For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10, KJV)
Believing is right in our name— believers, yet few things are baffling us as the simple idea of believing. The Lord began a journey with me a while ago( I am probably still in the beginning phases) of teaching me how to believe the Word. I assumed I was walking in faith and had believed many things in the Word until the Lord began exposing my heart to my greatest dismay and surprise.
This is a very sobering and sad truth: many of us say we believe many tings in the Word, which we truly do not believe. And it is now astonishing to me as I interact with believers how many of us struggle with the simple fact of believing God’s Word. There are many reasons why our faith is struggling, but one of the big giants stems out of a doctrine we have believed. At least for me.
I was thought that it is the human spirit in us that believes the Word and not the mind. In other words, the word “heart” in the scripture above means “spirit” excluding the soul(mind). That means we believe with our spirits and not our souls. The problem is that we are not in direct control of our spirits as per this doctrine and the believer is left mesmerized about how to use their spirit to believe God outside of their mind. I cannot fully describe to you in this brief devotional the degree of confusion about faith this doctrine has caused me personally.
Per this doctrine, the human spirit and the soul exist and function in our hearts as distinct entities. Let me use an example. The human spirit can think. The soul, with the mind, can also think. That means there are two “minds” in our hearts so to speak, of the spirit and of the soul, capable of functioning independently. This implies I can think with my spirit or with my soul. Or in the case of faith, my spirit is the one that believes and my soul(mind) has nothing to do with it. This is a serious doctrinal misstep of the charismatic movement and it is driven by the teaching that man is a spirit that merely lives in a body and has a soul(mind) as a tool. Please listen to our teaching on spirit, soul and body which was completed a couple of months ago.
Your spirit does not operate as a distinct entity within you, separate from the soul. Man has three parts but is a unity. Believing simply means accepting as truth, and the capacity to believe is in all human beings, Christians or not. The difference comes in what they believe. Fallen human beings cannot believe the truth about God. That is where the Spirit comes in. The unsaved believe. They believe a lie. So the ability to believe which is the foundation of faith is not something that is unique to the born again spirit. What is critical and distinctive about our faith is that by the Spirit of God, our hearts have been touched to accept the Truth about Jesus, which the unsaved cannot.
Believing is not as complicated as we, charismatics, have made it to be. It is not some mysterious activity of your spirit which you cannot control. Your mind is involved. Never think for a second that you have believed something in the Word which your mind is not accepting or has rejected. We often make the mistake of thinking that believing what we do not understand(which can happen with the Word) means it is my spirit that is believing while my soul(understanding) is not involved. Understanding is just one aspect of the operations of the soul. Believing involves your will to accept the truth, your emotions of assurance and confidence and even your mind of embracing the Truth of the Word as your reality.
How can I fully describe to you the mysteries discussed here in such a short devotional?? Giving the importance of the term “believing” to your daily life as a Christian, as well as your ability to experience God, I will suggest you personal study what I have discussed in this devotional. Do not listen to a sermon. Do not read a book on faith or believing. Pick up your Bible, appropriate Bible dictionaries and lexicons and other important resources you have access to and STUDY this thing for yourself.
I repeat what I have been saying and will continue to say. Train your heart to believe God! Believing is not some mysterious thing your spirit does, which you have no control over. It is simply what you have accepted as truth in the Word, the assurance and confidence you have in that Word, how much of it is influencing our life, etc.
What does it really mean to believe?
APPLY THE WORD
I pray that the Lord will do two things for you. Firstly, to open your eyes as He did to me and expose any assumptions you have about what you think you have believed in the Word. Secondly, that the Spirit will help you begin a process of training your heart to believe God’s Word and establishing it on the Truth.
Please join me in the prayer above and pray for yourself and the Church as a whole.