Posts Tagged belief

Trusted One

Psalm 22: 4 – 5              God’s Word

Our ancestors trusted you. They trusted, and you rescued them. They cried to you and were saved. They trusted you and were never disappointed.

There are a couple of things you should know about this psalm. First, it is prophetic. Read it in its entirety, read it from several versions. I particularly like the God’s Word translation for seeing the prophetic nature of this passage. David was in the Spirit and though this speaks to his own situation, you will see that it parallels Jesus’. I strongly encourage you to spend some time with this psalm. It shows how someone can be led by the Spirit in their prayers and in their words. David vocalized Jesus’ sentiments and experiences long before Jesus was born.

The other thing to know in understanding this psalm is that it begins in anguish and ends in faith. That is classical David form. We’ve discussed David’s relationship with Yahweh and how they evidence a shared trust relationship. We have witnessed David’s emotions and his relationship with the Father. We have seen the trust David evinced in God and even queried how he was brought to that place of radical trust. Once you have experience of God coming through for you, it is easier to trust again. How do you learn to trust that first time, though?

When you read this psalm in total, you will see some of the answers for yourself. The big convincer for David was that he was able to learn from the experiences of others. He had the record which we have in the Bible. He heard and knew the old stories. Most importantly, he apparently believed them. He knew that what God had done for his ancestors, He would do also for him.

David was in serious turmoil. In verse fourteen he describes himself this way, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me.” Yet, within a few verses he turns to praise. Nothing changed in his circumstances. He was still empty, beaten up and weary. Yet, his voice turned to praise. How can that be?

I believe this is one of David’s greatest characteristics and ultimately a powerful weapon in his hands. He boasted in the name of God. He declared the faithfulness and greatness of the Lord. Despite all indications of disaster, he boldly proclaimed his trust in the Lord, his God. He stood on the evidence of the past and stated his belief in the faithfulness, the trustworthiness of God.

How many times and in how many ways does God have to prove Himself to us? When will I throw my heart into radical trust? Do you, like me, want to walk on the water? It might be obvious, but we’ve gotta jump out of the boat and that is not just an act of faith. It is an act of trust. I don’t know how much faith Peter had but I do know that he trusted Jesus. He wouldn’t have gotten out of that boat except that he was going to Jesus. The same is so true for us. It is more than a metaphor for a faith walk. This is “the way.” We have the same opportunity to live a “faith full” life. But faith, truly, is born of two things: trust and obedience. We need only go where Jesus is leading. He isn’t asking us to jump out of the boat and walk on the water by ourselves. He is simply saying, “Come to me. I’ve got you.” We can do that – if we believe, if we really trust our Jesus.

Can you stretch with me today? Just lean towards him a bit more than you did yesterday. Remember how he came through for David? Recall that David wasn’t even redeemed by the blood. How much more is our trust in Jesus justified? Can we learn from the many Bible stories, like Gideon’s story, that God is looking after His kids? We will not be disappointed. Trust wins the day.

If you don’t have your own success stories with God yet, borrow Moses’, use David’s. They trusted Him and were never disappointed.

I Dare You!

Psalm 12: 6            Passion Translation

For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.

Oh, if we only believed this. Wouldn’t life be different? The truth of the matter, sorrowfully, is that most Christians aren’t really believers. We believe in Jesus but not necessarily all his words. This is lamentable, but you know what, this is something we can change individually and globally.

Today’s psalm is a song of David, I think you might hear his voice in this verse. He trusted God. He believed in Him. Not only did he believe in God but even more importantly, he believed God. David believed that whatever God said was true and sure, that there was no way it could not come to pass. He believed that ever promise of God was yes and amen to him, that it was undeniable. He believed in the purity of God’s promises and every word which proceeded from the mouth of God. And David’s belief had no choice but to manifest in his life. You see, what we believe is what we will manifest.

The heathen know this. Why don’t we? They know that what the heart believes will become reality. And they are right. That is the way God made this realm to operate. It’s not a big secret. David has told you right here that all of God’s words are absolute truth. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you,” (Mark 11: 24). Or think on this from Mark 11: 23 as recorded in the God’s Word Translation, “I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him.” What you believe is reality. Period. That is really a huge statement and yet so easily read over. Let me say it this way, if you will teach and train yourself to take God’s word, and yes, even God Himself, at face value, then all that He has said will be your reality. What you believe is the truth you will live. Actually, the life you are living right now is that which you have believed in the past. If you want to up your game, believe bigger. God said that He was willing and able to do above and beyond all that you are able to imagine (Ephesians 3: 20). So . . . think bigger. Take Him at His word.

How can you teach yourself to believe God? You must commune with Him. There really is no other way. David learned to walk with God daily. He invested himself in the relationship. The more you come to know Yahweh personally, the more you will believe Him, the more you will believe His word with your heart, not only your mind. We have to learn to hang out with God more.

The other thing we should all do is to press our friends to become believers. It is a pain to be around me sometimes but when my Christian friends say something totally unbiblical, I nudge them, even correct them, if the truth were told. Why should I let my friends wallow in lies and deceit? I cannot. There are those, however, that I can’t teach, can’t train, can’t move. The veil of their Christianity is just too thin, and it may tear. You do have to leave those people where they are no matter how it pains you. Your committed friends though, hold them accountable for their words and beliefs and invite them to hold you accountable.

Let’s do this. Let’s push each other and ourselves to become Davidic believers, people who trust the Lord our God at least as much as David did. Maybe we could even believe God in the same fashion as Abraham whose belief was accounted as righteousness by God. Believe God. Take Him at His word. I dare you!

Tired and Weary

Galatians 6: 9

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

It is easy to get tired; tired of trying, tired of standing in faith, just plain old weary. How long am I supposed to stand anyway? Do you ever feel that way? Sure. We all do, but the Lord tells us not to give up. Don’t lose heart. If we will but stand, God promises that we will reap.

Have you been believing God for something for a long time? Maybe it has even been many years that you have stood on a promise of God without seeing your answer. Well, don’t faint. Don’t lose heart. There is still a harvest awaiting you. All we need to do is figure out how to appropriate that which God has already approved.

Truth be told, we do faint. We get tired of believing, praying and confessing and we give in. We don’t mean to but the next thing you know, we have let that goal or dream slip away a little bit. Believe it or not, that is fainting. We have to learn to be people of stone, rocks to our God. People who cannot be moved, who don’t grow faint. People who are firm and resolute. You might need to write out a one sentence or even one phrase statement of faith that you speak at least once a day. Make a recording on your phone and listen to it while you drive to work. Stir yourself up. Listen to Christian teachers who will inspire you daily.

Become firm, strong, resolute. Determine to stand strong until you receive that which you desire. Be stubborn, tenacious. If you really believe God has made you a promise, then don’t back off of it. The trouble is, we don’t really believe. We play at Christianity rather than live it. We aren’t living and believing it right down to our core. Mentally we understand what the Word promises but in our hearts, we harbor resistance, reluctance and even doubt. What do you truly believe? And what do you honestly think God will do with a devout believer? If you imagine a person who is determined in their faith, what do you think their outcome will be? Do you think God will honor their belief but in your own heart know that you are not that person? Do you doubt your own faith and belief? Sometimes it is worth questioning.

We have something to say in this however. We get to choose who we will be. It is up to us. Shall we become faithful believers? Do we dare commit ourselves to a life of passionate Christian faith? What does that mean and how would it manifest in our lives? Let’s rally ourselves as the chosen people of the Almighty. Let us join our faith together for you are stronger and I am stronger when we join hands. What if we started using this daily devotional as a place to encourage one another.

The Word of the Day is formatted in such a way that you can add your own post to it. Others can add to yours and we can reach around the world, literally, with our faith – hand in hand, faith to faith. If you encourage someone else, perhaps you will be encouraged. Maybe you can keep someone else from growing weary and fainting. We are all trying to stand as individuals and we are failing. That is not the way the Father created us. We need to encourage and support each other. Let us join hands today. Stand up tall, stand up proud. Renew your dreams. Revive your waning beliefs and desires. Put those prayers back on the alter and pour the oil of anointing over them and use the anointing and faith of others to breathe life back into them. Come on believers! Believe with me! Arise mighty church of the living God! Arise and believe and in your believing, receive all the greatness of our God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Little Drummer Boy

Proverb 3: 5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

I watched the animated version of the Little Drummer Boy last night. In it, this scripture was demonstrated vividly.

The little drummer boy had a lamb which was very important to him for the animals were his family. One day the lamb was injured and all hope for its survival seemed lost. Then the drummer boy remembered that three wise kings traveled to town. Surely the wise kings would know how to save the little lamb. So, the boy took the lamb and sought out the wise kings. Finding one he implored the wise king to heal his little lamb. The king said, “I cannot help you but there is one here who can.” The perplexed drummer boy questioned, “The babe?” “Yes, go to him,” the king instructed, but the drummer boy hesitated. Looking to the wise man he said, “I don’t understand,” to which the king replied, “It is not important that you understand. Go to him.”

In two short statements in a children’s story, the entire theology of Christ is revealed. Go to him. If we do this one thing, all else falls into place. However, we, like the child drummer, don’t understand. We seek understanding when all we really need is simple faith. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” not all your head. We will never figure out the simple grace of our Lord. His peace and love are inexplicable in human terms. The best we can do is disengage from our processing centers and plug in to our believers, even when or especially when, we do not understand.

There is a reason the children of God are called believers rather than understanders or thinkers. Belief has a place in the mind but real belief, the kind that moves mountains, is a product of the heart. Little Aaron, the drummer boy, learned this lesson and it turned his whole life around. No longer was he an embittered soul. Instead he learned the meaning of love and faith. His desperation drove him to the infant king but there in the glow of babe’s love for all people, Aaron found the love he longed for.

We have opportunities every day to trust God with the challenges of life. Sometimes we think too much and block the flow of Jesus’ creative power. We only need loosen our grip and go to the babe. Just go to him and trust him to have the answers. Let him be the savior. You no longer have to work so hard. You don’t have to figure it out, you don’t have to understand. Like the wise king told the drummer boy, just go to him.

Whose Truth?

Matthew 8: 17

He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases.

If Jesus took our infirmities and carried away our diseases, why do we still have trouble with them here? This verse says he carried them away. To where did he carry them?

Well, here is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. This is a great dividing line between Christians. No, it’s not whether or not Jesus heals. We all pretty much agree on that. No, the real question is whether or not we believe the Bible. I mean, I took Matthew 8: 17 straight out of the Bible. Do we honestly believe, though, what we read there? What happens when we run into a verse like this one with which our experience so greatly disagrees? What do we do? The easiest method is just to ignore them. Some people are challenged by them while others get angry and defensive. Mostly, we reduce the veracity of the Bible to our experience. That is to say, we elevate our experiences over what the Bible says. This helps us maintain our ego. It is self-preservation. Otherwise, we are forced to admit we are missing something somewhere, and that is far from comfortable.

I want to suggest that this verse is absolute truth but the rest of the story is that I am not living the fullness of it either and that bothers me. I believe Jesus took all of our sickness and disease and put them in the same bag with sin and carried them to the pit of hell when he went there and took the devil’s keys. Where else could he have carried them away to? So, if they are gone, why are we still dealing with them?

Jesus has a truth and reality he is trying to convey to us. We should be able to read today’s verse and get really happy instead of overlooking it with a cavalier, unbelieving attitude. Perhaps if we could, as a body, believe these words, then disease would stay in hell to where it was banished. It is not God’s will, and certainly not Jesus’, that infirmity and disease are running rampant through our societies.

In today’s Word of the Day I wish to challenge you, not just to believe this passage of scripture, but to look at the Bible with new eyes, to read these passages as Jesus speaking directly to you. If you are not living what the Word says, then take it to Jesus. Hold him accountable to teach you because he is the Word, and we ought to be able to believe him.

Hold Fast

Hebrews 10: 23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

The book of Hebrews is known for its sound teachings on faith and this is one of the resounding statements which reveals faith, what it looks like and how it behaves. It is easiest to build your faith paradigm by beginning at the end, “He who promised is faithful.” Our first step is to resolve, in our hearts, that God is faithful. Along this line you may remind your heart that God is unable to lie. If He said it, He will do it. What has He said though?

This is the second point of assurance. We can speak to God directly. He will speak with you personally. He also often speaks through another person. However, there is an anchor for these means of communication which will give you greater confidence. It is His Word. If God tells me something that contradicts His Word, then I know immediately it was not Him speaking. It was probably my flesh wanting Him to say what I wanted to hear. If, however, what I hear Him speaks is consistent with Biblical principles, then I may have confidence in what I heard.

You need to be convinced that the Bible is for you. It is a personal letter from Him to you. If you find a promise in the Bible, then it is yours for the taking. This is a point in our faith walk which can really make us strong. If you have convinced your heart that the Word is true and that God is speaking to you, then it becomes easier for you to hold fast to the confession of whatever it is that you are hoping for. So, as an example, say you are confessing healing when you find this verse from Deuteronomy, “And the Lord will remove from you all sickness,” (7: 15). If you accept that this verse pertains you and you have trust in the one in whom the promise resides, the Lord, then it becomes easier and easier for you to hold on to your confession.

It is easy, though, for us to skim right over these passages and not believe God meant them for us. In the back of our minds we think they were only meant for some person who lived thousands of years ago in the Middle East. If we are going to see God’s will fulfilled in our lives we have to first have a promise, and second, believe the one who promised is faithful. If you don’t have a direct word from God, then you have to rely on what He has said before.

So, there is a good tenet of the faith walk. Believe in the one who promised and hold on to the promise without wavering. Do not go back and forth between believing and not believing. Okay, easier said than done, but convince your heart that God promised it and that settles it. Then be like a bulldog and don’t let go of your positive confession.

Faith by Inches

John 4: 50

Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he started off.

This man’s simple belief is a testament to us all yet he was not a simple man. He was a royal official, a nobleman. He asked Jesus to go with him to heal his son because his son was near death. But when Jesus spoke, the man did not argue with him at all. He just turned and went towards his home. He was met along the way by some of his servants who told him that his son was well.

I was struck by the fact that the man didn’t argue with Jesus or question him further. As soon as Jesus made his proclamation, the man left. Especially as a nobleman he was probably accustomed to people explaining themselves to him. But you see, this man’s belief was already present before Jesus spoke. Then as soon as Jesus spoke, the belief became faith. The scripture says that the man believed the word that Jesus spoke. That was the end of the story for him. Jesus said it. That ends it.

Would that we all had the same kind of faith in the words that Jesus spoke. If we believed the way that man did, we would devour the New Testament just seeking what Jesus said. Then we would have all that he said too because our belief would bring it to bear in our lives. Every day we get a chance to move closer to Jesus and we do that by seeking Him in His word and through prayer. Just get an inch closer today and let Jesus’ faith start a new work in you.