Have you ever wondered why Jesus was so bold? Where did he get the confidence to face the Pharisees and Sadducees? Who told him that he could tell a dead body to come back to life . . . on three different occasions?
Where did Jesus get his confidence from? His confidence came from his Heavenly Father. It was God the Father who breathed life into Jesus, his Son. It was Jesus who chose to inhale all that his Father was breathing. The outcome of such a relationship is unleashed confidence in the Father, knowing that he’s got your back.
How does one develop such a relationship with the Father? Can you even have that type of relationship with the Father?
What is Your Confidence Based On?
When I was 13 years old, there were two things that I was really good at. Slingshots and baseball. I had the confidence of the shepherd boy, David, and Babe Ruth. I was blessed with good eye-hand coordination. I tried out for “Minor League”, (the league between “Pee-Wee’s” who played “T-ball”, and “Little League”, grades 9 though 12). Not too long thereafter, the coach saw that I had an arm and could throw the ball accurately . . . nearly every time. I only knew one pitch. The fast ball. It got so that the big-hitters from other Minor League teams feared me when I was on the mound because they knew that I could strike them out. My confidence was high.
One day, while our team was practicing, (I remember this as though it were yesterday), Darrell Holloway, (the most feared Little League ball-player in all of Batavia, NY), stopped by and asked my coach if I could throw him a couple pitches. Mind you, Darrell Holloway had a reputation for being extremely athletic, and an amazing baseball player who always hit home runs.
With pride, my coach put me out there as if I were his shiny trophy, hoping to teach the cocky Darrell Holloway a lesson in humility. The whole team was watching and I knew that this was my moment. All 13 years of my life had culminated to this moment.
I threw the first pitch, swing and a miss. Second pitch: ball, outside. Third pitch: Swing and a miss. Darrell was visibly nervous, you could see it in his eyes. Fourth pitch: Swing and a miss! I struck out the almighty Darrell Holloway! My confidence soared, and so did my reputation among my peers. I was arguably the best Minor League pitcher in Batavia, NY in 1983.
However, if that year was my best, the following year was the worst. I was a freshman in High school and all the High School ball-players made it a point to put me in my place. I remember the verbal ridicule, the belittling. My confidence didn’t just waver, it died. I had no one breathing life into me.
I quit playing baseball in the 9th grade, just after the season started, and never played again. I had so identified with the success that I had accomplished. I valued my worth based on that success. When the success ended, my confidence ended with it. I fell for this deception when I was only 13 years old. What is really sad, is that people live there entire lives believing this lie. They believe that their worth is based on their accomplishments or lack thereof.
There are Two Types of Confidence
Man Confidence is based entirely on what you have accomplished. It’s all about what you bring to the table. There is a sense of self-worth that is closely tied to this understanding of confidence, and that can be dangerous. You can so closely identify with your success, that when you fail, you become the failure. But true Confidence can’t be based on what you have accomplished. If that were so, when you fail, your confidence would be dictated by your failure, . . . and you will fail. You do fail. You find yourself having to step up to the plate to bat again, and with each strike, you become less and less confident. Is your value really determined by your success?
God-confidence is not a demonstration of what you have done, but rather, it is a behavior you walk in, knowing that the Lord has your back. It is found in knowing the Father. It’s relational, and is not based on anything you have accomplished.
Take David for example. David had God-confidence. He did not approach Goliath with his marksmanship. He approached Goliath in the name of the Lord, knowing that God himself was standing right behind him. He knew that God had his back. His confidence was in God, not in his talent.
Just like success is guaranteed for the 4th grader who approaches the class bully, (as long has he has his big High-school brother standing behind him to ensure his safety and success), so too, are we guaranteed success when we walk in God-confidence.
Does the Father Want This Type of Relationship With You?
Does the Father want you to have God-confidence, or is it just for just a select few? The Father unequivocally wants you to walk with God-confidence. In fact, the Father designed you to walk in God-confidence.
In Genesis 2:26 we read that God said, “Let us make man in our image“. Shortly thereafter, we read that the Father breathed life into Adam, and he became a living being, taking on the image of God himself.
What does that “image” look like? Let me ask you, is God timid? Is God fearful? Not at all. Does God fear anyone or anything? No, he does not, and never has. Fear has no place in the heart of God. So then, what does comprise the “image of God”? Of course, the fruit of the Spirit, . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Is that it? He is confident, and therefore, you were designed to be confident.
I’ll go a step further and say that you were designed to walk with the same confidence that Jesus himself walked in. When you see yourself through the Father’s eyes, and explore the depth of that field of vision, you will naturally walk with the confidence that Jesus had. In a minute, we’ll discuss how you can do just that, but before we get there, let’s address the obstacles that may be knocking on the door of your mind.
“Maybe You, . . . But Not Me”
People generally take this position because they don’t believe that they are worthy of walking in God-confidence. Understand that this is a lie of the enemy. The enemy does NOT want you to walk in God-confidence, and will do everything he can to get you to believe any lie that he throws your way.
Don’t believe that lie. You can’t afford to. If you believe this lie, you limit all that the Father has for you. But more than that, if you choose not to believe that God-confidence is for you, not only will you limit your potential, but you limit the healing that the Lord wants to do in your life.
What Does God-Confidence Look Like?
God-confidence rises from within when faced with anything that opposes the Kingdom of God. It defends the honor of God.
An extreme example of God-confidence can be found in 1 Kings 18. Elijah became righteously indignant and challenged the prophets of Baal. You may recall the following:
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”
Where did this confidence come from? It came from his relationship with God the Father. His confidence was solely based on God himself. Was there any chance of Elijah being able to call down thunder down from heaven without God’s help? No. Again, he was entirely confident in who God was, and acted accordingly.
God-confidence is not only found in power encounters like we read of in 1 Kings 18. God confidence is displayed in every-day situations that you find yourself in as well. It gives you the boldness to address relationships that need to be mended or the courage to forgive others that have offended you. God-confidence wells up from a sense of defending the honor of God and breathes life when exercised.
How Can We Get This Confidence?
In John 5:19-20 we read:
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.
Like a child emulating his Father, Jesus emulated his Father. Where did his confidence come from? It came by emulating his Father. The promise is found in verse 20, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing“. As his adopted children, the Father will show us all that he is doing as well because he loves us. Note in verse 19 that it says, “. . . the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing“. Jesus was always watching the Father to see what he was doing, and as he did, he would do the same. What does that look like?
This is How You Cultivate Your Relationship with the Father
When God breathed into Adam, he breathed identity into mankind. That same life-giving breath is available to you and I today. He still breathes life, creating something out of nothing. That’s his specialty.
Remember, his gift of God-confidence is not for only a select few. It’s for you. Inhale the breath of God and let it create new life in you. Recognize the confidence that the Father has made available to you, and inhale. Inhale deeply.
When we take the posture like that of a baby chick waiting to be fed, while maintaining that feeding posture, God-confidence can’t help but develop and come out of you.
This is What You Can (and should), Expect
When you come near to God, he will come near to you (James 4:8). This is a promise, and he keeps his promises. If you want more God-confidence, receive what he has already offered. God-confidence is a fruit of your relationship with the Father. The deeper that relationship, the more God-confidence will reveal itself.
The Father wants to develop more God-confidence in you, even today. The more you tend to your relationship with the Father, the more confident you will become. Invest in your relationship, and the confidence will naturally come out of you. People will take notice. You won’t be able to help it, as it will naturally flow out of you.
We need to understand that the Father so desires to reveal himself to us. He is there for the asking. He desires intimacy with us in the same way that he had intimacy with Jesus. Jesus modeled the type of relationship available for us, showing us that we too, can have such an intimate relationship with the Father. How? Watch him like Jesus did. The more you know the Father’s heart, the easier it is to operate in child-like faith. Where does “God-confidence” come from? From watching the Father, and as you do, the Father will show you what he is doing, and when he does, you will do what you see your Father doing.