This has really become a theme in my life right now. The questions surrounding life all point back to this simple question, Do I REALLY Believe?
I have learned it is easy to acknowledge my belief in something or someone with my mouth, but is that really belief? I say it is NOT! Knowing something in my mind and saying it with my mouth only prove that I "know" that thing. Belief has a completely different effect! It is a life changing effect!
So when I say I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ, does my belief have a life changing effect? This morning I read in 1 John 2: 5-6 and it said, "5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." So if I believe in God and his son Jesus, the life changing effect is I will obey Him and live as Jesus did. My belief will reflect a real life change.
What about this verse: James 5:16 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Do I really believe that my prayers are powerful and effective? I hear the initial response of "you have to be righteous." But are we not according to God made righteous in his Son? (Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9) Another time to ask, do I Believe I am Righteous through faith in Christ. If I believe I am (which I do) and therefore believe my prayers are powerful, is that reflected by a life a prayer? If not, then I must ask myself, Do I REALLY believe what God said was true?
I am coming to the conclusion that through a life of battles and trials, the point is to perfect my faith and belief in what I say I believe. But that perfection will not be a more determined desire to know it more or deeper, but show itself through the effect it has on my life. After all, faith (belief) without works (effect on how I live my life) is worthless!
As a side note, God allowed me to be pushed again in my greatest area of struggle this week, the struggle to trust Him to provide my daily needs! Funny how this blog is titled "God Himself Will Provide" and I have amazing stories in my personal walk proving that, yet that is still my greatest weakness. During this test this week, as I began to sink into a personal moment of despair and the miry clay, He put on my heart to ask two broken brothers whom I am striving to encourage, to pray for me. During that time of prayer, God gave me a simple directive, write down my need, then write down what I already know He has provided in the upcoming weeks. Amazingly, what He has provided through work almost doubled the amount over which I was sinking into despair. God is amazing and is allowing me to perfected through such trials as He is asking me, "Ray, do you Really believe?"