Do you really believe?
Have you ever wanted to have stronger faith? Or have you heard, “Grow your faith. Have stronger faith in God and His Word!”
That’s all good. We do want to have a strong, abiding faith in our Lord and His works.
However today, I want to pull faith apart a bit and talk specifically about “believing.”
Jesus says, “Fear not. Only believe.”
I don’t mean the difference between believing and having faith. That’s a whole different topic. What I’m talking about is the kind of believing Jesus referred to when He made this amazing statement:
I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24
Perhaps this type of believing requires faith to be its heartbeat. This is believing with assurance. Believing with certainty. Believing with expectation.
Jesus gives us an order for these actions:
One: Ask when you pray. That’s the first order of our spiritual transaction. We’re to ask. Jesus repeats this step when He says, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:14. We’re to ask for anything in His name.
I take the “in His name” condition to be anything you desire, unless it’s against the laws of God. And something that will not bring harm to you or others. But rather than going deeper with “what’s okay to request of God,” let’s get back to the sequence that Jesus presents in Mark 11:24.
The first step is to ask.
Two: Next is, “believe that you receive them.” So first you ask. Then you believe that what you asked for is already yours. You receive it as yours! You’ve already got it, even though it may not have manifested yet in the physical world.
Three: The third step in this sequence is, “and you will have them.” Ask, believe, have.
That’s mixed up, right? Seems we usually stick with the adage, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But that’s not the way Jesus teaches us. He says, believe then you have it.
And this is the kind of believing that I think we can work on. I think we can get better at believing we receive before we see thing we’ve asked for with our natural eyes.
Imagine this in your mind: you’re standing in your living room. You have a desire for a new appliance that would benefit you and your family. But it’s just not in the budget. Earthly circumstances of not enough money are keeping you from purchasing the appliance.
You go to God in prayer and ask for the item (step one). Then you rev up your faith. You imagine that the appliance you desire is in the spiritual realm and on its way to you! It’s like you’ve ordered the item from Amazon and you know it’s on the way to your address. You’re excited and thankful that the desired item will very soon be in your hands. It’s already yours. It just need to arrive.
You have used your faith and operated according to kingdom of God principles. Your Father has provided. And you are thankful. Before it arrives from the heavenly realm to the earthly realm, so you can touch it with your natural senses (manifested), you are already thanking God for His provision. It’s already yours.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
In my experience this is where most Christians need to grow. We need to learn to believe Jesus. Not just believe that Jesus is. But believe what Jesus says. And then believe that what He says is absolutely true and that we can depend on what He teaches.
Your “believer” is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to gain strength.
How do we go about getting stronger in this type of believing? Here are a few steps you can take to strengthen your “believer.”
- Identify a desire that you have in your heart (Psalm 37:4). For now, keep it simple so it will be closer to your level of faith.
- Find a promise in God’s Word that matches your desire or the type of desire that it falls within (financial, faith, provision, relationships, etc.).
- Then come to the Lord with a humble heart and make your request to Him (Philippians 4:6).
- Now believe you’ve already received what you asked for. Praise God for His goodness. Imagine you holding the item in your had or seeing with your physical eyes. Imagine that it’s already yours (this is the faith, the substance, for what you have hoped for.) Buy the way, the Bible way of “hope” isn’t wishin’ and hopin’ something will come true. Hope is sure. It’s happening. It’s coming.
- Keep believing. Keep thanking God. Keep anticipating . . . and it will show up!
You may have all kinds of resisting thought going off in your head right now. Doubting thoughts. Then hear the voice of Jesus speaking to you now, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23
Use the doubt you feel as a warning light on your spiritual dashboard that your “believer” needs attention. Work on believing. Get in God’s Word. Read about the testimonies of others who have experienced miracles and God’s supernatural actions in their lives. Feed your soul with the bread of life.
Soon and very soon, you will see your faith working. You’ll see how you can co-labor with God and as you follow His ways and believe in His principles, you will ask, believe, and receive.
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