I’ve heard much, and I’ve taught much, about the importance of believing God’s word. And now I’ve discovered two gems that solidify my conviction. Here they are, buried in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:19,20…
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
What are the two treasures?
* There’s a difference between believing in God and believing God. Believing in God means agreeing that He exists. That’s no big deal, really. Even the demons do that (James 2:19). But believing God is a whole different story. It’s what compels us to obey Him, to trust Him implicitly, to do what He says regardless of the cost. It’s what Abraham did when he offered Isaac on the altar.
James 2:22-24 says, “You see, he [Abraham]was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did – by his actions. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.’ He was even called ‘the friend of God.’ So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.”
Believing God means doing what He says. It’s all about putting feet to our faith even when we’re weary or we don’t understand or when it hurts. That’s difficult, but it’s also critical to our growth and effectiveness as believers…which leads me to the second treasure.
* God rewards those who believe Him…and those rewards are major goodies. Paul’s prayer says that those who believe God experience the incredible greatness of His power – the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand in heaven. It’s easy to skim over those words – I’ve done it many times – but doing so means missing their richness. Meditating on them, however, enables us to grasp their meaning and ought to change our lives.
God rewards our obedience with His supernatural power. Not riches or fame or beauty or health, but the power needed to overcome whatever trials we experience, to say no to temptation, to give thanks even when we don’t feel like it, to extend forgiveness to those who don’t deserve it, and more. No matter what we face, His power – the same oomph that breathed life into the lifeless Christ and rolled the stone away from the tomb’s door – works in us and on our behalf. What more do we want or need?
On Monday I’ll tell you how I’ve seen this promise fulfilled in my own life. In the meantime, how about telling us how you’ve seen it prove true for you?