A weekly Bible Lesson
Hope and Life Fellowship of Rockbridge
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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How Do We Have Confidence Before God (Pt. 2)
-- New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Hebrews 10:35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.
In the 1st lesson we talked about what confidence was, and the commands that God gave us in His Word in order to walk in confidence before Him. Confidence is another way of saying we have assurance before God. There is a purpose for this confidence. We can not appropriate the promises of God if we are not assured of something when we ask. We have to ask with confidence, and we can only do that when we are in line with God's will.
In this lesson I would like to talk about what is the reward of that confidence and how we must obtain it. Promises are given yet we must walk in obedience to His Word and have proper motives in order to obtain these very precious promises.
God's precious promises will not fall on us automatically. We have to know the will of God before we can even ask for them. We have to ask in line with His will. God's Word is God's will. Many people say things like, well, if God wants me to have something He will just give it to me. This is not scriptural and can cause problems for us and get us discouraged. This is not to say that our Father will not bless us many times out of His own goodness, as any parent would want to bless their children, however this is not what we are talking about here. Other people ask God for things just to fulfill the lusts of their own fleshly desires. Both of these things will cause you to fall short of receiving God's promises by faith.
There is a purpose to everything God does and says. He wants us to be confident in our asking so we can appropriate His promises. He wouldnít have given us promises if He didnít want us to have them would He? Yet, he wants us to grow up into maturity so that we can not only receive the promises but use these promised blessings to be a blessing to others.
The Apostle James said.
James 4:2-3. You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
He is saying you do not have because you do not ask, God knows what we need before we ask , yet the intent is, we still have to ask. Then it goes on to say, and you do not receive because you ask amiss. In other words, we are asking for the wrong things and for the wrong reasons, basically so we can spend it on our own desires, fulfilling the lusts of our flesh.
We put ourselves in a place where we can not receive because of our wrong motives. I believe our Father God would like to give us things, but we can not receive them many times because of our wrong motives. So in other words, we can not receive the promises of God by faith because our faith will not work when our motives are all wrong. Another way of saying this is, our faith will not work when our motives are wrong, and we cannot receive when our faith is not working, therefore we donít get what we asked for.
Any parent knows that if you gave your child just everything it wanted, the child would be spoiled rotten. I believe our Father wants to tremendously bless us, yet we have to get to the point where our motives are right and pure before Him, in order to receive these blessings. I believe we can get to the point where we are a funnel for God's blessings when we get to the place where our fingers are not sticky, if you know what I mean. I believe we will get to this place when we begin to pray for others and not ourselves. When we are doing this we are not wanting to spend on our own lusts, but to bless others. This is God's way. Give and it shall be given to you. This is a principle of sowing and reaping.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
Also, God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7. But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
You see here that motives are again discussed. If you are giving out of necessity or some sense of legalism, or pressure, then you sure arenít giving to God out of pure motives or a joyful heart are you? If you are giving just to get something in return, once again you are giving for a selfish motive.
Having pure motives are only part of the directions God is giving us in order to receive His promises with confidence. We also have to know what God's promises are, in order to ask for them donít we? If we donít know God's will and we go before him and ask Him for something, how are we going to have any semblance of confidence that we are going to get anything from Him. You can not have confidence for something if you go before God and pray, if it be thy will. How can you have confidence of the outcome if you have no idea if it is God's will in the first place? You can't.
As I said earlier God's Word is God's will, we always have to pray in line and in accordance with God's will when we want to receive His promises by faith. Knowing and understanding God's will is always the foundation and basis for our faith. We can not have faith for something from God if we donít know what his will is in the matter. So let's first go to his Word and find the answer before we go to Him and ask.
1 John 5: 14-15. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
The Apostle John is saying that when we are asking according to God will, He hears us.
Not, He might hear us, He hears us, and we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. Another way of saying this would be to say, we can have confidence when we ask God for something that is according to his will, and because we have confidence in what we are asking for, we know we are going to receive what we asked for. We can say this because our desires are in line with His desires. We are asking for what He told us to ask for. We are asking for His will. This may seem over simplistic but I believe many people miss this important truth and fall short, never knowing where they missed it.
Secondly Jesus said in John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. The second part of this is having God's Word abide in you, and you abiding in Him. When you are abiding in his Word and His Word is abiding in you, you arenít going to ask for something that is contrary to His will, are you? When we are abiding in God's Word, confidence will arise in your heart. When you are abiding in God's Word, true revelation will come by the Holy Spirit. He will lead and guide us into all truth. When true revelation of God's Word comes, you could not ask anything opposite of it, and ask in faith expecting with confidence to receive. It could never happen. We must start to have confidence in God's Word, and act as if His Word is true, because it most surely is!
Our heart must be established on the surety of God's Word in order for us to have confidence in it. This is the beginning of discipleship.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Next we must have confidence in our own words, our confession must be consistent, for that to happen.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
In the Greek He.4:14 literally says let us hold fast to saying the same thing.
In other words, be consistent in what you say. Say the same thing. Donít waver regardless of the circumstances, speak the Word of God in faith. Say it, and keep saying it! Never contradict what the Word of God is saying, and never give up. It is not always going to be easy. Easy would be to give up and die, but we can't be double tongued and be confident of seeing our requests answered. Our word ought to be our bond. If we as Christians say something, it should be the final Word on the subject. If we promise somebody something we should deliver on what we say, unless there are circumstances beyond our control that prevented us from doing it.
-- New American Standard
Psalms 15:4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt, and does not change;
Thatís the way Christians should be, our words should be totally dependable. After all, we know God's words are totally dependable. We often donít keep our word therefore we have no faith in our own words. How can we speak God's words with confidence and expect them to come to pass, when we are double tongued ourselves and have no confidence in the things we ourselves say? How can we speak the words of God who we can not see, with even the slightest bit of confidence, when the words of man who we can see are unreliable? Our words must be yea and amen. Sometimes we think a little bit of untruth is ok, itís not, it dilutes our confidence. Itís one more step down a slippery slope.
We must have honesty in all things, we must be honest before God, honest before our fellow men, and honest to ourselves, if we are going to grow up to be mature children of God. God keeps His own rules and expects us to keep them as well. We certainly won't mature in Him if we donít, we won't ever grow in confidence before Him, and we will stay babies deceiving ourselves. But that doesnít have to be the case does it? Let's take the steps that we have to take in order to grow up with all confidence before our Heavenly Father.
If you want to know for sure that you are a child of God then earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.