That sure sounds like a depressing view of things. Having no confidence in my abilities. When you think about it, it would be somewhat foolish to do so. All abilities you have are God given so putting confidence in your abilities would not be putting faith in a whole lot. But for sake of argument, lets say there was a lot. Say you have a lot of talents that makes you a great person, a good Christian, Boyfriend, Husband, whatever. Do you have a reason to put confidence in your abilities, or as Phillipians calls it "flesh".
Paul would argue no:
Phillipians 3:4-8 states. Though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. 5 circumcised on the eigth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of hebrews in regard to the law, a Pharisee. 6 As for zeal persecuting the church, as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Laid before us is quite an impressive resume. Paul has just expressed that fact that he has followed all the codes of conduct perfectly, he is 100% Hebrew, a Pharisee (a religious leader of the time) and legalistically faultless. Now to me this sounds like something definatley worth feeling good about. Seems like a good candidate of a person who could put confidence in his own abilities. But Verse 7 blows that idea away.
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." He is essentially saying his birthright, status, abilities and achievements mean nothing, for the sake of Christ. In the next verse he continues saying "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." One thing that strikes me about that is, he doesn't say "to the surpassing greatness of being blesssed by Christ Jesus my Lord", he states that strictly to know him surpasses the greatness of all the things he has aspired too and acheived.
I don't write this to depress you, or make you think that nothing you do matters, that is not true. Everything you do matters greatly but you need to know that your flesh is weak. It is shown throughout the bible, David and Bathsheba, Adam and Eve, to name a couple. We cannot live a perfect life, if we could Christ would not have needed to go through what he went through to cleanse us of our sins. Through the power of His Holy Spirit we are given strength, strength to overcome obstables and temptations. We can only do so by his strength and continually relying on him, day by day, minute by minute, second by second.
In Acts 1:14 says "They all joined together constantly in prayer" the key here is they were CONSTANTLY IN PRAYER. Not strictly praying when it was convenient for them, which I know I am guilty of. Through this constant prayer we take all confidence off our flesh and put it where it belongs on Christ Jesus our Lord. as Paul says to close Phillipians "To our God and Father be GLORY for ever and ever, AMEN"
Everyday we wake up we are in a battle. Ephesians 6:12 states "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Now your thinking, well shoot how can I fight that. Well if you read on it gives you the arsonal to fight with, lets list them and I will give my explanation of them (this is strictly opinion, but it has helped me.).
Belt of Truth – for me is a reminder, "the truth being without Jesus I can't make it in this world." This truth holds the rest of the armor together, forget it and your setting yourself up to fall.
Breastplate of Righteousness – I see this as guarding your heart from the evil, of the world. Also guarding the most righteous person to ever live on this earth who lives inside of you, Jesus.
Feet Fitted w/ Readiness of the Gospel of Peace – To me this means submitting even your feet to God's will. Being ready to take the Gospel wherever he may lead you.
Shield of Faith – To block the flaming arrows of the evil on – I see those flaming arrows as lust, hatred, temptation, drug abuse etc etc. If we do not have the shield the arrows will pierce and we will fall.
Helmet of Salvation – I see this as a God filter for your mind and ears. So the garbage this world sends your way cannot get through.
Sword of the Spirit – One of the only offensive items given to you. If you notice during Christs temptation (Matthew 4:1-11) You can see that whenever the devil tempted Jesus he quoted scripture. That is what the sword is, so get to know your sword, know the word, satan can't fight the word of God.
Memorize those verses thats Ephesians 6:10-20, pray it every morning, you will notice I difference I know I do. This is a renewing of my covenant to pray that every morning, please join me.