A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of
God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NASB
Today is a new Monday of a new week of a year that seems to be racing by. There are days that my feet hit the floor and I know what I am to do and there are other days where I feel lost and directionless. Today has more of a feel of the second type of day. My quiet time has been spent listening to music, and reading a variety of devotionals, praying in the Spirit. I've bound the enemy from distracting and confusing me or from interfering with my communion with the Lord. I headed over to Bible Gateway to see what the verse of the day might be. It says, "Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward..." I had a pastor friend who used to say "Therefore, find out what therefore is there for." Something has been said proceeding these words that is important. We need to go back and find out why we should not throw away our confidence. It is easy to have a hope or a dream a calling or a purpose and to lay it aside because we loose our confidence.
I was watching a show on Net Flicks with my family called Once Upon A Time. Its a story of a bunch of fairy tale characters who have forgotten who they really are and have been catapulted by a curse into our world to live out lives of desperation and frustration where they will never be able to find the happiness of fulfilling their purpose and destiny. In the episode we just watched we got a bit of the back story for dwarf Grumpy from the Snow White. He had been given a name on his 1st birthday and it had been Dreamy. He had dreams of going and exploring the world with his true love. He finds out from his family that Dwarfs work the mines, they don't travel and explore the world, and they don't love. He gives up on his dreams and in his anger and frustration he brakes his pic axe that bears his name and is given a new one. His new name is Grumpy. "Don't throw away your confidence..." It is easy when we give up on a dream or a calling to become depressed and grumpy.
Why have we given up, is it because people around us think we are crazy, or tell us thats never been done and certainly not by some one like you.
To find out why we should have confidence we need to look back in Hebrews 10 to verse 19 -
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Our confidence is in Jesus, that his blood has cleansed us, that he is our high priest through whom we can draw near to God knowing that he is faithful. I think that it is interesting that we are encourage to stimulate others to love and good deeds. So often we find our selves stepping out to follow a dream or to do something we feel God is calling us to do by faith and all we seem to find in others around us is fear, doubt and negativity. I gotta tell you that when I give up or falter in pursing something that God has given me to do because of the doubt and negativity of others, I become grumpy. I have felt a bit grumpy of late. So I am today trying to back track and determine where I have allowed the direction or opinions of others or the negativity of others to de-rail my faith or purpose in pursuing accomplishing the things God has given or inspired me to do. I need to remember that the things that God is calling and inspiring me to do might not be right for my well meaning friends. There are things that God has given me to hold on and to pray about that I don't understand but to let them go leads to grumpyness.
I don't like being grumpy and it generally is the result of giving up on something or trying to fit in to ideals and plans of someone else.
So today I am re-evaluating because I don't like being grumpy, I far prefer living life by faith, hope and trust in God. If he's given me something to do he will help me figure it out. I prefer living life a bit on the edge of my comfort zone. There are times that I do get tired and in those tired place I do need to rest but to rest is not to stop but a pause. The rests in a piece of music are as important as the notes of the melody. They help create the tension and anticipation that adds to the beauty and the fullness of the music. The song does not end at the rest it simply rests in those places and then moves on again until it reaches its final completion.
I realize that I probably took on more of a project than God intended for me to take on. I realize that there are a few loud directional voices in my life. While those voices have a lot of great ideas they are not always ideas for me to run with. The voice that I heed first and foremost needs to be God's voice. At this point I will see this project through with God's help and be more careful about how I determine what projects to take on.
There is a difference between something that God has already been stirring in my heart that is magnified when added to the ideas and faith of others. That is good, the recent prayer loft project was like that for me. It grew beyond what I originally could see but it was full of life for me.
The current Octoberfest project was was an idea that, sure I could do. I have lots of experience in arts and crafts shows and organizing people. It has been so far a stressful project for me, and has pushed some old buttons that I will now have to take the time to look at. I know that God will use it for my good but I realize that I tried to take a short cut and rely on other directional voices rather than on Gods alone. Through it God has allowed me to see some things about myself - for that I am thankful. I'd rather find out those kind of things on a very short term project than in a long term commitment to something. My hope for this project was that it would help create community. In a spiritual sense I need to release it into God's hands and trust him with it. Its not that I am dropping the ball or quitting but I refuse to go through another stressed out grumpy week. I will need to approach it in a different way, I am praying that He will give me wisdom how to proceed.
Lord, some of us have gotten into doing some good things, that we can do, but are not really called to do at this time. Help us to sort through those things and to be about the things you have called us to really do now. Help us to walk by faith and to do the things that you have given us to do even when we run into the doubt or unbelief of others along the way. Help us dust off the negativity and get back on track. Lord help us to pick up a new, our confidence in you. For we have need of endurance, so that when we have done the will of
God, we may receive what was promised.