and The Princess Diaries 

“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now, you are traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be.”

This makes me think about Peter. Impetuous, immature, outspoken, combative Peter. His start wasn’t fabulous and Jesus had to leash and muzzle him on more than one occasion. However, for all his talk and bravado, even he was counted among the deserters at the time of Jesus’ betrayal. 

But God knew what manner of man Peter was and who he could be. 

For, even though Peter denied Him, Jesus knew that Peter was a leader and that he would return and encourage his brethren. Though in the beginning he was rough around the edges, Peter matured and participated in some of the most profound things ever recorded in the Bible. Walking on the water with Jesus, identifying Jesus as the Christ, the Transfiguration, preaching at Pentecost, even raising the dead! 

Many of Peter’s reactions, I’m convinced, were ultimately rooted in fear. Fear of not being in control, fear of inaction or indecision, or fear of failure. Courageously overcoming these fears was part of what transformed Peter into the great leader he became. He came to the understanding that Jesus had provided all we’d ever need and lived accordingly. 

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

If there was hope for him, then there is hope for me.

I can live courageously in the power of Jesus Christ and accomplish all that He has for me to do. I do not have to be afraid of failure or greatness, because He will be there guiding my every step. We are all traveling the road between who we are and who we can be. Choose your course and your guide wisely.

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

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Fully Convinced

Do you believe that God is able to do whatever He promises?

If you do, are you living like you believe it? If someone polled your group of family and friends, would they say you do? If you don’t, why not? What is keeping you from living like you believe it? 

She lived fully convinced that 

God is able to do 

whatever He promises

I saw this quote on a friend’s Facebook page and I really liked it, but I also realized that I didn’t live like I believed it. I’ve been afraid to take big steps and dream big dreams. You know, the kind that require God to step in and make things happen?

Why? What am I afraid of? That people won’t like me? That I’ll mess up? So what? I probably will mess up. Knowing me, it’s almost guaranteed that I will trip or stumble over something. If (when) that happens, it doesn’t make God love me less. It doesn’t make me “less than” in any way. It just means that I am human. It might take me a few tries to get something right.

We don’t criticize babies for falling when they are learning to walk because they would become discouraged and probably never learn. Why then do we not apply that same principle to ourselves and others when we are learning something new?  

Who taught us to be afraid? 

Why are you discouraging yourself and others?

A little research will tell you that there are over 3000 promises in the Word of God. Some of them are blessings and some of them are consequences. To borrow from Beth Moore, 

God is who He says He is.

God can do what He says He can do.

I am who God says I am.

I can do all things through Christ.

God’s Word is alive and active in me. 

From now on, I am going to try to live like I believe God, not just believe in Him. Who knows how many I can convince to believe Him by convincing myself and living in a manner consistent with my beliefs.

“Being fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Romans 4:21, Hebrews 10:23

Overcoming Obstacles

“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

We push. We pull. Straining, agonizing, worrying, and fighting. Sometimes we are victorious and sometimes we are not. Overcoming is hard, but it is possible and it is worth it. Think about all of the things that you have already overcome. As a baby, you overcame and learned to walk. As a child, you overcame and learned to read and write. (You may still be struggling with fractions but, even that can be overcome.)  

When we overcome in areas that challenge us, we are encouraged to keep fighting and overcome in other areas of our lives. The Bible tells us in Romans 5 that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Therefore, we can face James 1:2-3 head on and know that we will come out on the other side victorious.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

As hard as it is while we are in the process of overcoming to stay positive and “glory in our sufferings”, it is the reflection on our “sufferings” that produces the perseverance we need. When we see and really realize where we started and how far we’ve come, we are encouraged and can therefore encourage others, even while we are still suffering! This changes our character. We are no longer the weak person we once were. We have overcome something significant and we are changed because of it. This contributes to our future hope. Hope in God and hope in ourselves. We know we can do it next time because we’ve done it before.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with (perseverance) endurance the race God has set before us.” Romans 12:1

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