Friday, October 23, 2009

The Confidence We Need

And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it shall happen. "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Matthew 21:21-22

I heard an interesting teaching this morning on Matthew 21:21. I did what God says and searched the Scriptures to, “See whether these things be so.” Acts 17:11 The pastor teaching on the above Scripture mentioned that the word doubt in the Greek is diakrinō. The root word krino means to try, condemn, or punish. His point was that many prayers are not answered because we have hearts that condemn us in some way and that hinders our faith. I can identify with knowing that God Can do this or that, but doubting whether He will do it for me. I am in a sense punishing myself with doubt because I know I have failed in the past and will fail again in the future. I am judging on the basis of my worthiness. I am focusing on who I am in the flesh instead of who I am in Him. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 I have confessed my sin and forsaken it, and yet I have failed to embrace the incredible truth, “There is therefore now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

As I looked further at the word I found that diakrino is used when the Lord speaks t
o Peter in a vision in Acts 10:19. A sheet is lowered with unclean animals on it and Peter hears a voice saying, “Rise and eat.” Peter still keeping the Jewish dietary law refuses saying that he has never eaten anything unclean. On the 3rd time the sheet is lowered he hears the Lord declare, “What God has cleansed, no longer call unholy.” While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are seeking you. "Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them."Acts 10:19-20 That same word diakrino is used in these verses as well. Peter needed to step fully into God’s grace minus any condemnation to embrace the awesome work God was going to accomplish through him. So do we.

We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.. 1 John 3:19 -22 There we go…….the tie in with Matthew 21:21. The confidence in prayer that we need comes from a revelation that God is greater than our own hearts and consciences.

"In whatever our heart condemns us; God is greater than our heart and knows all things." What is that? That deserves a huge wow. That is a great, great statement. A conscience focused on our failures smites us with the axe-blows of guilt and hacks away at the tree of assurance. And how do we react? We say, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, there's something greater than my conscience, there's a higher court than my conscience, there's a higher standard than my heart, God is greater than my heart and God knows all things. God is far greater in holy indignation. God hates sin more than my conscience and my heart hate it and God knows more than even my heart knows. That is to say God has a higher standard of holiness than I do. God has a greater hatred of sin than I do. And God knows everything about me far more than even I do. And the Bible says,
Romans 8:1, 'There is therefore now no...what?...condemnation to those who are in Christ.'" So where do you go when your conscience is accusing you? You go back to the position of gratitude for the grace of God. God knows more about your sin than you do, God has a higher standard than you do. And God has pronounced you justified. He knows your heart better than you know it. That's what He said to Peter, elicited from Peter. "Do you love Me? Yes I love You. Do you love Me? Yes I love You. Do you really love Me? You know my heart, you know everything, you know I love You. I haven't acted like it, I haven't conducted myself as I should, but look at my heart, You know there are holy affections there." And the response of our Lord was, "Feed My lambs, feed My sheep, feed My sheep." John MacArthur from sermon on 1 John.

Peter needed more than once to be reminded of the riches of His grace toward us and so do we, so do we. Don’t allow doubt that flows from self-condemnation hinder your prayers and ministry any longer. What God has cleansed, don't you dare call it unholy.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I thank you that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Lord, I welcome conviction and refuse condemnation. You are greater than my heart and I embrace my place in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

MY CONFESSION: What God has cleansed I will no longer call unholy. I stand on your Word!

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