While I was in praying this morning, I came to a notion that I had some hidden confidence in a project of mine. Now, is there anything wrong with having confidence? No, absolutely not. However, when we as believers begin to trust more in our confidence—however that may manifest itself, e.g. things, people, accomplishments, money, status, etc—and not being confident in God and His plan, that's when it becomes a problem.
Maybe some of you are wondering what I mean by "hidden confidence". What I mean by "hidden confidence" is self-confidence (i.e. the confidence I just spoke of above that is wrong) that masquerades itself as godly confidence (i.e. confidence in God or confidence that's pleasing unto God). It was this "hidden confidence" that I was sensing creeping around in my heart.
Right as I detected this hidden confidence, the Spirit brought to my mind the story of David taking a census of the people. We find this story in 2Samuel 24 and 1Chronicles 21. This census David took came on the heels of his last words (2Sam. 23:1-7) and the story of his mighty men (2Sam. 23:8-23). Is there anything wrong with taking a census of the people? No, not necessarily. We see Moses did it in Exodus 30:12 and Numbers chapter 1, 4, 26, and 31:48-49. So then what was wrong with David's census? David's census came from his hidden confidence, not by the direction of God as with Moses. Here we see David resting his confidence not in God and what God's done, but in the number of people under his own rule. David had gone against the objection of his army commander and the captains of the army (2Sam. 24:3-4, 1Chron. 21:3-4) and had the people numbered anyway. Afterwards, he realized his sin (2Sam. 24:10, 1Chron. 21:8). David worded it as a great sin and scripture records it as evil in the eyes of God, so much so that there was a serious consequence (2Sam. 24:11-15, 1Chron. 21:9-12).
Before I read this story, I was talking out in prayer why and where I believe there was some hidden confidence in this particular project of mine. After I read this story is how I was able to see my hidden confidence as a problem. I was beginning to put more trust in a portion of my planning for this project and not being fully confident in God and His plan for my project. Praise God for prayer, the Holy Spirit, and His Word! All three of these helped warn me and keep me from a potentially great sin. I could have easily succumb to this hidden confidence, rejected the prompting of the Holy Spirit, disregarded the Word, and continued building this project believing I was truly confident in God but secretly holding on to my own confidence. But God is faithful! I love that He knows me better than I know me, and He won't let me stay the same me. I love that He loves me so much that His desire and plan is to conform me into the image of His Beloved!
Believers, be warned about this hidden confidence and not taking it seriously, but also be encouraged that the Spirit will bring it to your attention!
"God judges not of sin as we do. What appears to us harmless, or, at least, but a small offence (sic), may be a great sin in the eye of God, who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. Even ungodly men can discern evil tempers and wrong conduct in believers, of which they themselves often remain unconscious. But God seldom allows those whom he loves the pleasures they sinfully covet." -Matthew Henry