Summary: Four ways to walk the spiritual life with confidence.
Learning to drive can be a very scary experience, especially for the parent who’s teaching his or her 15 year old to drive. But sometimes we forget how hard it is for the new driver, who’s suddenly introduced to a whole new world that the rest of us take for granted. New drivers start out lacking any confidence.
I first learned to drive on my motorcycle, and you could drive a motorcycle alone if you had a learner’s permit, you just couldn’t drive on the freeway or after dark. I still remember my first extended trip out of Upland: I drove all the way to Corona and back. Saying that I had a lack of confidence is an understatement...I was totally uncertain about what I was doing. But as you all know, gradually we learn to drive and we gain a certain sense of confidence.
Well in many ways the spiritual journey of following Jesus as His disciple is similar to that. You see, the Bible often pictures the spiritual life as being like a journey. And when we begin a journey, we lack confidence, we’re unsure of ourselves, doubtful of our ability to stay on the path. In fact it’s this lack of confidence that keeps many of my unchurched friends away from the Christian faith. One of my friends is an agnostic, and he knows that there’s something real spiritually, but he feels totally unqualified to figure out what it is...so he just lives like as an agnostic. Another one of my unchurched friends is totally confused because he’s run into Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, seminary professors, and his wife works at a new age store...so he doesn’t know what to think. Yet even those who take the time to investigate the spiritual journey and make a faith commitment to Jesus Christ often lack confidence in the spiritual journey. When they’re confronted with a teaching they often don’t know how to evaluate whether it’s taking them away from the journey or not. When they find forks in the road of the spiritual journey they become paralyzed with which way to go. In many ways they’re like new drivers, still learning and building confidence.
Ten years ago I was in a major car accident. A strange thing about that accident: I suddenly lost my confidence in my driving ability and it was like I was starting all over again. The first time I got behind the wheel after my accident my heart started racing, my palms got sweaty, and I realized that I was unsure of myself. In the spiritual journey when people go through a major spiritual crisis they often lose their confidence as well. So if you’re here today and you’re relatively new to the spiritual journey or if something has shaken your confidence in the journey, I’m going to share with you today how to walk with confidence. If you’re here and you already feel confident, use the message today to make sure your confidence in being found in the right source.
Today we finish our series A ROADMAP FOR THE JOURNEY through the New Testament book of 1 John. In this series we’ve seen how to find joy in the spiritual journey, we’ve listened to God’s call to authenticity, we’ve talked about focusing on the final destination and getting our bearings. But today we’re going to look at four ways to walk in confidence in the spiritual journey.