Christ is our confidence. We do not get our confidence from our prayers, by reading the Bible, or from the efforts that we put to live a Godly life, but our confidence is Christ.
August 29, 2022
Christ: My Confidence
2 Corinthians 3: 4-5 (ESV) – Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God
Christ is our confidence. We do not get our confidence from our prayers, by reading the Bible, or from the efforts that we put to live a Godly life, but our confidence is Christ.
2 Corinthians 3: 12-13 (ESV) – Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.
Moses was bold enough to climb the mountain and spend forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking. In the process, his whole appearance changed as the glory of the Lord was upon him. Bible records that the people were afraid of Moses as his face shone. But Paul elaborates in the above verses that if we marvel at Moses’ fading away glory, how much more is the glory of Christ upon us today? He had to climb the mountain, again and again, to be filled with God’s glory. We have the glory of Christ upon us that does not fade away but moves from one degree of glory to another. Our life in Christ begins with the finished work of Christ on the cross and moves toward us accomplishing the maturity of Christ. We can never compare what Christ did on the Cross to what Moses received. We are not like Moses. Moses was bold enough, but we are bolder because Christ is our confidence.
Freedom in Christ
2 Corinthians 3: 16-17 (ESV) – But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Since Christ is our confidence, it gives us the boldness to enter the presence of the Lord, and where the presence of the Lord is, there is freedom. We have freedom in Christ from anything that can enslave us, be it fear, sin, sickness, demon oppression, uncontrollable emotions, or thoughts.
Hebrews 4: 16 (ESV) – Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In some translations, it’s written as ‘come with boldness’. The words ‘confidence’ and ‘boldness’ are very similar because they come from the Greek word ‘parrésia’. Boldness is the doorway to the throne of grace. The throne of grace is neither for passive people who are waiting for God’s sovereign will to happen in their lives nor for the Boldness is the Doorway Ps Samuel Thomas, Lighthouse
feeble-hearted who lack boldness. It is for those who recognize Christ as their confidence and know that they can open the door to enter the presence of the Lord. Some of us have been waiting too long for things to happen in our lives. But God has already done it for us, and we fail to acknowledge it. Only when we recognise that Christ is our confidence do we know we have what it takes to approach the throne of grace. Our confidence to enter God’s throne is not the spiritual measure that we accomplish. Our confidence is what Christ has done for us.
The Gates of Hell
Matthew 16: 18 (ESV) – And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. We are reminded of another verse in the Old Testament that talks about the gates of hell.
Genesis 22: 17 (ESV) – I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
God gave Abraham a promise that exceeded his lifespan and was generational. Even though Abraham could not possess the gates of his enemies, Jesus quotes that the church will possess the gates of hell. Through the union with Christ, we are partaking of Abraham’s promise by possessing the gates of hell. For a long time, the church has been defending against demonic oppressions or altars. Though we need to be aware of the spiritual warfare and that the devil intents to consume us, our focus should not be on the devil and his schemes. Instead, our attention must be on what Christ has done for us and where He is seated now.
We are called for a life of offence against the enemy. We have the power within us that can possess the gates of hell. We must not waste time defending ourselves; instead, like Jesus, who set the captives in hell free and He preached the Gospel in hell, we need to attack the gates of hell. We are called to fight against those who have been pulled into darkness, pull them out and possess the gates of hell. The Ecclesia of Christ will possess the gates of hell. The promise is not to escape from hell but to possess it! The promise is to shine the light of God in the darkest of the darkest place
The giant of fear:
Joshua 1: 1-9 (ESV) – After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
In the spiritual realm, the land of promise was already given to the people of Israel. However, Joshua possessed the Abrahamic promise by fighting 31 kings. Fear is the biggest hindrance to us possessing the promises of God. Unless we conquer the enemies in our minds, we cannot possess the promise of the Lord. God told Joshua to be strong and courageous thrice because we need repeated affirmations of His promise and presence to defeat the giant called fear.
2 Timothy 1: 7 (ESV) – for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
God did not create fear in us. It is something we received from the devil. Like a gift, we are holding on to fear. Know that fear is the greatest hindrance for us to possess the promised land. Therefore, we have to choose the option to reject and throw fear away. To combat fear, God has given has three things- the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. The power of God to work in us, the love of God to overwhelm the fear, and the sound mind of Christ. The weapon ratio is 1: 3. Whenever the enemy attacks us with one weapon, God’s weapons are in abundance so that we never have a lack and live in victory. Every problem in the world, such as poverty, violence, and division, is nothing compared to the power within us. The one who is in us is greater than the one in the world (1 John 4: 4). In prayer, we defeat the spirit of fear and possess the inheritance given to us in Jesus. We are a new Creation in Christ. So if our life does not reflect the life of Jesus, we have every right to pray and to declare the goodness of the Lord until we see it. For the Word promises that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Replace Passivity: Ask, Believe, and Receive
Most times, we become comfortable in our misery. If there was a fight between grace and sin, Bible declares that Grace always wins, hands down. The grace of God is ours to enjoy if we are ready to believe.
Mark 11: 24 (ESV) – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Jesus didn’t use the word “beg”; instead, he says to ask for what we need. We beg because we don’t know that we have entered the throne of grace and that God is not a distant Almighty but our loving Father. Children don’t beg from their parents, they ask, and some even demand.
Whatever we ask in prayer, Jesus asks us to believe for it even before we have received it. We need to believe while we are praying because it is already released for us. We only need to believe to receive it. Receive is a passive word. However, in Greek, it translates as ‘take’, which is very aggressive. We need to believe and take what is ours.
Sin and Sickness Free Life
It is God’s will for us to live a sin-free life. If we can not believe that sickness is not God’s will for us, then we will never accept that God wants us to live sin-free lives. In the New Testament, when Jesus heals the paralysed man, he clarifies that sickness is a symptom of sin. Jesus challenges the Pharisees to judge what is more difficult, to forgive sins or heal sickness. Forgiveness of sins is closely connected to the healing of sickness. We have to know what God’s heart is for us. God’s heart is against sin, against every enemy that is coming against us.
We have heard many stories of people who took bold steps with God from the Bible. Let us look at the same from the life of Pastor Samuel, Lighthouse. “Though my ministry life started in 2010, in 2015, the Lord opened doors for me where He blessed me through people. God sent someone in my life who was a significant channel of blessing for me. I was elevated immensely from my standard of life. He blessed me with shoes, clothes, a Macbook, a keyboard, and with so many things. He suggested gifting me a car for ministry purposes. Initially, I was excited about it, and we went to the showroom to see a top-line Innova, but later I was too embarrassed to receive it. I wondered what I would do with such a big vehicle when I was content in my Eco. Somehow I convinced him that it was not God’s time for me. In 2017, I got married and bought our first car. I bought it by paying a car loan for three years. And every time I paid my loan installments, I was so angry, wishing I had much more clarity of God’s workings. The process of car loan brought me to an agreement with the Lord that I would never take any kind of loan again because it is not my portion.” “Later in 2018, though my financial capacity was not enough, God gave me a vision and a dream that we should have a house of our own. God tells me to take a step of faith. I open a recurring account where I put some money every month, and the maturity date was after two years. In the process, no one approached us regarding the house, nor could we reach out. After two years, when the money was about to mature, someone reached out to us regarding a place in Chattarpur. In my mind, I had so much unbelief looking at my financial capacity. But because I wanted to honour that person, I went to see the house. We liked the house. But the property dealer showed us another house, and we loved it. The money maturing in the account was one-fifth of what the house would cost us. My wife and I come home and decide not to let go of this house because the view from the window is beautiful, it’s quiet and in an open space, and it’s not far from the city. Now practically speaking, the quickest way to buy this house was to get a loan. And as soon as Betty mentioned a loan, I was taken back to my car loan in 2017, and I did not want to go through that experience again. We prayed about it and decided that this house would either be a gift from God or not, but we will not take a loan for it. In a week, we had someone call us who was willing to give us that house for free. But it takes a bold step of faith. The person who promised to pay me hadn’t given me the money yet, and it was the money that matured in my account that I was able to pay the token amount. And even when I was giving the token fee, it was based on the assurance of what God had released and not on that person. It takes boldness to trust God. We got the house in a year, exactly at the time when my money matured. Now we have the house, but furnishing was the next thing we needed. I was utterly in unbelief because my finances were way out of proportion. One fine day, we had a friend who came over to see the house, and suddenly he expressed his will to bless us with a washing machine. I was excited and immediately agreed. We went to the store to purchase it, and as we were seeing the washing machines, I heard from the Lord to get the air conditioners for the house. Now the disclaimer here is that you don’t do it until you hear from the Lord. And as I heard, I had my hands down because I had no money to even purchase one. Immediately God reminded me of my credit card and asked me to swipe it. The very tricky part here is YOU DON’T DO IT UNLESS YOU HEAR FROM THE LORD! I swiped my card and bought the air conditioners. Within three days, I received a call from a well-wisher in the US who wanted to bless us with air conditioners. Everything in our house was paid for. Now I am super excited as I was seeing the hand of God. I preach about faith, but it is another thing living the faith. It all begins when you hear from God and take a bold step. Now when you hear from the Lord, it will not be like someone talking to you with an audible voice in the background. When I say I heard from the Lord, it was the voice deep in my heart where I was convicted, and I obeyed. There’s a battle that’s happening, and that voice is waiting for you to take a step of faith because faith without action is dead—just an agreement is not enough. When we got the house and settled in, I would go to the balcony every morning, look at the beauty around me, and pray to the Lord. And suddenly, God asked me to get out of my house, of my family and relatives. I knew God was not asking me to get out of this house but of the one where we used to have our initial church services. God asked me to get out of there and find a place somewhere near South Delhi. Now I’ve seen the hand of the Lord very recently, and the whole experience was fresh. I discussed with my church folks what the Lord had said and decided to move out of that place. There was not a single faith believing individual who said Amen with me. Everyone looked at me as if I was not making sense. We were happy doing fellowship there. But sometimes, being a leader, you have to make some decisions for the betterment of others. The next day, I quickly looked up some property dealers and saw one place in Ghitorni. The only amount I had was given as a token fee, and the rest was in faith. In the following days, we wrote down the new place’s budget, which came upto eight lakhs. The second day it reached ten lakhs, and on the third day, it was twelve lakhs. We could easily talk about the budget because we had no money but could still dream. There was a lot of unbelief and doubt and embarrassment that was hovering over my head. Even to the possibility of everything becoming a failure. But somehow, the church people understood the whole situation and gave in what they could; even others blessed us with finances. And that goal became very less, and we got it done. In eight weeks, the church was ready to move. In November 2021, I felt God would be asking us to move, and I talked with my friend, who looks over the church’s finances, to start saving from the offerings for the building fund. In March 2022, as I sat in that old church, I was so dissatisfied in my spirit that I called the property dealer and went to look for a new place. When I saw the site, I was extremely excited. But more than that excitement, I was overwhelmed because this place was twice the area of what we had before and would cost us much more than we did last time. Now, I was reminded of the last time the church folks gave so generously, and we had all the financial help needed. So keeping that in mind, I signed the papers, called my wife, and gave her the news. Everyone was shocked. Now, as we did the budgeting, it was 3-4 times more than what we did earlier, and I was banking on all the people who helped us last time. Many came to me and told me that they could not help me this season. It felt like everybody in the church was going through a difficult season, but God was faithful to provide. All the sources of finances that I had in my mind failed. The person who was willing to buy me a car in 2015, he is a well-wisher of our ministry and continually blesses us. He called me up and told me that something extraordinary was happening in my life and that he wanted to bless us, but he can’t as his finances were packed. All my hope came tumbling down. But the word was given to me by God, and I had taken the step of faith. All that was left was to wait for the Lord to move. So I met a spiritual friend of mine and told him about the situation and how everyone was able to contribute last time, but this time I felt like God was just blessing me financially as my business was blooming. It was just a handful of people who invested in this building. And something my friend said that shook me was that God is jealous and wants to prove that He is my source. He doesn’t want us to trust people. He uses people as a channel of blessing, but He is a jealous God who will not let any other take His place. 25% of the budget was what we had, and the rest was all faith. And we got this place debt-free, and everything was ready within six weeks. I am sharing this to challenge you that if the Lord could do this for the church, he can do it for your lives too. But it requires for you to take a step of faith.”
We have boldness in the presence of God so that we can ask boldly. When we begin to ask boldly, our identity gets transformed to God-intended original design, and we fight the enemy boldly. When David was fighting the Goliath, he fought boldly but did not begin there. David faced Goliath with a slingshot, and it was enough. It looked ridiculous, but knowing God was his confidence, the bold step was enough to take the giant down. David gave all glory to God as he shared his shepherd life with Saul. For he knew that God was his confidence, so he was able to bring back the sheep from the lion’s mouth and that God will deliver him from his enemies again. When we read the portion where David and Goliath fight, we learn that David began by challenging Goliath with boldness and then slaying him.
Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Christ. God wants to do great things in our lives. But it requires us to take bold steps of faith. We might struggle to make that big, bold move. However, we can begin by speaking boldly. Before Jesus took the Cross and fought His greatest enemy, which was separation from God, He spoke boldly about the depth of His union with the Father to the multitudes. Thus being victorious against the battle in His mind. Before we take our steps, we must begin speaking boldly. Whatever we ask for in prayer, we need to ask boldly so that God can fill us with the boldness that we require to face our giants and possess what is ours. We are not asking enough.
Psalms 2: 8 (ESV) – Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
We ask too little from the Lord. Our dreams are too small for what God dreams for us. We can only enter the throne of grace with boldness by asking boldly.
Proverbs 28: 1 (ESV) – The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
The righteous are bold as a lion. Do we know why the lion is the king of the Jungle? The lion is not the smartest like a snake, not the fastest like a cheetah, not even the strongest like an elephant. Nevertheless, the lion is called the king because it is bold and courageous. To be strong and courageous is our inheritance. For the violent will take the Kingdom by force. Even if today we may not be able to take significant steps of faith, we need to begin by asking boldly.
2 Corinthians 4: 13 (ESV) – Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,
Faith speaks. Faith does not remain silent. The opposite of boldness is silence, accusation, and shame. Are we going to be silent, accused, and shamed, or bold enough to receive our portion from the Lord?