“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Confidence is a tricky emotion that we practice. It can go well for us or it can make life weird.
When confidence finds its hope in a person’s own eyes it becomes the precursor to the arrogant’s fall.
Maybe a person is finding success financially. Maybe a parent’s parenting is working well for them; they have obedient children, their kids are soaring in their academics, very little defiance is experienced in the home. Just maybe the goals of life that one has set out for themselves is actually coming to fruition.
Is it wrong to have successes in life? No. Is feeling confident in our successes wrong? Yes.
Confidence in our successes can lead to reliance on our own righteousness and wisdom. When we rely on ourselves and see life through the lens of what is right in our own eyes, we seek God less, and exalt ourselves more. We become impossible to instruct; unbearable to work with. In other words, when we live life by our own rules, we experience arrogance, disharmony, war, and unrest. Seeking #one (a.k.a – me) is the goal.
This is exactly what the Israelites did in the days of the Judges before a king came on the scene. Joshua, their godly spiritual leader died and “another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:11). Arrogance brought forth violence. Arrogance stripped the Israelites of peace. No longer was rest their condition; only war and distrust drove their destiny. Bottom line, what they had experienced with Joshua now was a distant memory. Life just got weird. Weird with chaos. Weird with contempt. Weird with adversity.
During the days of Moses, God had warned the Israelites that if they forgot that He was their source of confidence, their end would be grave. After being freed from Egypt, God outlined the nation’s four basic responsibilities:
love and obey God
teach their children God’s laws
be thankful for God’s blessings
keep themselves from the pagan gods of the land
These four point steps seemed simple to follow. I mean it worked in the days of Joshua. What happened? They started to do what was right in their own eyes. That’s what happened. Their confidence shifted to a different person. God warned them that if they put their confidence in what they could do, instead of what He has done, their successes would end up unfruitful.
And when we find these negative traits of arrogance, disharmony, war and unrest in our life, we need to step back and repent of our misplaced confidence, or our end will replicate theirs.
Confidence in God’s abilities vs. our own, means we will do and see life His way. Then when trouble comes; when finances dilute, children stray, and goals change, our confidence is not shaken; because our God remains the same and His promises prevail, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
It’s not a matter of whether you have confidence or not; it’s a matter of whom you place it in: yourself or God. Confidence in God is a sign of humility and a sign of great faith. This kind of confidence produces a leader whom others want to follow, a parent whom children want to obey, a home where peace makes it a haven, and a life that does what is right in God’s sight.
May I ask you, where is your confidence? What traits mark your life? Be still and know God. Know His will. Know His ways. Know His sight. Then you can practice your confidence in the right place and find peace, harmony and fruit.