The Word is My Life
Friday, December 14, 2018
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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July 2014 Believe Only!

From My Life’s Journey                                                                                                                                                                                     July, 2014  

Topic:  Believe Only!

The topic of the ministry letter this month addresses a core theme of Christianity: the steadfastness of our faith in God.  I hope you will take time to ponder the questions that are asked.  I’ll start with this one:  Who is God to you?  Before reading further, take a moment to reflect on this question. 

To me, God is my faithful, loving, and all-wise Father; He is also the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul.  When I was growing up, my earthly father – James Killian – always told me to “think.” Therefore, I am deeply drawn to the fact that God is all wise.  He has become wisdom to me (1 Cor. 1:30) and by meditating deeply on His faithfulness to me, I have become stable and grounded in my soul.  Similarly, your faith and trust in God should affect your life, stabilizing you on your journey.     

If in your life, you love God and His Word, yet you still have overwhelming fear, anxiety, or stress, there are questions I’d like you to consider:  Why do I carry heavy burdens when I’m told to cast them upon Christ (1 Peter 5:7)?  As God’s child, why do I fear when I’m told to rest (Heb. 4:9-11)?  As Christians who love the Word of God, we must learn to rest fully in the GOD of the Word.  Think on this.

In your anxiety, Jesus says to you, “Only believe.”  By only believe, He does not mean simply believe, He means believe completely, believe without doubting, believe only in Him and not in the anxiety-causing situationWhen Jesus was asked to pray for Jairus’ daughter who was dying, He learned that she had died while they were on the way.  Upon hearing of her death, Jesus looked at the father and said, “Only believe.”  His words were not an instruction to simply believe but to focus his mind to believe only (Mark 5:35-36)Jairus was not to acknowledge the news of his daughter’s death; he was not to acknowledge the wails of the people in his house; he was not to allow the sinking feeling of fear to consume him … That father was to believe only in God.  

Today, the Word still challenges us to believe only.  But where do we often find ourselves?  Believing for a while, and doubting for a while ...  then back and forth.  In the Bible, one father who asked Jesus to heal his son said, “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”  He had belief and unbelief operating at the same time.  Jesus was kind enough to heal the man’s son, but He says to us, “Believe only.”  Why?  The just shall live by faith in God (Heb. 10:38).  Through waffling back and forth, we become double-minded which leads to instability (James 1:8). 

Lock into faith in God and stay there!  Once you know that God is leading and directing you, don’t veer.  Remain steadfast in your trust!  Reject fear and anxiety.  Believe only in God.  Mark speaks of mountain-moving faith in Mark 11:23-26, but in verse 22 we are told to “have faith in God” for our prayers to have this mountain-moving power.  The Amplified Bible says to have faith in God constantly.

 Where do we have examples in the Bible of women who believed only?  I will give two. 

In Matthew 15:22-28, there was a Canaanite woman who came to Jesus to heal her daughter who was vexed with a devil.  Although Jesus told her He was not sent to Gentiles or non-Hebrews, the woman continued to “believe only” in Jesus’ ability to heal her child.  She would not let go of her faith in the Son of God.  Jesus ultimately said, “Woman, you have great faith; your request is granted.”  Oh, what relief she must have felt!  Also, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was told by an angel that she would conceive.  Although she was not intimately involved with a man, Mary said, “Be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38).”  Mary believed only – even when she did not understand.  Elizabeth, her cousin, said of Mary: “Blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).  Steadfastness in belief yields results.

But Iris, you may say, I have waited so long for a performance of what I’ve believed. 

Let me provide a little help on how to move forward:  Have a conversation with God (or prayer) and confirm to Him that it is Him you desire, not just what you are requesting.  In fact, I did this today.  There are several things I’ve asked God for that have been long in coming.  I presented these requests to God, but also declared that I desire Him and His will most of all.  What does this type of prayer accomplish?  It re-establishes that you seek God first (Matt. 6:33) and that your request has not become an idol.  Remember, God first. 

Another thing I am careful to do is let God know that I accept His way.  I’ll explain:  I lift requests to God without telling Him how to do things.  Sometimes we become dismayed because we are praying for things to happen in a certain way that is not unfolding as we desire.  For example as a self-employed person, I have talked to God about the need for additional income on occasion.  Then I leave it at that.  God has provided income from some very unexpected places, so I’ve learned to express the need and not how I want the need to be met.  I rest and believe only in God!

How do you know that you are believing only in God?  First and foremost, you are at rest.  It is revealed in your contentment.  Ponder again, who is God to you?  Lean fully upon the God of the Word.    

I encourage you as you consider the message of this letter.  Personally in my past, I have been someone who waffled between belief and unbelief, certainty and doubt, stability and instability … but thank God my doubts are settled, for I know that faithful God’s love, wisdom, and care for me (and you!) are real.  Believe only!

Ever onward, ever forward~

Dr. Iris K. Barrett