September 3, 2008
"I Have Confidence!"
by Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor
"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
but of those who believe and are saved."
One of my favorite moments in "The Sound of Music" comes when Maria's perky "I Have Confidence" song suddenly ends at the sight of the Von Trapp mansion. She gulps and just manages to squeak, "Oh, help."
This last week presented me with some similar moments, as my husband David and I got off the proverbial bus and discovered this road led to a rather different place than we'd expected. We knew we were following God's leading, thanks to the peace He'd given us so far. But seeing that great big house - a rather different opportunity than we had expected - made us gulp and wonder if we were in over our heads. For a day, we were stuck. Unsure about walking through that gate, we thought about continuing along the road and looking for a not-so-huge opportunity to trust God.
As we surveyed our options, we pondered what it means to take a "step of faith." We've never heard of someone taking a step backward in faith, we realized. We were confident that the Lord would direct us to the right place, and apparently this gate we need to walk through. The final push came from Hebrews 10:35, as the author writes, "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded." Confidence? "Oh, help."
God must chuckle when we go bug-eyed at His plans. I'm like Maria as she stands before that gate, wondering how she'll manage when this place so little resembles what she anticipated. Thankfully, the confidence to take the step of faith lies not "in me," but in knowing that God has led me to my destination. The Lord answers my cries of "oh, help!" with ultimate peace and a taste of what He has planned just beyond the bend.
The apostle Paul knew how to strip away the fears and insecurities and see the essentials. Paul visited some incredible places, and had some incredible adventures on his missionary journey. I'm sure that very little could surprise him by the end of his lifetime. Yet he wrote to the Corinthian church that even in his vast experience, nothing kept him going forward except God's calling (2 Cor. 3:5). The confidence to carry out his mission came from knowing who sent him and who directed his steps. He had seen God work, and knew that the Lord would provide everything necessary, including the confidence to walk forward.
Intersecting Faith & Life: In Jeremiah 29:11, God says simply, "I know the plans I have for you… plans to give you hope, and a future." That means God's plans for us don't include dead ends, but more opportunities. When we believe this, practical changes happen. We don't "shrink back," but step out in faith. How does this look in your job situation? In your family? In your leisure time?