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What if this is God? { guest post & GIVE*AWAY }

A door opened in my work that, while wonderful and exciting, would be way over my head to accomplish. Without even a single prayer, I headed to my office to write the email. Fearful to how hard the task would be, I didn’t have the kind of confidence it would take to say yes.

Then I stopped. What if this was God? Would God ask me to do something that was beyond my normal strength?

Yes, that did sound like it could in fact be a plan He would create. He would plan to put me in a place beyond my ability, so He could be fully seen.

There was a group of women in the Bible who also had every reason to also be fearful, yet they found the confidence they needed to make their move.

In Numbers 26, The Promise Land is being divided up among the sons of the tribes of Israel. This where we meet the daughters of Zelophehad (or the daughters of Z as I call them). Their story begins with their problem. Tradition dictated that only men were land owners. During the passage to Canaan, their father had died … with no sons. This would mean when the five daughters entered the Promise Land there would be no promise land awaiting them.

If they didn’t do something, they would be homeless.

They had a choice: listen to the voices of their culture’s tradition, the voices possibly whispering in their own minds or make their move.

In Genesis 17:8 God had said to Abraham, the daughters’ ancient grandfather, “The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you.” I believe the Daughters of Z knew this promise; the land was for all of Abraham’s descendants, even his granddaughters.

Confidently, they made their move. 

They “… approached the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly, and said, “…Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.” Numbers 27: 2 & 4

Look at these gals!

Did they shrink back because that is “just the way it was”? Hiding behind their problem, this rejection? Allow it to paralyze them?

No. They were bold and confident.

The daughters of Z claimed what was theirs’s because they knew who they were and whose they were. They didn’t allow their confidence to be in doubt because of who others said they were.

What have you faced, what are you facing, that is blocking the way of you being a more confident you? Standing in the way of you making your move?

Maybe like the daughters of Z, it has been what you haven’t had. You’ve felt that in order to be confident, you needed more. You see others experience the success you want, but you don’t have the self-worth it takes to step out, take a risk. Daily, you compare yourself to her. You know who she is. The one you wish you had her life: her job, her family, her husband, her body. No wonder she’s confident. I would be too if I had what she’s got. If I just had more.

I get that. I, too, have faced situations where I felt I needed more; more education, more connections, more creativity, more opportunities, more favor.

Perhaps you have felt confident in the past, but it just doesn’t seem possible any more. Your someone is gone, your someplace you no longer are or your something you no longer have … and you no longer have your confidence.

But you want it! You want to be brave, bold and go after the desires in your heart.

The daughters of Z knew what belonged to them as granddaughters of Abraham and daughters of God. This knowing gave them the confidence they needed to do what they needed to do.

I’m discovering, as I learn of and believe what God says about me, confidence comes!

My thinking is switching from what I think about me and my circumstances to what He says. Putting down confidence-crushing thoughts allows us to pick up Christ’s Confidence.

  • He says He is my confidence.” for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (ESV)
  • He says I am blessed when my confidence is in Him. ““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)

These are messages we have to tell our heart: His truth.

Today’s our day to get the confidence we desire – Christ Confidence.

We can choose not to build our confidence on someone, someplace or something – things that we can lose or have taken from us. Unshakable confidence is built upon our unshakeable God! We can choose to dig into God’s word for ourselves and discover His promises. We can stand on those promises, becoming wise and confident women like the Daughters of Z!

ENTER TO WIN LYNN’s GIVE-AWAY
Has there been a time when your confidence was shaken? Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Lynn’s Make Your Move Bible study book and DVD bundle. (Due to high shipping costs, we can only consider U.S. entries.)

In Make Your Move, Lynn Cowell explores how confidence-in-question keeps us from boldly experiencing what God intends for our lives. Learn more about her new Bible study and download 10 Verses to Build Your Confidence here. 

My friend Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and the author of several books, written for women of all ages. Her new Bible Study Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures for women empowers us to find our confidence in Christ. Lynn calls North Carolina home, where she and her husband Greg, and the occasional backyard deer, are adjusting to life as empty nesters. Along with their three adult children, Lynn and Greg love hiking, rafting and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter. You can connect with her on Facebook at Lynn Cowell.

When Concern Consumes Me

 

As we drove home from a weekend away in the mountains, I felt a heavy sense of dread and sadness. Laying my head back on my seat, I told my husband, JJ, “I don’t want to go home.”

The stress and strain of countless commitments at home and at work were taking a toll on me. If only I could return to that little mountain town where no one knew me or needed me. 

J.J. asked some clarifying questions, and then suggested I make a list of everything on my plate so I could ask God what needed to be cut back. At first I resented the fact that he had just added one more thing “to do” on my already-overwhelming-list of things I’d never get done. But I knew he was right.

Later that week I wrote out all my commitments and concerns, along with a list of deadlines and dates on my calendar, including every appointment, event, conference-call, and meeting I could think of for the next six months.

And I prayed: Please, God, show me where I need to make changes.

I assumed the Holy Spirit would suggest big adjustments in my schedule, but that’s not what happened. God didn’t tell me to make cutbacks at work or in ministry. He didn’t show me our family had too many activities. He didn’t challenge me to take a sabbatical, although I was hoping He would.

Jesus showed me it was worry, not my workload, that was making me weary.

During the weeks leading up to my “meltdown,” I let my thoughts dwell on the possible negative outcome of several different circumstances and decisions, all at the same time. And without realizing it, I spent as much time thinking and worrying about concerns, commitments, circumstances, and deadlines as I did working on them.

It was not only how I spent my time, but how I spent my thoughts that left me depleted.

But, it wasn’t until I brought it all to God and wrote it all out, that I recognized what was happening.

Instead of escaping to the mountains where no one knows us or needs us, Jesus invites us to come to Him so He can give us:

Rest for our weary hearts and minds.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Freedom from the captivity of our concerns.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14a)

Are there are worries that are making you weary? Jesus is gently inviting you to come to Him, seeking and trusting Him, no matter what. Over at inCourage we’re sharing how we can remember this truth:

God’s heart is big enough to care and strong enough to carry all that concerns us. 

Lord, when concerns consume us, help us remember You are there inviting us to come to You and talk about all of it. Everything that’s weighing us down. Show us if it’s our commitments or concerns, our worries or our workload, and help us trust You more with both. Amen.

Join us over at inCourage, and share a concern that we can pray for, for you.