John Hagee - The Storm of Self-Confidence
"Confidence" are two words, "Con" meaning "With" and "Faido," which means "Faith," which is living by faith. That's what confidence is. The Bible says, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". Say that with me. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". "Faith is the victory," the Bible says, "That overcomes the world". Put those two verses together and you are guaranteed to be victorious in every battle you find yourself in life. Faith starts out before you know how it's going to turn out. If you know the end from the beginning, that's not faith: that's just doing something. Faith does not demand miracles. Faith produces miracles. Great faith is the product of great fights that are won in the arena of life.
The Bible talks about little faith and it talks about great faith. How do you get from little faith to great faith? You get from little faith to great faith by fighting this fight, and then another one that's greater, and then another one that's greater, and another one that's greater. And they continuously increase in size until you are fighting the giants. That's what it is. Great faith is born on the battlefield of life. Sometimes when you're very existence is being threatened, great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come from great trials. Every stumbling block can become a steppingstone. Every opposition can become an opportunity. Faith is not believing that God can do it. Faith is believing that God will do it, and he will do it for you, and will do it right. That's what faith is. Give the Lord a hand.
There are 1.000 ways to please the Lord, but none of them will work without faith. Faith helps you walk fearlessly, run confidently, and live victoriously. All of that is recorded in this book. God is not moved by your emotions. God is only moved by your faith. I have seen people pray emotionally, "Oh God, please, please". God has said here he will do it. All you have to do is get out of the emotional state and get in the faith dimension, and say, "God, I thank you, you are doing it. I may not see it with my natural eye, but I know it's going to happen. And I'm standing on the faith of the Word of God: it will happen"! Make that happen! Give the Lord praise in the house!
Confidence, faith is not inherited: it's developed. The Bible says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". The word "Cometh" is a Greek continuance verb, meaning faith is continuing to grow in you, predicated on your obedience to the Word of God. When you hear the Word of God and you obey it, you go from glory to glory. You grow from first grade to second grade, to third grade faith, to middle school, to high school, to graduate school. And now you are really fighting big battles. And you're not concerned because you and God have a working relationship. You are bound by your own self-imposed limitations.
I read the story of a Georgia Sharecropper, who presented himself to his denominational leaders to be ordained as a pastor. And the ordination committee asked him: said, "Do you know the Bible well enough to preach it"? He said, "Well, yes, sir". He said, "But well you're a Sharecropper farmer. You have no training". He said, "Well I've read the Bible". So the denominational leader said, "Well tell us what part of the Bible you know best". He said, "Well I know the book of the parables the best". "What"? "The book of the parables"? There's no such thing, of course, for those of you who are fanning your Bible right now. You can see a lot of things from this platform.
So he said, "Yes, the book of the parables". He said, "Yes, let's hear it". He said, "Well there was a good Samaritan going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. And he fell among thorns. And the thorns sprang up and choked him almost half to death". And he said, "I will arise". And he arose and he came to a tree. He hung in the limbs of that tree for 40 days and 40 nights. And the ravens came and fed him. Delilah saw him and she came along with a pair of scissors and cut off his hair, and he fell on the ground. It was stony ground. And he said, "I will arise". And he arose and he came to a wall. And Jezebel was sitting on that wall and she mocked him. And he said, "Throw her down". And they threw her down. He said, "Throw Jezebel down a second time". And they threw her down a second time. "Throw her down seventy times seven". "And great was the fall thereof". "And of the fragments that remained, they picked up 12 baskets full. And verily I say unto you, whose wife is she going to be in the Day of Judgment"?
Now all that's in the Bible, but brother, that is really messed up. So the leader said, "Well, what makes you think you're called to preach"? He said, "I was plowing and I saw the letters in the sky, "PC," preach Christ. And the denominational leader said, that could also mean "Plant Corn". Go to a self-improvement seminar, and you'll hear some enthusiastic leader tell you to read his wonderful book and it will build your confidence. I'm holding in my hand the most powerful confidence builder that's in your house or that's in your mind. This is authored by God, the Holy Spirit, and it has supernatural power. You hear what I'm saying to you? It has supernatural power. There is faith unlimited in this book.
The devil's not afraid of you. But when you start quoting this book, he is terrified of you. You have awesome power in the name of Jesus, and in the blood of Jesus, and in the word of Jesus. Read this book and it will take your dull, boring, pity pot, wild-flower personality, and transform it into a ball of divine fire. This sacred book will cause you to meet men and women, and do the impossible thing, because faith in God can help you accomplish anything. They conquered giants in the Bible. They walked in and out of the fiery furnace without the smell of smoke upon them. Moses led two million people across the wilderness for 40 years. It rained manna every morning, the cloud by day to cool them off, the fire by night to warm them. Water gushed out of a rock that fed two million people and their livestock. And the Bible says, "There was not one sick nor feeble among them for 40 years". And get this: their clothes did not wear out for 40 years. Dear God, bring that back.
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and the moon to stand still for a day, and it did. Elijah called fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice to prove to Israel in a backslidden state, because of Jezebel. They soaked the sacrifice with 12 barrels of water, one for each tribe of Israel. And fire came from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. That's confidence, when that lady's going to kill you if it didn't happen. When the Archangel, Gabriel, came to Mary, a teenager, and said she was going to be the mother of God: just think about that thought. Becoming the mother of God is a mind-expanding concept. And when the angel finished, she said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior". She was confident that everything was going to be all right.
Paul preached in chains to Felix. Felix was a Roman governor. Felix was trembling while Paul was preaching and Paul had handcuffs and leggings on. Paul shock deadly vipers from his wrist on the Island of Malta. The night before he was beheaded by the Roman Empire, he wrote to Timothy, "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord shall grant to me, but not to me only, but to everyone that pursues his perfect will". He was talking to you.
David said, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me". That's confidence. This book says, "The Lord is my high tower". It says, "God is my shield and my buckler". It says, "The Lord is your fortress and deliverer". He is your Jehovah Shammah. He is Jehovah Jireh. He's the God who is there. He is the rock of your salvation. He's the one who was, and is, and ever more shall be. He is the fairest of 10.000. He is Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. He is the bright in the morning star, the lilly of the valley, and the rose of sharon. He is the conqueror of death, hell and the grave! He is the Lord of glory! He is the light of the world! He is the Lamb of God! He is the Lion of Judah! Give him praise in this house: for he's worthy of that praise!
Our confidence is in him. Our confidence is in this book. Demons tremble when you mention the name of Jesus Christ. I know that because in exorcism moments that I have been in. Mention the name of Jesus to a demonized person, and they shake like you slapped them. Sickness and disease are conquered by the name of Jesus. Jesus Christ has conquered death, hell and the grave. He's the judge of all the earth. And some day, every liar, every rapist, every murderer, every crooked politician is going to stand before him and give an answer for everything they've done. In the final analysis, the God of heaven is going to have the last word. And his word will be the eternal word. David said, "A thousand may fall at my left hand, and ten thousand at my right hand, but no evil shall come nigh thy dwelling, because the Lord my God is with me". Give the Lord praise in the house.
Here are signs you've lost confidence in yourself. One, you're looking for reasons why you can't attempt a new task. You say things like, "It won't work, " "I've tried that: it failed". Look at the word "Triumph". It goes like this, "Try-umph". Push. Well, I've failed before. Solomon said, "A righteous man falls down seven times and rises yet again". If you've fallen down seven times, get up. God's still on his throne and it can still come together. You lack confidence when you're fearful of responsibility, so you turn down the promotion at work. You have sentenced yourself to a life of mediocrity. You've sentenced yourself to a rut. A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out. Get off your blessed assurance, take the promotion, rise to another level, and start producing like you've never produced before. Let God reward you for daring to be different!
You lack confidence when the boss calls you, and your first reaction is, "Huh, what did I do wrong"? Your reaction should be, "My raise came through probably. I'm going for that. I'm going to get a promotion". When you meet someone, you twirl your hair, you cover your mouth, you stare at the ground, you look into space. You never look into a person's eyes. And they shake your hand, which is like grabbing the back end of a dead fish. You are a child of God. You are sons and daughters of royalty. You are priests and kings unto God. If you meet the president of the United States, look him right in the eye. Tell him who you are and what you're all about, because you represent a kingdom that's not for four years: it is forever.
People are saying, "Well I wonder when God is going to do something for me"? God is looking back at you, and saying, I wonder when you're going to do something for yourself? You have a Bible verse for that? Yes, I do. The Bible says, "What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven". You bind, you loose, then God reacts in heaven. You start it: God plays the second part. And he provides the power to get it done. Don't sit around and say, "I'm waiting for God to do something". This book says God is waiting for you, because the initiative is yours. The ball is in your court: hit it!
To the salesmen who are here, you will not land every account. Every customer will not buy. Every phone call is not good news. You won't fascinate every person you meet. You won't win every game you play. But with persistence, you will be victorious. Press on. Push forward. A temporary setback does not mean God doesn't love you anymore. The fact that you're having trouble is living proof that you're a card-carrying member of the human race: that's all it means! Hang tough! Paul said, "Fight the good fight". Have confidence in Christ! Nothing is impossible with you! You are a child of God! Square your shoulders! Lift your head! Come out swinging! The victory belongs to you! Act like it!
Stop looking for a quick fix to your problem. You can't do everything at once, but you can do something at once. Make a decision and take action. Listen to this. There's no such thing as indecision. You either decide or you decide not to decide, but you have decided. Get it? Oh, I haven't made up my mind. Yes, you have. You've made up your mind to do nothing like you've been making up your mind to do nothing for the last 30 years. Make up your mind to do something different! Make up your mind to achieve something that God is giving you the opportunity to do. How do we maintain confidence? How do we overcome those moments in life when we feel intimidated or inadequate or even defeated by the opportunity that's coming our way?
Give up every thought about quitting. The Bible says, "Those who endure to the end shall be saved". Endurance is Bible theme. President Calvin Coolidge said, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common," he said, "than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb". The president continues, "Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone will win the day". "Persistence and determination will win the day".
The people in this church, who are the most successful in life, never went to college. Let that set in. Yes, I think you should send your child to college. But just because you didn't get to go, don't think that some college approval of you equates to God's approval of you. You can accomplish anything with God in your life. You will never stand in the winner's circle unless you finish the race. Stopping at third base is just as bad as making an out. Never give in and never give up. Quitters do not win, and winners do not quit. Quitting is actually murdering your opportunity. We quit jobs because the boss wants you to come to work and look reasonably alive for eight hours. "Well, that's just too much," you millennials. So you quit. The sign on a business that I saw, "If you don't believe the dead come back to life, hang around here till 5 o'clock".
A man was applying for a job, and he asked the manager, "How many people work around here"? He said, "About one in twelve". We quit school. We drop out. If it demands study, if it demands effort, if it demands scholarship, if it demands you can't do what you want because five nights a week, you need to study two hours, if it means passing the test, well forget it: you just quit. One student said to his English teacher, "I don't think I deserve an "F" on this essay". The teacher said, "I don't think you deserve an "F" on that essay either, but unfortunately, that's as low as we grade around here".
We quit marriages. Your dream lover becomes a nightmare. Don't raise your hand. Love is a dream: marriage is the alarm clock. There are two periods in a man's life when he doesn't understand a woman: before he marries and after he marries. To the single women, who are here and listening: the difference between a boyfriend and a husband is about five years and 50 pounds. We quit church. Sermons on sin, sermons on holiness, tithing, spirit authority: dear God, what fanatics those people must be.
We start developing self-confidence when we stop making excuses about our situation. All great living begins when you accept responsibility for your life. It's not your mother's fault you're like you are. It's not your daddy's fault. It's not your schoolteacher's fault. It's not your coach's fault. It's not the boy scout's fault. It's your fault. The face you see in the mirror is the person responsible for you being where you are. And if you don't like where you are, you talk to that person. All excuse is a thin skin of fear stretched tightly over a bald-face lie.
There are two groups of people in the earth: those who make good and those who make excuses. And some of you have used up your life making excuses. Stop it, because you're destroying your life! If you make excuses, no one can help you, not even God. Look at the excuses Jesus could have used. I can't do anything because people say I was illegitimate. I was a part of a hated minority, the Jewish people. I was born in political captivity. When I grew up, church leaders called me a heretic, a drunkard, a traitor, a liar. Judas betrayed me. Peter is cursing my memory. Thomas doubted me.
Jesus looked at hell's legions in the eye. He didn't make those excuses. He says, "I am the conqueror of death, hell and the grave". Paul said, "He has publicly put satan to shame". What does that mean? That means when Jesus died on the cross and he went into hell, he took satan by the hair and drug him through the fire, and paraded him in front of every demon. And he said, I have defeated him at the cross. He is a defeated foe. And when my children come to the gate using my name, you turn them loose, because they are the victorious bride of Christ! Give the Lord praise in the house! Can we stand? I want you to pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I'm coming to you today, asking for a baptism of righteous and powerful confidence, confidence that's based on the Word of God, confidence that's built in faith, confidence that will not be discouraged, confidence that will be bold and aggressive. Today in the name of the Lord Jesus, I'm done making excuses. I'm going forward to live the great adventure heaven has designed for me, in Jesus' name. Amen.