[Note: I wrote this entry before leaving for the Regional Family Weekend on December 29, 2006, and I had set the timestamp to delay the publishing of this entry until one day later. Obviously I must have done something wrong, because my attempt failed. That, or I succeeded and need to be educated as to what success in timestamp setting actually means. Regardless, I am giving it another go! We’ll see if I can make this appear later today (January 15, 2007)…]
[Note #2: After failing a second time, I am trying this whole “timed post publication” thing again. Will the post be published later today (February 22, 2007) as expected? Will I mess up the timestamp thing a third time? Well, I suppose if you are reading this, then you know!]
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I noticed something today and thought, “Hey — this is a good chance to test the delayed posting on WordPress and to see if it will post something after I have already gone out of town!” (Don’t we all think that sometimes?)
Anyway, what I noticed was a comment in the Living Leadership Course about blind self-confidence (from Class 3). It hit me that this corresponded well with a concept that I have tried to communicate to others for quite some time: the lack of healthy self-doubt that is so prevalent in our age.
So very few people seem able to doubt themselves anymore. They are so sold on their own opinions (to them: “facts”) that they cannot see (read: “are not willing to see”) those things that would normally cause them to question their conclusions.
In scripture, one example of this sort of blind self-confidence and lack of healthy self-doubt can be seen in Peter’s declaration to Christ before the crucifixion:
Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.
Now, some might be too quick to say, “Ah, but Peter did not have the Holy Spirit, yet!” This is denying that we are still subject to the pulls of the flesh even after conversion. Peter faced an instance of spiritual blindness much later in his life, even after conversion (cf. Galatians 2), and — if we are honest with ourselves — we have no benefit that Peter did not have. This potential to be completely blind to our true spiritual condition is a danger that faces us all. All the more, because such a spiritual blindness — a blind self-confidence and a lack of healthy self-doubt — will be a dominant characteristic of many in the true church (and in society) in the end times:
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write…
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
Revelation 3:14, 17-18
I would dare say that Scripture gives much to indicate that the danger of this attitude of blind self-confidence, coupled with a lack of the sort of zeal that is actually useful to Christ (as opposed to a lack of any sort of zeal at all), is perhaps the greatest danger facing the Church of God in the end times. The evidence of such attitudes is present all around us. But we each must ask: “Is the evidence of such an attitude present within me?”
Prophecy warns all of us that there will be an enormous need for “eye salve” in the last days. Yet, sadly, prophecy also tells us that those who need it most will be those most blind to their need.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). I can’t imagine a more relevant warning to our times and our people.