Today, I want to raise a question for your consideration. Do you believe God? Now, I know that many of you may be tempted to get offended and respond by boasting in your salvation and your years of faithful attendant and even service in ministry, but if you heard me you will recognize that I did not ask if you believed in God, but do you believe God.
I ask this question because as I examine the Body of Christ and the activity of the Church it has become apparent to me, and to most that are not in the Church, that we in the Church often live our lives as if we have never heard God and have never read God’s word.
The Bible declares in Genesis 1:26-28 that God said Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness and then God blessed them. However, each day we sell ourselves to the world’s system begging it for a blessing that God has told us that HE has already provided. Now I realize that some of you are tempted to remind me of the fall of Adam and his expulsion from the garden, but was the garden the only place on the earth that was blessed, are not the blessings of God prevalent throughout God’s creation? Did not God speak to Abram in the 12th Chapter of the Book of Genesis and command Abram to “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” were not these promises made by God when man was still in his fallen state after the fall of Adam but before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus?
Do we believe God? Did we hear God? Are we still living in the culture and customs sown in us before we came to Christ? Are we following in the ways of our fathers, our heritage? Do we still live based on the expectations of the world in which we live? Are we of the world and not merely in it? Who’s values do you have the worlds or the Christ?
In the 1st verse of the 12th Chapter of Genesis the Lord told Abram that he made one assignment, one prerequisite, one responsibility to carry out in exchange for all God had promised him. To separate his self from all that limited him, all that defined him and all that guided him so that he could be led to a place when he could hear the still quiet voice of God. Who are you listening to, whose standards are you using to evaluate your life, where did you get the desires that you pray so earnestly for, did they come to you from God, are you standing waiting in the fulfillment of a promise from God or human expectation, is your definition of success the achievement of the vision that God has given you or the dream given to you by ambition and desire?
Is your goal to follow God to the place He will show you or to make your name great, to be blessed, to be rich, to be married; to have a big church or a big name? Are you doing what God instructed or are you trying to accomplish the results that God said HE would perform?
I ask these questions because we as a body have reduced the image and expectation of God’s power to that which we can accomplish in His name instead of laboring to become the people who are a witness of that which exceeds all human expectation. I believe that we have erred in this regard, not due to any mal-intent but out of a failure to stretch our faith to meet God’s promises instead of shrinking God’s promises to meet our faith. We have built a temple where we should have erected a tent and we have confused being ready to receive with being prepared to rule. We did not believe God when He said “I will” and we assumed we had too. Much like the story of the ten spies in the 13th chapter, we looked into the promise of God through the weakness and inability of men and became afraid that God would leave us to do what only He could do. As a result, we let our misplaced fear misconstrue and devalue what God has promised, and in the promises have (temporarily) disinherited the very promise we say we desire, the fullness of God and His divine purpose for our lives. But all is not lost because God is always ready and willing to restore us and usher us into the promises that await us, but we must believe because it will be done to us according to our faith. It is only faith without doubt that will cause the mountains in our lives to be moved. It is only faith without doubt that will allow us to see where we were blind. It is only faith without doubt that will break the shackles of demonic oppression and depression that grips our souls and our communities It is only faith without doubt that will allow us to tear down the idols of our hearts. But faith is believing what God has said.
So do you believe God?