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The Believer’s Confidence

Day 57
Verse of the day.

…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 1:6

Where do we stand?

There is a common attribute in every natural man. It is the attribute of relying on self. In calling us to live a life worthy of Himself, Christ admonishes everyone who desires to be His disciple to live not just in denial of sin and satan but also to live in denial of self (Matthew 16:24).

Living in denial of self is most commonly interpreted as living in denial of selfish interests and desires while focusing on Christ’s desires. This is true but not full. Living in denial of self requires much more than living in denial of selfish interests, more importantly, it requires living in denial of personal efforts to sustain the Life of God in us.

When we attempt to sustain the life of God in us through human effort, we appear to tell God that He is not enough to keep us in Him; that we must help Him. This is wrong. The Life of God in us sustains us. Every effort we make must come from this Life of the Spirit within us. This is the call of Christ through the words of the apostle in the verse under consideration.

The Believer’s Confidence.

When we consider the series of events that brought us to saving grace – the death of Christ, His resurrection, the defeat of the devil, His ascension, the conviction of the Holy Spirit – we find that we had no part to play in these. All we did was receive all that Christ offered in redemption, knowing full well we had nothing as substantial to give in exchange.

Also Read: Nothing Without Him

Though encouraged to study, to serve, to mortify the deeds of the flesh, pray and fast, the believer’s confidence lies not in any of these. Our confidence rather lies in this one thing – that Christ Who saved us will see us saved to the utmost.

Focusing on the Beloved

Placing our confidence in God helps us look beyond ourselves to Him for righteousness, for peace, for joy. This is a life of utter rest and dependence in His finished and continuing works. You refuse to live with guilt when you fall; you never cease to see yourself for who you are – the righteousness of God in Christ; you live dependent on His righteousness; and rather than focus on keeping yourself from falling into sin, you focus on chasing and engaging the Life of God, which then deals with sin from the inside out and not the other way round. Essentially, His righteousness becomes yours, His strength becomes yours, you live fully dependent on His Life and sustenance, bringing you to a place of rest, a place in Him where you can boldly say, “You brought me this far, I’m moving no finger, no foot without You.” A place of utter rest and trust in Him.

As difficult as this may seem – especially when we’ve learned to labor by ourselves much more than resting in Him – this is the only way to live the life of God.

Read  Other Posts By This Author

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Today’s Confession

Jesus, You are my strength, my confidence, my Life. I live fully dependent on You, knowing that You Who has begun this good work in me will see it to completion.

Do you have any thoughts, questions?

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6 thoughts on “The Believer’s Confidence

  1. “When we attempt to sustain the life of God in us through human effort, we appear to tell God that He is not enough to keep us in Him; that we must help Him.”
    I like this part.
    And the one about Focusing on the Beloved.
    New insight.
    God bless you, MichaEl!

    1. It is indeed needful that we come to understand that we are His masterpiece to be started and completed by Him.
      Thanks for your comment, Deborah.
      God bless you too!

  2. Thank you so much for this Micheal, it really minister to me greatly. I do have a question though. Personally, when I face some challenges I may resort to fasting, praying, doing all sort of spiritual exercise so that my challenges can be solved quickly, does that mean am helping God?, and does it means my confidence lie in those exercise than God himself?. I need enlightenment on this please, because is like if I have not done those things I won’t have my peace. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jane,
      I appreciate you asking this question, and I want you to know that.
      In answering, I’d like to make reference to a part of the post above.
      “When we attempt to sustain the life of God in us through human effort, we appear to tell God that He is not enough to keep us in Him; that we must help Him. This is wrong. The Life of God in us sustains us. Every effort we make must come from this Life of the Spirit within us.”

      The last sentence here helps us realize that resting in God doesn’t mean we will make no effort at all. Effort must be made. The underlying factor will then be what the source of your effort is. Is it spirit channeled, or fleshly channeled.

      When we consider our spiritual lifestyle (worship), Jesus clearly states that worshipping God must be done “in spirit and truth” (John 4). So worship is first in SPIRIT and TRUTH, the acts of devotion like fastings, praying, and other spiritual activities can only proceed from there.

      God’s thoughts towards us are thoughts of peace and not of evil (Jeremiah 29:11). God has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He has His plans and designs for how we can receive these things; and our acts of devotions such as fastings, and prayers and other spiritual exercises have a part to play in how we can RECEIVE these things. But when we begin to view these acts as shortcuts to getting things to ourselves, we would be shifting our gaze from Him and focusing on ourselves. So in every act of devotion, we must follow his guidance in spirit and truth. We must ensure our motive is in alignment with His, that our desires are aligned with His. This is how to ensure that our hope is in God and not in the exercises. This helps us know what God wants and align our own desires with His.

      So, when we engage in acts of devotion, we must ask a few questions: some of which may include:
      1. Who directs your acts of devotion? You or God? As a believer whose spirit has been made alive by Him, do you through your spirit receive instructions, directions and leading by Him or do you just practice as you desire or feel is right?
      2. Do you carry out these acts of devotion according to Truth? I say ‘Truth’ and not ‘Bible’ because sometimes we read the Bible and interpret it to suit us. Sometimes this is by genuine misunderstanding, other times it’s intentional. When we do this we have shifted our dependence from God to self. For instance, sometimes if/when we sin against us, we like to beat ourselves up. We believe we have “hurt God”, so we want to hurt ourselves in return. Even when God has forgiven us, in our minds, we may feel we must do something hard like fast, pray or cry so that God can be pleased with us again. (This may not be the case with you but there are people who go through this.) That’s a typical example of “helping God” to work a forgiveness that He has already offered. And all that He wants us to do is receive. So we must be careful to seek, know Truth by ourselves and stick with it.
      3. What is your motive in devotion? Is it for self-defined purposes or is it focused on God and His purposes in you and others… I’d advise that you consider Jesus’ fast as a template? (See how He was “led of the Spirit into the wilderness”?) Also, why did He ask us to fast? Why did the apostles fast? Have a look at these instances, it’ll help.
      These are not exhaustive questions… But in all, the disposition of the heart matters.

      Focusing on fasting a bit…
      Fasting is intended as a means of depending on God – if done right. The overall goal, I believe, is meant to help serve the purposes of God in us and in others better. When we embark on fasts we must ask questions similar to the ones above: “Is my fast focused on God? Am I fasting in line with and because of God or something He has said and I seek? Or is it focused on JUST me? Am I fasting to serve God’s purposes better or is it my purposes, plans or desires alone? Am I fasting in line with the spirit which agrees with truth? Or is my fast dependent JUST dependent on what I want? Is what I want what God wants for me?

      When we learn to see our Christian walk as the work of God, we cease to live in panic, we will seek to know what He wants for us and how He wants us to get it before we embark on our acts of devotion and worship.

      The essence of the post is this: As we do anything pertaining to this life and our faith, we must always bear it in mind that God runs our lives; He is our Redeemer, Savior and Father; He sees whatever challenges we face and God wants more (all-round) success for us than we want for ourselves. This causes us to engage Him with this knowledge to ask Him questions, to seek His plans on how to solve our challenges and then follow that plan. This defines the kind, degree and motive behind our acts of devotion. And this way we won’t look at our devotion as the source of our answer but on His work in us.

      As long as this is, this is not all. So if you still have doubts, feel free to share.

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