Expectations and Limitations – And Freedom

But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
Daniel 11:32b, NLT*

The context of this verse is a prophecy about a future king who will “flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant.” (Daniel 11:32a, NLT*)

What protects God’s people? They know Him, and they act on that knowledge. They rely on Him.

The last two weekends I’ve been blessed to attend worship conferences. Both highlighted the importance of knowing who we are in Christ – defining our identity and measuring ourselves by what God says instead of what people say.

Knowing God sets us free.

My notes from the most recent event include this: “Because I don’t feel like I’m what I’m supposed to be, I limit what God can do through me.”

That’s not a direct quote from our speaker, Jo Saxton (ALIVE Conference simulcast) but she said something close to that.

The main point I took from her message was that we often accept limitations from individuals, society, or ourselves, when we need to live by the truth of who God says we are. When we hold back, God respects our choice and we miss the chance to bless and to be blessed.

What limitations or expectations have you and I accepted? From whom? Or what are we measuring ourselves against? How does this impact what God might want to do through us?

If we know Him – and choose to believe what we know about Him – we can live by His grace and strength instead of holding back in fear of what others might say.

Here’s where I think today’s verse applies. We know who the Liar is, who wants to get our eyes off of God. Those lies include things like “you’re not good/ smart/ old/ young/ gifted (etc.) enough.”

If we know and believe our God, we can resist the lies with truth – “For I can do everything [that God asks me to do] through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT*)

Gracious Father, draw us closer to Your heart and deeper into Your Word. Give us faith and courage to choose to believe You and to resist the lies that diminish us. Show us where we’ve accepted limitations instead of stepping out for You. Forgive us, and give us new chances to live for Your glory.

Our song is the Newsboys‘ “The Upside.” Notice the questions about what’s holding us down.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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