But I Believe In Faith
by: Justin Harvey at The Anchor Fellowship
For 14 years I have believed in Yeshua, but my faith in him as not been so long lived.
It’s easy for me to believe something… prove it to me. Irrefutable evidence is a sure way to make me a believer. I want to touch it, taste it, feel it, smell it, see it, hear it. This is the type of belief I‘ve had in Yeshua since he proved his existence to me in ways that could take pages upon pages for me to tell. I wasn’t a church kid… quite the opposite actually. I was raised without religion and by my own reasoning deemed Christianity a worthless crutch for the mentally weak. I aggressively gave Christians a hard time… and even recruited others to join me in the assault. It was in the height of my resistance that Yeshua knocked me off my high horse. He personally revealed himself to me and that encounter had a dramatic and instantaneous effect upon the very core of my being. In a moment I went from being a professed enemy of Christ to being one of his followers. Ever since then I have believed in him… and he has continued to reinforce that belief with his constant presence and action in my life. This is why I believe in Yeshua: he proved himself to me.
This belief, however, is not a clear indicator of my faith. Belief is something we hold internally. We can believe many things and never speak of them or act upon them. Belief is nothing more than a state of mind. Faith, however, supersedes the confines of our thoughts. Faith is the manifestation of belief in the form of action. Faith is what happens when something we believe overrides the other things we believe, particularly those contradictory things, and we act on the belief despite how unlikely, impossible or unimaginable our expected outcome may be.
It’s faith that caused a man named Simon to jump out of a boat far at sea and walk to Yeshua who was also standing on the water. It’s faith that caused Martin Luther King Jr. to proclaim his dream of a racially united America in a time when racial unity seemed an impossibility. And, it was faith that lead me to say to a girl with a broken leg, “Because of God’s great love for you, you are healed.” …and she instantly was. There was a season in my life in which I had faith in Yeshua to do the unlikely, impossible and unimaginable. But over time that faith dwindled. What was a constant soon became an occasion. For the last few years it has been a rarity.
I’ve come to realize that I now live with a great belief in Yeshua, but merely marginal faith in him. It seems rationally absurd to me, but even Yeshua’s water-walking-friend, Simon, had a similar dilemma. On another occasion Simon was again on a boat far at sea. Yeshua was with him asleep in the hull of the ship. A huge storm swelled up, tossing the boat wildly. Water was coming on board and Simon, a lifelong fisherman, knew this was the end. He knew they were going to drown. He went under deck to Yeshua, shouting their certain doom. Simon had the faith to walk on water with Yeshua, but he had never seen Yeshua save a sinking ship. It would seem Simon lacked faith that Christ would save them, perhaps even that he could save them. Yeshua sat up and calmly walked on deck. He raised his arms up and told the storm to stop. It obeyed! The sky cleared and the waves stopped. Yeshua then turned and asked Simon, “Why did you have no faith?”. Simon wasn’t the only person on board. Everyone saw what Yeshua did and they were amazed. They couldn’t explain it – they couldn’t understand it – but they believed what they had just seen.
There was a man among them named Judas who also saw many of the amazing things Yeshua did. He was a believer and professed his life to following Yeshua. But, he proved himself faithless when he decided a fat paycheck was valuable enough to betray Yeshua. He believed Yeshua was God’s son but was unfaithful to that belief for the belief that money was more important.
In a lot of ways I feel like both Simon and Judas. I’ve walked on the water with Yeshua. I’ve been terrified he couldn’t save my sinking ship. I’ve sold him out for a cheap thrill and a wad of cash.
Satan believes in Christ, but it’s clear that’s not going to him much good. Just believing something to be true is a far cry from living like it is true. It’s not enough for me to believe in Christ… I need faith in him.
I once heard a man quote this scripture to justify his choice to not commit to a disciplined lifestyle modeled after Christ’s: “If we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is our Lord, we will be saved”. That’s great! I’m sure that quoting bible verses to God will work out great on our day of Judgment. Clearly the meaning of this verse was lost to him. What it’s saying is to put belief in Yeshua somewhere other than our heads – to integrate that belief into our core – at the very center of what we think and feel. When we believe things with our heart our lives reflect it… it consumes us, it bleeds out of us. Simply confessing a head-belief of Yeshua’ Lordship in my life is pretty pointless. I mean, its good show and sounds right, but what good is it really? That kind of belief isn’t faith. It’s just another categorical fact that may or may not have any weight in my life. I can believe a life jacket can keep me from drowning but that won’t do me any good if I don’t wear it.
I need my belief to turn into faith again. I long for the days when my faith in Yeshua overshadows all that I believe. I anticipate the times when I not only hear the Lord tell me to heal the sick, or prophecy to a stranger, or speak life into a dead child… but when I actually do it. The scriptures tell us that someone who hears the words of God but does not act on them is like a person who gazes in a mirror but walks off not remembering what they look like. Here I am staring at my reflection. Will I walk away and still remember who I am?
Lord, I believe. Increase my faith.
From Paige: Amen Lord! Increase my faith!!