Summary: Unless our confidence is in God it's in the wrong place.
WHERE’S YOUR CONFIDENCE?
1) Why do we lack confidence?
• We listen to the devil. You know how he is. Whispering away to get us to doubt. He’s been doing it from the beginning with Eve. Whispering to her, getting her to question God. Unfortunately it worked. He does the same with us. Satan wants us to lose our confidence in God. He wants us to lose confidence in God’s love for us. He wants us to lose confidence in what we are through Christ. He wants us to lose confidence in our ability in Christ. If he can get us to lose our confidence then he’s accomplished what he has set out to do. When we listen we are rendered ineffective and unproductive. Without confidence we are no threat to Satan.
• We listen to the wrong people. Some of us had to grow up hearing a parent or someone else tell us repeatedly how bad we were or stupid we were and that we’ll never amount to anything. Sooner or later we start believing and acting as if they were right. We grow up without any confidence. We see life as a whole in the same light. We automatically believe the worst about everything. We run into other pessimistic people and we feed into what they tell us. We can get so run down by what others say. In order to have confidence we need to believe in what Jesus has said we are instead of continuing to believe what other people say we are. Listening to those who say we can’t will make it harder to believe we can.
• We’re afraid. We are faced with challenges and opportunities and because we’re afraid we don’t even try. We’ve given ourselves the self-fulfilling prophecy that we will fail if we try. Sometimes our fear stems from the fact that we have already tried and it didn’t go so well. The reality is that you only fail when you refuse to try again. Being afraid will keep us stuck; it will immobilize us. Because we’re afraid we lack confidence and because we’re afraid we lose out on so much.
2) We put confidence in the wrong things.
• We put confidence in others. Jer. 17:5-8. We can become overconfident in other people’s abilities. We look to them instead of God to meet all our needs. We have the expectation that my happiness is in another person. We have unrealistic expectations. Perhaps someone has shown that they are capable in something and because of it we place him in a higher position then he should be. Then, when someone can’t deliver according to our unrealistic expectations we become disappointed. When we look to people to do what only God can we are placing our confidence in the wrong place. People can let us down. Job found that out. The people who should’ve been friends to Job let him down. We have confidence that someone will always be there for us. We have confidence that someone is completely trustworthy. But unfortunately you hear all too often about the betrayal of a friend or loved one. Infidelity, backstabbing, deception. However it comes, people who we’ve trusted can let us down. Prov. 11:13, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” There are trustworthy people out there. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have any confidence in people. Paul talked about having confidence in others but it wasn’t a blind or absolute confidence. He didn’t look to others as the source of his confidence. We make a mistake when our confidence is placed in people rather than God.
• We put confidence in things. Psalm 20:6-8, “Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” If we put our confidence in the things we may have at out disposal like technology, medicine or money we are placing our confidence in things that are not as secure as we think. When we place our confidence in things we are placing our confidence in unstable things; unsure things. Technology doesn’t have all the answers. Medicine is not what cures. Money doesn’t solve our problems. These things can’t provide security. Having confidence in the Lord is what allows us to rise up and stand firm-all the time and every time.
• We put confidence in works. Phil. 3:1-7. Paul was telling the Philippian church to look out for the ones who would be putting confidence in a religious observance as a source of security before God. Paul then recounts how he once had such false confidence. He follows that by saying what he considered profitable was now rubbish compared to knowing Christ. Warren Wiersbe, "Like most ‘religious’ people today, Paul had enough morality to keep him out of trouble, but not enough righteousness to get him into heaven! It was not bad things that kept Paul away from Jesus; it was good things! He had to lose his ‘religion’ to find salvation.” We can place confidence in our religious behavior thinking it renders us holy. We can look to mere religious observances to secure our standing with Christ. The Pharisees made that mistake. In John 8 they argued with Jesus that their position as a descendant of Abraham made them good with God. Jesus had to give them a reality check that they were not as secure as they thought they were. He showed them that they placed their confidence in the wrong things. We put confidence in ourselves. Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee had confidence in his religious observances. He thought himself to be someone he wasn’t. His pride caused him to think he was the justified one but he wasn’t. When we put confidence in what we do to be right in God’s eyes we make a huge mistake.