Believing is Fundamental

by Lester Young

You know, when you read and study the Bible, you come across some amazing revelations that can really curl your toes – and it’s great when that happens. But then there are other things that can come across so subtly – while still turning out to be so profoundly central – they can slip right through the cracks in our attention without our ever truly noticing them. And oddly enough, those latter ones often end up having more of a long-term effect on us than the big stuff.

Take, as an example, the truth that ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:16). If you’re born again, you’re probably well aware of that passage of Scripture. And even though we as the Body of Christ may be familiar with it (though that’s not to say we automatically have the deepest revelations of it, because we don’t), have you ever stopped to think that most of the rest of the world has never even heard such a thing before? And if they have, they certainly don’t actually believe it: “A God Who’s pure love, start to finish… Who loves me… personally. Are you serious?!? Well if that’s really the case, then why is the world in the shape it’s in? And why the heck is it running over me every chance it gets?!?”

Listen, there’s nothing remotely new about such a reaction: as a matter of fact, it’s the same reason those crowds had funny looks on their faces while listening to Jesus tell them the Good News about their salvation (Luke 4:22). All they’d ever known up until then was the Law and judgment for breaking it (Luke 16:16). A bold, fresh and completely novel idea like that one – that “God actually loves me on a personal level” – could (and indeed should) be universe-shifting for any person, saved or not. And yet, something much less audacious and ‘in-your-face’ – so much less, in fact, that it could easily be overlooked altogether – can actually have just as much mind-altering significance.

What do I mean? Well, consider that the early Christians eventually began to be called “believers” (Acts 5:14; 1 Timothy 4:12). Why? Because it’s what they did, pure and simple. They heard God’s Word and took it to heart to such a degree that they ordered their actions around it – which is, purely and simply, what ‘believing’ is (James 2:17-26). None of this should really come as a huge surprise, since ‘believing’ is what got people blessed all through the Bible (Hebrews 11).

So ‘believing’ is what a believer does: straightforward enough – and, granted, probably not very universe-shifting when taken on its own. But consider along with it that we are children of the Most High God, and according to Scripture a person is identified as the child of a particular entity because he or she does what that particular entity does (Psalm 82:6; Galatians 3:26; Matthew 23:15; John 8:38-39, 41, 44; 1 John 4:11-13, 16-17). The world lies, steals and kills because it’s what their father the devil does; and they’re recognized as his children by doing those same actions (John 8:41, 10:10). By the same principle, we the Body of Christ – God’s children – are (supposed to be) known for our love, forgiveness and wholesomeness because that’s what God our Father does (Ephesians 4:28-32; 1 John 4:16-17).

Alright then, if believers believe because it’s what they do, and they do the things their Father does, that must mean their Father believes, too. It means God is a Believer – it’s simply what He does! Indeed, it’s what He’s always done and it’s how He’s always done it. Go back and read Genesis 1 sometime: you’ll probably notice a lot of “And God said’s” flying around there. Well, He didn’t say those things because He didn’t believe them. Besides, how could He not believe they’d come to pass, when both His Word and His Spirit are Truth itself? (John 17:17; 1 John 5:6)

That’s why God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (which means ‘father of a multitude’): He did it so the man could believe and say the same thing God believed and said about him – that He’d already made him the father of many nations, even before anything ever changed in the natural realm (Romans 4:16-17; Genesis 17:5). It’s why Jesus taught us to believe from the heart the words we speak, while at the same time living the example of only speaking the words God told Him to (Mark 11:23-24; John 8:28). God has set up a word-based System and it works all the time. Believing and using the wrong words will bring destruction and death; believing and using the right ones brings the life and blessing of God (2 Corinthians 4:13; James 3:6; John 6:63).

God has been searching all throughout history for men and women who’ll have the nerve to believe and say the same things He does – that is, take His Words and use them to cause His will to be done on earth just as it is in Heaven (2 Chronicles 16:9; Matthew 6:10). He’s still on the lookout for folks to do it today. After all, as God’s children we’re made in His image, and as such we should be believing and saying the same things He does, just like He does – because it what He does! (Genesis 1:26-27; Acts 4:29; 2 Corinthians 4:13)

 

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