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Steven Furtick - I Lost My Confidence


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This text is gonna help us today. The Apostle Paul is, in his own way, upset and triggered for good reason, about something that is going on to affect the believers. So the title I wanna use, I need you to announce this title to the person sitting next to you. You don't have to talk to them another time after this. This will be the last time that you have to talk to them. But tell them this, "I hate to admit, but I lost my confidence". Amen. Philippians 3:1: "Further, my brothers and sister, rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no..". No. Zero. No, "No confidence in the flesh. Though I myself have reasons for such confidence". If anyone else, if someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more".

We're gonna stop right there and talk a little, and then we'll work through the rest of the passage. But, tell you something real quick that seminary professor taught me about preaching. When I was preaching from the "Old Testament", book of 1 Samuel, and there were a lot of names and places that I didn't know how to pronounce because they were based on Hebrew words. And I took all of them up to him to ask him to help me pronounce them correctly. Because I was preaching in a few days, and I wanted to make sure I said all the words right. And he said, well, first of all, he laughed at my list of words. And he said, "It's not important that you say it right. I only matters that you say it with confidence". He said, "Don't worry about mispronouncing the words, nobody will know the difference if you say it with confidence". Kind of seem to be the thing these days. It's kind of like, you know, we all found a Bible verse, fake it till you make it. Only it's not in the Bible. That's how I was taught to get girls.

You know, Herald Stale. He said, "It really doesn't matter, your car doesn't have to be fast or nice. You not especially good looking or tall". He said, "I'm gonna tell you, if you just walk up to a girl with confidence, you'll be surprised how much better looking confidence can make you". But then, that's only kind of true, because there's a fine line between confident and creepy. Am I right about it? And I'm kind of trying to figure that out as a parent. Like, how much confidence do I really want my kids to have? Because you kind of like them being confident when they're younger, it's cute. And then, in their teenage years, when they are so confident that they no longer believe that you have any knowledge about anything; it's an issue. It's like, can we find a middle ground on this confidence thing? Can you be like confident enough to be socially not awkward? But then be humble enough to listen to me when I'm telling you what's best for you? Is there like an in between? Is there a middle ground on this confidence thing? Like, is there somewhere between you being intimidated and scared to death, and feeling the need to apologize for your existence on planet earth, and like, Conor McGregor on the other end of the spectrum?

Here's what's happening now. It's like we have confidence without competence. It's like we are, Okay, we are, we are approaching it like they were approaching it in Philippians 3, where Paul says, you need to watch out for the dogs. And I know you're wondering. Who are these dogs? It's in verse two. Who is Paul calling a dog? Who are these dogs? And who let them out? We need to know. And you would assume that these are people who are tempting the church at Philippi, the church that Paul founded and fathered in the gospel. Maybe they are luring them with sin. Maybe he's talking about drug dealers. Or liberals. You know, all the things that threaten the Christian world view. But, really, what he's talking about here, is religious people. They're trying to get the newly converted gentiles, who weren't Jewish to be circumcised. With no anesthesia. Because that was the outward sign of the covenant with the Jewish people before Christ.

But Christ came along and changed that. And Paul knows that it's not what you can show on the outside, but it's what happens in your heart that proves the authenticity of your relationship with God. And validates your relationship with Him by faith. Everybody say, "By faith. Not flesh". It is impossible for you to please God with your flesh. With your effort. It is impossible for you to impress God with your Bible reading streak. I'm sorry, He didn't call the angels over today 'cause you read a psalm. Wow, check this out. She went a whole week without telling anybody off. Didn't impress God a bit. On the other hand, we can please God by faith.

And so, Paul is talking about the dogs. How long were you gonna do it? Don't know. But he's triggered, he says, they're evil. What they're doing is evil. They're evildoers. They're mutilating the flesh. They're making it worse. They're telling you all these rules and regulations that will make you acceptable to God. And it's making it worse. Because it's teaching you to put confidence in the wrong thing. And it is a perversion of the gospel to think that are things that we can do outwardly. Or behaviors that we can quit. Or habits that we can enforce. And sometimes our consistency can become the enemy of our humility. Because we stop doing stuff and start doing stuff. And then immediately we start to create categories for people, who have not yet arrived at the place of consistency that we're at.

And now, God help us because we're raising a generation that don't have to train for their trophies. So, it's as if we think that confidence is our birthright. We have developed a sick, twisted version of confidence that knows nothing in the biblical context. We have put our confidence in confidence. But confidence that is developed outside of the process that produces true confidence is false confidence. And, you know, I'm just thinking about it now, a little differently than age 16, when I first gave my life to Christ and was very confident. Very confident in my ability to live for Jesus. Very confident in my ability to stay away from certain temptations. Oh, it's so easy to be confident, when you've never lived through a crisis. It's so easy to preach faith, when you've never watched your dad take his dying, gasping breath from A.L.S.. And watched his body completely shut down, and prayed every prayer that you knew to pray over him, and quoted every scripture that you learned and wrote about in a book about, "Sun Stand Still". And then, things happen to shake your confidence.

Paul is talking here, about people who have lost their confidence in the gospel. Or, they are on the verge of losing their confidence in the gospel. And putting their confidence in their performance. And that's dangerous. I'm starting to wonder, you know, do we need more confidence? It's just a question because lately, I've been thinking that the dangers of over confidence, are just as great as the dangers of under confidence. That really, maybe, it's not about the amount of confidence that we have at all. I wrote a little note to my son when he turned 13. And it wasn't really about him, it was about me remembering that age. And one thing I was trying to tell him in the note, is that everybody in some way is faking it. I just thought that I'd show him that there is now Wizard of Oz. Just a little short dude behind a curtain pulling levers posting stuff with filters, and captions that are perfectly crafted, and they spent an hour and a half to write that caption to make themselves sound witty, and they're really not that witty off the cuff.

And you compare your off the cuff to their manufactured captions, you're gonna always feel like there's something missing and lacking in you. But it's so hard because it's like we're living in a culture that projects confidence at all costs. And the cost of false confidence is ignorance. The cost of false confidence is ignorance. And trust me, some of the people who are the most confident, are also the most ignorant. Some of the wisest people that I've ever talked to in my life, didn't have a lot of answers. They asked a lot of questions. You see what I'm saying? But it's tough because we're teaching this to our kids, right. Just be confident, you know, be confident. I'm trying to find the balance because I do wanna raise confident kids. And I wanna be a confident Christian, but I'm trying to find the balance, you know. Like, our kids are out playing sports, just like many of your kids.

Someone said to me a few weeks ago, stop talking about your kids so much in your sermons. We don't come to hear about your family. We come to hear the word of God. And I'm like, well, I got another solution. Just quit coming and you won't have to hear me talk about anything. That'll be fine. It'll work well for both of us. Let's just agree to, we don't share the same interests. But that's my life right now, is raising these kids. So, it's just like, I mean, I'm always out at some baseball field, or football game, or something like that. And now, even Abby is playing 7-year-old softball. And she says she likes it. But I don't know if she really softball, or dugout cheers. Because, honestly. No, I'm gonna make a plea here.

And if anybody's watching this online that has any kind of authority in girls, 7-year-old softball, I'm begging you, in the name of Jesus Christ, whose gospel I preach, could we possibly ban dugout cheering for 7-year-old softball? And I know it's cute and it's delightful, but I'm just trying to protect these girls. Because I'm listening to them in dugout, and not only is it bad for my hearing. Not only is it loud, and it's rough on their voices, but what they're saying in these cheers is not true. I heard Abby the other day, she was doing a cheer, "My name is Abby and you know what I got". And the whole team said, "What do you got"? Abby said, "I got a team that is hotter than hot".

See right there, we just the realm of reality. Because I've been watching all three innings of this, and y'all are not hotter than hot. Y'all are not even lukewarm, baby girl, you're frozen in the center, you need to be in the microwave about three more, then said, "Grand slams and homers, too". I'm like, how about a base hit. Can we start with a base hit? Praise the Lord. It's dangerous to have too much confidence in the wrong place. In the wrong place. But the Bible says be confident, you know. "In this I will be confident". Doesn't the Bible say that? Yes, but the question is, in what will you be confident? In what? And sometimes we wanna have a confident belief without the behaviors that build confidence in our lives. You know, because to have real confidence, you have to have consistency. Don't you? I mean, to have confidence, you have to have competence. Competence is built through consistency. If you're gonna have real confidence, you got to have character. Amen. Amen.

You know what? I'm gonna spend the rest of my life preaching what I think is true, whether anybody says, Amen to it or not. I'm committing to that. These little gray hairs that keep popping up are trying to tell me, you don't have time to get up there on that pulpit and just hype people anymore. Because while we're hyping people, in one sense, to believe God, we are actually making the problem worse because when their circumstance is not reflecting their confession, their faith collapses beneath the weight of unmet expectations. And so the Lord was really speaking to me, you know, because I go back and forth of feeling really confident sometimes. And then sometimes I feel I can't find my confidence anywhere.

And so then I think, well, I had too much confidence. I need to be more humble. And then sometimes I think, well, I don't have enough confidence, I need to chest bump myself in the mirror a few times, and get out there and put myself back in the game, coach. Get out there. And I'm back and forth. And God spoke to me this week. He said, it's not how much confidence you have, it's where you put it that counts. Paul said, I have no confidence in the flesh. All of these people who are telling you, you need to be circumcised, and that's how you prove that you have a relationship with God. Or, you know, this temptation that we all have to fake it, until we break.

That's what really happens, you know. You fake it and you never make it because no matter how much you work to develop your confidence in your flesh, it will always fail you. It will always fail you. And all of this behavioral modification that I know is necessary for us to make improvements in our lives. And maybe it's important for us to have confidence if we're gonna stand on stage and give a presentation, or go into a meeting that we don't feel qualified for. I understand that. But my question is, have you put that confidence in the right place? And the other day I noticed that Holly didn't have her wedding ring on. Wasn't anything sketchy. We were just at the house. She wasn't going out without her wedding ring on.

In fact, I got that covered too. I made her put a tattoo on her ring finger. So even if she wanted to take it off, it says, "H" and "S". And so if wants to leave me, the dude is already going to be narrowed down. His name better start with "S", or she'll have to turn it into an eight. But she is mine. But I said, where's your ring? She said, Oh, I put it over here, and I started washing the dishes. And I asked her a question. I didn't have to say much. I said, is that a good place to put it? Because listen, she lost it once. And when she lost it, we had insurance. And she got a better one.

So now, I'm starting to wonder. Ask somebody next to you, "Is that a good place to put it"? Because you keep putting your confidence in people. And you keep putting your confidence in your performance. And you keep putting your confidence in your ability to be disciplined. And, oh, I'm gonna exercise. And, oh, I'm gonna stay on my diet this time. And, oh, I'm gonna pray for 15 minutes every day. You know, I hear people say sometimes, I gave up on God because some people in the church let me down. But let me ask you a question. Your relationship with God is so precious, why would you put your confidence in God, in how people treat you? People will always let you down. People will always fall short. Even if they have good intentions, they have limited ability. Do you really wanna put it in people? Haven't you spent trusting in people to meet your needs? I feel like preaching. As them again, "Is that a good place to put it"? Do you really wanna put confidence in your flesh? Your effort? Your ability to keep the law?

Now, Paul says, if you wanna play the game of who has more reasons to be confident, on the basis of lifestyle or legality. He says, if you wanna play the game of whose circumcision is better, let's play. Watch this. He starts reading off his resume. And what a weird game this is. Watch this. You know how people try to top everything. Paul like, my circumcision is better than your circumcision. Because, watch, verse 5. I was circumcised on the eighth day, when you're supposed to be. A lot of the Judaizers', the dog. They were circumcised after the fact. Paul said, I was circumcised when I was supposed to be circumcised because I was born the way you're supposed to be born into the race that God said that He would use to bless all the nation of the earth. So, I was circumcised before all of y'all. On the eighth day. I don't remember it. I'm glad I got that out of the early in life.

I was of the people of Israel, so I have connections. I was not only of the people of Israel, I was of the tribe of Benjamin. That was the tribe that the kings came out of. The tribe of Benjamin. So he's like, I'm already one of God's favorite people, because I'm an Israelite. And then, I'm the favorite tribe, within the favorite people. Come on, you wanna talk about flesh? My flesh is impressive, mm-hmm. And I was not only of the tribe of Benjamin. It not only a matter of birth, I wasn't only born into fortunate circumstances, but I was a Hebrew of Hebrews. Wow. I was a Hebrew of Hebrews. I was competent. Watch this. I was connected, I was competent in regard to the law, a Pharisee. That's the strictest order of religious law for the Jewish people.

So, he says, I was on a scholarship. I was a prize pupil of Gamaliel. He doesn't mention that in Philippians 3. He mentions it elsewhere, that he sat underneath the tutelage of one of the greatest teachers of his day. This was like you've interned under Elon Musk. Paul said, let's talk. You wanna talk to me, you dogs that think you're so much better than other people. He said, I had all of that. I was so good at it, that I was promoted to the highest level. I was so zealous, Verse 6, please: I was "persecuting the church as for righteousness based on the law, faultless".

So stop, and make sure we got this. He's connected, he's competent, and his character, he says, according to human law, and what you can measure, and what you can see, and what you can judge, faultless. Connected, competent, and his character is faultless. And he build his confidence to a certain level. But then, something happened to Paul. Paul saw a contrast. And sometimes what we need when we get a little too full of ourselves, come on. Happens to all of us. Quiet people, loud people, flashy people, low-key people, it can happen to every one of us, that we start to trust in our flesh.

And about the time you think you get it figured out, you know how we do. We get our categories exactly right. Okay. Here's the kind of people that are going to heaven, and here's the kind of people that are going to hell. And the way I know is, there are certain things that people who are going to heaven do, and don't do. And certain people who are going to hell, here's what they do, and they don't do. The only problem that I'm finding with this is, a lot of our confidence that we put in our judgements, and our assessment, is based on our external observations of people. And we can never really know anyone's heart.

Now here's a case in point. I told this story the wrong way last night, so if you were here last night, I messed it up. But here's how it actually happened. This is why I put no confidence in the flesh 'cause I can't even tell my own stories right while I'm preaching about confidence. That's how much I need the Holy Spirit. But I was watching a sermon with my father-in-law when I was first starting in ministry. He was telling me how the person preaching the sermon was cocky and arrogant. He said, "Look at him. You can tell. He's strutting around that stage. He's wearing a $5.000 suit. Look at him. He's cocky and he's arrogant. Even his tie is loud. He's cocky and he's arrogant. He's so cocky and he's arrogant".

Of course, I asked my father-in-law, "have you met him"? "No, but you can tell. He's cocky and he's arrogant". "Do you know anybody who's met him"? "No, but I don't have to. You can tell. He's cocky and he's arrogant". I said just kinda innocently "Well, who's somebody that you think is not cocky and arrogant that would be better to model my ministry after"? Because he was in ministry and I wanted to hear his wisdom. He named a name of somebody that I knew. It was a man who had the Greek New Testament memorized. No. Not the little Philippians 4:13. No. The whole New Testament. He would show up. I took a class with him one time. He would say the Bible verse without looking at the Bible. But he wouldn't say it in our translation. He would be translating it in his mind from Greek. He never looked at the Bible to teach us the Bible. My father-in-law said, "That guy. That's a man of God. That's a humble man of God. That's a man of God who knows what matters and what doesn't. That's a man of God who is understated. That's a man of God".

And 12 months later the man of God who knew the Bible in Greek had left his wife for a woman in Russia. He had been taking mission trips to Russia. Mission trips to Russia. But one mission he went for and he never came back. The man that was cocky and arrogant is still serving God today and his kids are in ministry too. Here's what I'm trying to say. Let's stop being so quick to categorize people based on what we see with our eyes or where they are in certain behaviors in their lives. Judge nothing before the appointed time. You don't even know what battles they're fighting. You don't know how far they've come. You don't know what it has taken 'em just to keep running the race and they might be limping but they might make it to the finish line because they limped. I don't know anymore. I put no confidence in the flesh. I don't have categories. They're not as clear anymore for who's a godly person and who's not and who God has favored and who God hasn't. 'Cause some of the people that I thought were walkin' in the favor of God were faking it. But I didn't know it till they fell apart.

Paul's riding to Damascus one day a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee of Pharisees, in regards to the law righteousness, connected, and competent. Connected and competent. All of a sudden he was blinded by a light on his way to imprison Christians in Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem to be sentenced. Something happened to him that will happen to all of us in one way or another. If it hasn't happened to you yet send me a text message when it does. God in His mercy and God in His wisdom knew that if I allow Paul to remain confident in his flesh, he will not fulfill my purpose for his life. He will live the rest of his life putting his confidence in himself and his competence and his character.

So all of a sudden you can read it in Acts 9. A blinding light throws Paul from his horse. He is thrown to the ground on the way to exercise his gift with authoritative letters from the Jewish ruling council. He falls off of his horse and a voice from Heaven asks him, "Saul, Saul, who do you think you are"? And Saul said back, "I don't know, who are you"? And the voice said, "I am Jesus". Paul spent three days blind and someone had to lead him by the hand. You know, that's when life gets really interesting when you're used to leading others when you're used to knowing what to do, when you're used to making it happen, when you're used to smiling and getting through it.

But then every once in a while something will come along in your life and you'll say I didn't take a class on this. I didn't read a book about this. Nobody told me it would feel like this. I wasn't prepared for this. I didn't know it'd be like this. Paul said I lost my confidence. I lost my confidence and I had to start all over. I had to give up all of my connections because everybody hated me that I used to serve with. I had to start all over because I didn't know how to preach Jesus 'cause I just met Him. I had to humble myself and I had to reevaluate my character 'cause I had been comparing myself to others. You know how we do?

Holly preached this brilliant message to the ladies a couple weeks ago. Everything about it was good but I just want to correct one thing she said. She said we need to stop comparing our self to others. I think she's wrong about that. I think we need to compare ourselves to others every chance we get until we are so sick of comparing our self to others. You know, because if you compare yourself to others long enough you will come to the place eventually. If you're not there yet you'll get there. Just keep doing it. Keep comparing yourself to others. Just keep right on doing it. Do it to make yourself feel better. Do it. When you see somebody whose kids are on drugs you just silently tell yourself my kids would never do that. Go ahead and do that. Just go ahead and do it. Just go ahead and do it.

When you see somebody who's not married, I'll tell you if they... Go ahead and compare yourself to them 'cause you know you're better than them. That's why you're married and they're not. Just go ahead, compare yourself. Go ahead and do it. Go ahead and do it to the other way, too. Go ahead and compare yourself to people that are better than you. All the time. Look at everybody sucking in on the 'gram and then compare yourself bloated after a whole day of running your kids around. Then compare yourself who didn't have time to eat healthy because you actually care about other people and that's why you had to go through McDonald's. But compare yourself to them. You won't even know that they're selfish and that's why their body looks like that because they never have time for anybody else.

And here's what I want you to do. I want you to completely compare out of context for as long as you can. Don't ask the question, you know, like they're real successful on their job but I wonder are they happy? Don't ask that question. 'Cause if you could compare across all the categories you might see that their success is costing them their fulfillment. But don't do that. Just completely take it all out of context. Compare what people show you to what you can see and don't take time to wonder what's really going on. Don't take time to stop and think about how they're so gifted and they're so wonderful.

Just compare yourself to them until you feel so terrible that the only place left for you to go, the only thing left for you to conclude, the only thing left for you to do is to fall down off your horse and say, "God, I'm sick of myself. I'm sick of false standards. I'm sick of worldly measurements. I'm tired of my flesh. I'm tired of keeping up. I'm tired of falling short. I'm tired of looking around". In that moment you will come to the point that Paul came to in verse 7 where he said: "I compared myself to everyone else so long and it finally brought me to a point, not because I hit the bottom but because I was on top and then something happened in my life".

I compared myself to Jesus. When I compared myself to Him I didn't have anything left to brag about. When I compared myself to Him I wasn't such a good person after all. When I compared myself to Him I lost my confidence in me. I lost my confidence in how nice I am and how sweet I am and how polite I am and how educated I am. When I compared myself to the fullness of wisdom that was revealed in Jesus Christ I didn't bring up my IQ anymore and I didn't show 'em my SAT scores. When I compared myself to Him my posture changed. When I compared myself to Him I quit trying to be first place in a race that I realized I couldn't win. When I compared myself to Him I fell off my horse and I was led by the hand.

Paul says in verse 7. Now whatever were gains to me I consider loss. I lost my confidence but watch this. I gained Christ. Speak this message today in the hopes that someone who has lost your confidence in yourself would realize that this is a necessary step for you to receive the righteousness that comes by faith. That's what Paul says here. He says I lost my connections. I lost my sense of competence. I found out I wasn't so good at everything. You know how life is, man. Just about the time you master a set of skills the whole game changes. By the time I figure out how to get my kids to shhh then they are teenagers and I'm trying to get 'em to talk to me. The whole opposite changes. It's designed that way.

I wonder if God is trying to strip you of your confidence today so that you can gain something greater. I lost my confidence to preach to people and tell 'em you know if you do this God's gonna do that. I don't make those kinds of promises anymore because now I have a different kind of confidence. It's a kind of confidence that doesn't come from circumcision and changing your behavior, getting it right, knowing all the answers. It's an inward confidence. I wonder if that's the real contrast here is that we are trying to project confidence and God is trying to impart it. I wonder if we're so busy trying to be confident and seem confident that we have isolated ourselves so we stay in places where no one really knows us and no one can really touch us because we have gotten so good at looking confident but on the inside we have lost a sense of ourselves and we have lost touch with our humanity as we project into the world pretend images of who we wish we were and who we think we should be.

But Paul said I lost all that. I lost all that. And you know what? I'm glad I lost it. I'm glad I got knocked off my horse. Glad I got my heart broken. Glad I got my plans disrupted. I'm glad I found out that the world wasn't flat. I'm glad I found out that it didn't revolve around me. I'm glad that I didn't know what to do 'cause if I'da kept trusting in my flesh I would've spent the rest of my life measuring myself against an irrelevant standard. But something wonderful happened when I lost my confidence I gained Christ. What is more, verse 8, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I'm letting it go. I'm not trying to get back on my horse. I don't even wanna ride in that direction anymore. I've been down that road. I'm ready for something better. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ.

Take the whole world. Take my skills. Take my knowledge. Take my insight. Take my appearances. Take my youth but give me Jesus. I wanna be found in Him! Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Stand up. It's not about how much confidence you have. It's about on what basis you've built it. The answer to our anxiety isn't just more confidence. It's more Christ. He says, verse 10, I used to know a lot of things about the law. I used to know a lot of things about life. But now look what happens after you lose your confidence and your arrogance and your prejudice and your presuppositions. He said not that I've lost my confidence I want to know Christ. I don't wanna know about Him. I don't wanna know what I think I know about Him. I want to know Christ. Yes to know the power, watch this, of His resurrection.

So after you have lost your confidence you can expect a resurrection. I told my friend what I was gonna preach to you today. I said, "I'm gonna preach on, "I lost my confidence", He texted me after I preached it the first message and he said, "Did you get it back"? I said "No; I told the people to let it die. To let that confidence that we put in what we can see and in what we can know and in what we can feel let it die. Let it be nailed to the cross". You know God will allow certain circumstances in your life and he will use those circumstances to crucify your false confidence. If we don't understand this we will try to pray our confidence back down off the cross and we'll try to get it back and we'll go back into those same modes. But only after it dies can it be resurrected as faith.

I lost my confidence and I'm glad I did because while I was confident in me I could not have faith in Him. I wonder if today God brought you here not to give you back your confidence. You know. So you can get the girl and win the bid. I wonder if God brought you here to give you something better. That now that we have buried your need to prove that you're better than everybody else because you realize that all of our righteousness is like filthy rags. Are you ready now for a resurrection of faith? That's what had to happen to the disciples. They were so confident in Jesus as an earthly king. When He went to the cross it killed their confidence. Because they couldn't understand how He could set up a kingdom and die on a cross. But He had to crucify their confidence in order to give life to their faith.

The same thing is happening in your life right now. Your gettin' older or you got rejected or something's happening in your body. It's not working like it used to. God is trying to give you something greater than confidence in your flesh. I've seen what my flesh can do and I put no confidence in it anymore. I've seen what my effort can accomplish. I don't wanna preach based on my opinions anymore. I'm ready now for the righteousness that comes on the basis of faith. Will you lift your hands in God's presence.

Father, I thank You for the word that You sent forth from this pulpit today. While I understand God that there's a deep need in all of our hearts to feel assured that everything is gonna be alright I understand that also there are times that are necessary for us that we have to question everything. Sometimes we have to be shaken to our core in order to find a foundation that is worth building on. I just believe today that You didn't give me this word so that I could preach it for myself. I believe that there is a brother or a sister who has lost their confidence because their circumstances have changed or they've come to a place where something that used to work for them doesn't work anymore. They have not been affirmed in certain ways. I believe that You sent me here to tell them today let it go and receive something better. So as their hands are lifted to You and their hearts are open to You God would You in each and every heart in this place fill our perspectives with faith. Take away our confidence in our flesh. God even if we can do it in our own strength we can't sustain it in our own strength. We need You. We need You. You are our righteousness. You are the only confidence that we have.

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