top of page

PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH

One of the privileges of being a Christian is that we can confidently put our trust in God. Though it happens, it is quite foreign to our higher life in Christ to have our confidence or trust placed on the flesh. Therefore we must learn to live with a high opinion of wisdom, by serving God in spirit and building our confidence in His ability, because we received our salvation ONLY through our faith in Christ Jesus.

Reference: Philippians 3:3 New International Version (NIV) "For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh"


Apostle Paul had so many reasons to put his confidence in the flesh. In fact he admitted that no one had more reasons to put confidence in the flesh than himself. Then he began to list his credentials from the human perspective: He was circumcised on the eighth day; he was of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews. In terms of the law, he was considered a Pharisee; as for zeal, he persecuted the church; as for righteousness based on the law, he was faultless. He was from a devout Jewish family based in the city of Tarsus and he followed the Jewish customs properly. If we consider his strength from the standpoint of the flesh, Paul was overqualified.


Encouragingly, Paul wrote our referenced Scripture saying, "put no confidence in the flesh". Whatever achievement, status or qualifications Paul saw as gains, he considered as loss for the sake of Christ. He said, "What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:7-8 NIV). Considering our topic today, it means that his confidence was not entirely in them but entirely in Christ Jesus.


Jeremiah 17:5 (NLT) says, 'Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD."' Beloved, we can make God irrelevant and the Holy Spirit inactive in our lives, whenever we choose to trust in the arm of flesh. Being entirely confident in one's own abilities or qualifications in any given situation is self-assurance. To stake or run our lives on the strength of the flesh, human ability, or our own good work is vanity and unwise, for by such strength shall no man prevail. But when we become overly conscious that we have God, we would easily look to Him in everything first, by focusing purely on Christ. And the good news is: Whenever we truly put all of our faith, trust and confidence in Christ, we are already walking in victory, no matter the situation.


God is the only One that has the capability to be trusted beyond measure because He can never disappoint or forsake His own; He surely keeps to His words. Confident Christians who have known and mastered this truth by experience don't boast in men. In one of his teachings, Paul said, "The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is worthless. Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:20-21 WEB). Paul's intention here was to address the immoderate or excessive dependence of the Corinthian church on mortal men or leaders of their choice, which was at the time causing division among them. Their allegiance to leaders of their preference, drew more of their attention away from being focused on the Lord. So Paul was teaching them as Christians, not to be too proud of men or put their trust on what they can do because in Christ, all things belonged to them. In other words, we must be wise and know who we are in Christ and thus, glory in Him.


If you are in Christ, you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. Therefore, you must be timely and deliberately conscious of who you are, where you belong and whose you are, and then put your confidence in the Lord always. Psalm 125:1 (NIV) says, "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever." Shalom!


Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 37:4-5; Isaiah 26:3-4; Jeremiah 17:7-8.


Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I place my confidence in the wisdom and power of your Spirit daily because you are a capable and dependable God. By doing so, my mind is constantly fixed in your peace and my soul experiences a deep sense of satisfaction. I express a thankful heart for circumcising the foreskin of my heart by your Spirit, which makes it possible for me to purely focus on Christ, thereby being wise in time and potentially relevant in eternity in Jesus' Name, Amen.


Comments


bottom of page