And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (Romans 4:21 KJV)
Isn’t it remarkable that believers struggle with believing? As a believer, I am perplexed how my heart still staggers at portions of the Word; as a minister, I am astonished at how believers struggle with faith. In this devotional, I consider the act of believing as a pyramid with three layers: reason, persuasion, and reliance. This truth can potentially revolutionize your walk of faith.
Believing begins with assessing the information we receive to determine its truthfulness. In the context of our faith, this information is divine truth, not scientific or natural truth. But whether it is spiritual or natural reality, we only believe what we know or think is true. When God created us, He made our hearts with the capacity to test information to determine truthfulness. Although we might not understand all the complexities beneath this process, we know that the human faculty of reason plays a part. For example, the unsaved do not believe in Jesus because they have evaluated and concluded that the message about Jesus is not true. When God wants to save someone, He begins by opening their hearts to conclude that the Gospel message is true.
After the truthfulness of information is established, our hearts naturally accept what we have determined to be true. Believing is being persuaded or convinced that something is true. For example, in Romans 4:21 above, Abraham was convinced or persuaded that God was able to make him a father of nations although his body and that of his wife Sarah were as good as dead. None of us believe what we think is untrue. But once our hearts assure us something is true (whether it is indeed true or not), we naturally accept it. So, persuasion rests on the foundation of truthfulness.
The third layer of the believing that rests on persuasion, which in turn rests on truthfulness, is reliance. When we believe something, we depend on it in our everyday decisions. Reliance is the outward manifestation of believing—spontaneous, unmanipulated. In my Pentecostal background, I was taught that I had to act to prove my faith. Therefore, I always tried to do or say things to prove that I believed. Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not have to prove your belief. What you believe spontaneously shows in how you feel, what you say, and what you do. There is no greater proof in our lives of what we truly believe than our unmanipulated actions. So yes, actions are the ultimate proof of what we believe: not the twisted or manipulated acts or words to try to prove something but the genuine actions from our hearts.
In summary, believing begins with our hearts establishing some information as accurate. Once truthfulness is established, persuasion comes easy. Furthermore, once we are persuaded or convinced about something, it shows up quickly in what we do or say.
What are the three layers of the believing pyramid described above?
Apply the Word
Please study the truth discussed in the devotional above until it settles in your heart.
Ask the Spirit to help you to believe.