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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

The Source of Our Confidence

"For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence." - Psalm 71:5 AMP

If you look up the definition of a "jack-of-all-trades" in a dictionary, you will see a photo of my husband, Joe. A precise definition of this term would be: "a person who has many skills; a person who can do many different jobs; a handy, versatile person." In many ways, my husband is a master plumber, carpenter, mason, landscaper, mechanic, and electrician. When he sees a job that needs to be done, and he says, "I can do that," you'd better believe that he's telling the truth. Okay, that's the good news. Now comes the bad news. All of these talents and skills have made my husband a bit arrogant at times. And I have seen this arrogance get him into trouble.

One such example was when Joe announced that he was going to replace the brakes on his car. Even though I have seen him work on our cars in the past with great success, I shuddered when he made the announcement. I urged Joe to pray about it first, to make sure that his idea was in agreement with God. His first response to my urging was, "I've done it before." And it's just this kind of attitude that can get us in a heap of trouble. I have learned the hard way that even if I have baked a hundred pumpkin pies (which I probably have), the Lord still wants me to offer my efforts up to Him, and to ask for His help and His favor. Scripture warns: "God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) - [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5 AMP) Will the Lord "frustrate" and "oppose" our efforts if He thinks that we need a good lesson in humility? You bet He will. Why? Because if we don't learn to depend on Him for minor things, like fixing a car, then we might fail to seek Him for help when we are involved in something that has far-reaching, even lifelong, consequences.

In order to reassure me, Joe told me, "I watched some videos online, so I know how to do the job." Great. Online research and videos can be extremely helpful, but they are a poor substitute for the wisdom and guidance of the Almighty. The Bible says: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord." (James 1:5-7 NIV) This is a mandate from God to seek His wisdom FIRST. When we refuse or neglect to consult Him before we begin a project, then we are demonstrating a lack of faith, and we "should not expect to receive anything from the Lord." Jesus said, "I do nothing without consulting the Father." (John 5:30 NLT) If the Son of God felt the need to consult the Father for everything, surely we should, too.

My husband's next reason for doing this project himself? "It will save us money." God is not against us saving money. He often anoints and equips us to perform a "do-it-yourself" task that will spare us from exorbitant expenditures. BUT, there are times when the Lord prefers to provide us with the funds to hire someone else to do a job for us. If we are wise, we will ask Him for the discernment to know with certainty which course of action is best for us in the long run. God is not obligated to bless our efforts on a project that He didn't initiate in the first place.

Next, Joe told me, "It will be a simple task." The inference here is, "I don't need God's help with this job. I've got this!" The world applauds and encourages self-confidence, but that is not God's way. His Word tells us, "Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence." (1 Corinthians 10:12 MSG) One way we can cultivate "God-confidence" is to humbly ask the Lord for divine wisdom and guidance in every situation, and before every task. Solomon wrote: "Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]." (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP) If we rely on reasoning and rationale to guide our plans and projects, then we are leaving God out of the equation, and we will regret it in the end. On the other hand, when we "rely confidently on the Lord," He will remove every obstacle from our path, and our efforts will be successful and fruitful.

Right before my husband began his car project, I exclaimed: "You don't get it - PRAY about it first! Otherwise, you might regret it in the end!" I'm sorry to say that Joe's project did not go as well as he expected. In fact, at one point, he became so frustrated and in a state of panic that he had to call upon a neighbor for help. The Bible tells us that King David was successful at everything he put his hand to. And what was his advice? "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will!" (Psalm 37:5 TLB)

Prayer: Lord, thank You for all of the gifts, talents, and skills You have blessed me with. Show me how to always use them for Your glory, and for the good of others. Give me a humble spirit, and teach me to continually ask for Your wisdom, and to consult You about everything. Deliver me from the self-confidence that makes a fool out of me, and help me to cultivate God-confidence instead. (Proverbs 8:5 AMP) Thank You that as I look to You as "the source of my confidence," I will have Your favor and blessing on all that I do!

- J. M. Farro


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