CONFIDENCE OR ARROGANCE

Psa. 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.

His praise endures forever.

True wisdom comes from God, the man who’s has this wisdom has come under the influence of the fear of God. After all, that’s where wisdom has its start. This true wisdom has, at first glance, almost a conflicting effect on us. First it produces incredible humility, in the light of God’s wisdom we realize how little we really know. At the same time, this wisdom from above produces confidence. If we know we have wisdom and guidance from the Lord we can proceed in real boldness. So how can you tell the difference between confidence in the Lord and confidence in ourselves? You have to rely on the smell test. Arrogance has the smell of man on it. Confidence in the Lord smells like the fragrance of Christ, it is infused with humility. Here are some interesting comments from Martin Luther on this apparent irony.

“You should beware of two extremes. One is becoming arrogant about your wisdom and plans. The other is becoming depressed when things go wrong. God forgives and even blesses the mistakes of faithful people. All of us make mistakes. We consider ourselves wise and knowledgeable. Yet in our sincere desire to help, we can end up causing a lot of damage. If God in his wisdom and compassion didn’t correct our mistakes, we would make a mess out of our lives. Does that mean that people should do nothing and just run away from all their responsibilities? Not at all. You should faithfully do the job that God has given you to do. Don’t rely on your own wisdom and strength, and don’t pretend to be so smart and important that everything has to be done your way. Don’t be ashamed to get on your knees and pray, “Dear God, you gave me this job. Please teach and guide me. Give me the knowledge, wisdom, and strength to perform my duties tirelessly and well.”
So how do you flee from arrogance and come into the fear of the Lord? It always boils down to the same two things. Spend time soaking yourself in God’s word, it is alive and powerful and is the very wisdom of God. Secondly, draw near to God and wait in His presence. In the presence of His majesty you will see His greatness and holiness. The results? You will be consumed by the fear of God.

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