This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Focusing on Dying To Self”. We have been walking our way through the following passage for weeks. Let’s get back to it today.
The Apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him. From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now. When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!” (2 Cor 5:14-17 ERV).
We have been focused in on the line: “But we don’t think that way now.” Flowing in this vein, I shared several scriptures with you last and I briefly discussed each. One of the scriptures was Ephesians 1:17,18. The Apostle Paul said, “I always pray to the great and glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that he will give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The Spirit will let you know truths about God and help you understand them, so that you will know him better. I pray that God will open your minds (other translations say, “Flood your eyes with light”), to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.” (Ephesians 1:17,18).
Today we will close out this passage in Ephesians by focusing in on the last two sentences, “Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.”
The God’s Word translation reads, “Then you will have deeper insight. You will know the confidence that he calls you to have and the glorious wealth that God’s people will inherit.”
The New Living translation reads, “So that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”
The Message Bible reads, “So that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do.”
Allow me to summarize what Paul was saying here:
— Part of the role of the Holy Spirit is to flood your spiritual eyes with light, so you can know what God has called you to do.
— Once you have a certain level of certainty and clarity, you also have confidence.
— Divine confidence is NOT confidence in your ability to perform or your ability to ‘stay the course’, but rather God’s ability to perform through you and His dedication to your divine assignment.
— Confidence that is rooted and grounded in God is confidence that is unshakable, because it is not contingent upon human ability, strength or effort.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- Faith is about being sure and certain in both what God said and in His ability to keep His word (Heb 11:1).
- Part of the role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to you what you are called to do. Once you know, and you are certain, then this certainty gives you confident hope. This hope is confident because it is not based on you, but on the God who called you.
- Living by faith boils down to living with certainty and confidence. Your faith and confidence will always be strong if you maintain God as your source. As long as your confidence is in Him, and NOT your ability to perform, then your confidence can be unwavering.
- God wants you to know what He called you to do and He wants you to remain confident in His ability (not yours) to get it done.
- The one who called you [God] is more than capable of completing the assignment through you. Your part is simple: DYING TO SELF. The more you die, the more He can live through you, and the more He will see to it that His will is done in your life.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus in 2016. You gave me Your Spirit so I could know, with certainty, what You called me to do. Not only that, but You gave me Your Spirit and Your grace to get it done. So I live my life with clarity and focus, and with confidence and courage. My confidence is NOT based on me. If it were based on me or my ability to perform, my confidence would be shaky. But my confidence is STRONG and unwavering because it is based on YOU! I live my life with fearless confidence. I live my life with everlasting hope. I live my life with boundless optimism. I live my life focused on You, Your ability, Your strength, and Your commitment to me. Living this way I get to enjoy the life You birthed me to live and to make a mark in this world that will not be easily erased. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.