Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward (Hebrews 10:35, KJV). In the previous blog, we found a couple ways that people limit God in their lives: unbelief, and maintaining a hardened heart. Another way that they limit God ties in with the previous two, which is alluded to in our opening Scripture text: casting away their confidence. People can throw away their confidence by the things they do, and the attitudes and beliefs they maintain.
One way that a person casts away his confidence and thereby limits God is rejecting the will of the Father. 1John 5:14 plainly states, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (KJV). Clearly, when we know we are praying according to His will we have confidence that our prayer is being heard. There is intentionality behind it. That is to say, we are to be intentional about following the will of God. Conversely, when we reject His will, or are careless about His will, our confidence will most definitely wane, unless of course, we are self-deceived. What some fail to realize is that we are most contented, joyful, and even happy when we are in the will of the Father. It is the way we are designed. Unfortunately, there are those who think they know better than God does. For some reason, they believe that they will be the happiest when they follow their own will and plans for their life. So much for, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) and “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)! Happiness is based on outer circumstances and has no real stability. Therefore, while they may initially be happy as the result of their circumstances based on their carnal decisions, there will be no real joy or contentment. With obedience comes fullness of joy (see John 15:11), not disobedience. If a person is actively seeking his own will while rejecting or ignoring the will of the Father, they will absolutely have no confidence with God in whatever they do.
Another way people limit God is trying to “have their cake and eat it too.” That is to say, they are trying to live a double-life. They desire the things of the Kingdom and the things of the world at the same time. They are still hanging on to pet sins, while claiming, they belong to Christ. Psalms 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (KJV). The call is true repentance. Repentance does not mean that we merely say we are sorry, it calls for a turn around in the way we think and the things we do. If we are not willing to turn away from sin, how can we expect God to hear our prayers, let alone have confidence that we are His to begin with? While it is true that the flesh will always fight against the Spirit, and there is an enemy out there who desires to destroy us: God has made available everything necessary to partake in His divine nature and resist the devil that must flee when we do (see Galatians 5:1, 16,17; 2Peter 1:1-10; James 4:6-8; 1Peter 5:5-9). Every time a person chooses to go back to his pet sin, he throws his confidence away. However, when that same person truly repents, his confidence will be restored. When a person decides to think the way the world thinks, he throws away his confidence, but when he decides to renew his mind through the Word of God in order to think the way God thinks, his confidence returns. When we walk in the Spirit, we will have confidence with God, and will cease to limit Him in our life!
There are still more installments to come to in this series. In the mean time, it would be good for all of us to ask God to reveal to us any way that we might be resisting His will for our life, and to see if there is an area in our life we are still hanging onto that needs to be destroyed.