Google+ 02/20/13 Confidence or Conceit?

Romans 15:13

 

 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.

Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

 

 

I rarely use just one verse of Scripture for a devotion, as the context of Scripture is as important as the Scripture itself.  Today we are in no danger of misunderstanding our "one verse" lesson.  Paul is expressing his desire for God's joy, hope, and peace to be upon the Romans.  Paul explains that only after this occurs, will the Roman people have "confident hope" in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I will warn you that the subject this devotion deals with, is one that is often misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike.  No one in their work for God the Almighty will be successful for Him without "confident hope."  When you parent, preach, sing, teach, testify, or work, you must be confident in what the Holy Spirit can and will do through you.  When you are confident, people listen.  When you are confident and convicted, people participate and follow and God's work gets done!  Most of the books written on leadership or success in business, have left out a central point in their "formula for success."  Everything we do successfully is driven by God and Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  In my life, I have often had people misunderstand this concept and me!  I have often been called "conceited" rather than "confident."  So to be fair, what is the difference?  I learned a long time ago that "conceit" comes from believing that the successes we have achieved in our lives came from us!  If you will, we worship what we have done, not God.  The Bible is clear that none of us can "earn" our place in heaven.  If we could earn our place in heaven by our "good works," heaven would be a very empty place!  Our normal nature is evil, not good.  Left to our own devices, we will eventually do the wrong thing.  On the other hand, "confidence" comes from expecting and embracing what God can do through us using the Holy Spirit.  I must testify to you that I wake up "confident" in the Holy Spirit everyday.  When God tells me to do something, I believe Him!  Why shouldn't I?  Isn't He God?  Jesus never did anything halfway.  Jesus never did anything without the "confidence" of God.  The Pharisees, the chief priests, and the Sanhedrin thought Jesus was "conceited," because of what He accomplished.  Jesus was not "conceited."  He was confident in what God would do through Him.  As an example, at 35,000 feet, I want a pilot that is "confident" in what the Holy Spirit can do in landing the plane, through him.  I want to hear it in his voice on the intercom.  I want to feel it as the wheels touch the ground, and afterwards, I don't want the pilot announcing, "see how good I am!"  Before we pronounce judgment, labeling someone as "conceited," why not stop and look at their actions carefully.  In the Old Testament, Daniel had many visions and made clear interpretations that no one else could discern.  Was he "conceited" because of what he accomplished and the abilities God gave him?  Absolutely not.  Before and after each vision interpretation and in the lion's den, Daniel gave all the credit to God.  Let's not miss this point.  How much "confidence" in the Holy Spirit did it take Daniel to believe that he would not be devoured by the lion when the den was sealed?  How much "confidence" did it take to be standing there, untouched, when the lion's den was opened?  In order to do anything well for God, we must be "confident."  In many cases, God may have given you an ability through the Holy Spirit for "such a time as this" that no one else possesses.  If we are not "confident" in the Holy Spirit, no one will follow and nothing will get done.  Look at many New Testament Churches.  Nothing really ever gets done because we have no confidence in the Holy Spirit to work through us as a congregation.  If you will, we never "step out in faith," so nothing miraculous ever happens.  This pertains to both ministry and money!  So, as you "step out" into the world today, which will it be for you..."confidence or conceit?"  I pray for "door number one!"  If you choose wisely, look out.  God will do amazing things in your life and you are setting yourself up for the world to label you as "conceited."  The good news is Jesus told us not to worry about that, as if we are mocked in His name, we are in good company.  After all, the Pharisees, chief priests, and the Sanhedrin mocked Him first!