Monday, August 25, 2014


There was a rotation, then, pow!  The server kawalloped the ball over the net, leaving the opposing team dazed and stunned, their confidence shattered.  And yet, for some, the miss only made them angry and they wanted to try even harder, thinking, "Just send me another, right here, right to me.  Bring it on, I'll show you what I can do!" 

Watching my daughters play volleyball, I've observed that confidence can be the difference between a hit and a miss.  As each member of the team comes up to the line for a serve, I can sense how they feel about themselves.   Some don't care.  Others over think their technique, while still a few are not sure why they signed up for this sport.   My heart goes out to them and wants to shout, "You can do it!  You matter to the team!  You are loved!"  But by contrast, those who have an air of confidence, a bit of aggression and fiery fight, are generally more successful.

My life is often littered with passive pride, where I sometimes view myself as only a worm, nothing, and nobody of significance.   And though God's strength is perfected in weakness, and I must die to my own selfish desires, somewhere in all of that I am still thinking of myself.

One thing I admire about my husband is his confidence.  In fact, I envy it.  Seeking to balance out my life, I have often sought to emulate his utter freedom to live in grace.   This freedom squeezes out every ounce of insecurity.  Yet, if taken too far, a bold pride easily seeps in. 

Somewhere between loud pride and passive pride is this very fine balance of confidence.  There were times in the past where I've approached temptation as though I were already defeated, or like I couldn't help myself, that it was inevitable that I give in.  But over the last few months I've been taking a different approach.  When faced with a struggle, I focus on who I am in Christ.  As His bride, all authority is mine to stomp on evil.  I do not have to sin.

At times I forget that God loves me dearly and that He is rooting for my good.  However, He is not just cheering from the bleachers.  No, by His Spirit, He is IN me, empowering me to overcome.

It is a sly deception which invades my thoughts telling me I cannot win, that I am defeated before I try.   Yet, deep down, yielding to temptation is not really what I want, for righteousness is not only God's standard for living.  He knows that apart from it, I am not happy either. 

What I really want is to live life abundant and that only comes through life in Christ applied to everyday living.  This is why I "stay in the fight 'til the final round", because "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."  (Phil. 4:13)  Furthermore, I can "come boldly before the throne of grace", because my confidence is in the Lord.  In that place, "I find mercy and grace to help me in my time of need."  (Heb. 4:16) 

This song says it well:

You're an overcomer,
Stay in the fight 'til the final round,
You're not going under,
'Cause God is holding you right now.
You might be down for a moment,
Feeling like its hopeless,
That's when He reminds you,
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer.     

(by Mandisa)

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