Monthly Archives: May 2016

How’s Your Heart?

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

There are two phrases that I’d like us to take note of here: “believe in your heart” (verse 9) and “with the heart one believes” (verse 10). From the time I first started studying the Bible (not just reading it), I became interested in the subject of faith. Obviously “faith” and “believing” are the same thing. To “believe unto righteousness” (verse 10) means having faith for being made right with God. But faith for healing, deliverance, peace, and so on come from the same place.

One cardinal rule about faith is that it must be “heart faith.” Agreeing with the Bible mentally is a start, but the type of faith that moves mountains is settled deep in our hearts.

King Solomon exhorts us to guard our hearts, for out of them come the issues or boundaries of life. [Proverbs 4:13] Heart faith is what we need.

Agreeing mentally could be called “head faith.” The problem with head faith is that it won’t sustain us through the challenges of life. When we try to take a strong stand against sickness, for example, “head faith” wavers. In James chapter one we’re told that the person who wavers won’t receive anything from God. This is not a case of God holding out on us, but rather a case of doubt. “Wavering” and “doubt” are usually translations of the same Greek word.

That brings us then to “heart faith.” The “heart” here is not merely an organ in our chest that pumps blood.  “Heart” represents the center of our being. It’s a combination or link between our spirit and our soul. [I Thessalonians 5:23] Everything that has affected us emotionally over the span of life seems to get stored here. Painful experiences from the past can inhibit our ability to truly believe God at this heart level. We may agree mentally, yet disagree from our heart, and this “faith” produces nothing. But “heart faith” got us born again, and this same “heart faith” is what will receive healing, deliverance, peace or whatever God’s word promises us.

The question becomes, then, what are we going to do with the painful experiences in our hearts that have stymied our faith? The definition of faith given in Hebrews 11:1 gives us the information we need.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Bible faith – the God-kind of faith – requires EVIDENCE! Gather enough evidence to persuade your heart of the principles and promises of the Bible. Where will this evidence come from? First and foremost from the Word of God. II Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Word is profitable for “reproof.” The Greek word translated “reproof” is the same as the one translated “evidence” in Hebrews 11:1. So we could say it this way: “The Word is profitable for evidence.”

Evidence also comes from what we see – not with the natural eye, but with our spiritual eye. In II Corinthians 4:17, 18 we’re instructed to look at the things that are NOT seen. Joshua was told by God to SEE that He had given Jericho into the hand of the Israelites. This “seeing” is a type of meditation. We can meditate – see ourselves – already enjoying the benefits of the promises of God, before there is any manifestation. Our senses may bring opposing evidence to us in the form of pain, symptoms, etc., so we have to gather more to overcome that opposition.

One last area (for this article) is the area of words. The words we hear spoken, especially the one coming out of our own mouths, become either positive or negative evidence. Proverbs 18:20, 21 relates that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Choose the right words and persuade yourself toward life!

Well, there’s much more to be said on this subject but this is as good a stopping place as any. I suggest you study this out for yourself, because the just shall live by faith – heart faith that is!

Evidence

Tension reigned. Indiana Jones must find the Holy Grail and bring some water of life back, or his dad will die. Blocking his way are three “biblical” tests that he must pass. The first was repentance – “the repentant may pass.” At the last moment he decided repentance meant to kneel, and he dropped to the ground just in time to duck under a blade destined to slice off his head. Next was “the footsteps of God.” Indy faced a floor made up of individual stones with letters etched in Latin. He must step only on the stones, in the correct order, to spell out J-E-H-O-V-A-H. After almost falling through for a spelling error, Indy safely arrived at the third test: “a leap of faith.” Now he finds himself at a huge chasm, needing to get quickly to the other side. It’s too wide to jump across. His whip won’t work here. How will he get over? After a moment of fear and indecision, Indy determines a blind step into the opening is required. With eyes closed he takes a big step and lands safely on a narrow bridge. It was there all along! Scurrying across he finds the Grail, fills it with the water, and brings it to his dad. The senior Jones is brought to life and they live happily ever after, or at least until “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

If you watched “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” all that was familiar to you. Why am I bringing it up here? To make a point about our faith. Faith – the God-kind – is not blind. Harrison Ford may have been required to take a step with eyes closed, but the God-kind of faith requires EVIDENCE.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

There’s a vast difference between “blind faith” and faith in things not seen. Consider another scripture passage:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:17, 18

There is an “unseen realm.” God dwells there, along with angels, demons and other spirit-beings. It can’t be seen with the naked eye. Faith is required! And the God-kind of faith gets its evidence from there.

Consider another verse of scripture:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. II Timothy 3:16

The word “reproof” here is a translation of exactly the same word in the original Greek translated “evidence” in Hebrews 11:1. Do you see the significance? “Faith is … the evidence of things not seen,” and “All scripture is … profitable … for evidence.” Therefore, the most important place to get evidence for our faith is from the “unseen realm” of the Bible – the Word of God.

Here is how it works: when I find that I’m in need of something promised by God, I must believe – have faith. “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23] “Miracles aren’t for the deserving, they’re for the believing.” [Dr. Jim Richards] When I need healing, my physical senses (including my sight) bring evidence that I’m sick. I look sick; I feel pain; etc. Sometimes sickness even smells bad! So my responsibility becomes finding evidence in the unseen realm to counteract and overcome the physical evidence. While the sickness may be “real,” the Word of God is even more real! Jesus bore my sickness and pain. [Isaiah 53:4, 5] By His stripes we are healed. [I Peter 2:24] You see, I’m gathering EVIDENCE. When that evidence gets stronger in me than the symptoms, the pain, etc, then I’ve made divine healing mine and it will come to pass.

This is the way it works regardless of the need. Is there a promise in the Bible for a remedy? Then faith is required, a faith fed by evidence!