Declaration of Dependence

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI am grateful to have been born in the United States of America. I have been a patriotic person since I was a young kid. My grandfather (Pappy) served in World War II and what little I knew about all of that, I was thankful for the freedom we enjoy in this country. I’ve learned over the years the price that many before me had to give for this freedom. I’m grateful today for the men and women who are standing watch so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy here in the USA!

On July 4th of every year, we celebrate “Independence Day” here in the USA. We celebrate our independence from being under any other government other than the one elected by our citizens. Our freedoms still come with boundaries, but nothing like other countries under totalitarian rule or a dictatorship.  The Apostle Paul writes about marriage to the church at Corinth. He also writes about being a slave and being free. His counsel is interesting. Check this out…

20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you. (1 Corinthians 7:20-24 NLT)

I need to consistently declare my “Declaration of Dependence” upon the Lord. I really try to lean on Him before making any significant decisions. I really want His counsel in every area of my life. I want to depend upon Him as I lead my family. I want to depend upon Him as I serve and lead in His church. I want to depend upon Him as I lead and serve at Metro West Realty. I want every area of my life subject to dependence upon Him – no exceptions. (Please note: this is easier said than done.) The cool part is that I have His assistance as I keep working at this dependent lifestyle. This was the Lord’s plan all along. I’m dependent upon Him so that He can do amazing things in me and through me. He wants to be glorified and honored with my life. My self-serving and self-centered behavior clearly blocks that goal. I’m going to repent and get back to living dependent upon Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Strong & Courageous

 

Man praying with the BibleI’ve learned the hard way that being strong doesn’t have a lot to do with my physical strength – it’s inner strength. Being Courageous is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear”. I believe both these words are character qualities of the heart and mind that are displayed outwardly and visibly.

Joshua epitomizes these two words in my view. This young man was the protégé of one of the godliest men on earth – Moses. Joshua became the leader to succeed Moses in leading the nation of Israel. After a time of mourning, the Lord started everyone moving, including Joshua. The Lord gives quite a “pep talk” to His young leader. Check this out…

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: 2 ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites.

5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:1-2; 5-9 NIV)

Strength and Courage point me back to the Lord. He is my Source of all that I am and all that I possess. I believe that as I walk with Him through His Word, He reveals more of Himself to me so that He becomes more and I become less. These few verses are very inspirational to me because they come from the heart of God. He loves this people and He’s delivering on a promise that He made to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob many years before. This young leader, Joshua needed just what the Lord was speaking into him.

Being strong and courageous in God’s economy is about dependence and trust upon God. It is not about mental strength and self-help. I believe that a person can appear weak on the outside, but actually be incredibly strong and full of courage inside. I think it’s a bad idea to “judge a book by its cover”. Inner strength is invisible until the action takes place. I’ve seen people say they are strong and courageous only to seem them cower and hide when the heat is on. I love the way the Lord installs His young new leader. The Lord promises His Presence. The Lord requires obedience. The Lord promises Joshua prosperity and success. I believe the success and prosperity that came with this promise wasn’t about possessions and power – it was about position in the Kingdom. The Lord always promotes His leaders based on the inner devotion of ones heart and not their appearance. The Lord always starts with the heart and works His way out from there. I want to be strong and courageous because of my dependence upon the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne