With what confidence do you live your life? I am not talking about “self-help”, but about real confidence. People will spend a lot of time trying to get better at something so they can be “more confident” in that thing. I spend time throwing balls with my boys so that they can learn to play football and baseball. Every time they catch the ball, they become that much more confident in it. Parents try to teach their children to be more confident in themselves in order to succeed in life. But, that confidence is only helpful in the rather mundane areas of life. Confidence in self might land you a job, but it certainly won’t give you everything you need in life. In fact, relying too heavily in yourself will actually get you into trouble.
In a world of religious pluralism, more and more Christians are finding themselves to be less confident to answer the objections to what they believe in. It is with persistent fervor that secular people will try to remove anything to do with God from society. They are doing a pretty good job of taking away the resolve many Christians have to hold the line on the truth. Some people just don’t want to get into some sort of disagreement. Some don’t want to offend and will go to great lengths to remain neutral on everything in order to do that. This is not exactly a confident position to take.
The assault on the Word of God continues, but that doesn’t mean it is less true. In the midst of mocking of any kind, no matter what is said, the truth of God’s Word remains. It is the same all the time.
In the Old Testament story of Elijah and King Ahab in 1 Kings 18, something very interesting happens. I have read the story many times and I had glossed over this very important part of the story before. Ahab and Jezebel were not God-fearing leaders. They worshipped gods of Baal and Asherah and commanded that everyone else do the same. Jezebel killed many of the Lord’s prophets during this time. But, a man named Obadiah, who was a person in charge of Ahab’s palace, was devoted to God and protected many of God’s people.
“Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water.” – 1 Kings 18:13
This picture of the snails is actually what came to mind when I read this. No, I don’t think that believers look like this, but this was a little collection of slugs that my kids gathered last summer. You see, they thought they were doing them a favor by collecting them. They wanted to save them from being stepped on or eaten by birds, so they started putting them on this bench. Their main interest was to protect these things from harm. Obadiah did the same thing, but at a great cost. He risked everything in order to serve the Lord!
As far as the story goes, you need to not let the simplicity of that statement make you miss the significance of that. If Jezebel found out what Obadiah was doing, he would be killed. Yet, he put his life on the line in order to save God’s people. Where does such confidence come from? If Obadiah did not believe in the Word of the Lord, would he put his life on the line? I don’t believe so. In fact, would anyone give their life for something they didn’t believe in? I don’t think so.
God’s Word will always come up against opposition. In some parts of the world, people are still being killed for their faith. Does it mean we cower and hide? No. The world still needs to know Jesus Christ. We can confidently proclaim Him because He lives and in Him we also live forever. Let’s let our confidence in His Word, guide our feet to the work He would have for us.