For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of You.
Psalm 71, written by David, speaks of God as a refuge and fortress and rock in the midst of the plots and schemes of ruthless men against him. As I read again this morning verses 5-6 stood out to me. It is clear that our great God is our refuge and strength in times of trouble. If you’re facing trials and difficulties, know that you can find salvation and help in Him.
But as I read these verses this morning, the word that jumped off the page was confidence. David declares that the Lord has been his confidence since his youth. David understood there was no room for self-reliance. Sure, there were huge failures in his life, but in the end, he always returned to the truth that without the Lord, he was hopeless. Think of David’s defeat of Goliath, his willingness to trust God’s timing in becoming king as he fled from Saul, and his reliance upon God as he led Israel.
Two Mission-Cripping Mindsets
As you consider your own life, maybe you realize you are looking to yourself for confidence in far too many instances. Doing this leads to two mission-crippling mindsets:
- Pride – If you fail to recognize God as the strength and provider of all things in your life, you begin to take credit for things that only God deserves. This makes you a glory thief, and God will not share His glory! This pride will quickly lead to Kingdom ineffectiveness.
- Fear – The opposite mindset created by self-reliance is that of fear. If you believe it is up to you to change the world in your strength and abilities and you recognize how short you fall in being able to do this, you will be handcuffed by fear. You’ll never dare to do great things because you think its up to you. This too hinders you from experiencing the fullness of what God wants to do through you.
A Proper Balance
When we find our confidence in the Lord, we’ll find proper balance between pride and fear. Pride is dispelled by confidence in the Lord because we recognize God as the source of power working through us to accomplish His mission.
Fear is dispelled when we understand its not up to us. All God is asking from us is surrender and obedience, and when we do this, we’ll see Him do things through us we never dreamed of doing. We will risk boldly when we know it is Him working in us.
Both of these proper mindsets give God all glory for what He does.
O Lord, may we find our confidence in You today, and may this keep us humble while daring greatly as we see You at work through us to change the world.
Rest in Jesus,