Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘confidence’


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. – Hebrews 3:14

– Since you know this beforehand, beware – lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked. – 2 Peter 3:17

A generation or so ago (and before), the term “going steady” was often used in reference to two people – often high-school teenagers – who were seeing each other exclusively.  It is a term seldom heard in this regard anymore.  When two people get together these days, everything seems to be centered around having a “relationship”.  It has become a major milestone and part of many people’s lives.

When any relationship reaches official status, it is often shared on social media sites.  It is somehow a sign of “arrival” in life.  Yet some people have such strong desires to enter these relationships, they board the boat without really knowing where they want to go.  Still, they set sail.  Then, as soon as their ship hits rough seas, how often do we hear, “I wish I knew where this relationship is heading?”

So, maybe we should go back to saying “going steady” – and not just for earthly reasons.  Why? Because this world’s current message about many matters seems to be mixing in more and more with the Word’s.  The word “relationship” doesn’t appear in Scripture.  But – much of the talk coming out of the church today seems to be about how one can establish or improve their relationship with Christ.

Still, if we board any ship – physical or spiritual – and we don’t know where we’re going from the start; we are in big trouble before ever leaving port.  Without any set, steady, and straight course to follow out on the water – we’re going to get carried wherever the wayward winds and waves take us (Ephesians 4:14). Depending on their strength, we might move a little or a lot – but one storm can sink us.

Without a destination, drifting begins.  This principle applies to all ships, even if they are figurative in nature.  In the world, we have relationships and partnerships.  In the Word, we have discipleship, fellowship, and worship.  When we drift in any ship, our compasses will steadily spin, for we have no true course to follow.  To and fro we go.  When waters are calm, everything may seem fine; until …

We are not to be carried about with many and strange doctrines (Hebrews 13:9).  However, we are very likely to keep changing our courses if our ships don’t have a set one to start with.  We are apt to go after a doctrine which sounds favorable to us one day – then a different one the next (2 Timothy 4:3-4). However, Seneca once said, “If a man doesn’t know to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”

Steadfast means having unwavering belief.  It is being devoted and true … faithful.  It is traveling along a straight course – smoothly sailing forward.  It is being even-keeled.  Steadily heading towards a predetermined destination, regardless of what life may be throwing at the boat.  On board any Christian ship – our final destination is salvation – but we’re still sailing out upon this world’s often rough waters.

If a storm hits, our spiritual ships keep moving ahead with steadfast faith, because we have God as a guide all the way to our destination of death – and our hopeful deliverance from it (Job 30:23, Psalm 48:14, 2 Corinthians 2:9-10, Hebrews 9:27).  But – Satan does not want anyone to get to salvation’s shore. The devil will try to devour anyone – even the most steadfast and faithful Christians (1 Peter 5:8-9).

As Moses led his people towards the Promised Land, many got tired of the trip.  Despite His protection and provision, their spirits were no longer steadfast with Him.  They no longer believed in God, or trusted His salvation (Psalm 78:8, 14-15, 23-29).  They flattered God with lying tongues – but their hearts were no longer right with Him; nor were they steadfast in His covenant (Psalm 78:36-37).

Salvation is a hope – a Promised Land no one has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25).  This hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of our souls – at all times (Hebrews 6:19).  We are to stay on an even-keel course, unaffected by all the mixed and misguided messages and lies of this world; always abounding in the work of the Lord.  Steadfast of our faith in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 2:4-5).

This is all of grave concern to us if we ever believe we’re already saved before dying.  If we ever buy into this message, then why would we need God anymore as our guide all the way to death (Psalm 48:14)?  Why would we need Jesus Christ as the Shepherd and Bishop of our soul anymore (1 Peter 2:25)?  We’ve already told God we have dropped anchor and moored ourself on salvation’s shore.

What ship would we have to board again?  To where? What would we do with our time – in the meantime – while waiting for Christ to come back with salvation (Revelation 12:10)?  What would be the purpose for any further relationship with Jesus, if we’ve already been saved?  What steadfastness would we be in danger of falling from, if we have already reached our final destination (Matthew 24:13)?

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Cast not away therefore your confidence; which has great recompense of reward.  For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God – you might receive the promise. – Hebrews 10:35-36

– Patience is tied very closely to faith in our heavenly Father.  When we are unduly impatient – we are suggesting we know what is best – better than God. Or, at least we are asserting our timetable is better than His.  We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives – on His timetable. – Neil Maxwell

Abraham and Sarah had need of patience in waiting for God to perform as promised – by giving Abraham an heir (Genesis 15:1-4, Romans 4:21).  However, they did not want to wait faithfully the first time. Abraham was 86 and Sarah was barren.  She was far past child-bearing years.  How long were the two supposed to wait on God – when He didn’t say how long?  It was time to take matters into their hands.

Sarah talked her husband into conceiving a child by their Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4) – casting away their confidence in God’s promise by doing so.  It all caused loathing between the two women (Genesis 16:4-5).  The son born a little later – Ishmael – was not what He had planned for the couple.  An angel of the Lord told Hagar that Ishmael would be a wild man (Genesis 16:11-12).

The first time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, He didn’t say when the child would be born (Genesis 15:1-4).  Maybe He wanted to see how long the couple would wait before trying to do it according to their clock.  Regardless, God’s timing was to set up the lineage leading to the birth of Jesus.  At precisely the right time He had planned all along for mankind – from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10, Titus 1:2).

After the first attempt to birth his promised heir – it would be 13 more years before Abraham would hear about this subject from God (Genesis 16:16, Genesis 17:1).  This time, He gave the set time when Sarah would conceive (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:2).  The couple had learned their lesson.  This time the two waited patiently for the promise.  Isaac was born exactly when God said he would be (Genesis 21:3).

This world today is filled with many wants, wishes, desires – and “must-have now” messages from the marketing arena.  A major corporation now runs commercials where one of the lines within is “Why wait – when you can have it now?”  We have our on-demand access to movies, and automated access to money.  If this is the way we like it as adults, aren’t we passing impatience on to our kids?

Paul Sweeney once wrote, “How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras – teach patience to its young?”  Because of such things and more, patience can be a huge problem for anyone in modern society.  How can we teach it to our children if we have a hard time waiting for stop lights to turn from red to green while driving?

How can we teach tolerance to our kids, if we ourselves can’t stand getting behind a slow-moving car for more than just a few minutes – if that long?   What do the young ones learn when they see us getting antsy for having to wait in a check-out line for more than just a matter of 15-30 seconds?  How are they ever going to learn to wait on God if we can’t – especially if we are Christians?

However, if it’s any comfort – there is never anything new to God under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The human race has always had problems waiting on God since the Garden of Eden.  Eve desired wisdom – and she didn’t want to wait.  When the serpent tempted her into taking a bite of the apple to get it – it was too much to resist (Genesis 3:4-6).  Eve’s lack of patience in waiting was eye-opening  (Genesis 3:7).

A failure of patience can also make us miss out on our Father’s positive promises – if prolonged periods of difficulty dash any hopes we had of ever seeing or receiving them.  We could also begin pointing the wrong fingers.  When a great famine hit Israel’s Samaria region – some resorted to cannibalism for survival.  The king of Israel got tired of waiting on God to end it (2 Kings 6:25-29).

God ended up being blamed.  “This evil is of the Lord; why should I wait for Him any longer!?” – the king cried (2 Kings 6:33).  If he had waited one more day – the famine would end how God had planned all along.  According to His timing and methods.  Who would have considered four hungry lepers, stumbling across an abandoned stash of army provisions as a way to end a famine (2 Kings 7:3-16)?

It didn’t get much better in New Testament days. When Jesus passed through Jericho – being near to Jerusalem – those that heard the Son of man speak thought the kingdom of heaven should immediately appear.  Why wait for Christ to be crucified and then come back for them sometime later?  What would they do while waiting in the meantime?  What if Jesus never returned at all (Luke 19:11-12)?

Do any of us think like this today?  There shall be those walking after their own lusts in the last times, scoffing at this promise of Christ’s return.  Some people will become weary of waiting for it, because everything will be continuing on just like it has since the beginning.  How long will we keep waiting for salvation later when things seem to worsening now – not improving (Matthew 24:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4)?

Patience means we wait upon God – even when we may not feel like waiting anymore.  Impatience causes us to rush.  A rushed life is undisciplined.  We can begin trying to speed up the process of receiving God’s promises as Abraham and Sarah did.  We can start succumbing to Satan’s subtle temptations – as Eve did.  We can begin blaming Him for evil things like famines, as Israel’s king did.

Our need of patience is extremely important with God.  Forms of the word (e.g. patience, patient, patiently) appear 52 times in the KJV.  Just because any spiritual seed is planted – does not mean it is going to prosper (Ezekiel 17:10).  Producing the spiritual fruit God requires of us, in keeping with His commandment to repent – can’t be done without patience (Luke 8:15, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).

We are to follow after patience, among several other spiritual disciplines (1 Timothy 6:11).  Sadly, waiting is not a trait normally learned by all the instant fixes the world often offers us for the troubles we face. However, if we should encounter any type of trial from God, we are to glory in it – not grumble.  For enduring such works patience.  Patience leads to experience; followed by hope (Romans 5:3-4).

Hope is the overriding reason for our patience with God – the promise of salvation.  However, hope seen is no longer hope.  We are all waiting patiently here below heaven for a hope and promise nobody has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We are to rest in Him, abiding quietly unto salvation, no matter what others may be doing while they wait (Psalm 37:7, Lamentations 3:26).

Keeping our confidence now – has great recompense of rewards later (lead passage).  The eternal ones promised to us by God, if we remain steadfast in our faith until the end (Hebrews 3:14) – doing His will daily while waiting for Jesus to return (Luke 11:2). When God’s grace, salvation, and kingdom will be brought to those of us who waited with patient faith (1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: