The following is an email devotional I sent to our women’s small group at church….
I hope all is well with your weeks! Just a reminder: The Well is tomorrow night at church from 6:30-8:30 (or whenever you can come) if you are interested in joining some of us.
Lately I have been thinking a lot on the theme of believing God. I suppose the theme first really showed up at our Women’s Retreat where Tracy shared with us about being women who believe God. I will share more about the things she said in a bit.
In the Beth Moore study I am doing right now, the theme of last week’s homework was also on belief. This quote stuck out to me:
“John’s Gospel doe not just call us to belief as a past-tense experience. Christ calls us to be living verbs! He calls us to the ongoing act of believing! Yes, for many of us the belief that secures our salvation is past tense and complete. We have already trusted Christ for salvation. We are now and forever secured, but tragically, too many live in past-tense belief, believing God for little more from that time forward.
“Is the scope of your belief in Christ in the past-tense security of salvation, or are you in the active, ongoing lifestyle of believing Christ? Are we simply nouns – believers? Or are we also verbs – believing? Believing in Christ and believing Christ can be two very different things. We begin with the former, but certainly don’t want to end there! We want to keep believing what Jesus says about Himself, His Father, and us until we see Him face-to-face.” (Beloved Disciple, page 99 – emphasis mine)
Oh Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). I don’t want to be only a noun!
As I read through Deuteronomy this past week for Eat This Book, I was reminded at how easily the Israelites moved from believing people to just believers. Moses charged them to remember what the Lord had done for them. To remember what the Lord had commanded them to do to keep their covenant with Him. But yet, Moses knew they would turn their backs eventually and go from being verbs to nouns. He warned them that if this happened, they would be removed from the Promised Land until they repented and God restored them.
We need to be vigilant in our own faith journeys that we do not slide down that subtle, but slippery, slope from being a believing believer (verb and noun) to being only a believer (noun). See, when we hang out as only a noun, we expect little and receive little. But when we are both noun and verb, we live life abundantly!
Now let’s go back to some of the things that Tracy taught us about belief. First she shared about 4 barriers to our faith: Fear, Feelings, Words, Wrong Expecations. But then she gave us some strategies on what to do.
So how do we build our faith up so that we can overcome these barriers and believe God?
- Make a choice: faith or fear.
- Dive into God’s Word.
- Determine that the Word of God is truth and not your feelings.
- Get around people of faith.
- Surrender your expectations.
Is God asking you to take one of those steps to break down a barrier?
I will admit that I sometimes struggle with letting fear creep in. “But what if I heard Him wrong?” “What if He delivers on His promise in a way that doesn’t make sense?” Or literally the oldest trick in the Book… “Did God really say…?”
For example – the healing I have been waiting on. He promised it to me 6 years ago. That’s a lot of time for tons of fiery “what if” arrows to assault me. And it hasn’t been easy to stand firm and wait on Him – there have been times I have faltered in my belief. And then at Quiet Waters in November, you’ll remember that the Lord told me He was beginning a “slow surgery” on my back. Four months later I’m waiting for the completion of it. And more fiery arrows of doubt have been flying in my direction.
But I choose faith. I choose belief. Because our God is able. Because our God is good. And because our God is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made (Psalm 145). He is my Jehovah Rophi – God is Healer.
He is so able, ladies!
I pray that Jesus helps me to be a believing believer all the days of my life!
Love you all!