Confidence is self-assurance brought about by believe that you are in the right direction on your journey. When you are confident, you are buoyed with certainty that there will be a reward in what you are doing and it is a path you are not ashamed even though it may not be seen, accepted or even celebrated by those who are around you.
For every journey we take, there must be preparation in consideration of the length, time needed, resources, company, weather, mode of transport etc. and in the end, destination and expected achievement or purpose of the journey.
For 400 years, God prepared His people through the hands of their slave masters for the promise He had given their father Abraham. They were taught hard work in slavery; they were taught love and brotherhood through common suffering. They were taught to fight together and for each other. Throughout the stay in Egypt, they were also exposed to many foreign gods and later saw those gods and their powers drowned by the power of the almighty in the sea as they attempted to recapture those who God had set free.
In the same way, God has set us free through our Lord Jesus Christ and even though the enemy may pursue us to the point of near giving up, in the end victory will come and we shall walk to freedom and to the promised land as the enemy drowns under the mighty hand of our protector.
In our first sermon, we talked about the “Battle within” and we saw the struggle with the flesh. In our second sermon in this series, we talked about “Trusting God Despite” and we saw that God has a Plan; He has His own timing; and He has His own reasons for everything He does or allows to happen. These two sermons taught us how the journey of faith can be challenging. The heart is willing to keep to the narrow and straight, but the flesh yearns for an easier and quicker route. The truth is that our biggest struggle is not the big things, but we fall to the little obstacles along the way. The children of Israel wrestled with God over food and water. This is despite the fact that He won their battles against the warrior tribes that would have defeated them and cut their journey short to the promised land.
In Deuteronomy 29, the Lord renewed His covenant with Israel which He had entered 40years earlier at Mt. Sinai (Ex 19;20). God had promised to bless the Israelites by making them a great nation through whom the rest of the world would know God. In return, the Israelites had promised to love and obey God in order to receive both physical and spiritual blessings.
- Food for the stomach: Deut. 29:2-6 “Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. During the years that I read you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”
- Accept God’s training this season: You may not be eating your bacon and eggs, but the Lord will provide all your needs. Do not speak at God or against Him because He seems to have withdrawn your place of comfort and rest. Rather, praise Him that He is sustaining you as your trust and confidence in Him grows. God reminded Israel of the battles He fought for them against the Egyptians, those miracles and wonders were not for Pharaoh and the Egyptians to see but for the Israelites to see, remember, believe and have confidence in God who is able to come through every situation and challenge we face. Many of us would never have imagined we would be who we are today. God picked us up from nothing. Poverty, Shame, abandonment, others were orphans written off, others could not afford school fees, others never had a home to go to when schools closed but God gave you shelter. He won these battles little by little so that you may have confidence in God. If you have turned confidence to yourself, repent and turn back to God.
- Accept your portion of inheritance: The reason many of us struggle, is because we are never satisfied with what is on our plate. When you serve your children, or even you when you were growing up, you always checked the ration that your brother or sister received. This is the elephant in the room. We always equate God’s blessing to us with the “quantity” of measure. If we have confidence in God, we shall know that He is a multiplying God. He is God and faith is the seed that gives the harvest. If God today allows your harvest to “Rot” through faith He will germinate a new crop. Accept what is on your plate because God knows it is enough.
- Entitlement: Deut. 29:7-8; “When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reubinites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.” The Lord fights our battles and gives us victory but that does not give us entitlement to demand of God at our whim. God has a plan; He has a timing and has a reason for every season. Sihon and Og refused passage to the Israelites and God gave them over to His people in a humiliating defeat. God asks us to obey, to follow His plan and he will give over our enemies.
- Accept that God knows where He is taking you: The demands of entitlement we have on God especially in difficult seasons would make one imagine that God is lost, and we need to remind Him the way. Jer. 1:5 says; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God has a purpose for every Christian. Although God has some special tasks for some people like He had for Jeremiah, each one of us is created for a specific reason. But to each of us, lets accept whatever work God has called us to and do it for the glory of God. If God has given you a specific task that’s good enough. If you are not sure, fulfill the general mission to love, obey and serve God. When He needs to put more in your hands, little by little it will come.
- Accept the potter’s hands: After the Lord sent Jeremiah down to the potters house to learn, the word of the Lord came to him and said: Jer 18:6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you what this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house if Israel.” You are not entitled to anything more than what God grants you. He has the plan; He knows the timing and He has the reason. God is asking us to grow our confidence through faith in Him and we shall reap the harvest of what He has preserved for us. We shall lose and we have lost a lot but through faith we have gained because we have been strengthened and God will soon release our new road map in jobs, in businesses, in all provision. He has a plan for our children’s education; there is no time lost with God, it will all come together.
- Success, success, success: Deut. 29:9 “Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.” This was a new generation from those who left Egypt. But because God is a promise keeper, He fulfills every promise He has given to His people. He was renewing this covenant so that those who were not present at Mt. Sinai may understand that He was for them and would fulfill every word from His mouth. This covenant was the key to their prosperity.
- Accept the partnership: For you to prosper and succeed, you have to accept that the only way is to partner with God. For Israel, their part was to love God with all their heart, soul and strength. We too are to seek the kingdom of God first and His righteousness (Math 6:33); the true success in life will follow as a blessing from the hand of God. When we attempt to go alone and not honor the new covenant, we shall lose, and the enemy will plunder our gains.
- Accept and extend the brotherly love: The journey we are on we need each other. For us to prosper, we must entertain our brothers and sisters and share our blessings with them and then the Lord will open doors for us. We have a great opportunity during this season to show love to one another. Heb 13:1 says, “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” As a church we have shared what we have through the care basket. We thank all of you who have given, may the Lord increase you. We encourage you to keep giving so that many can be helped. Look out in your neighborhood and see what you can do to help anyone in need. We encourage you to come forward if you have need and we shall together see what we can do. This is the door to prosper through giving.
We thank you for your tithes and offering and for the i-belong project. May the Lord help you to remain faithful. We appreciate that the times are difficult, but you know what? God does not ask you to give out of your abundance but out of a pleasant and willing heart. The sacrificial giving attracts the attention of God like the woman with two coins who Jesus called blessed.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and what we do not see. Faith is the confidence based on past Godly encounters that God has not left or abandoned us. We are sure and certain that the God who began with us this season and always, will secure the end however difficult it becomes. Thomas-the disciple of Jesus believed when He saw and touched the hands of Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Jesus is real, He saves; Believe today.