1 John 3:20-21 “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God.”
Confidence is an important attribute in my walk with the Lord. If I have no confidence in Him, then there is no expectancy and no faith operating, resulting in an impaired walk. Christendom may have many pat sayings such as: “It’s all about faith”, or “It’s all about obedience”, but if I have no understanding of the workings of God in my heart, I can see the stepping stones in my circumstances as stumbling blocks. My circumstances, (including the failures) are all opportunities to prove God and see them as learning curves in the School of the Spirit.
John 1:11-12 “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to BECOME the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” There is a whole relationship in “becoming” as the Holy Spirit is teaching me in my daily walk – “line upon line, precept upon precept,” incrementally. When Jesus called the disciples to follow Him, immediately they had an initial witness in their hearts and they left all to follow Him – their nets, their fishing, their wives, their previous lives became secondary to “the call”. Following the call, scripture records all the details of the work the Lord did in the disciples’ hearts. The pages of the four Gospels of the New Testament reveal the failures and the questions of the disciples as Jesus taught and demonstrated how to live a life to please our Heavenly Father, yet every one of the disciples deserted Him at His crucifixion. Their failure did not eliminate them from their divine destiny. In the days ahead, they turned their failure into stepping stones and fulfilled their destiny. Just like the disciples, we too, have to learn how to see God in our daily circumstances, to see God in all things. Paul wrote in Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good to those that love God..” Will I allow God to be who He says He is? Every judgement I have of situations, if I follow it through, is against God! When I face adverse circumstances, do I see God as sovereign or blame the devil? God may well permit certain things in my life, in His wisdom, that He could easily prevent in His infinite power. Why? To do a work in my heart where I keep focused on Him and stay in His “rest” instead of allowing fear, anxiety and stress to take over. If I have a flat tyre on my way to the airport, I’m not moving anywhere until the tyre is mended. I can explode in frustration and lose my peace, or I can say “Amen” calmly to the Lord and get on with the job of changing the tyre. Does my life measure up to the words that I say? A demonstration speaks far louder than anything I say. It is a deep learning process to never surrender the presence of God to a situation.
We spend our lives as “a tale that is told” but we have to be real with God as to what page in the book we are currently on! It is good to remind ourselves that we are all on a journey. We may not have arrived, as yet, to our final destination, but, by God’s grace, we have certainly left!…..and in the leaving we have left a lot of things behind in our past lives that have no hold on us anymore. Praise God for bringing us this far. He is not going to abandon us mid journey.
The patriarchs of the Old Testament, the apostles and disciples in the New Testament, our “Heroes of Faith”, they all had “feet of clay” just as we do. They all new failure at some stage, but their faith did not fail. When Jesus prayed for Peter, He prayed that His faith would not fail. Jesus knew that Peter was going to fail Him in the very near future in his denial of knowing Him, but He prayed that his faith would not fail. When our heart condemns us in our failure, God is greater than our heart. He knows all things. His ways are much higher than ours. He even knows us better than we know ourselves. Obedience cannot be claimed in a moment, it has to be learned, just as Jesus “learned obedience to the things which He allowed/yielded to,” (Hebrews 5:8).
Jesus is the Son of God, and yet, He made Himself of no reputation, humbled Himself, took upon Him the form of a servant, was made in the likeness of men and “…BECAME obedient to death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:8. Jesus, as a man like us, even though He never sinned, had to learn obedience too. Just like us, He had to choose it and surrender His own will for His Father’s. Obedience is part of our walk of becoming.
Let us remember “There is NO CONDEMNATION to them that are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” Romans 8:1. Our hearts may condemn us, but God NEVER does. He is greater than our heart and we can stand in the knowledge that our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, is interceding for us before the throne of our Heavenly Father, that our faith in Him will not fail. We can stand unashamed in His Presence, forgiven and redeemed by His blood, clothed with His righteousness and confident in His promises. Philippians 1:6 “Being CONFIDENT of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”