Expectation: Bold, Confidence That God Will Answer!May 20, 2016
I want to talk with you this month about the word “expectation.” What are you expecting God to do in your life because you petitioned Him for your needs and desires based on His Word? You’ve made your request known, but now what are you doing? What should be your position, spiritually speaking, from the time you prayed about the dream or desire that is painted so vividly on the canvas of your heart?
The apostle Paul had something powerful to say about our posture in petitioning the Father for our needs, and that’s what I want to share with you in this month’s teaching letter. In Ephesians 3:12, Paul wrote, “In whom [in Christ] we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”
I’m so grateful for all the wonderful doctrinal truths and godly, Christ-like qualities my pastor and church family planted in me during my growing-up years. But I have to say, in all the years I attended my church, I don’t ever personally remember a time when I heard anyone pray boldly or confidently — with an expectation that God would actually do what he or she asked Him to do! I simply had no idea what bold, confident praying sounded like until I attended a seminar at another church where a special speaker was teaching on the subject of faith.
At that seminar, I could hardly believe my ears! The man prayed like he actually believed that what he was praying would come to pass! At first I was offended, because I mistook his confidence for arrogance. But the longer I listened, the more I realized this man really believed that God was listening to him and that God would do what he asked of Him. With all the years of sincere praying I had heard in my life, I had never heard such confidence in prayer. That day changed my life, as I realized for the first time this truth: If we really know the will of God, we can approach God boldly and confidently — and we can expect answers to our prayers!
One of the scriptures that came alive to me at that time of my life was Ephesians 3:12, which says, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” The words “in whom” tell us that our confidence is not based on ourselves, but on our relationship with Jesus Christ. When we really know that we are in Christ, there is no longer a need to be sheepish about asking for what God has already promised us in His Word. Ephesians 3:12 tells us that we can come to God with boldness and confidence!
The word “boldness” in this verse is from the Greek word parresia, which describes a frankness of speech that is often viewed as unflinching authority — even in the face of opposition. It presents a picture of unashamed boldness. It also is associated with joy and courage. But in addition, Paul goes on to tell us that we can have “confidence” in Christ as we pray.
The word “confidence” is a derivative of the Greek word peitho, which, in most cases, means persuasion. However, in this verse, the word persuasion isn’t enough. The Greek form used here depicts absolute confidence — that is, one who is doubly persuaded. You could say that this person is convinced to the core — rock-solid certain about what he believes. He is so completely persuaded and trustful of what he believes that no element of doubt remains.
These words describe exactly what I heard so long ago in that seminar when I first heard someone pray with utter boldness. It took me off-guard because I’d never heard such bold praying. But as I listened, I understood that the man prayed with such confidence because he knew he was standing firm on promises in God’s Word. His boldness was based on his assurance of God’s faithfulness to perform what He had promised. This man was thoroughly convinced that God’s promises were trustworthy and true, and that confidence caused him to pray with bold authority.
If you’re not already doing this, I encourage you today to use your God-given authority without flinching as you boldly and unashamedly put God in remembrance of His promises. He’s waiting to hear your voice of authority today! He invites you to come boldly to His throne of grace to seek mercy and grace to help in your time of need (see Hebrews 4:16).
When you are certain of your right-standing in Christ, it provides you with a foundation on which to stand. You are convinced of what God has promised you. You have a certainty that when you pray, God hears you and will do as you have asked. This means you don’t need to feel sheepish or embarrassed when you go to Him with vital needs in your life. As you stand on the promises of His Word, you can lift your voice in humility and confidence, believing He hears you and knowing that if you ask anything according to His will, you will receive it.
The blood of Jesus has purchased you, cleansed you, and given you right-standing with God. On that truth, you can go before Him convinced to the core that His promises are alive, active, and at work in your life. When you pray, pray like God really hears you — because He does! Be absolutely convinced of that fact. That’s not arrogance; it’s divinely inspired confidence. And when you pray like that, Heaven and earth move out of the way for God to activate His power and manifest His blessings on your behalf!
How can Denise and I and our team be adding our faith to yours this month? We count it an honor as we’re praying for you every day to lift up your specific needs in expectation of an answer from Heaven tailor-made for you.
We love you and we thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families