Friday, August 31, 2007

Trying to Believe?

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
(John 17:17 – ESV)

People who truly believe in something do certain things. That goes for Christians and non- Christians, what you believe in dictates what you actions are, for the most part. The problem for many Christians is that when they hear an exhortation, they feel as if they must do these certain things in order to establish their belief. But the belief in the truth creates the action, not the other way around. If you will think clearly with me for a moment, perhaps the Lord will be gracious to show you something you may have missed.

This may seem like semantics, but it is not. People think they believe and so they feel like they must do the things, but the truth is that they don’t want to do those things because of unbelief. It isn’t simply a matter of trying harder to do those certain things; it is a matter of unbelief. If you would believe, then you would do. And doing to gain belief is the wrong way.

But oh so many will not hear this message in their hearts, and they will read this and just jump back on the boom and bust cycle, instead of searching their heart and realizing that they need to deal with the unbelief first, not the behavior.

This is the reason why we must keep studying the Bible over and over again. We think we have it, but we don’t, we must continue in the Word until it sinks in, until we believe, and then corresponding action will naturally, supernaturally flow.

Again, people here this particular exhortation, that if they believe they will do, and so they think that they do believe and so then they go about and try to do, in order to establish what they think is true. Well, they may think it, but they don’t actually believe it, not in their heart, not yet. Listen to me; you must get the Word down in you to the point where it flows out because you believe, not because you think you believe, and not just because you want to believe. If you don’t want it, it is because you don’t believe.

Jesus said if you continue in the Word, then you would become disciplined to obey it, you would know it, you would believe the truth, and it would set you free (John 8:31-32). Don’t go trying to obey to be set free, but start believing by starting to get that Word into your heart, keep reading it, praying over it, meditating upon it, asking and pleading with God to give you this Word. I am talking about basic stuff here, like why you keep doing this or that sin; it is because you don’t believe. I am telling you, and Jesus has and is telling you. If you continue on in His Word, if you continue to keep it front burner and not just acknowledge it but acquire it. You don’t just identify with the truth you internalize it.

The struggle is not to do this or that, or to refrain from this or that: the struggle is to believe. If you believe you will be sanctified, you will act in accordance with what you believe. “So we just read the Word and understand it and then “poof” we act like a Christian acts?” No. “So we read the Word and understand it and do the deeds it says we are to do and then…?” No, that is the problem with most. “So we read the Word and understand it and believe it and then we don’t try and do the deeds they just happen because we truly believe?” Yes that’s it. Do you believe it?

In Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said that all things are possible to someone who believes. He wasn’t giving a blank check for our desires, or promises that aren’t actually yours, He was saying that anything God has said is true of the Christian is available and can be had if one truly believes. The father, whose child Jesus was going to deliver knew this, and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" This should be your prayer today. I pray for faith to be born in your struggling soul.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Anonymous said...

Too I was reading this, I was asking questions that you addressed in the next-to-the-last paragraph.... and you answered them "No"!

It's like I "get it"......but I continually struggle with thinking patterns of the past.

Kim said...

A boom and bust cycle. I like that way of putting it.

Thanks for this. I needed to hear this today.

Even So... said...

It can be a very subtle difference in our thinking that can make all the difference...

Anonymous said...

In the words of a friend, "I'm picking up, what your putting down".

You wrote, (don't go trying to obey to be set free...). To be honest that is always the presumption when one becomes a new born child of the King. But reading this and reading the scriptures causes this way of thinking to be quite senseless and rather impossible to accomplish.

Thank you for straightening me out.

Even So... said...

This message needs to be said in many ways many times so that many will "get it" finally....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writting this one. You've given me something to really chew on here. You described me very well - I've been trying so hard to do all the right things because they are what I'm "supposed to do"

Maybe my efforts need to start at why it's so hard for me. Maybe I need to step back and start over.

What you wrote gives me hope - hope that if I can work on my belief, the rest will come. I know that trying to make it happen on my own has been backfiring since I joined with Christ 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thank you J.D. This is exactly why I walk the walk I do, because I believe every Word He said, from B'resheit in Genesis 1:1 to Shalom Aleichem in Revelation 22:21. I'm not perfect, but the Holy Spirit is guiding me to walk in His Word one precept at a time.

He is the Author and Finisher of my faith.

I obey because I love Him.