Joshua 10 – Are You Dependent or Overconfident?

I remember learning to ride a bike as a child. There were times when I had this great boost of confidence. I would think, “I really am doing it! I really am riding this bike all by my self!” Only to look back and find my dad still holding on to the bike and keeping me from falling.

As a teenager, I would often have this burst of over-confidence/cockiness thinking, “I’m in control of my life and can do what I want to!” Only to look back and find my dad supplying the car, the gas, the insurance, the place to live, the food….in short, everything.

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Joshua 8 – Confidence

Confidence. It’s an attractive character trait. It’s something most people wish they had more of. The problem is, confidence is not a stand alone, self-contained commodity. It doesn’t just exist in and of itself. It is the out-growth of what we believe about something or someone. And so, whether confidence is a good thing or a bad thing depends on the object of our confidence.

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Deuteronomy 20 – Run the Risk

For the most part, we Americans are creatures of comfort and ease. It’s part of our mentality and our expectation…even in our spiritual lives.

We often believe that right living and strong faith will lead to a reduction of problems and difficulties in our life. We feel that if we’re doing the right things, we shouldn’t have to struggle. But, if you believe this, there are only two possible explanations for the presence of difficulties in your life: the problems are either your fault or God’s fault.

But Deuteronomy chapter 20 shows us that victory can sometimes be vicious, that freedom often requires fighting, and that finding peace involves facing risks. In this chapter, although the priest assures the Israelites of God’s intervention and victory, they still must face their fear. Even the officers, when addressing the troops, tell them there is a possibility they could die.

The same is true for us today. We cannot know great victories without great risks. We don’t experience God’s great provision without being in a place of great need. And we won’t hit the ball out of the park without facing the possibility of striking out. Author John Ortberg puts it this way… “You can’t walk on water without getting out of the boat. “

Yes, when we are following God’s direction, the risk is calculated and part of His plan, but it’s risk none the less. That’s the stage on which the play of faith is acted out. May we be a people of risk for God’s glory, rather than people of ease for ours.

Numbers 31 – What’s Cooking?

As any cook knows, it takes a variety of ingredients to make a great dish. Yes, some cooks make incredible dishes by somewhat randomly throwing a variety of things into a pot, but most tend to follow a recipe…whether it’s in their head or on a piece of paper.

Numbers chapter 31 is a recipe of sorts. It’s a chapter that covers a variety of ingredients for a well lived life. Many of these ingredients are so simple and common we tend to overlook them, if not reminded once in a while.

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