Monday, January 13, 2014
Today’s Topic: Confidence
2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (ESV) 7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2 Chronicles 32:22 (ESV) 22 So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side.
Monday mornings test my character, especially if Sunday has been filled with more ministry demands than normal. Yesterday was such a day.
There was not one part of the day that I would have missed, as every event was an incredible blessing and affirmation of what God is doing in the ministry of Calvary Baptist Church. But it was a long day and I was tired when I got home at 8:30 last night. When that happens, I feel drained on Monday, and my Monday is equally as busy every week. I can handle being tired, but what I don’t like are the attacks that come when I am tired, and the area where my character gets attacked first is in my confidence level.
Generally I’m a pretty confident guy – except on Monday mornings. That’s when I begin to doubt my abilities and question my value. I dare to believe that you do the same thing when you are tired or stressed. I’m right, aren’t I?
Well, this morning I was reminded about confidence when I opened my devotionals and the first one I read said this – “Jesus gives me confidence to be a minister of a new covenant.” It was followed by these verses in 2 Corinthians 3:4-6. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.
So I began to do a word search for the places in Scripture that talk about confidence. I found a story that went straight to my heart in Second Chronicles. Briefly, the people of Judah were in a predicament. King Sennacherib of Assyria had come to overthrow King Hezekiah of Judah and laid siege to their territory. This massive barbaric army was striking fear into the residents of Judah.
King Hezekiah puts their fears into perspective. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
I love that line – with him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God. I am challenged by the people’s response – the people took confidence from the words. I tend to let words of people destroy my confidence, when Words of God have already been spoken that solidify my confidence. I am responsible for the words I choose to listen to. I alone choose what value I assign to what people say. I am solely accountable for my confidence level based on what words I have chosen to believe.
I have decided that the following words will be the foundation of my confidence level.
Psalm 27:3 (ESV) Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
Proverbs 3:26 (ESV) for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:5-6 (ESV) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
1 John 5:14 (ESV) And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Check your confidence level against God’s words, not man’s. It will make a difference in your Monday…and every day.