Faith is believing in the Word of God as truth.
It isn’t just believing that Jesus was a man that had good lessons to teach, the demons know that is true and will still go down to the pit.
It isn’t just believing that Jesus was the Son of God, God come in the flesh to walk amongst man, to die on a cross, because even the demons know this is true.
It isn’t just believing things “about Jesus”, because that is just mental reasoning and logic that starts in our mind.
Believing takes place in our heart, in that central place where our desires and our foundation exist – upon which everything else is built. Believing is a tearing down of the old structures of “my will, my dreams, my desires” to replace it with “God’s will, God’s purpose, God’s truth” as the foundation upon everything has to be built. Yes, humanly speaking believing involves change, cost, and sacrifice in this world. But spiritually speaking, it offers growth, value, and treasure eternal. Believing in our heart shifts our perspective and our priorities into a new alignment that is very contrary and different to that old idol/master of self/ego.
Without this firm foundation and change on the inside, we can practice religion and struggle under our own strength against ourselves, but we will find ourselves powerless – because our heart is still yearning for what it believes, regardless of any volume of “retraining” we subject ourselves to on Sunday mornings.
You see, belief is not a one time prayer and confession – although it starts with that. It starts with a surrender, once we’ve realized our need for a Savior, and we’ve humbled ourselves to receive a new Lord of our life – and it lives as a seed of grace, of His Holy Spirit, of His very nature and character planted in our lives and growing.
You see belief is active and alive and now – it isn’t a check box or a ticket already purchased. I don’t ask you if you’ve accepted Christ, because we know that many have thought they believed and have turned back because they had deceived themselves. No, I ask, “Do you love Jesus Christ? Do you love God? Is His Spirit alive and evident in your life today?”
This is belief – active, alive, manifest in the life of the believer. We must step past the mental games and gnosticism and new age spirituality – to a real and alive God who lives in us, whose guidance and instruction we value as truth, whose love and mercy and righteousness we hunger for. This is the Kingdom of God that we seek – His will being done in our lives. Yes, this is belief, to not only be hearers of the Word of God, but to be doers – to actually love Him.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
John 14:23 NKJV
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:21-25 NKJV