Monday, October 07, 2013
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to carry an unjustified confidence about everything they think and do – and possibly an ego to match? Confidence is a huge and necessary character quality in life. Without confidence, leaders, athletes, professionals, nor anyone, will rise to the fullness of their potential. Yet confidence is not supposed to be based on vain imagination or inflated ego. Confidence is to be based on a number of factors having to do with knowledge, understanding, ability, skill, and potential.
There are two foundational things confidence must be built on. First, we must be confident from the promise of God’s word, that He loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. Secondly, we must know that as Jesus said, "...without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Every good thing that touches our life is because of God's grace – His divine mercy and love helping us. Not because we are so smart or cool or because we deserve it.
Pride, ego, and boasting shuts God out of one’s life. Jeremiah 9:23 warns us, "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches…”Let me tell you a powerful truth. God hates pride. Satan’s original sin was pride. Pride shuts down God’s ability to work in our lives. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the reverence of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. “The words “strong confidence” literally means “mighty assurance.” What this verse is telling us is that when we put our faith in the promise of God’s Word, we can have mighty assurance or confidence.
Strong confidence rooted in anything outside of God is nothing more than disguised pride. Pride boasts about what it knows and about what it can do. It boasts about its future and its greatness. James 4:13-16 says, “Look here, you people who say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.' How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, 'If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.' Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”
These verses aren’t telling us not to plan. They are telling us that without praying for God’s participation, guidance, and grace in our day-to-day plans, we are out on a trip all by ourselves. Prov 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Prov 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
God wants blessing, provision, and protection for our life. He wants this abundantly for our lives. Jesus revealed the nature of Satan and his will for us vs. Jesus and His will for us in John 10:10. “(Satan)The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to more abundantly.” You will never extend your faith in His promise beyond what you truly believe God wants for you. This has got be become one of the most settled issues of your heart. You then need to learn to trust and stand on these promises of God. As you do, you will see God manifest His blessings in your life.
From the time Renee and I were married we believed and trusted God for our provision. That doesn’t mean we sat around twiddling our thumbs waiting for a mystical magical check to show up in our mailbox. God teaches us to work diligently, to honor authority, and to treat everyone – even those who seem to oppose or be against us, with love and respect. He teaches us to always give our best effort. He teaches us to seek Him through prayer for wisdom and direction. When we develop a lifestyle of following God’s ways like this and then we are faithful to become rooted in a church where we bring our tithes and offerings, God will direct us on a supernatural path of spiritual growth, provision, protection, and blessing.
When I was a young minister, I couldn’t afford suits yet I needed to wear them. Renee and I were young marrieds with four young children. I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. We lived meagerly, yet we praised God and thanked Him daily for bringing us into a place of abundant promised blessing. We had strong confidence that He would meet all our needs because He promised He would. Psa 115:11-15 “You who fear him, trust in the LORD – He is their help and shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us… He will bless those who fear the LORD – small and great alike. May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children…”We believed God would bring increase to us in every areas of life - spiritual growth, maturity, and provision.
Renee and I decided to make lists of everything we needed – those things relating to our daily living and those things related to serving Him more effectively. We built those lists, hung them in our kitchen and thanked God daily for supplying our every need as promised in Philippians 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
At this time suits and ties was something I had put on the list. A short time after I did, a man from church called me. “Tim, I was praying and God told me to call you and see if I could give you some of my suits.” This man had awesome taste in clothes and beautiful suits. He gave me three suits. The same thing happened with Renee concerning dresses. We may have not had a lot in those days, but we looked better than our bank account reflected.
Over time we would see the Lord provide those things on our lists – over and over again. As soon as one list was filled, we’d create another. We did this to honor Him as our provider! We still do this after all these years. We could probably afford much of what we need now but we are not relying on ourselves. We rely on God for all our provision. This is where our strong confidence is. Let Him become your strong confidence and provider!
Proverbs 14:26 “In the reverence of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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