“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.
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Have you been praying for something for a long time but have not received an answer to your prayers? Perhaps you’re even beginning to doubt that you will ever get an answer. For instance, you may have been praying for healing, but you are still sick. Or you may have been praying for a job, but you are still unemployed. Or you may have been praying for the return of a wayward son or daughter, but your child is still estranged from you.
You may have begun to wonder if God even cares.
Well, before you venture farther into the dangerous Land of Unbelief, let me encourage you. First of all, God still cares about you. Very deeply, in fact. So deeply that He brought you to this blog post.
Second, God cannot lie. So, whatever He has promised you in His Word is true and is yours as a Christ-Follower. Healing is yours (Matthew 7: 27). Financial sufficiency is yours (Philippians 4: 19). Good relationships are yours (Malachi 4: 6).
So, what is the problem?
The problem is not on God’s end. It’s on ours. You see, most of us have confused belief with faith, and the two simply are not the same.
So, what is the difference between belief and faith?
Belief is a function of the mind. Faith is a function of the heart (or spirit). We can believe God with our mind but not have faith in our heart to receive what we are believing for.
Perhaps this simple illustration will help clarify the difference between belief and faith. I can look at a chair and believe it is a chair. I can believe that it will hold me up if I sit in it. But it is only at the point in which I actually sit in the chair that I am expressing faith in the chair. In other words, it is only when I take action and sit in the chair that I am trusting the chair to hold me up. When I sit down, I am expressing faith. If I only believe the chair is a chair but I do not sit down in it, I am expressing only belief in the chair, not faith in the chair. Acknowledging that the chair is a chair is an act of mental assent–an act of my mind. Actually sitting in the chair is an act of my heart. It is placing my total trust in the chair’s ability to hold me up safely.
Now, in order to receive God’s promises, I must not only believe that those promises are mine, but I also must receive them into my life. I must surrender to those promises, trusting totally in their ability to produce what they say they will. In other words, I must “sit in the promises,” trusting that they will hold me up safely.
So, how does this distinction apply to healing, for instance? Well, I can believe that I was healed by the stripes of Jesus (1 Peter 2:24), but if I don’t “sit” in that promise–i.e., if I don’t rest in that promise–I will not see it manifested in my body. If I don’t “sit in the chair of healing,” then I miss the opportunity of allowing the “chair of healing” to hold me up with healing.
So, belief is mentally agreeing with what God said but not acting on it. Faith, on the other hand, is not only agreeing with what God said, but also acting on it. Faith is leaning our entire being on what God said and trusting Him to bring it to pass in our lives.
Faith starts with belief. I first have to believe that what God says is true. But then, I have to build on that belief and act as though what God said is true. This “action” part is called faith.
Faith is total reliance on God to perform what He said He would. It is staking my life on His Word. It is living in complete trust that what He has spoken is true. So, faith is not only believing what God said; faith is surrendering my life to what God said and trusting Him to carry me.
Faith is “sitting in the chair”–resting in it. Faith is RESTING in God’s promise.
Believing with the mind will get us nothing from God. Believing with the heart will get us everything we need from God.
Now, it’s YOUR turn: Do you simply believe God’s promises or do you have faith in them? If you only believe but do not have faith, ask God to give you His faith.
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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.
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