Philippians 3:3—”For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—”
What does it mean to put confidence in the flesh?
The “flesh” in Phil 3:3 is our human nature, apart from divine influence. Paul is encouraging us to put no confidence in our efforts, rather to “worship by the Spirit of God”.
In my life this has been a gradual process almost like a magnet pulling me towards Him and away from me or a confidence in my efforts to please Him.
Jeremiah 9:23—”Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, Jeremiah 9:24–but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
Our boast is that we know God and it is God in us that practices love, justice and righteousness. It is a difficult process to let go of my efforts to practice love, justice and righteousness and instead let Him live through me.
1 Corinthians 1:28—”God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 1Corinthians 1:29–so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:30–And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:31–so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
He is going to bring the things that are not to the things that are. He is calling us to step aside and let Him work in and through us. As John the Baptist said: John 3:30—”He must increase, but I must decrease.”
As hard as I may try, I cannot increase God in my life. If so, then I would be taking credit or creating confidence, inwardly boasting in my efforts. God’s increase in my life is totally in His hands each day. His Spirit is in us. As we learn to hear and follow His Spirit, our lives become more “You, not me.”
Galatians 5:25—”If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
He is persistently drawing us closer to Him and His grace that we might let go and let Him be God.
May You continue to teach us Lord to be sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit that You may be formed in us as we decrease.