Quiet Confidence

All is barren “until the Spirit from on high is poured out on us. Then the desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will be like a forest. Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. The result of righteousness will be peace; and the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever” (Isaiah 32.15-17). 

When I first trusted in Christ back on July 17, 1990 something happened that I didn’t fully understand at the time. God the Holy Spirit indwelled me. That is, He made His home within me and I became a temple of God. A period of time followed my salvation that could be characterized by a hunger and thirst for righteousness and peace. Subjectively, I felt at peace and the world around me seemed “strangely dim” as the hymn writer put it. Objectively, I had peace with God because of the work of Christ on the cross for me. His death for my sin; His resurrection for my righteousness (a right standing before God). 

All was barren until the Holy Spirit was poured out on me. All these years later, the Holy Spirit is still with me. He never left me. He comforts me and convicts me. He is ever faithful even though I have quenched His work in and through me. I have grieved Him in so many ways with my thoughts, words, and actions. Where does this leave me today?

I desire that the Holy Spirit control my thoughts, words, and actions each moment of each day as long as the Lord gives me breath. When the influence of the Holy Spirit is strong in my life, He is filling or controlling me. The waxing and waning of the Holy Spirit’s influence in my life demonstrates my desire for a holy, righteous, and just life or my desire to hide in the darkness of sin. I struggle between these two. This struggle is the experience of every true Christian (see Romans 7). The Bible teaches us that we either live life controlled by the Holy Spirit or we are carrying out our own sinful desires (the flesh). “I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5.16-17). My responsibility is to walk in the Holy Spirit. That is, I must live a daily life oriented by the Word of God and ignited by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is the fuel for the ignition of the Holy Spirit. I am energized as I feed on the Word of God with a conscious dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s ministry of giving me right understanding and right desire.

“The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.” I know that the Holy Spirit is working in and through me when I am settled with a quiet confidence. Trust in my Lord Jesus yields fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in my life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The results of fleshly living are clear all around us: adultery, fornication, unclean news, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath (anger), selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (see Galatians 5.19-23). 

It is true that I participate in fleshly living and live contrary to the position I have in Christ and the privileges granted me by the Holy Spirit. But while I give into the desires of the flesh, I lose my quiet confidence. I lose the assurance given to me by the Holy Spirit. I am participating in the practice of fleshly living. I am doing the same things that unbelieving people around me do. There is no holiness or distinctive Christian living. I don’t lose my identity as a child of God. God never forsakes me. However, I do lose the power and strength I need to reflect the character of God to the world around me. This is the purpose for which God has left me here all these years. Therefore, I lose quiet confidence and find chaotic anxiety and chastening from God until I repent. Once I come back to Him, He graciously and mercifully restores my confidence and assurance.

Father, give me the desire of my heart as I delight myself in You this morning. Help me to live in such a way that I bring your honor and glory. Holy Spirit, let people around me see the effect of righteousness in my own quiet confidence. Fill me with Your fruit so that I might bring honor to the Lord Jesus. Dearest Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for my privileged position in the Kingdom of Your Father. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Fully rescue me from the presence of this sinful world. 

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