I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 1:18-20 NIV, emphasis mine)
It doesn’t take reading very far into the Bible to see the weighty importance of believing God. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:5). His wife, Sarah, had a much harder time believing that God could fulfill His promises. When she doubted that God could open her womb at age 89, the angel asked her, “Is anything to too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). That is a question each and every one of us will have to answer at one time or another.
In the Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the word pistis is translated as faith, believing, and believe. The noun pistis and the verb form of the same word, pisteuo occur more than 240 times in the New Testament and the adjectivepistos is found sixty seven times. That’s a lot of believing God!
When the Philippian jailer asked, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas answered without hesitation, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,” (Acts 16:31). It iswhoever believes in him that does not perish, but has everlasting life. (John 3:16). Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When youbelieved, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possessionâ€”to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14, emphasis mine)
When you believed in Jesus, you were signed, sealed, delivered you’re His! It is a decision that every Christian has made in the past. And with that decision comes forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Hallelujah!
Then there’s more. Paul went on to pray:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 1:18-20, emphasis mine)
The word pistis in the first passage is past tense believed. However pistis in the second passage is a present active participle, which means we believe and we keep on believing, right now, all the time, continuously. And what happens when we believe God tells the truth? We will have access to His incomparably great power “the same mighty strength that He exerted when He raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.” Now if that doesn’t raise our expectations for this faith journey of union and communion with Jesus, I don’t know what would!
Theresa believed God and dared to trust God to answer her child’s prayer. Theresa’s daughter always wanted to play the flute, but it seemed financially impossible. “Honey, we can’t afford a flute,” she explained. “Maybe one day.”
The following year, her daughter expressed her desire to join the school band and play the flute. Theresa didn’t have the heart to tell her no again. “If it is God’s will for you to play the flute, then He will provide one before the school year starts. Let’s ask Him to take care of it.” Theresa prayed and believed God would answer, but she had no idea how He would provide.
A few days before school started, Theresa and her daughter went to a yard sale. And what did they see glistening in the sunlight among all the wares? A flute! But this wasn’t just any ol’ flute. This was an antique flute that had Theresa’s daughter’s birthday inscribed on the side. The year was 1918, but the day and month were the same as hers. A sudden glory!
The miracle flute was not a fluke. Theresa dared to ask, dared to believe, and God lavishly gave. Today Theresa’s daughter plays the flute beautifully, and every time she brings the instrument to her lips, she remembers that moment of sudden glory glistening in the sunlight.
So, what about you? Are you ready to start practicing some present tense believing right now? Are you ready to start acting like you believe God tells the truth?
Dear Lord, I get so excited when I read about women who have experienced miracles in their lives. I get so excited when I read about women who believe You! Help me to exercise the faith that I have been given so that it will grow stronger each day.
In Jesus’ Name,
What Do You Think?
Can you say that about yourself? If so, get an index card and write the verse with your name in it. Blessed is (your name) who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
I love what the angel said to Sarai “Is anything to hard for the LORD?” If you are willing to answer that question, “NO!” then log onto my blog page and leave a comment that says “Nothing is too hard for the LORD.”
I’d love for us to chat about how God longs to lavish you with life to the full! This Wednesday night, Multnomah publishing is hosting a live stream webcast just for you. It sounds really techy, but all you have to do is type livestream.com/waterbrookmultnomah
into your web browser at the appropriate time for your time zone, and voila, you’re in. I’ll be giving away books and other goodies. I can’t wait to see you there.