There is an old song that has the lyrics "Mr. Big Stuff Who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff. You're never gonna get my love." Confidence is a wonderful thing to have when we are confident in the right way. Godly confidence is a big help when sharing your faith with those who are lost. Why? It shows you really believe what you are talking about and that kind of confidence in the Lord is a very good confidence to have and it makes an impact. In Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. Peter and John had prayed for healing for a man who had been lame from birth and the man was miraculously healed by God. The man had become a beggar because he was lame and was begging by the temple gate and Peter looked at the man and said the following words. 4 But Peter, along with John, looked at him intently and said, “Look at us!”5 And he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.6 But Peter said, “I do not have silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!”7 And grasping him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
The people all reacted and started praising God for this miracle before their very eyes, and right after that Peter preaches, with the healed man clinging to him, a sermon. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and in the confidence given to him by God he showed them God's healing power and God's grace. The priests and the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees were greatly disturbed. Why? Because Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Those leaders grabbed them and put them in prison, but not before about 5,000 people believed. The message could not be stopped because the Holy Spirit's power was working and Peter was a willing vessel to allow the Lord to work through him and the message of hope was proclaimed.
Peter continued to proclaim the truth because he was still filled with the Holy Spirit and said the following words in Acts 4: 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people,9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name, this man stands here before you in good health.11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone.12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.”
Here is where the whole truth about Godly confidence is revealed. In verse 13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. This is the right kind of confidence for those who are born again. But there is a wrong kind of confidence that does nothing good for the work of the Lord.
The wrong kind of confidence is the kind of political confidence we get by garnering support for ourselves by compromise. When you use your self-confidence to influence people to follow you or be on your side even when you are wrong you put yourself open to evil and that evil is intoxicating. Oh, you may have a lot of so-called "friends" but at the end of that type of living will be destruction. Jesus said this in Luke 6:26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets. Usually, someone who has everyone like them has to be selling out in some area of their life. When I joined the PKA fraternity I had to "sell out" some of my convictions to be a part of this closed organization. I had the choice to turn it down or give in to it and I gave in.
Sometimes churches can get that way and if some in that church believe a certain way and your beliefs don't line up with them you have to decide, "Will I compromise my beliefs to be "a part" of their group?" Actually, that is no longer a "church" but an exclusive club that says "Believe like us or you are on the outs!" Sounds like some of the exclusive clubs or religious people the Godly confident Peter and John had to deal with. The difference between Peter and John was they had been with Jesus and they weren't going to bow down to the group mentality by compromising their mission. Those religious leaders thought they were "Big Stuff" but their powerless lives showed they knew nothing about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit and they were embarrassed by the Godly confidence of two men who were "real" believers.
Sometimes you will be backed into a corner for your beliefs if it is against that club or clique, but don't give in and let the power of the Holy Spirit be your confidence and God's love will be felt and He will compel you to "hold the course." In Matthew 24 the disciples asked Jesus what will be a sign that He is returning and the end of the world. Jesus says in the following verses 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
If you see a lack of unity among Christians, Godly unity, then the process has begun and you know the end result. When Jesus returns may our witness be that we held to proclaiming the gospel and compelled others to come to Jesus even when we are hated by those who should be serving with us and doing the same. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Now THAT is how you have CHURCH!!
The Pilgrimage Continues