Words of Faith 10-2-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 5
 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  We live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
The Lord has left the deposit of the Spirit as a guarantee and the Spirit is at work in believers shaping us into the image of Christ as we await His coming. One result of this is confidence.
Confidence is a funny thing. People often value "self-confidence" but Paul is really talking about a "God-confidence". There is a difference. The Spirit does not make one any more confident in self or abilities or talents. But the Spirit does make us exceedingly confident that the Lord has a plan and has things under control and that He is returning to conclude all His business with humanity.
The Greek word used here is interesting. It is not a passive word, nor is it the most active word. There is a different Greek word used to describe a "daring, brash boldness exercised in extreme conduct". We see that sometimes in people. That is not what Paul is describing here. He was not really about "extreme faith" that draws attention to self or disturbs things for the sake of the disturbance.
The word Paul chose does not describing a subtly passive confidence either. The word Paul used, tharrheo, is the active exercise of confidence. The presence of the deposit of the Spirit calls us to exercise a confident courage knowing that this time that we are in the physical body we are away from Lord. Even though the Lord is with us by His Spirit, we are away from His physical presence and glory as we will someday know it.
Because of this, we live by faith and not by sight. We understand that the reality we trust by faith is far more solid and powerful than the so-called "reality" of this earth. The truth that we know from the revelation of Scripture and through the presence of the Spirit is much more authoritative than what we can see and touch.
What sustained Paul was the realization that this was a temporary and transitory state. He focused not on present but on future conditions, not on the seen but the unseen. To live this way is to live by faith, not by sight. It is to live in light of ultimate rather than immediate realities. As Paul wrote to the Romans-- "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" (8:24-25).
We are called to be obedient to God's commands despite the hardships that come with obedience. Such was Paul's life. If the choice were his, he would have seized the opportunity to depart this life and be at home with the Lord. As Paul wrote to the Philippians-- "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (1:21-23).
What does this mean for us? Paul's life is so instructive. He helps us to understand that we really are not of this world. We are not really citizens of earth as much as we are citizens of the Kingdom. The Spirit in us calls us to walk with confidence in Him by faith and not by sight. The Spirit calls us to a preference not for this world for our home with the Lord.
Father God, thank You for the deposit of Your Spirit in me. Give me a holy boldness that is humble before You. Give me the God-confidence that allows me to walk by faith and not by sight. Build in me the humble confidence that I am not at home here, but only in You. In Jesus' Name.