A friend and I have been discussing recently the importance of confidence in God, and also, confidence in our relationship with God.
The former truth is axiomatic in our understanding of Biblical truth. Confidence in our Lord's perfect faithfulness is the heartbeat of our response to His grace and truth. Scripture continually affirms that growing trust in our Heavenly Father energizes us to relate to Him more consistently, and thus to bear the fruit of the Spirit as the holy result. "He that believeth on Me, as the Scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
Confidence in our relationship with God, on the other hand, is not something we consider as often. It is a vital component nevertheless because regardless of how present, willing, and able we believe our Lord to be, we will not regularly approach Him if we perceive ourselves to be spiritually inept or unqualified. Failure to approach means failure to access the promises and power of God, leading to more and more failure and lukewarmness, and thus perpetuating a sad spiritual cycle of joyless inconsistency.
The relationship with God given to born again believers in the Lord Jesus is far more available to our access and experience than we usually realize. This is because our spiritual success is far more contingent on His faithfulness than on our own. We are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works," and while our response to His working is real and free and necessary, it is always the fruit of growing awareness and understanding of His devotion (Ephesians 2:10). "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19). This blessed dynamic of God capturing our heart by unveiling to us His own is the motivating illumination whereby "we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
Such truth ever beckons us to the throne of grace, and then sends us forth renewed, cleansed, energized, and changed. Sins are forgiven if we come in faith and the acknowledgement of our unbelief and disobdience. Discouragement dissolves as the willingness and enabling of God shine forth to assure that He is "for us" (Romans 8:31). We are changed into His likeness by beholding His likeness. And the more we come, the more we realize that we can come so long as we approach through the merits not of ourselves, but of the person and work of the Lord Jesus. We grow in confidence concerning our Christ-enabled access and freely given relationship with God, and a wonderful cycle of joyful consistency is established.
The New Testament redounds with glories our Lord declares He has already done for us and within us. As the Apostle Paul prayed for Philemon, the more we acknowledge "every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus," the more effectual our fellowship with God will become in our everyday lives (Philemon 1:6). Confidence in Him, and confidence in the relationship with Him established by His grace in the Lord Jesus - both blessed truths pave the path to the throne of God, and from the throne of God. Let us rejoice in both, and behold both paths becoming well worn as the days of our lives are more and more lived in the freely given and maintained gift of relationship with our blessed Lord.
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue."
(II Peter 1:3)
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."