Walking in Confidence Before God
-- New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Hebrews 10:35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.
The writer of Hebrews is telling us to hold on to our confidence because it brings a great reward. One translation says, Do not lose your fearlessness. Another translation says,
Ye may not cast away, then, your boldness. These are some different ways of saying
the same thing, confidence has a reward, and we need to be confident in order to receive it.
We should be able to go before our Father with great confidence and boldness.
My question is how can we get that kind of boldness or confidence before God, and is it something every believer automatically has? I believe we can find the answer to these questions, as always, in God's Word.
The Apostle John said -- (1 John 3:18-24)
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
John said, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. John did not say if God does not condemn us we would have confidence before Him. We might say it like this, -- if our spirit or inner most being does not condemn us, we would have a clear conscious. Confidence comes from a clear conscious. Our spirit being is our conscious.
God's Word tells us in -- Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.
John also says if we love in deed and truth, we will know we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. He is telling us to 1st we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and 2nd We should love one another, He commanded us to do this for as very good reason. We will put ourselves into a place where we can receive from Him when we are obedient to His commandments, as The Apostle John said -- And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments. We have to put ourselves into a place where we can receive.
We do this when we believe on Him, and walk in love toward one another. Not just in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. In other words we are not just giving lip service, but we are truly walking in love toward one another. Preferring one another over ourselves, and acknowledging one another. Not just with our words, but with our actions as well.
You might wonder what this has to do with being bold or confident. That is a very good question. Let's read on.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Apostle John had great spiritual insight in this area. I encourage you to get into His epistles and spend some time studying and meditating in them on your own.
We are to firstly, believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and secondly, walk in love toward one another -- then we know we are abiding in Him, and He is abiding in us.
We know this by the Spirit whom He has sent. So we have an inner witness in our spirit by the Holy Spirit that lets us know that we are in Him and He is in us. Knowing that God Himself is in you, and you are in Him creates this confidence in us before Him.
When your fellowship with God the Father is right, and your fellowship with other believers is right, then your conscious is clear before God, and your heart will not condemn you. This does not mean the devil will not try and accuse you. You have got to know and understand the difference. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Rv:12:10.
However, we know of his devices, and won't be drawn in with his trickery, will we?
Many Christians have been brought down by the wiles of the enemy -- thinking it was God, not knowing all along, it was Satan.
Paul said in the book of Romans -- Romans 8:33-34. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
God isn't the one who is condemning us. Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us. God is on our side, He wants us to succeed. After all He went to great lengths to bring redemption to us, didn't He? He's not up there with a spiritual baseball bat trying to knock us down all the time, don't misunderstand me, I'm not condoning sin. I'm saying if we sin, God is showing us what we can do to make it right, we have an advocate with the Father.
1 John 2:1-5 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him,'' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
When we keep His commandments we are walking in His Word, and the Love of God becomes perfected in us. Being perfected is an ongoing process. It doesn't happen all at once or overnight. It takes time, so don't get discouraged if you mess up. Make it right, get up and dust yourself off, and keep going. There is a spiritual precept here we must come to understand and begin to walk in if we are going to have confidence and boldness before God. It starts by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walking in love toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I have seen too many Christians who are very critical of others who don't believe like they do, or don't go to the same kind of church, the list goes on and on, I'm sure you could name many of these things on your own. Yet, we must come to understand we are not helping anybody when we criticize them, We are not building up the body of Christ when we behave this way. I'm not talking about encouragement in a constructive kind of way, I'm talking about a negative criticism that is not intended to help, but tears down and helps NO ONE. We back bite and gossip and talk about others behind their backs, and then we wonder why there is no power in our lives. You can not have confidence before God when you are in strife with your brothers and sisters in Christ, it will never happen. NEVER!
You might say how does walking in love with my brothers and sisters in Christ effect my confidence before God? We will never have all the answers in this life, but we have to follow God's commandments, getting out of love with a fellow Christian is breaking Godís commandment, and breaking Godís commandments breaks our fellowship with God.
Jn:15:12: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jn:15:17: "These things I command you, that you love one another.
If we donít love one another we donít love God. Jesus said in Johnís gospel;
Jn.14:15. "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And what is Godís commandment?
John 15:9. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy
may be full.
12. "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jesus said this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
He said this is my commandment! One dictionary says a commandment is a law, an edict, or statue. He made it a commandment so that we would know the seriousness of this, if we break His commandment, then we know there are consequences along with it.
This is very important to the Father, it is a command. If it wasnít a commandment we wouldnít pay as much attention to it. You see, it is in our best interest if we obey, when we obey, we are walking in love, when we are walking in love, we are walking in Him, and can have true fellowship with Him only when that happens. When our fellowship with God the Father is right, and our fellowship with our brethren is right, then our conscious is clear before God, and our hearts will not condemn us. Then we can boldly go before the throne of grace, in full confidence before our God.
Jesus said in -- Matthew 5:23-24. "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Why did He say this, just because He wants harmony among the brethren? Yes He does, but it is always in our best interest when we follow God's rules and do things the way His Word tells us to do them. He was thinking of our betterment when He said this, and will be for our brothers and sisters in Christ's betterment as well. When we do these things, our hearts become assured before God, and we can come before Him with confidence.
This is what confidence is, God gave us commands in His Word in order for us to walk in confidence before Him, or we might say having 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.
I would like to take a little time to discuss what is the reward of this confidence, and what we must do in order to 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? Many Christians have never considered this.
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. Amen.