This is our first week at our trailer in cottage country and something always slams into my heart when I arrive here. I’m not certain if it’s because life slows down or because of the gorgeous scenery but I feel God’s presence in my life much more clearly here. This is one of the places which can stimulate my thoughts, brining to a teachable place….as if God is right beside me, guiding me.
This week I had the pleasure of hearing James MacDonald speak, if you are unaware of Mr. Macdonald I encourage you to Google his name and I assure you there are many links to his works. When I sat down in church I was ready to be confronted, not necessarily by Mr. MacDonald but by God.
I’ve gotten to the stage where I can recognize a forewarning when God is about to ROCK my world, and I had been feeling it this week. Mr. MacDonald gave a compelling sermon, many were moved to throw themselves to their knees to renew their relationship with God. It was a seriously powerful few hours…..and I personally felt a change within me.
You see, I feel like I lead with my Faith in all things. I consciously seek to put God into the forefront of my mind and follow His lead in my home life, my blog, my friendships….etc. I cannot imagine anyone who has ever met me, read my articles or heard me speak not being clear on my spiritual foundation.
The thing which hit me is how confident I’ve become in my life because of my faith. How wonderful everything has become and how badly I want to share this experience with the WORLD.
Do You Believe
During the sermon, MacDonald asked “Do You Really Believe?”. While one would think this question redundant when presented to a Christian audience, MacDonald’s challenged us to acknowledge the difference between “knowing” and “believing”.
We were in the book of John beginning at verse 11 where Lazarus (a good friend of Jesus) is very ill and his sisters have sent word to Jesus that Lazarus will certainly die if Jesus doesn’t return and save him. Jesus responds in verse 4 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
Jesus stays where he is for 2 more days and then decides to return to Judea which is where Lazarus and his sisters live. This was a risky endeavour in the eyes of the disciples who were with Jesus. Judea wasn’t a place where Jesus was welcome and by returning they feared he would be killed. Jesus reassures them that God will protect them and informs them that Lazarus has died, saying in verses 14-15 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Here’s the kicker, in verse 16 we see one of the disciples say: “Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Believing in Christ Means More Than Knowledge
Here were followers of Christ who were ordinary men, men who understood the chance of danger they were facing and yet they chose to rely upon God for their safety. On a strictly intellectual level one would dig their feet into the sand and refused to face what would have been seen as too large of a risk.
What we see here is the behaviour of a BELIEVER. There is a difference between knowing that something is fact and believing it in the core of your being.
When we choose to believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour we go beyond intellectual certainty into the spiritual faith. We choose to live our lives from a different impetus than we had in the past, from a belief upon which all of our thoughts, actions and plans must be formed.
To put it plainly, if I simply know that Jesus is the Son of God that won’t necessarily cause me to change my life. When I truly began to believe he is, then I began a process where I allow God to drive the movement of my journey. This means that I trust God so much more than I am concerned with any opposition this world can bring against the plans God has for my life.
So Are You A Believer?
Today ask yourself if you are a believer like the disciples are. Have you been listening to God’s direction in your life and making the changes or taking the direction upon which he’s guiding you?
Are you putting yourself out there for God, believing that He will protect and guide you?