Gospel Confidence

Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? [God] said, “But I will be with you.”
— Exodus 3:11-12 ESV

I drove to Miami yesterday thinking I was going to provide a little help for a church planter. In the end, I was the one who was helped. God provided truth from above from a friend Down Under.

Guy Mason is a minister of Jesus serving City On A Hill in Melbourne, Australia. Yesterday we sat talking about life and the work the Lord has given us. Our conversation turned to confidence, specifically what Guy termed "gospel confidence."

Guy took me to Exodus 3 and the familiar story of Moses and the burning bush.  God has an assignment for Moses, but the former Egyptian prince wants no part of it. Excuses fall like a South Florida rain. Moses defiantly digs in his heels, but it is just his insecurity leaking out. 

So how does God woo the worried? As Guy pointed out to me, God doesn't respond with a heavenly pep talk. God does not say:

  • "You can do it, Moses! I believe in you!"
  • "You're the man!"
  • "You've got to push through this!"
  • "Suck it up soldier!"

God does none of that. Instead of shoring up Moses' confidence with more of Moses, God gives him more of God.

[God] said, “But I will be with you.”

No sooner did Guy repeat God's words, "I will be with you" than he was pointing me to Jesus' great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Guy looked at me and said, "Tommy, what does Jesus say to these disciples to whom he has tasked with the responsibility for carrying his message to the world?"

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
— Matthew 28:20 ESV

It was a simple truth and a powerful lesson. The confidence to tackle every daunting task I face as a follower of Jesus comes from Jesus himself. Apart from him I can do nothing (John 15:5); with him I can do everything God gives me to do (Philippians 4:13).

As Tim Keller has noted, "The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s of Christianity -- it is the A to Z of Christianity." The good news of Jesus is eternal life for sure, but that life includes the promise of his presence today. And it is his presence which is the ground for my confidence and yours -- no matter how difficult the assignments we face.