Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Gaining Confidence

by Blake Cromwell

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his back yard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. “I’m the greatest homerun hitter in the world,” he said with confidence. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself again, “I’m the greatest homerun hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully before throwing the ball into the air once more and saying, “I’m the greatest homerun hitter who ever lived.” He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “I am the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Unlike the boy who “missed the ball” and turned failure into success, we often take “missing the ball” as a severe blow to our self-confidence. More often then not, we become fearful when faced with failure and allow the circumstances to rob us of our spirit.

Our lack of confidence affects how we view ourselves and the challenges we face. If you are tired of being fearful, let me assure you that you can learn how to capture the confidence our Lord. He was confident as He faced the challenges of life and He promises to make His Followers as bold and “confident as lions.”

We see this confidence when we study the people of God. After the crucifixion the Disciples of Jesus were whimpering and fearful men, but when the resurrection occurred these same men were strangely different. Instead of hiding, now they were “going where no man had gone before.” Once afraid in the garden to be counted with Christ, now they were willing to risk everything for Him. So real was their confidence, they were fearless even when martyred for their faith.

In the story of Moses and the Children of Israel, we see how God gave His people great confidence. Israel had been in slavery in Egypt for over four hundred years and they had learned to bow their eyes in submission. Their will had long been surrendered to the stern orders of their masters. All personal pride, security and confidence had been crushed out of God’s people. They were slaves — broken, defeated and insecure around their Egyptian masters.

But when God visited Egypt with the Ten Miracles the browbeaten Israelite slaves were strangely transformed into God’s confident people. They suddenly knew God could do anything. Since He overthrew the Egyptians they were confident that whatever they would face in the future God would be with them.

The key to the transformation of the Disciples and the Israelites was that both groups meet with an All Powerful God. The Disciples saw and spoke with a resurrected Lord. The Israelites had the presence of God in the center of their camp and were made confident by the visible evidences that God was with them.

As the Prophet Daniel declares, “They that know their God shall be strong and confident doing exploits.” A natural by-product of communion with God is an inner boldness. The last promise made to the Followers of Christ is that they would receive the Holy Spirit and He would fill them with confidence and power to be witnesses for Christ.

The Pastors in the Kings County would love to minister to you this weekend the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Just remember, “Those that wait upon the Lord shall have renewed strength.” Why not gather with us and others this weekend in a church, waiting upon the Father to send us our Helper, the Holy Spirit.