Inspiring Thoughts on Confidence by Joyce Meyer

I read an inspiring daily devotional from Joyce Meyer today about confidence.  Here is an excerpt that particularly stood out to me and was helpful:

What is confidence? I believe confidence is all about being positive concerning what you can do and not worrying over what you can’t do. Confident people do not concentrate on their weaknesses; they develop and maximize their strengths.

Let’s say you are not a “numbers” kind of person. On a scale of 1 to 10, you might be a 3. You could obsess about your inability to “do the math.” You could buy Math for Dummies and take a class at the community college. But your math obsession could eat up time that could be devoted to stuff you’re an 8 or a 10 at—like teaching God’s Word, creative writing, or rallying support for charity. In other words, you might rob time and effort from the 10s in your life just to bring a lowly 3 up to a mediocre 5. When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see where you need to invest your efforts.  (Quote by Joyce Meyer from her online daily devotional 4/2/14, http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx)

The Poky Little Puppy and Obedience (a.k.a. a Spiritual Devotion)

The Poky Little Puppy= one of my favorite Little Golden Books as a child

The Poky Little Puppy was one of my favorite Little Golden Books as a child.  I was an avid reader and an animal lover, and somehow I could intrinsically relate to the Poky Little Puppy.  Not that I am a puppy, mind you, just in case you are wondering……although I must point out that the Poky Little Puppy was a bit more adventuresome than I.  He had a perchance for adventure, and an independent spirit.  He liked to do his own thing, too.  However, he was not the most obedient puppy, and was kind of a rule-breaker.  Alright, he WAS a rule breaker. Eventually it caught up to him in the end.  I myself am not a rule breaker.  Some people disregard rules and law, however I am one who has respect for rules, law, and authority.  However, I do think it is important to observe the “spirit of the law” and to not be legalistic…..and there are cases of civil rights or civil disobedience too, but that is not what I am talking about here.

Actually, as I am reflecting on it, and wishing that I knew where my copy of this classic book is, I am thinking that perhaps the Poky Little Puppy was not so much of a rule breaker as an adventurer who did not follow the crowd of his sibling-puppies.  He DID eat all of the dessert that was supposed to be for all of his siblings who got in trouble though, which is not the best sharing atttude and actually kind of gluttonous.  However, I am not one to point the finger at someone with a sweet tooth by any means….desserts are a weakness of mine.  And, I relate to the Poky Little Puppy with his “pokyness.” I am sure that is not a word, but it works for my meaning and point here.  He kind of meandered about, was misunderstood, but yet he knew the

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921

Image via Wikipedia

adventure he was on even if no one else got it.  I think that is cool.  Life is not always about following the crowd either, and some of the world’s greatest thinkers, like Einstein, may have not always been understood on the road to their adventures and their dreams.  Dreams are important.

In the case of the Poky Little Puppy, I think his adventure was good in many ways, but he chose a course of action that was not good (eating the dessert that was meant to be shared with his siblings),  In that way, I think he was disobedient from what his mother wanted for him.

Obedience and Disobedience is an interesting topic.  Sometimes things are not always black and white, such as life.  The other day I read an interesting devotional thought from a Christian woman who often challenges me by the name of Joyce Meyer.  Her devotion that I read the other day is called “Testing the Motive of the Heart”, which is based on Genesis 22:1-3.  This is the story of when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.  That story is hard to understand, and I do not claim to have all the answers or to be a Bible scholar.  However, I do enjoy reading the Bible and often I have things that I observe while reading.  I want to share a few observations and insights that I had while reading this scripture and Joyce’s devotion.

First,  I noticed that God pointedly stressed that Isaac was Abraham’s son and that he loved him when God said for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  When God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, that doesn’t really make sense in a lot of ways.  Why would God ask Abraham to kill his own son?  That sounds so outside of the character of God and God’s love.  I personally do not think God would have allowed Abraham to kill Isaac.  This sacrificial situation does make me think of God and God’s son, Jesus.  Many people today doubt that Jesus existed, that Jesus was God’s son, and a plethora of doubts.  I do believe in Jesus, and honestly I believe that He died and was resurrected as a Savior for human-kind.  It is hard to cognitively process how a Father could allow His Son to die in order for a world’s salvation, but I am convinced of this truth no matter if the world tries its best to convince me otherwise.

Another question I have with Abraham and Isaac is this: was what God asked Abraham to do an obedience test? Genesis 22:1 says God tested Abraham, so I think that this is the case.  One fact that stood out to me on the day that Abraham planned to sacrifice Isaac was that Abraham got up EARLY, saddled his donkey, split the wood for the burnt offering, and began the trip to Moriah where God had told him to go.  God didn’t even say to leave early, however Abraham did so.  I can’t imagine rising early when you know the horrible event ahead, as Abraham did.  Personally, I am not an early riser, and leaving early for the most horrific thing one can imagine really hits me over the head.  Abraham was NOT a dawdler, as I myself often am, as well as the Poky Little Puppy (Author’s random side note: dawdling is not always a bad thing).  Abraham was amazingly obedient to God, even though I am sure he did not understand WHY God would ask him to sacrifice his son.  Although it is important to note that in the end Abraham was stopped from sacrificing Isaac by an Angel of God (Genesis 22:11-12) and a ram was provided as a substitute sacrifice.

Finally, I want to close by making a plug for Joyce Meyer.  Many people either really love or really hate her, and honestly I am glad that I gave her a chance.  I find her insightful and earnest, and some of her books have encouraged me when I have been in a darker place or struggling with various issues.  If you are interested in reading a devotion by Joyce Meyer, here is a link to one that I read recently that is thought-provoking and interesting (but note that it is not the devotion that is referenced in this blog).

http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=how_much_is_too_much