My friends have been mentioning Moxie a lot after reading some of my blogs. Now I am associated with the word. A few weeks ago, my next-door neighbor e-mailed me a photo of “Moxie” soda. She had found it while she was browsing through a gourmet food store that was right around the corner from my house. I was thrilled. Who knew Moxie even existed in liquid form? I got in my car and made a pilgrimage, all the while thinking, there has got to be a lesson here!
Let me remind you exactly what Moxie means. It means: the ability to face a difficult situation with spirit and courage. It is skill. It is know-how.
Some days I just don’t have it. Some days I am facing a situation and I really feel inadequate for the task. Sometimes I am teaching a Bible study and I suddenly think, “What in the world am I doing up here, and why are all these people looking at me?”
I could use a little more Moxie. Most of us could actually.
So, after I went and bought Moxie soda, I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be great to be able to drink our Moxie? I mean, when we are surrounded by fear and doubt we could just open the fridge, grab an ice-cold bottle of Moxie, pop the top, and take a big gulp. Wonderful. I mean, really really wonderful.
But that is not how life works.
Some of us have lost our Moxie because of societies “rules.” Truth is a watered down if there is any real truth at all. Half of us don’t even know how to be filled with courage because, isn’t courage bold? And boldness is questioned because boldness normally offends someone. So we tend to shrink into ourselves in some situations. We tend to be less Moxied than perhaps we would like to be.
Yet, when you look at Jesus, He never backed down. That boy had some Moxie.
I wrote about my loss of moxie a few weeks back. I said there were three things we need to do to let our Moxie shine. Those three things are:
1) Do not allow anyone to tell you who you are. Do not allow circumstances to dictate who you are. You let God tell you who you are. Your security is with Him, not with anyone else.
2) God is the only person we need to worry about pleasing.
3) There is a reason God made you the way He did. Know this.
I still think all those things are true but I think there is also something deeper we need to understand and trust about our Moxie.
I was reading the Psalms this morning. If you want to know who God is and what God will do, the Psalms are a real good way of making a check list.
Psalm 1 – the Lord takes care of His people but the wicked will be destroyed.
Psalm 2 – the Lord laughs at the wicked because the Lord has appointed His own King on Zion – His Son.
Psalm 3 – the Lord is our shield. The Lord gives us courage.
Now hold on a New York minute. What does Psalm 3 say?
“But, Lord, you are my shield, my wonderful God who gives me courage.”
Let me say that another way. “But, Lord, you are my shield, my wonderful God who gives me MOXIE.”
You got it. Remember I said our personalities were part of what made up our Moxie? Yes, that is so true. We have to let them shine if we ever want to see our true Moxie, but if you look at those three bullet points I listed, there is more. God tells you who you are – He made your personality. He is the only one you need to please in that personality. God made you the way you are for a reason – your personality needs to shine. In each and every one of those, it comes down to one thing – trust. You have to trust who God says you are. You have to trust He is the only one you need to please. You have to trust that the light you shine is the Moxie He wants you to shine.
So in those situations and circumstances in which we feel inadequate, where we feel like we have lost our Moxie, we really haven’t lost it at all. The enemy has robbed us of trust and taken away our confidence. But here is the kicker, he hasn’t taken away our trust and confidence in ourselves because ourselves is never our trust and confidence. He has shifted our focus TO ourselves and our circumstances. Very subtly, very sneakily, very slyly, he has shifted our focus to what we know we can do WITH God, to what we can do ourselves. Our focus then becomes self-focus and other people focused and not God focused. No matter how close you are to God, no matter how much you read about God, no matter how many hours you spend with God, if you let yourself feel inadequate and un-Moxied, then you have stepped away from fully trusting the Lord to trying to make yourself “good” enough to be comfortable in the situation that makes you uncomfortable. As in, your focus is off! Let me give you some verses.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5
Seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deut 4:29
For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:26
If we believe those are true, then no matter the situation, there is courage, there is skill, and there is know-how because we trust the Spirit to lead us. We have shifted our focus. I know this is easier said than done, and it is a battle we all need to fight every day, but isn’t it true?
Some have deemed the Holy Spirit the “forgotten God” because we do have a tendency to brush the Spirit aside, but Jesus placed special emphasis on the Spirit. Listen.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. . . The Spirit will take what I have to say and tell it to you.” John 16:7,15
I think in all of our lives we have a tendency to plow through difficult situations holding our breath without fully trusting there is something inside us that has everything under control. I think even in situations we find “normal” yet make us nervous, we tend to turn inwards, focusing on not screwing up and tiptoeing around our words when we need to be focused on the Spirit inside us that has the perfect words for us to utter before we even utter them.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have no idea what in the world just came out of your mouth? It was brilliant. It was exceptional. And you know for a fact that it had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the Spirit dwelling in you. Him abiding. Him empowering. Him giving us the Moxie we need to get through the situation without looking like a complete idiot.
Can we drink our Moxie? Not out of a soda bottle, but in the Spirit – yes we can. The more you know of God, the more you trust Him, and the more you trust Him the more you trust that voice inside, and the more you trust that voice inside the more Moxie you are going to have. Because if you want to know the truth of the matter, the Holy Spirit is our Moxie – and shines from us with our unique personality. Without the Spirit, we would be a complete train wreck. Would we not?
You wanna piece of me? You gotta get through my Moxie. My Moxie has the skill. My Moxie has the know-how. My Moxie can face anything, and I do mean anything, with absolute and complete courage. Because my Moxie, my courage, is my God.
Amen and Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
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