In light of believing, I must apologize for not posting for almost three weeks since the last post. I knew that I needed to make some repairs, but was putting it off. I knew that I was facing an imminent computer failure, and held off too long. In the past few weeks, the hard drive on my computer crashed and I lost everything. All of my research for the last year, all of my passwords, all of my log in information for emails, work accounts, bank accounts, and WordPress. I believe that God told me that a failure was imminent, but I continued to put off the needed repairs. And the ball finally dropped. I can’t blame God, He warned me of the failure in addition to all of the physical signs of imminent failure, I simply held out too long.
In addition to computer problems, I had to choose whether to repair a car that won’t start, or a truck that had no reverse. I rebuilt the transmission on the truck so it’s working, but my wife still has no car. She is using the truck now. As soon as I collect all of the parts I need for the car, I will be replacing the timing chain and fuel pump. Parts alone for all of these repairs will be well over $1000, but since I am able to do the repairs myself, I will be saving nearly $5000 in labor costs. For instance, the transmission job was the cheapest and easiest one to do. It cost me $250 in parts, took a full two weeks to remove, rebuild, and reinstall the unit in a four-wheel drive truck without a lift. The transmission alone is an easy $3000 unit from a rebuild shop. So even in the worst situation, God has provided me with the knowledge and tools to do all these job in an economical manner. All I need to do is stay positive and trust the knowledge I’ve learned over the years with God’s help and trust that He will lead me to find the parts I need for the best prices possible.
Believing is a lesson taught in the Bible, but ignored by most Christians. Or maybe it isn’t ignored but used in reverse. What am I talking about? P.M.A., which is positive mental attitude, the Law of Attraction, or the Secret. It’s commonly known in sales and marketing, it’s used every day when singles are dating, and it’s part of every course on “Acing the Interview.” But we “believers” not only expect the worst, but we act as though it’s a badge of righteousness to receive the worst in too many situations. This is a direct contradiction of Jesus’ own promise to His believers in John 10: 10.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
What is going on with us? Are we crazy to expect, believe for, and rejoice in the bad? Yes! Yes we are! And this is not the way God wants us to live. It begins with ignorance. We don’t know what the written Word of God really says. First, because most of us don’t even read the Bible. Second of all, because the only Bible we know, is interpreted for us in 20 minutes on Sunday morning. If we get to see four verses on the screen in front of us in that 20 minute sermon, we’re getting a lot of scripture for our money. What money do you say? Well, the money we give to support the church in our tithes and offerings. After all if it takes the pastor an entire lifetime to help us understand church doctrine in light of the verses we are shown, then he is doing his job just fine.
You see the pastor of today works to keep the congregation together, to attract people to the congregation, and preserve the church doctrines. The average minister is poorly paid or at best, has their most basic needs met. If they offend the wrong person in the congregation, their livelihood is in jeopardy. So upholding the integrity of the written Word has taken second place to upholding the ego of the congregation or the wealthiest benefactor. This is not how to teach the whole truth. All that really happens, is the transmission of only the most desirable truth, the parts that do not offend or challenge people to live life according to the Word of God, but according to the traditions of men. So traditions can develop like what is present in the Christian community, where sickness and poverty are now accepted as signs of God’s favor, and good health and prosperity are signs of worldly influence or ungodliness. To put it the way my dad used to say: “It’s bass-ackwards.” The real truth is held in secret, for a select few to learn, and an even fewer to practice.
So what is “The Secret”? The first truth concerning “The Secret” is this, it taps into the spiritual realm for its power. Whether its God or any other spiritual source, its power is fully grounded in the spiritual realm. The second truth concerning “The Secret” is the importance of understanding true faith. Not mental assent, which is mistakenly called “believing.” What is the decision between? Whether to choose God and learn to walk by His Spirit or continue to live in religious slumber by walking in “the flesh.”
“The Secret” is to choose your spiritual source of fulfillment and commit with your whole being to obey that spiritual source. My commitment is to God, the Father of Jesus Christ, in service to my Lord and Savior, the Messiah, by way of His Holy Spirit. Everything in my life is done in service and obedience to my God and for my family. I am staking all of my eternity on this “belief” because I’ve staked all of my “faith” in this God for all my spiritual truth. So now the question is: What is the difference between “faith” and “believing” in the previous paragraph? If you know the difference, then you too can make the same decision for your own life. When you consider the liberal and socialist agenda taking over our culture and the people who support and defend this agenda, pay attention to their rhetoric and the spiritual power to whom they give their respect.
If you go to the Bible, you will quickly find that both words are translated from the same Greek word, pistis, (G4102). Only the context reveals the difference whether the word is translated “believe” or “faith” and therein lies the problem. Two different English words are used to translate a single Greek word with one meaning. It’s not that the one word in Greek has two different definitions, but that the English translators have decided to use two different words with similar meanings to represent a single word that has one definition. Why couldn’t they be consistent and simply use one word with the same definition to represent each single Greek or Hebrew word? So in the process of using multiple words to translate a single word from the original language, confusion has been introduced into the written Word of God. (And who is the author of confusion?)
1 Corinthians 14: 33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
This is one of the most effective ways the adversary of God used to defeat God’s children. By making His Word confusing, the door was opened for multiple denominations. The first translations from Greek and Hebrew to any other language was happening even as the Gospel was spreading in the first century. It’s not that the translators were being dishonest or deceitful, it’s simply that translating from one language to another introduces problems like this, where one word may fit a context or usage better than another. This is the reason why we all need to study the written Word personally. We need to know these things about the translated Word in order to understand why there is confusion and differing doctrines concerning God’s Word. It’s not a matter of deciding whether one doctrine is better than another, it’s a matter of trying to understand God’s heart and the way He interacts with people.
So what does all of this have to do with understanding the difference between “believing” and “faith?” A lot, when you ultimately realize that there is really no difference! The two words in English, are the same Greek word! The difference in the context leads the reader to think that believing God is different from believing men, but the truth is this: There is no difference. If you can believe a man’s word, then you can believe God’s word (and His revelation word by the Holy Spirit). If you have faith that a man is telling you the truth, then you can have faith that God is telling you the truth by the Holy Spirit as well. But what is true about believing God, is also true about believing devilish spiritual influences. The problem every Christian believer has is this: If all we know is our church doctrine and the Bible verses that support that doctrine, then there are holes in our understanding that ungodly spirits can exploit against us. We have to learn how to study scripture directly and trust that the things we find in the written Word, is the truth. Here is the first truth we all need to know if we hope to have any relationship with God.
GOD IS A LIVING REALITY THAT WE CAN ALL KNOW PERSONALLY!
If the Christian believer has any doubts at all that God is real, all bets are off. If a “believer” has doubts, then that “believer” is an unbeliever on that point or aspect of truth. A believer has faith in God, His Word, and His revelation by the Holy Spirit, they believe. An unbeliever has no faith in God, doesn’t believe His Word, and cannot trust spiritual revelation at all. So in the end, an unbeliever, (whether they call themselves a believer or not), lives in doubt, worry, and fear. They cannot trust God, they do not seek God, so they will not obey God.
Hebrews 11: 6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
We have to begin by seeking after God first. We have to pay attention to the way He touches our lives every day. The way He answers our prayers for help. The way He delivers the people we care about and pray for. The way He speaks to us to prevent problems from happening, or to simply inform us that a problem is imminent. When He informs us of something, it’s called “a word of knowledge” (1 Cor 12: 8). From the same verse, we find “a word of wisdom.” This is when He tells us what to do about a situation. Which brings me back to the original problem that caused my absence for the past few weeks.
Did I have the physical signs for all of the problems? Yes I did, but I also couldn’t afford the cost for the repairs yet. They were three fairly expensive problems to plan for. The car’s fuel system was showing signs of failure for awhile. It needs a fuel pump, fuel pump relay, an over-voltage protection relay, and fuel filter. Then it jumped time. So now, I have to add all of the parts to repair the timing system. It won’t start at all. The truck moved forward just fine, but refused to reverse. After two weeks of work, the truck works fine now. The computer was simply getting slower and slower. I was backing up my data when the hard drive crashed. Unfortunately, I had only backed up 64 gigs of 250 gigs of data when the failure happened. My nearest complete backup is a year old, so I’ve had to deal with the loss of a year’s work. It could have been worse, I could have been completely unprepared. So I’m thankful it wasn’t.
None of the repairs were a surprise. For all three to fail at the same time was the surprise. This is how the adversary works to discourage God’s children. We expect perfection from God, and He gives it. It’s our own imperfection that works against us. I was collecting the parts I needed as I could get them. So I wasn’t completely unprepared. Problems are just part of living. Being prepared for problems before they happen shows both good troubleshooting skills in the flesh, and (when lacking those skills) good listening skills with God. It’s the combination and interaction of both skills that make up our relationship with God. We can’t forget that we are creatures of flesh and blood. But have also been given a spiritual connection with God that we can use, if we choose to take advantage of the gift He’s given us, the Holy Spirit.
Did I drop the ball? Yes and no. My timing was poor, but I believed God and was collecting parts and backing up the hard drive. None of the repairs were a surprise. The fact that they all failed in the same week was the surprise. Should I be disappointed in that I suffered some losses? Or should I rejoice that I wasn’t taken totally by surprise? I believe that I should rejoice in the good, be thankful that the losses weren’t as bad as they could have been, and seek to do better next time. Will there be a next time? There’s no doubt about it. And I believe that I will do better and lose less, or nothing at all. I haven’t lost my faith in my God. I believe He is always trying to look out for me, even when I miss part of His revelation word sent to save me. How do you believe you will do with God?
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Liberal doctrines have weakened the believer’s ability to know God by elevating carnal Christianity. Radical Christianity seeks nothing less than to revive spiritual Christianity as God originally intended all believers to have. It’s your choice. Who do you choose to believe?