Posts Tagged belief

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.

Goodness in my Heart

Psalm 31: 19

How great is Thy goodness, which Thou has stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee before the sons of men!

By now we are getting this. God is good. He is good all of the time and all that He has is good. So why send you another “God is good” scripture? I think we are ready to move into God’s goodness emotionally and spiritually. We have gained an intellectual acceptance of His profound goodness. Now what is wanting is to connect that knowledge to a heartfelt belief. We need to know in our hearts and in our spirits that God is good.

There is an expression I would love for us to adopt. It is “radical trust.” Wouldn’t it be great if we all lived in radical trust of all that God is and all that He says? In order to move into this dimension, we must embrace His goodness such that there is no doubt remaining in our hearts. If there is the slightest doubt, then when God speaks, you will hesitate. If we are to walk in the fullness of what Jesus came here to win for us then we can have no hesitation. We have to know in the deepest part of our being that God loves us and always wants what is best for us.

He does not give us problems in order to make us stronger. That is a purely humanistic perspective. He wants to be our strength. His desire is to fold us in the refuge of His embrace, protecting us from the storms. You were meant to live above the fray. He told us that the world has problems but for us to have no worry on that score because he has already overcome the world. Yahoo! So why does Dad need to make us strong when Jesus has already won? Do you see how people’s theology has gotten twisted? Your Dad loves you and that is the $1,000,000 take away. That is the truth that is to be written on your heart. He has stored up good things for you so that you can live in them and all people will see the goodness of your Father in your life. Amen.

Prayer Cramp

Mark 9:24

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

I was praying today for someone when I felt the smallest twinge as the words came out of my mouth. What I prayed is promised in the scriptures so why that little twinge? I stopped right then and asked our Father about it. Although I completely believed in my mind what I was praying and could quote chapter and verse where God promised it, my heart was unconvinced. That is when this verse came to my mind. “Help me in my unbelief Jesus!”

We all have areas where we believe the Word with our minds but our hearts still suffer little twinges of doubt. No worries. First, be sensitive enough to what is going on in your heart that you sense those hiccups. Second, we have a helper. We do not have to help ourselves and in truth, I don’t believe we can. The Holy Spirit can certainly work within us, though, to minister those truths to us at a level that we can accept. He leads us into real belief, the kind that cannot be upset.

As I prayed, the Lord convinced me that what I was praying was not only achievable but that it was the least He wants to do. He showed me that the promise is within the parameters of what we can believe, but not to the level He would like to perform. All of a sudden my faith in His Word and in His desire to meet the needs of all of His children was magnified. Well, truth be told, His desire really was not to meet the needs of His kids. Provision just comes with the territory. His desire is to give us abundant life, more than enough. That fueled my prayer and I believe that what I prayed, the Father will do. It seems He was just waiting for me to conquer my doubt so that together we could really bless people.

Now, do you want to hear the best part? I pray for every person who reads this devotional, even those of you who pick it up on the internet that I have never heard of and don’t even know you are reading. Dad knows you are there and now I have renewed vigor in my prayer life. Watch out! Dad and I are praying for you!

God is . . . a believer

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things.

What does it mean that love believes all things? This seems a bit difficult to unwind but as I prayed about it I realized that lovers, real lovers are people of faith. They believe. They believe in each other and they believe in hope. Love is a positive force and those people who are good at loving tend to be positive people. Think about it for a moment and determine if that is true in your experience. People who have love in their hearts tend to see the best in situations and in people. Hope is always alive in them even when it gets a little bruised it remains as part of their steadfast resolve.

God believes in you! Now that is a statement we should all meditate on for a moment. Have you ever thought about it that way? I really had not until today but it is true. He believes in you and your potential. He believes in your dreams. He believes you are capable and He thinks you are awesome. Are some of you thinking, “Love is blind?” Well, perhaps but God’s love for you really isn’t blind. God sees into the deepest parts of you and that is why He believes in you. Sure, we mess up. We do and say some really stupid things at times but that is not our essential self. That is just the level we are at right now. God sees the real us, the one that is deep down. He sees the person you are beginning to experience.

You have been born again and believe it or not, there is a perfect you in Christ. There is no tarnish or stain. Sure God sees us stumble but we don’t hate babies when they fall in their learning to walk. We have faith. We believe they will get it. We know it just takes time and practice and then not only will they walk but we will watch them run. God sees you running in His mind’s eye. He knows you will get there and He is already proud of you. He believes in you because love believes all things.

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