Why do they tell us to put all our trust and confidence in Jesus? And if we don't, what are we missing?
The other day, I was speaking to one of my English students about CoVID and how I hold no fear of it intoxicating me when I am outside. I confessed of how I fully trust the power of the blood of Jesus to protect me. Not the mask nor the vaccine. When I emphasised this, he responded to me with something that truly made me smile, something that made me think.
He said, 'just don't put all your confidence in this Jesus.' What he was talking about was that I could go on believing and trusting in my faith, I just shouldn't base my entire existence, safety, happiness and heart in my so-called saviour, Jesus Christ.
This inspired me to talk about what it means to have confidence in Jesus and exactly why we should put our entire confidence and trust in the Lord.
1. We are flawed.
The other day a friend of mine and I were walking through Madrid when a man approached us inviting us to a bar that was, according to him, ‘the jazz of the entire plaza’. This allowed us to open up to him about Jesus and as our discussion went on, he made the personal disclaimer that there is no need for God; that the very energy Christians talk about is inside all of us. According to him, each person is born with that and we simply must trust ourselves to find that power.
No, that is certainly not what we believe. But what is right about that statement?
Well, the very power he mentioned is inside of us. Yes. However, the difference is that we are not born with it, we are gifted that power from an outside source: Jesus. And that power is called the Holy Spirit. Many assume that the voice of the Holy Spirit is similar to your conscience. Your conscience is actually, by definition, ‘the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward the right action’.
We need to put our hope and salvation in something external: something eternal and perfect.
Therefore that means that your conscience only works to bring you to better decisions --- to what is morally wrong or right like lying or telling the truth. And then it works in giving us a negative or positive consequence based on what we act upon.
So then the Holy Spirit cannot be the same thing as our conscience: for the Holy Spirit brings us wisdom, love, revelation, grace, kindness and much more*. These are things that we cannot simply discover on our own: at least not to the eternal extent that Jesus provides for us. Especially grace. That is something that God Himself poured down when He sent Jesus. We, naturally-speaking, cannot have the capability to birth grace, therefore how can it be set within us naturally?
We are gifted that power from an outside source: Jesus.
What am I trying to say? We are flawed beings. We fell from heaven when Adam and Eve sinned, therefore sin is birthed in us, ‘for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’*. It is not grace that is birthed in us, and certainly not any power to lead our own selves to salvation. As a result, we need to put our hope and redemption in something external: something eternal and perfect.
2. It's a relationship.
When people ask me why, why do you do it? Personally speaking, think of it this way. When you meet someone that is a stranger to you, yes you struggle to trust them fully. But after a while, after experiences with them, after years of your relationship growing, your trust grows with it. You see that person's character and you discover if they are worth your confidence and trust.
Jesus is no different. He simply wants to show us who He truly is in order to prove to us that He will always be faithful and that He can earn our total heart and complete faith. So the first step in discovering how to give more of your confidence to Him is to get to know Him more.
3. We fail alone.
In reality, when we try to pick up everything that Jesus is meant to carry, when we try to hold ourselves responsible and trust ourselves to finish the job, we will inevitably destroy it. It may have little success at first but eventually it’ll always tumble to the ground in pieces because it wasn’t built on something lasting and eternal. It was built on a flawed, mortal and sinful territory.
Therefore what God taught me this week is that our hands cannot handle the work, the destiny, purpose and burden of this world and what we are meant to achieve in it. It is far too heavy and it’ll destroy us when we stand alone. Just like we cannot birth self-salvation, we cannot birth grace for ourselves either, for that is the very definition of grace: undeserved.
One truth that cannot be denied is that the world is filled with darkness.
That is why we need our confidence fully in the Lord, because we cannot resist, exist and succeed alone. You may ask, what about all those celebrities that achieve so much by trusting and believing in nothing but themselves? Well, there are a lot of things behind closed doors that we do not know. But one truth that cannot be denied is that the world is also filled with darkness. And unfortunately the enemy has power to fill people with the pleasures of this world and give them the power to hold it in their hands, all in order to deny God and stay far from Him. Even Jesus Himself was tempted with this scheming trap in His 40-day fast*.
We cannot resist, exist and succeed alone.
We must learn and remember that no matter what we think, we are incapable of doing it alone. But that's not something to depress over. It's something that makes us celebrate that much more because we know the source and power that brings us into eternity and helps us succeed in all of God's ways. And once we receive Him into our hearts, He'll never leave us so we never have to worry that we will have to stand alone ever again.
In conclusion, what we learn is that putting only one half of your trust in the Lord will not allow you to experience all that He has for you. When He asks for commitment, He asks for your life and whole heart, not just a part of it. He tells us to leave all behind and follow Him. And the reason is because one cannot serve two masters*. Your self, the world, the people around you cannot be one source of power and confidence while you have God be another. You will always lean more to one or the other.
But Jesus promises a life filled with love and blessings if you choose Him first. It may not always be the easiest road, but it’s certainly the most rewarding. So now that we understand it so much more, let’s make the active commitment of putting all our trust in the one who can never let us down. The one who will never leave us or forsake us, the one who gives us true value and lasting purpose.
*Read of the fruits of the spirit: Galatians 5:22-23
*All have sinned: Romans 3:23, also read Romans 5:12
*Jesus' temptation: "And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)
*Two masters: Matthew 6:24