404 How Belief Shapes Our Lives

How Belief Shapes Our Lives

Much is made of what we believe or do not believe. And rightly so. What we believe has the power to change the course of our entire lives. Unfortunately many of us confuse knowledge for conviction, preventing our lives from matching what we know to be true.

Faith & Belief

The word “faith” and “believe” in the Bible are almost the same word in the original language. In Hebrews 11, it says that without faith it is impossible to please God. In Genesis 15, Abraham has his belief counted to him as righteousness. Faith and belief are critical to how we relate to God and to the world.

I believe that God values our faith not just because He wants us to trust Him, but because He knows that what we believe determines how we live.

In the same way that we can live righteously in faith, we can live sinfully in faith.

The Power of Agreement

What we believe is a powerful force in directing our lives. This is amplified when our belief is based on agreement. We can come into agreement with either truth or lies. Either way, the result is life-changing.

When someone speaks the truth of God over our life, as soon as we agree it becomes true. As soon as it becomes a conviction, it becomes a reality. When the truth of love is spoken over our life and we agree, we live as we are loved and valued.

The opposite is equally true. Someone can say evil things about you. If you know they are not true, they will not affect you very much. But as soon as you begin to believe they are true, you begin to live like they are. When you are constantly called a failure, you begin to agree with that thought and subsequently you become a failure.

As soon as we agree in faith, we live in faith.

3 Steps To Forming Beliefs

Both our faith and belief go through a progression in our life. There are 3 steps in that progression that frame, shape and solidify our beliefs.

1. Information

It is said that knowledge is power. I would say that knowledge is responsibility. Knowledge has no power if you do nothing with it.

Information frames our belief. It is the first step to creating our foundation of faith. Truth alone won’t shape or transform our belief system. Information does not create conviction.

2. Revelation

Revelation is supernatural insight. It is an uncovering of truth or seeing a deeper dimension to an established truth.

Revelation shapes our beliefs. If information frames our belief, revelation puts skin on it. Revelation may be deeper insight to our own life. Other times we get revelation by seeing truth experienced in the life of others.

One thing to keep in mind: seeing is not always believing.

3. Transformation

Transformation comes through personal experience. It is the culmination of acquired truth, revealed truth and experiential truth.

Transformation solidifies our belief. Once experienced, truth becomes conviction. Transformation is the substance of things hoped for. Once transformation occurs, it is very difficult to be swayed.

Once we have information, revelation and a newly transformed mind, the question becomes, how do we sustain it?

Taking Thoughts Captive

Our thought life is so important because it is the gateway to our beliefs. In 2 Corinithains 10, Paul tells us to take every thought captive and bring it into obedience. Our unchecked thoughts can lead us to deconstruct truth and build a false foundations of lies.

Not every thought we think is our own. We tend to think of every single thought that comes into our mind as something that is within us. That is decidedly false. If Christ is in us, He wouldn’t be producing lies in our mind.

We don’t live based on what we know, we live based on what we believe. That’s why we are susceptible to lies, even if we have knowledge of the truth.

We need just as much faith to sin as we do to be righteous. If we believe we are saints, we will live as saints. If we believe we are sinners, we will live as sinners.

Do we still sin? Of course, but that’s not our identity. As soon as we come into agreement with being a sinner, then we live as sinners and not as we are righteous.

Our faith pleases God because it is gives us the ability to live the life that He paid for. When we have conviction of what is unseen, it becomes reality. Even in our imperfection, we can be the righteousness of Christ.

Learn it. See it. Live it. Only then will we be convinced of it. This is belief. This is faith.


Did you have to progress through your belief? Do you struggle with the idea of taking thoughts captive? 


  1. interesting it may take me a couple of times to read it to get all of what you wrote. lots of information. but i do struggle day to day with walking in righteousness and not condemnation.. its all a new way of life.. but one day it will become easyer..

  2. I believe (how about that) that we can’t believe in the Biblical way unless we have been transformed. So, I believe that the belief we need is a given to us by the Lord.
    LarryTheDeuce recently posted..Wave Your Hands In The Air

    • That’s so good, Larry. I agree. Until we’ve been transformed, we’re “believing” with our own ability. It’s a spiritual truth that can only be understood by a spiritual mind.

  3. I started going to church with my parents in my teen years…and until I entered college I basically lived with the knowledge that was fed to me by other Christians I perceived as “further along” in their walk than I was.

    I took this knowledge and was very good at quoting it…but honestly, I didn’t have a clue why I was repeating it…I hadn’t searched out and developed my beliefs about what I was taught. I finally reached a place where I felt really hollow inside…I wanted to not just repeat smart sounding information…i wanted to know why I believed what I claimed to believe!

    Once I took the steps to seek out and interpret this knowledge for myself…the hollow parts of me faded away…I was putting meat on my spiritual bones I think :o)

    Awesome post, bro…

  4. I can sometimes be a pretty “thick” person – it takes me awhile to progress through and process what God is trying to teach me or develop into my life. The same is true with my beliefs. I’m one of those people who has never believed something just because someone said it to me, especially when it comes to the things of God. I need to learn it myself, wrestle through scripture and have that belief birthed in me over time and experiences and even trials. Maybe that’s not the best way of developing beliefs, but when I go through that process, the beliefs are buried deeper in my heart and become more real than just believing it because someone told me to.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Redeeming Traditions

    • I think you nailed it, Jason. I “believe” that’s how we HAVE to progress though it. Otherwise it’s just lip service. When a trial comes, all that information gets blown away in the wind of adversity.

  5. This is meaty. I had to read it twice! 🙂

    “We don’t live based on what we know, we live based on what we believe. That’s why we are susceptible to lies, even if we have knowledge of the truth.”

    This is why I want to believe what God tells me and live my life knowing His truth is…just plain true! I struggle with taking thoughts captive and raking them over the coals of God’s truth to see if they can take the heat. It’s crazy how quickly one small thought can turn the direction of your life. It’s like how a small rudder can change the direction of a huge ship.

    Like you said, we have knowledge of the truth, but I think that sometimes we believe that truth is for other people. We put Bible verses as our status update or we repin an awesome, inspirational quote, because we know truth when we see it. The problem is that we aren’t believing that that word is for us. We’re spectators because we believe that is all we can be. We are amazed at what God is doing around us, but we don’t believe He’ll do it through us.

    Love this, Tony. Lots to think about…and…talk about over dinner. <—My favorite time of day.
    Katie Alicea recently posted..Put Me In Coach: Part 2…

    • The biggest progression is from information to conviction. I think we all wrestle with this step. I know I’ve tried to profess my truth as conviction. But I never lived it so I wasn’t really grounded in that conviction. If something else clever or well worded came along and posed as truth, I would jump at it.

      Even this knowledge of the progression doesn’t make it any easier. We simply have to trust God to reveal and to give us opportunities to live it out. I thank Him for His grace when our lives don’t match what we say we believe. Sometimes for a long time until we finally get it.

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