By James A. Washington – (Source: www.dallasweekly.com) – I have come to believe that confidence and discipline are spiritual concepts. Better yet, confidence coupled with discipline must surely be Godly. This coupling should by no means be confused with arrogance and ego. Faith requires discipline and together with spiritual confidence, the Godly result is power. The example I’d like to use is what happened in the Upper Room on Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit came upon the saints present, confidence and discipline is what resulted. These were already faithful people, but their lives would be forever changed as they received the power to spread the Word of God, a Word that changed the world. When you internalize this in a before and after scenario as I have, you begin to see their confidence coupled with a newfound Holy Spirit driven discipline, that takes their faith to new heights. Prior to this, the faithful huddled in secret, being faithful to the belief, that Jesus was truthful in His Word. He would send another. The “other” we know, turned out to be the Holy Spirit who gave them more of what they already had. Their faith was fortified with confidence and discipline which manifested itself in a unique ability to communicate and the world has not been the same since. If this is true, then it might prove valuable to you to understand where you might find this kind of discipline and confidence. Where do you go to get your gifts fortified? How do you manage to balance confidence, discipline, power and of course faith?
I just happen to believe that without spiritually based confidence and discipline, it is practically impossible to stand up to the daily challenges of life and the temptations that sometimes control our out-of-control behavior. You see the good news of the gospel is that wherever the Holy Spirit chooses to take up residence, change must occur. Of those forty or so saints in the Upper Room, many were faced with the opportunity to make their own lives easier if they would deny God in favor of man. Like Peter said before the Sanhedrin after the day of Pentecost, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19. This is the same Peter who denied Christ three times; an act of cowardice or simply the challenge put before a man not yet buoyed by the power of the Holy Spirit? Boy what a difference a day makes.
You remember Paul at Ephesus? “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:6. Now these twelve men were already baptized but the Holy Spirit was not yet in them. After that we are told they began to preach the gospel. Can you see the point? Look inwardly and make room for the Holy Spirit. Then seek his face. You are set apart. I believe the discipline coupled with the confidence of knowing you are a candidate for housing the Holy Spirit, gives you the power of the faithful as promised by God. I pray for this on any number of occasions. I think you might want to consider it also. That is the power that awaits you. May God bless and keep you always.
James A. Washington is the Co-Publisher of The Dallas Weekly and the author of Spiritually Speaking, Reflections for & from a new Christian, Vol. 1.