What does it mean to believe from your heart?
Do you hold a belief in Jesus?
Or does your belief hold you?
Is it part of the fiber of your being, shaping all other beliefs, and frames, and thoughts, and words, and actions?
One of the leaders in our our church passed away suddenly, during the early stages of my faith. Loved by many in the church, we constantly spoke of being reunited with him in heaven, one day.
Despite my agreement, and outward assurance, a strange thought began to trouble me: “Is he really in heaven?”
“Don’t be silly, Of course he is! If anyone’s going to heaven, it’s him.”, I told myself, brushing aside a deeper thought, taking form.
Several weeks later, another thought came into mind as I listened to the morning sermon: “This man’s having you on! Each week he weaves together a story and then goes home and laughs at you! You all sit there and soak it all up and pay him to make fools of you!”
The cold war…
I could not shake these thoughts, no matter how hard I tried. Yet in the depths of the core of my being, I yearned for the Gospel to be true. So I forced myself to believe, and contested the clamoring commotion of contradiction.
The battle raged relentlessly for decades, until I could fight no longer. Finally, I fell. As my faith faltered, I told God I could no longer believe He existed. But at the same time, my heart screamed for evidence of the reality of the God.
Within four days, the Holy Spirit led a stranger to pray for me and speak into deep areas of pain and grief. While this person prayed, God revived my floundering spirit. As He revived my spirit, He brought deep and instantaneous healing. With His healing, He flooded my heart and soul with lasting peace and joy.
Which side of this story are you? Is your belief something you embrace and maintain? Or is it something living in your heart; something molding your thoughts, and desires, and attitudes, and behaviour?
Belief, Faith, or Knowledge?
My life was transformed as a result of my experience with the Holy Spirit, that day. I no longer need to make myself believe in God or Jesus; I now experience Him, in personal ways on a daily basis.
Yes, I still fail in many ways and still have much to learn. But now I recognize the Potter’s hand, molding me into the person He created me to be.
Do you look back on your life and see the shaping that only God could have done?
True belief is not an intellectual belief, not head-knowledge based on facts, or philosophy.
When the Bible speaks about believing in Jesus, it uses the same Greek word usually translated, as faith.
Faith is a heart-persuasion, influencing your speech, responses, and actions. It is even deeper than a paradigm-shift, resulting in a change of who you are.
The Reader’s digest once featured a story of a Christian woman, who had suffered a severe head-injury. When she regained consciousness, she could not recognize her husband, nor her children. Yet, as she recounts her story, she says that the one thing she did know, was that Jesus was her Saviour.
Becoming a Christian is not an intellectual choice, but a heart-decision, that results in your becoming a new creation. Your heart-belief becomes part of you; it’s not a habit, choice, or priority. It becomes inseparable from who you are.
Jesus is real. Jesus is alive. Jesus lives within you1, if you are truly born again.
So do you believe Jesus is the Son of God, who paid for your sin, bringing reconciliation between God and you? Do you experience His forgiveness? Do you experience the reconciliation?
Do you truly believe? Or is this a cultural code to which you consent and conform?
Is it a heart-belief, or do you hold it as an historic visitation, verified, validated?
Or has the Holy Spirit persuaded you, to the point where the intellectual facts, combine with awe-filled realization of the implications of the truth, so that it not only becomes part of your belief system, but a filter through which all other beliefs are examined and accepted?
Do you truly believe, from the heart?