October 21, 2018

Confidence: “The God in Whose Hand is Your Breath”

I feel that, even as a believer, I am engaged in a back and forth battle between being confident in my own strength, smarts, and abilities versus being wholly dependent on God and rooting my confidence in him. Living by faith, and thus following a God that I cannot see, means that I often fall back into a self-confidence that ultimately betrays my heart, but I cannot let that be.

By the time Belshazzar is king (co-regent) in Babylon, Daniel is in his early eighties. He has lived a long life of service to God and to the kings of Babylon. He has demonstrated at every turn his unwavering confidence in God and not in himself or any other human being. In contrast, Daniel 5 introduces us to Belshazzar for his only narrative appearance in the Bible. Belshazzar is an arrogant, self-confident leader who is so blinded by his own power and wealth that he brings the swift judgment of God on himself and his kingdom. And there are some powerful lessons for us in this passage on how each man conducted himself, as well as continued clarity about God’s sovereignty over all.

When my confidence is in anyone but God, I place myself in peril of his judgment, but when my confidence is in Jesus Christ, I am welcomed in his family and protected by his grace. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 ESV). Or, as Daniel put it to Belshazzar, our confidence is in, “The God in whose hand is your breath.”

Sermon Notes

Resolved! Living for Christ when you’re the only one who is
Confidence: “The God in Whose Hand is Your Breath”
Pastor Todd Dugard // Daniel 5
October 21, 2018

When my confidence is in anyone but God, I place myself in peril of his judgment.

• If you have a misplaced self-confidence…

…you have no fear of God (v. 1–4)

…you have no appreciation for the past (v. 5–12)

…you love the sound of your own voice (v. 13–16, 29–31)

• If you have a rightly-placed confidence in God…

…you have no fear of man (v. 17)

…you have high praise for God alone (v. 18–21)

…you speak the truth of God boldly (v. 22–28)