We've come to the end of the Confidence journey... not because that's all God says about the matter, but because July came to an end, I returned home, and the Lord put a period on that set of lessons with a final illustration.
In all the journeying we do, getting dirty is unavoidable. Just in terms of restrooms (stay with me ;) ) I visited: planes, boats, campsites, gas stations, coffee shops, restaurants, churches, homes, offices, airports, museums, and a few places I'm not sure what to call them. I might've even had a "moment of desperation" in the woods. :/ Do you know that on many overnight flights, attendants bring you a hot cloth to wash your hands/face? It helps, but it doesn't deal with all the dirty. The feeling of clean is temporary. I can testify that after being on a plane all night, sitting in airports, waiting on hot runways, riding buses, etc - I am not eager to be seen! Being dirty has a way of robbing you of your confidence. Instead of being confident, "dirty me" wants to hide. Doing life here in this world makes us dirty.
My face was crying out for a really deep cleaning, so I rummaged through my bathroom cabinet back for a solution ... a mask! This was the kind of mask you smear on, let harden, and then wait in statue-like position until it's time to wash it off. I invited my sweet Jo to join me for the fun.
Through my July journeys I chewed on Paul's words in Philippians, and while he didn't ever say he smeared on a mask, he talks about confidence that comes from getting CLEAN. Remember, this is from the man who admitted he had more reason to be confident in his flesh than anyone. Listen to what he says about turning from his personal achievements to God's powerful ability in his life:
Phil. 3:7-9 (The Message)
The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.(emphasis mine)
Getting clean by taking on the righteousness from trusting Christ gives us Real Confidence. There is no person or exercise on earth that can take away my heart's "dirty" and make me clean. Only the perfect person of Jesus Christ, who is God (Look at Phil. 2:5-11), has what it takes to remove my mask, pulling out the sin dirty with it, and leave me clean.
Are you still hoping for someone to bring you a hot cloth to wash off the top layer of dirt in your life? It's not the same, and it doesn't leave us with Real Confidence. We can try to put on extra layers of good things to help us look and smell better, but they ultimately add to the grime, if we just put them on top of our sin . I think that's why I named my blog "Come Have a Peace," because God wants us to accept the cleansing He offers us, so we can experience a relationship with Him and the peace and confidence that come from it.
As I've been sharing my lessons in confidence with you, I've prayed you would see some of what I saw and know Real Confidence in Christ. Do you know what it means to be clean, really clean?