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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Power of Belief

I have been leading a Bible Study on Wednesday nights for about two and a half years. We started in Genesis and we are now in Joshua. Recently, we read the passage where Joshua takes God's people into the Promised Land. He sent spies into the land and they came out praising God for what they were about to possess. They obeyed everything Joshua said and believed that God would give them this land. I thought how different this was when Moses did the same things but got a disastrous result. Moses saw the people rebel and not believe God would give them the land. The power of belief gives one group victory and the lack of this belief condemns another.

My belief on whom I know God to be will be reflected in my actions. My actions will either allow God to show who He is or they will present an impotent God. When I act like God can't or won't do what He said He wanted I fail to receive God's best for me. This is not what God desires for me nor what I want for myself.

I find myself with many difficult tasks. Each week I must prepare a sermon which will deliver God's word to the people. I must lead a church to act faithfully to our Lord and grow both spiritually and numerically. I must seek ways to see God's vision of making our church known because of her faith. That faith should turn the world upside down just like the early disciples faith did. I must enlist people to join the battle. Each of these things are too hard for me, yet they are required of me by God. My continuance in these arduous tasks reveals who I believe God is. It also determines the results. I believe, listen and obey or I fail. There is no Promised Land for those who fail to believe, listen and obey.

Of course, my human nature would rather God give everything to me without any effort on my part. Was that what Moses congregation expected? Did Joshua's generation learn that through forty years God provided and could be trusted in a way that Moses' group did not? Which is greater: manna everyday or crossing the Red Sea? Maybe neither. Both reveal who God is.

So, I sit here with a completed Bible asking God to do some great things. I cannot ask Him to work without expecting that I will have to work too. That isn't His pattern.

I ask God to do something of biblical nature. I would like to see a turning of the world upside down with the faith of His believers. I would like to see places shaken because of the prayers of God's people. I would like to see people healed and receiving miraculous provisions. At the same time, I am afraid to ask. What will He require of me that will be an act of belief?

The power of belief changes the world.

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