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.
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.
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.
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?