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You aren’t defined by your successes or your failures

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Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

 

Paul circles around the phrase “confidence in the flesh.” Paul realizes in these few phrases he has everything going for him, and if he wanted to, he could find confidence within himself. Yet, he boldly claims his assurance doesn’t result from this reality. Paul’s confidence doesn’t come from his personal successes or present circumstances – from his Jewish nationality, his strong heritage, his stringent obedience, or his passionate personality.

Ironically, the Old Testament Judge, Gideon, felt just the opposite. When the Lord said to him, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian,” Gideon responded, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:14-15). When Gideon realized his confidence in the flesh came up short, he responded timidly out of major insecurity. Yet, in the end, he stepped onto the battle field. Both Paul and Gideon were simply human. One thought much of himself and one thought very little. Yet, neither Paul nor Gideon could rely on their own confidence. They both came to the place where courage and faith went beyond their circumstance.

Perhaps you feel more like Paul. You have much going for you and if you wanted to, you could find plenty of confidence in yourself. You have the ability to achieve – to make things happen and accomplish the things you set out to accomplish. Or, perhaps you feel more like Gideon. Your situation looks less promising. You feel a lack of confidence and uncertainty in your own abilities. Well, it’s time to cheer up. Thankfully, confidence is available regardless of how you feel about yourself. When you’ve become God’s child and through faith, you now live in a new reality. You can live confidently knowing he’s chosen you. Paul was one of his. Gideon was one of his. You are one of his. You aren’t defined by your successes or your failures. You stand in confidence knowing you are a child, not a slave. Remember this truth today by listening to Not a Slave by Bethel.

 

But when the fullness of time had come,
God sent forth his Son, born of woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons,
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying, “Abba! Father!”
So you are no longer a slave,
but a son, and if a son,
then an heir through God.
– Galatians 4:4-7

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By Yvonne Biel 

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