Monday, April 13, 2009

Believing Is Seeing

Thanks for dropping by today. I pray you had a wonderful Easter and that you are still rejoicing over our risen King!

Notice how I put the title of todays post as "believing is seeing", and not the other way around?

If you think about it, we do that every day. We listen to the news on the radio or television and believe what they say is true, even though we did not witness the events discussed or know the people involved. We read about issues and events in the newspaper or on the internet and believe that the words we read are fact, without a doubt. We put faith in the organization or news crew that produced the articles or reported the facts, even though we did not actually see anything with our own eyes.

Why is it that we have a much harder time believing in Gods Word and believing that He is behind all activities and happenings in the universe, even though the Holy Bible says it is so? Why is it easier to believe a story from a news reporter, than what is written in Gods Word?

Our sight depends on our faith.

Faith is not something we can see. There is no visual evidence. In fact, even the Bible is written in words, and not in pictures. It requires us to think, imagine and visualize, instead of being able to see pictures of how things once were.

Most people need to see something to truly believe it. They want to lay their own eyes on the cold hard proof, before they can believe in their heart and mind that what they were told was true - unless of course it comes from a trustworthy source, like the news (ha!). For some things in life, this philosophy works just fine, but not when it comes to faith in Jesus.

The official definition of faith is a "firm belief in something of which there is no proof." Faith requires that we believe, despite not having any visual evidence.

If seeing were believing, then faith would be irrelevant and unnecessary, and Jesus would forever be trying to convince us that He was the Holy One, through signs and wonders and miracles. He would forever be frustrated, since our faith would fade as soon as we felt the need to see just one more example of proof of His existence, His sovereignty, or His power. If we could see Him, we would probably never truly believe in Him.

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Faith only comes by hearing His Word, and believing it. No matter what. Without a shadow of a doubt. Without being swayed by new age religions or practices that seem a little more appealing. Without needing constant proof that He is God.

Living in a fallen world assures us that we will face temptations not to believe.

We will face people who doubt God is real and want us to share in those doubts.

We will face opportunities to turn away from God and believe in other religions, which may seem more popular, trendy, appealing or modern-day.

We will face ridicule for having faith.

But that is where true faith comes in. Faith that is not swayed by new ideas, impressive people, or eloquent preaching.

Faith that will not die just because something easier and more fun comes along.

Faith that is strong, and can hold up under pressure.

Faith that is based on the belief that He was, is and will be the only Savior ever known to mankind.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

We cant see God, but we can see His activity in our life.... if we believe.

We cant see God, but we can see His power working within us....if we believe.

We cant see God, but we see His Words and understand their meaning....if we believe.

If you ask me, we see what we want to see. We can choose to believe.... and then we see.

If you have felt lured to doubt Gods presence, power, and omnipotence as a result of listening to false teachings, being persuaded by others, or dealing with doubts that have been planted in your mind by those who dont believe because they cannot see, pray for God to remove those doubts today.

If you have been doubting God and His omnipotence because you cannot see His activity in your life, pray for Him to open your eyes to His presence. Pray for Him to pour into your life so powerfully that you cannot doubt that He is at work. Pray for Him to make His presence knownt to you.... and never think something is ironic. It is God.

Pray for strong, unshakable faith.

And remember, believing is seeing.

John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

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mary said...

Thank you for being faithful to God & writing on your blogg! I have been praying for direction on what to study. The word believing kept coming to mind. I ask the Lord for confirmation. What is the 1st thing I read this morning! "Believing is Seeing" Praise God for answered prayer! Blessings & Peace to all

Joyful said...

Tracie, John 20:29 has always been one of my favourite verses. The Lord was calling generations yet to come 'blessed' because we have believed without seeing.

That initial step might come without seeing Him physically, but oh the times when my faith has become sight as I've seen Him and felt His Hand in circumstances, through other people, His Word, His still small voice etc...

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Cor. 13:12

Open my eyes, that I may see,
Wonderful truths Thou has for me...

Linda said...

The saddest thing of all is when we can't even believe what our pastors are telling us--even very famous pastors like Rick Warren. What a disappointment.

Brandee said...

Tracie, I love this devotion today and will be forwarding it on to all my friends that do not get the daily devotions. Thanks for wonderful thoughts today!

Iya said...

This is my first time on your blog but I saw your post in my "Encouragement for Today" email.
I have a few friends who love the book "The Shack" even though they know it's written as fiction. They say it gives them a better sense of God.
I was wondering what you thought of it?
I have not read the book but have heard so many good & negative things about it.
Do you think that this book is a heresy or could cause the people that are reading it to have a distorted view of God or do you think it's a great resource for us to have a better relationship with God?
When I read your Scripture Eph. 4:14 It made me think of my friends & this book.
I'm very interested to hear your opinion.

Meeka said...

Hi Tracie,
I just LOVE it when I feel the Lord giving me a little nudge that he's definately there for me on something in my heart. (am I making any sense here?). Your words today were right on target! Though I've thankfully gotten alot of peace about it, I've been dealing with a tough situation with someone I know. This person professes to know Him, but is definately caught up in being "tolerant" of many things. I only want to show His love & not judgement, but very recently I was put in a very awkward position in which we both ended up feeling very hurt. I honestly feel (& am praying alot over this, since I only want the Lord's truth to show, not my mere opinions) that this person was extremely offended by some biblical truth.
I know I'm probably rambling without making much sense, but if you think of it, please pray for this person & for me to show God's love in a way that will lead her only to the ULTIMATE TRUTH & ONLY WAY through Him.
Thanks, Tracie. Hope you & your family are well!
Many blessings,

Anonymous said...

Iya -- I thought this article might help you.

A sister in Christ

JottinMama said...

I tend to deal with doubt a lot - it seems like it is something I am constantly facing. So, thank you for this post:)

Praying for unshakable faith,
Kate :)

Tracie Miles said...

Iya - I have read The Shack, and despite all the opinions of hypocrisy, I loved the book. Although God is obviously not the same as the characters portrayed in the book, the whole premise was that the man could see God in a way that he could relate to. As for me, it moved me to tears and made me feel closer to God and understand how much He knows me in a personal way, and wants to have an intimate relationship with me. I actually wrote a blog post on it on December 30, 2008 if you want to check it out.