Confidence in God answers our questions. Our trials and tests are for furtherance of the Gospel. Have you ever gotten into a situation when you wonder if you’re really called by God? We calculate everything. But the Lord asks us to cast our cares upon on Him. (Philippians 1:5-6)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli
Sermon # 11671
6:30 PM on 4/28/2019
(Php 1) A lot of verses in this epistle are about confidence. I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence in God, in his grace, his love, his word and his eternal purpose.
Php. 1:6 can you say amen to that? God who begins something, will perform it. Don’t mess up the middle. God begins, God performs and he brings it to completion. We muddy the middle. Don’t do that.
vs. 7. Two ways this reads depending on the manuscripts. I have you in my heart and you have me in your heart. It says both of them.
(P. Shibley shared how he got punched in the face in France.). That was my first mission’s trip and you were in France for four years. I go back to that story because in a place called Aigues Mortes, which means “The City of Dead Waters,” I got an idea from someone on the team the pastor was going to ask me to speak or share like in an evangelistic outreach. I decided I wasn’t going to do that. I never had spoken much before. There was this huge boat and I hid behind the boat. Someone found me and said the pastor is looking for you. I was very nervous shaking in my boots. They had open restaurants, massive restaurants with people sitting there, maybe double this church. He said stand in the middle of all four of these restaurants and start to preach. I stood there with Monique and preached the message. I talked about living waters and didn’t know the name of the city was dead waters! You can receive living water from God. That helped a little in my confidence.
You have an assurance, a conviction. You are convinced or persuaded. You have confidence in God. So many things that happen in people’s lives – fears, doubts, and insecurities – stem from a lack of confidence in God. Being persuaded who God is in your life.
The first time P. Stevens said to me in Springfield, Massachusetts in the early 80s, 1981 or 1982. He was on the steps and we had two lions at the entrance. We were offered a lot of money for them. He said God has called you to be a pastor and a preacher. I said I used to trust your discernment! I’m good with criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, talking to people one on one, but you’ll never get me to speak to anybody. That will never happen. Get the thought out of your mind. Pastor was sitting there grinning. I was going through this spiel with a guilty conscience. I had such a fear I didn’t want anyone to mention it. At a snack bar in Lenox, he said I want you to share from Philippians. I said for what? He said talk about the Bible. I’m like, no! Then he said, Steve Scibelli is going to say something about Philippians. I got up and mumbled and fumbled with all kinds of ideas.
You have to have confidence in God. Sometimes after preaching or teaching and you are riding home and you say, did any of that make any sense? My wife corrects me and says it’s a great message. It’s an incredible problem. I believe it’s the foundation behind why there are so few preachers, and pastor-teachers today. People gravitate to doing something else because they lack confidence in God. It’s important they understand this.
They were in big trouble. First their apostles were in prison. Their pastor is dying. He’s sick unto death. Two women were causing a massive division in the church. Then they had false gospels everywhere. They were a Roman colony. They called them the dogs of the concision. The legalistic Jews were at their heels spiritually biting them everywhere they went and attacking the church. It’s not a very large church. There is great opportunity to have no confidence. Envy and murmuring and strife and people contesting each other. It was a mess. He keeps using this word. Being confident, being persuaded, being assured. Trusting he who begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. He’s going to do it. We start and we are moving along rapidly and some things can come into our lives and we find ourselves without confidence. It could be a sickness or a marriage situation, opposition at work, a trial or test, and before you know it, the confidence we had with God in the beginning we get a little bit anxious, nervous and wondering if this is the call of God. He talks about being confident.
He says I want you to be confident in vs 14. My prison sentence will bring the gospel further. Our trials and tests might be for the furtherance of the gospel, the furtherance of my walk with God. vs. 25, he says it again. I know the church is going to go further. There is going to be a growth, a progress of the gospel. It says “trust” but it’s the same word again. I am confident I’m going to come to you shortly.
Having no confidence in the flesh. How easy it is to have confidence in the flesh. Maybe we’ve done some things for a long time. We could have even been involved with church planting, evangelism, prayer and develop a confidence based on fundamental truths on what we’ve done and have no confidence in God right now. Don’t have any confidence in the flesh. I think sometimes about where I have had my confidence sourced in. I don’t have confidence in God.
This last trip I took 9 airplane flights. You think I have confidence in pilots? No. I have confidence in God keeping the plane in the air. Up and down 18 times. Go through immigration another ten times. Take your belt off; take your shoes off. I said I’m going to be 72. Isn’t there a law you don’t have to take your belt and shoes off? Not in this country. I said in my bag I had 100 paper clips and wound ten together and said, I could cut your throat with these. He said we don’t have them on the watch list. You better put them on! Having confidence!
When I look at P. Chris’ father and mother, 80 years old and I watch them riding bicycles. You know what that does for me? I’m young! I could ride a unicycle! Not tonight though! Here is this family. The father and mother and children and grandchildren; there’s ten of them. Seven of the Arman’s on outreach. The confidence they have. When I first thought about P. Chris going to Zambia under P. Renaldo, I had confidence from God. When someone said he’s going to go to Malawi, I said, I don’t know. Can he plant a church? I didn’t have the confidence in him. What a thing to say working in missions. He proved me wrong. He proved God right and every man a liar. I saw 170 people walk across the stage. You know how long that took. He said you have to stand up and shake every one’s hands. I said no, I’m not. I’m going to sit and they can shake my hands from a seated position. I’m tired and it’s hot. I didn’t have confidence in God to keep me up. He’s naming them. There were 40 people because of border crossings and no money that didn’t show up. 240 graduates from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in one graduation. There are people there that have confidence in God. I had this thing in my arm. I felt something sting me in my arm, and it was a spider. I said God, I have confidence in you I’m not going to get sick and be in the hospital. I trust you. And it worked.
Confidence in God. How does the finances look? If my confidence is in the flesh and in people and the government. I had this big debate with the doctor there. He says you Christians don’t believe in doctors. I said especially you! I had to give him a good jab. “You can’t pray to God and expect him to heal you. The medical profession was sent by God.” I said yes, but I’m going to God first. He was saying this to ten pastors. He was being used by the devil to take people’s confidence away from God’s ability to intervene. How many think God can change a person’s health and heal them? He can do it. Amen. He’s done it. When I had a stroke, I had no confidence. I was sitting in the house for weeks. I went to take myself to the plaza and my wife said you have your pajamas on. You’re not ready. I was nervous about everything. Everything you do after having a stroke you have no confidence.
Ever approach the Bible and it seems there is nothing there? It happens to everybody. We are evaluating it based on human understanding. I have confidence in God when I’m reading the Bible that God is speaking to me. He’s going to help me to grow. I have confidence when I pray that God hears my prayers even if it’s silence or no or later. I’m just getting to know you God in prayer.
I visited a place and in this place is where East African missions began. It was a cave. In this cave – I mentioned him this morning -Alexander MacKay left Scotland and came by boat to Mombasa, Kenya on the east coast of Africa. The trip killed seven out of eight of them. How would you like to lead that team? Maybe this mission is not from God. He’s alone. They had to cut their way. They had to make a road from Mombasa to [?]. They had to build a boat to cross the lake. You’re kidding me. You know British Air. They had to come around Africa which took three months and build a road to get to Lake Victoria and build a boat to cross Lake Victoria to get to their mission field. By the time they got there, he was the only one…King Mutesa says we want none of your gospel. We have prepared a cave prison for you. In this cave, he started a mission there. King Mutesa was known for eradicating people with the sword. MacKay began the ministry in the cave. That cave is still there. Christianity began in a cave. That’s incredible. MacKay had confidence in the call of God. MacKay had incredible confidence.
Moses needed that. Who am I? He had no confidence in God or who God was making him to be. Joshua, be strong. He had no confidence in God. Gideon, go in this thy might. Who me? I’m just a little boy. He had no confidence. Jonah lacked confidence in God. God says as you approach and live this life on a daily basis, trust me. Simply trust me. Simple faith defeats sophisticated darkness. Having confidence in God. We can find ourselves getting so wrapped up as Christians even, we begin to think with human thinking and lose our confidence in God. We’re not willing to take incredible steps of faith because we have confidence in him. We have to calculate everything.
I said to my wife, we’re going to Ghana. Where is that? West Africa. Did God call you? Yes. Let’s go. Eight hockey bags and she’s not carrying one. We stay in the Satellite Hotel and she’s cooking with charcoal, a spaghetti and rice diet. Is this really God? We went to Ethiopia and rented a house with no water, doors, light, or windows. She [Linda] said, good job! Welcome! You can lose your confidence especially when your husband is supposed to be a mission’s person. She realizes he had no idea what he was doing. She was right. God said go to this YMCA and evangelize for 30 days and watch what happens. In 30 days, there were 40 people in the church. They had to clean the kitchen every time. Ants and bugs and food everywhere. That loud Pentecostal church across the hall from us, you couldn’t even think. It was so loud. Today, there are 53 churches in Uganda, not because of people but because of God. I don’t care who you are or what kind of mindset you have.
Isaiah 6, you say you are unclean and undone but your eyes have seen the King. Have confidence in me.
Jer 1 say not you are a child. I’m going to ordain you to be a man who will change a nation. The devil is always robbing our confidence, our trust in God. You got to be practical. What do you mean there is no more facility in Massachusetts? Where are you going? Baltimore. What is there? Who knows! All we know is we can have confidence in God. God is waiting for people to grab ahold of confidence in God. Confident of this very thing, he began a work. Put your kids in God’s hands. He loves them more than you do. I don’t hear too many amens on that! Have confidence in God. Trust God. Leave it to God. Give it to God.
Acts 27 he’s in a boat. The captain, the centurion….everybody is there and ready to die. Paul says I’d like to talk to you 276 people in my congregation. An angel of God spoke to me today and I believe God it will be as he told me. Acts 27:25 Paul, this little five foot 7 inch Jewish guy stands us with a squeaky voice and changes the tide of everything. Mary Slessor, 52 years in Nigeria. Confidence in God. There are young people here. If Satan robs our confidence, we go the way the world wants us to go. He’s called us to be his amazing ambassadors. At the graduation in Uganda, the prime minister of the country was there. The Ugandan ambassador to the United States was sitting next to me.
I get up and preach a message from Titus 1:9. I hit every error in 45 minutes you can imagine. I went after everyone’s jugular vein. I know what God told me to say. He [the prime minister] gets up and says I have nothing to say after that message. I’m going to repeat what he says. What a message that was. God, this is incredible. I didn’t have any confidence he would get that. He was amazing. He said if any Greater Grace church in this country has any problem, you come to my office. I’ll take care of the problem. I’ll write this one down because we’re always in trouble! I’ve been deported so many times. We have confidence in God as a ministry. We’re in 75 countries. Let’s be in 100 countries with a thousand churches in a few years. How are we going to do that? Have confidence in God.
Those 11 Galileans trusted in God. They had confidence in God. Wives, build your husband up in having confidence in God. Every time he wants to take a step of faith, forget the “how are we going to” and the “ifs.” Let’s trust God.
Every Friday night after my 6-8 p.m. class and the summer class, we have a prayer meeting from 8 to 10 right here. P. Atul is heading it up and we will have confidence God will move because of the prayers Friday night. What else are you going to do? Go to some stupid movie…the way my mother and wife cooked, there isn’t any need to go anywhere. My mother is in heaven now cooking for Jesus. A special menu, macaroni and meat balls! Even the angels are flapping their wings! Annette is cooking today! I’m having fun.
Let’s have confidence in God. I have no confidence in the flesh, the world, politicians or the system. I have no confidence in superficial organization and administration. God will put it together. We put our confidence in God. How do you build a church? Confidence in God to get you property and pay the bills. Confidence in God when we speak to people they hear the word of God and they come. Give. Great offering tonight. Throw the check book in there! Confidence in God.
Paul said at the end of his life no one stood with me, 2 Tim. 4:17-18. Even at the end of his life when he was alone, he never lost confidence in God. He trusted in God.
Trust in God for your personal life, marriage, raising children, single life, whatever it may be. Have confidence in God. He who began a good work in you will perform it how long? Until the day of Jesus Christ.
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