Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The Battle of Belief and Unbelief
Sometimes we seem to know everything there is to know about a subject in the Bible (healing, provision, peace, forgiveness) and yet it's only knowledge in our minds, facts we've logged away. If it's not been implanted in our hearts, we cannot operate from those beliefs. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23:
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (KJV)
"Above all else guard your hearts, for everything you do flows from it." (NIV)
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (NLT)
The heart is where our spirit and soul rest and as we know when we accept Jesus as Lord His spirit is downloaded into our spirit and we have access to everything that Jesus has promised ... BUT! our soul (mind, will and emotions) still have their own agenda/memories. They have to be "renewed" to line up with the spirit. We were made to live out of our spirits and to communicate with God from our spirits, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.
Romans 10:9-10 mentions the heart in relationship to belief:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (to profess, to praise, celebrate) is made unto salvation."
This implies there's more to getting saved than just speaking words or facts that we know in our heads. The "faith movement" has been under attack for a long time with people speaking words from the Bible thinking that the more they say it the sooner it will come to pass. Saying it's so, when it isn't so, doesn't make it so. We have to believe in our hearts. That's where meditating on the Word comes in. We do that to renew our minds and get what we "know" into our actual "knower" (heart) that rules our lives.
Remember the father with the epileptic-type son that the disciples couldn't heal? Mark 9:22-24 tells us that "oftentimes it hath cast him into the fire and into the waters to destroy him; but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.' And straightway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!'”
Notice Jesus didn't take responsibility for the healing. Instead He told the father that all things are possible to those who believe. The father obviously mentally believed or he wouldn't have traveled to get his son to Jesus.
He may have believed greatly in his heart as he left to see Jesus and then found that He was gone and not available, but the disciples had already been sent out on their journey and reported back to Jesus and there was no mention of nobody being healed. Yet they saw this writhing, foaming and gruesome son and when they prayed, he wasn't healed.
That must've left the father a bit less faith-filled and it certainly was a visual image of unbelief for his heart, but Jesus arrived and he still begged him with tears for help. Jesus was willing ... the father just needed to believe. I love this story because the father said in tears, "I believe, Lord help my unbelief." All the years of seeing his son like this made it hard to believe.
All the years we suffer with health, relationship or finance issues makes it hard to believe. So we have the belief we've managed to move into our heart (spirit) ... and we have the unbelief that's still there in our minds (soul) doubting. I love the way this story shows we can even pray to Jesus for help in believing. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 that "I live by the faith of the Son of God."
In Acts 3:16 when Peter responded to the crippled beggar at a temple gate, he said to the people, "It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him." We have all been given the measure of faith by God (Romans 12:3 KJV), so we don't have to rely on our own. We don't need more faith. Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed is enough to move a mountain. We just have to get what we know into our "knower" that rules our life (our heart).
And when we know that we've got doubt and unbelief mixed in, we can cry out to Jesus to help our unbelief. In Jeremiah 29:13 God tells us, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." God is always willing to help us when we truly seek Him. I have ask myself this question many times when I go to bed: "If somebody were to look at a video of my activities this day, what would they say was the priority in my life?"
If we have no time to meditate on the Word and just sit before the Lord to listen to what He has to tell us ... we won't hear the answer. And it may not be that you will hear the answer during that time ... but that time spent with God will make your heart more open to His voice ... then as you go about your day with your necessary tasks of life, the answer will just jump out at you!
God's not going to zap us into shape. He speaks to us through His spirit within us and we respond with obedience. If you believe that you can't hear the Lord speaking to you, then you've not been spending enough time with Jesus to know His voice. But God is always there for you ... and loves you so much, but will not interfere with the freewill He gave us.
We have to desire something so much that all else of life doesn't matter. We can work and worry at the same time ... so we can work and meditate at the same time. Stick a Scripture promise in your mind that fits what you need and keep worry out of your life. Spend time with the Lord daily just sitting before Him. Picture yourself at His throne adoring and praising Him.
If the whole day has gone by and you've not had intimate time with Him ... you can lose some sleep to do so. After all, haven't you lost sleep to see a good movie? You can lose a bit of sleep to spend time with the God who created the Universe and you.