In this blog I should like to attempt to describe what confidence in God looks like in the heart of a believer. We are all called to live and walk by faith in God through Jesus, this is our commission from God’s Word. Our love for the Lord prompts us to love His Word and to have a faith in God that breeds confidence and assurance that He is God and that His promises to us are as true as His Word.
Jesus said it this way, “…Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” – Mark 11:22-23
While the context of the passage pertains more to our faith than it is moving mountains, it’s equally true that the mountains that we are called to move in life are more about dominions, problems, or obstacles then they are dirt and rock. We need to know that our faith in God provides a confidence in Him that gives us the ability to see beyond the problem and to trust in the Lord who has already provided a way around it, through it, or He just removes it.
We have to ask ourselves the question, where does our faith come from? Where do we place our faith? Is our faith and confidence in our bank account, our relationships, our lifestyles, our physical health or stature? We all believe in something, we need to begin by believing in God; this is where our true confidence comes from.
Webster’s on ‘confidence’ – “a state of trust, reliance, a feeling of hope on which one relies, self-reliance, a secret, to tell someone something private.”
Friend-fidence: When a person places their trust in friends or close relationships with other people they consider to be a close confidant.
Cash-fidence: When a person places their trust or security in the strength of their financial portfolio or accumulation of wealth.
Group-fidence: When a person places their trust or security in the social group or organization in which they belong to or are a part of.
Job-fidence: When a person places their trust and security in the job that they have or their ability things to do their job well and within their capability.
Stuff-fidence: When a person places their faith and trust in their accumulation of possessions in which they have acquired over time.
This blog is about God-fidence, it’s defined as a person places who their faith and trust in the living Lord Jesus Christ and believe that the promises of His Word are true for them and anyone else who believes.
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:8,9
The word ‘princes’ used here infers a political or national leader. While we can appreciate some of the things our political leaders do for us; we must never allow our faith in them to supersede (become greater than) the faith we have in the Lord. As people who are fallible, we sometimes place our faith in the leaders or their policies we are submitted to and while that might be okay for a person who is a good discerner of character, it is equally important to never allow our trust in any leader to be greater than our trust in the Lord. I don’t think I need to expound on that in today’s political climate. An unfortunate turn of events has befallen the world and while we may want to blame political leaders, it should be crystal clear to discerning believers that what has been happening in the world is nothing less that biblical prophecy unfolding before our eyes. If ever there were a time to have God-fidence it would be now. Our love and fear of God provides us with a confidence in Him.
“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” – Proverbs 14:26,27
The phrase used here, ‘fear of the Lord’ infers a reverence of and for God on the part of the worshipper. It describes a healthy appreciation and love for God by the one who reverently fears God for who He is and what He is capable of doing or allowing, good or bad. Too many people only want to look at the goodness of God and they forget that He is holy, righteous, and pure. If we ever want to see God then we too must be holy, something we are incapable of in of ourselves. I thank God that Jesus Christ has provided a way for us to be holy; it’s only through Him. Holiness is as it does and the only person who can make us holy is Jesus. His Word guides us toward a better understand of the true nature of God and the path we must take to come to Him.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
As we come to understand the dual nature of the Lord, His love and grace, coupled with His judgment and holiness; we come to fear (reverence) Him in a way that brings honor and glory to Him. Too many people blame God for the bad things that happen to them or others in life and they reject His love because they don’t understand it. They place their faith (confidence) in other things or people in order to cope with life, but in the end, they die lost and hopeless because they rejected the very God who died and rose again to save them.
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” – 1 John 2:28,29
As believers in Jesus we are all looking for His return, either in the Rapture or the Resurrection. In either case, we want to be and live with confidence that when Jesus Christ appears to receive us, we will not be ashamed. We must walk in righteousness, in confidence, in God-fidence, and place our faith in Jesus.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:14,15
Having a strong faith in Jesus compels us to pray with confidence, believing that what we ask of the Lord He will give to us if it is in His will for our lives. Our faith coupled with our words brings about a result that is birthed in our spirit and manifest in our lives. This will happen as we place our confidence in the Lord. Too many of us want to be in control of our lives, but what God wants is for us to give Him control. Since most believers won’t do this on their own accord, the Lord allows circumstances in life to compel them to trust in the Lord and obey His Word in a whole new way as He brings them through the storm.
For example: When a person decides to make a decision out of their emotions, where God’s Word or His principles are NOT considered, they succumb to the emotional draw of the flesh, which is a form of idolatry. When we follow after our emotions rather than submitting to God’s Word on any given matter, we make a person or thing the priority, we idolize them or it when in reality we must put God first!
Jeremiah said it this way: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah 17:9,10
The first time we see the word heart used in scripture is in context to the depravity of man after the fall but before the flood of Noah; it’s recorded in Genesis 6.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” – Genesis 6:5,6
The word for heart used here (Hebrew: leb) references one’s feelings, their will, and their intellect. More specifically it references the center or seat of their emotions. People want to have faith in God to do something greater then themselves, but if they are not sure God will come through, they might look bad or make God look bad. This is why many a prophetic word is not given because those who have been given this gift are afraid to use it in fear they may not be saying what God wants to be said. If it lines up with God’s Word in proper context to the given situation, than it’s a secure word. All too often people will use objects or props to secure themselves while they move from one place to another. They want to live by faith, but they need some proverbial hand rails to move forward at times. However, sometimes God calls us to trust Him to be our hand rail. Often believers restrict what God wants to do in a difficult situation because they don’t possess a confidence in God (God-fidence) to get them through. The bottom line is this, when God calls you out, He doesn’t give you all the information or resources that you will need to do what He has called you to do. God just gives you enough to get you out into a place of vulnerability and instability where you are forced to trust in Him. This is how be build our confidence, our God-fidence.
Take Peter for instance, he gets a bad rap for sinking on the sea of Galilee, but he was the only disciple who ever walked on water, for a moment anyway. Let’s review that story.
Jesus Walks on the Sea: “Immediately Jesus made (strongly urged, invited) His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea (many furlongs away from land), tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! )take courage) It is I (I am); do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:22-33
While we can learn a lot about faith in God, about walking by faith and trusting in the Lord and such, I should like to provide a unique perspective in that if Peter had not lost faith, but kept his eyes on Jesus, he would have walked with Him, even ran around the boat like a mad man saying, ‘look at me guys, come on, you gotta try this, it’s great! The other disciples would have joined Peter and Jesus and all of them would have had a dance party on the surface of the water, in the middle of the night, in a storm. That just makes sense. All it would have taken was a little God-fidence on Peter’s part to motivate and inspire his fellow disciples to take the jump as well. Isn’t that how our faith works, we inspire others are the Lord inspires (or invites) us to step out.
The mind philosophy reads like a faithless mantra: I can’t do what God has asked of me because I need this or that first, if I don’t have it than I can’t go. When Jesus answered Peter’s request for an invitation to step out of the boat, Peter stepped out; that’s faith, that’s God-fidence! We too can obtain and develop our God-fidence when we act out in faith believing that God is directing our path. We rarely get the full picture at the beginning; just a piece of it.
Let’s find some other passages in scripture that will help us to develop a healthy God-fidence. There are almost 70 passages of scripture that render various forms of the phrase ‘trust in the Lord’ in the Bible. For this blog, we can only look at a few of them. It’s as if the Lord was trying to tell us that we can trust in Him!
We just read a passage from Jeremiah 17 talking about the deceitfulness of the heart. In the verses just prior to that we see the blessing and cursing that comes from trusting and not trusting in God. Take a look:
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.” – Jeremiah 17:5,6
Here we see a picture of a man who puts his trust in men, in his own strength, whose heart has departed from the Lord. We also see what that looks like, a shrub planted in a parched and desolate place.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7,8
Here we see a picture of a man who puts his trust and hope in God. The description is of a tree planted by the water with a healthy root system. He can withstand the rage of a storm because his strength comes from the Lord. This tree has no fear or anxiety and it continues to bear fruit.
Question: Which would you rather be; a shrub in a parched and desolate place or a tree planted near water that continues to bear fruit. While the answer may be obvious, we still have to answer it every day.
Psalm 37: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.” – vs. 3-8
“The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.” – vs. 18,19
“For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed. – vs. 22-26
“Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.” – vs. 34
“Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, Because they trust in Him.” – vs. 37-40
This kind of God-fidence moves believers into new places in their faith and relationship with the Lord. We are always growing and developing and stretching our faith and as we learn that we really can trust in the Lord. Our God-fidence also grows as we learn that God is as faithful to us as His Word because He loves us. If you want to live your life with God-fidence, you need to begin each day with the Lord. We can go through life with a faith in God that is fueled by a daily prayer, meditation, Bible study, and some quality time spent in God’s presence. This kind of discipline and attitude makes for a God-fident lifestyle!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Southern Missouri. He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry.