“I’m writing on the 5 D’s to workout motivation. Can you guess one of the “D” words?” So asked Melanie Dorsey on her facebook wall yesterday afternoon. My response to her was immediate . . .
“DON’T eat a piece of the chocolate cake I just posted a picture of on my wall . . . I mean really, just the word ‘Don’t’ speaks a message all its own. Just don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Apply it whenever necessary.”
Of course, I was making an attempt at humor, but as I stepped back from my statement, my “don’t” took root; so did my ruminations.
Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. What if we could really do our don’ts—move past our declarations and start walking our determinations? This is what happens when we bravely and willingly do our don’ts. We move forward. We get unstuck.
The Bible is replete with “don’ts.” I spent two hours last evening combing through Biblegateway’s online concordance, taking note of each “do not” listed there. There are thousands of them; I scribbled down four pages’ worth. All of them, when applied to a heart, are motivators for getting a stuck faith moving again. Don’ts like . . .
Don’t be afraid;
Don’t lose heart;
Don’t do what they do;
Don’t have in mind the things of men;
Don’t be alarmed;
Don’t put God to the test;
Don’t belong to the world;
Don’t be silent;
Don’t let sin reign;
Don’t give up;
Don’t give the devil a foothold;
Don’t handle, touch, or taste;
Don’t be carried away;
Don’t harden your hearts;
Don’t forget to do good;
Don’t merely listen to the Word, do it.
You get the picture, and this is just a mere scratch at the surface of what seems to be the great many regulatory “don’ts” of Scripture. Now, before you shut down . . . before you see these as obligation rather than as a road map toward freedom, allow me to share with you the one “don’t” that struck me through to my soul’s marrow. The one “don’t” that I’m going to do this weekend.
Would you be willing to do that? Just work on one? Just do one don’t that most significantly strikes a chord with your faith? I’m convinced that just doing one of God’s don’ts is enough to propel our faith forward, even just a little bit.
Here’s is the one don’t I plan on doing:
“Don’t throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (Hebrews 10:35).
This “confidence” in the Greek context means “boldness, assurance, freedom in speaking, without concealment.” Boldness in speech, being sure of my words, freely speaking without a hidden agenda? Well, for this to happen and to happen rightly, my confidence must be rooted in truth—yet, another confidence.
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared (Proverbs 3:25).
God as my confidence. Contextually speaking, God as my “flank.”
So what does this mean for me going forward—as I do my “don’t”?
Don’t throw away your confidence, Elaine, because your Confidence has you covered. Don’t throw away your boldness, your freedom in putting forth the truth plainly, because God is your flank. God has situated himself around the most vulnerable, tender part of your faith, and he will not let you be destroyed. He has you covered from all angles. It’s safe to move forward, speak forward, live forward, because God’s got you covered every step of the way.
Don’t throw away your confidence. Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Apply it whenever necessary. Just do this one don’t and see if God is not faithful to apply his movement, his strength, and his limitless confidence to your faith.
What if I could really live this one? What if I could really do God’s don’t? When a faith moves in that direction—when a heart really takes hold of that kind of understanding—the possibilities are endless. For what it’s worth, I’m going to give it a try.
What are you going to try? What’s the “don’t” that God is calling you to do? The one deliberate “do not” that you can apply to your heart that will get your faith unstuck and moving forward in a good direction?
Do your don’t, and then don’t be surprised by what God will do. Don’t and do’s. Do’s and don’ts. Sometimes it’s just as simple as it seems.
Now, get busy. And when you have a moment, check out Melanie’s 5 D’s to Workout Motivation. I’m sure her list has less to do with “don’ts” and much more to do with do’s. I’ll see you on the other side of Sunday. As always . . .
Peace for the journey,