Being confident is a virtue unless it causes you to overestimate the depth of your faith in God. Peter was confident in his faith in God. And he once declared he would never leave nor forsake Christ. Yet, in time of uncertainty, he denied him three times.
Shortly after graduating from high school, I worked at a local grocery store. Each morning, I mopped the floors, packed the shelves, and sometimes cleaned the restrooms. Twice a week, a new stock came to our warehouse, and I offloaded the trucks.
One day, the store manager asked me to print price tags for new products. We didn’t have the new tech where you scan a barcode and the printer shoots a tag. I entered the barcodes on a computer and printed the price tags.
My boss showed me what to do and I was confident in my ability although I had used a computer only once before. But the price tags were wanted urgently. I buckled under pressure and messed up everything. And all my confidence vanished like dew in a summer morning.
I guess that’s the reason Paul warned:
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
-1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Overconfidence will ruin your faith in God
A time of uncertainty befell Israel following the death of Moses. God showed Joshua three things that could make him strong and courageous. Studying God’s Word, staying in his presence and living in obedience. Above all, these three things could help Joshua’s faith in God grow during the uncertain times.
Joshua told the children of Israel God’s commands. The children of Israel were confident in their faith in God. Sometimes, being overly confident with our obedience and faith in God is a sign of idolatry. We shouldn’t worship our faith in God more than we worship Christ.
Our confidence shouldn’t be in our abilities and capabilities but in Christ. Hence, we don’t obey God because we’re able to do what he says but because he’s faithful and true.
In their confidence, the children of Israel failed to learn from their fathers who perished in the wilderness because of evil desires, idolatry, sexual immorality, testing Christ, and constant grumbling.
How Rahab teaches us the importance of faith in God
In Joshua 2, we meet a prostitute called Rahab. She hears from Joshua’s spies that God intend to destroy Jericho. Faced with the uncertain future of Jericho, Rahab chose to have faith in God. She refused to trust in the military might and security of her believed country.
What lessons can we learn about growing our faith in God when the future looks uncertain?
1. Rahab defended those of the household of faith
Rahab put her life in danger so that God’s purpose could be accomplished. Rahab demonstrated had faith in God – the God who sent those men to spy on her city. Thus, as noted in Hebrews 11:31, “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”
2. Rahab gave up her city for the will of God
During the liberation war in Zimbabwe, people like Rahab had their tongue cut off. She was a sell-out and a traitor. Rahab was willing to commit treason so that God’s purpose could be accomplished. She gave up her home and her people because of her faith in God.
3. Rahab believed God was faithful and true
Rahab told the spies (Joshua 2:9), “I know that the Lord has given you the land.” How did a gentile prostitute know about God’s promises to Israel? Rahab agreed with Balaam (Numbers 23:19), “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
4. Rahab feared the Lord
Although Rahab never saw God drying the Red Sea nor destroying the kings of the Amorites, she feared the God of Israel nevertheless. Importantly, Rahab’s faith in God depended on the nature of God. Rahab’s concept of God was crafted through the stories of God’s dealings with the enemies of his people.
5. Rahab entrusted her life to the true God
Rahab used to depend on her beauty and the urges of sexually immoral men. Your faith in God is born by accepting that only God can deliver you from death. And not your abilities.
Your faith in God can restore other people’s faith
Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”
Image: Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua by Unknown