According to your faith, let it be done to you.Jesus Christ
About two years ago I consciously decided it was time to go on a journey of self-discovery, personal development and growth. As a matter of fact, I will say that I am still on that journey as we speak. I say consciously because given my very nature I feel that it is a path I have always been on, but more in an unconscious way; being on the path but not fully aware of it. My children are grown, I have completed my post-secondary education, life is not as much of a struggle anymore and I am ready for the next step, I thought. I need to find more meaning in life, I said to myself. This led me to listen to a number of motivational/inspirational talks and read a few personal growth and development books. I found a common thread among all of them; they all spoke about the power of belief and visualization in one way or the other. A concept which has roots in Christian philosophy. In Christendom it is referred to as FAITH.
I am sure you have heard the saying, “seeing is believing”. That phrase has guided my life for many years. I tend to have great difficulty believing in that which I cannot see; believing that something will happen if I have no evidence to support that it will happen. Yes, you can say that doubting Thomas and I can very well be related (read the account in John 20:24-29); but I am actively working on severing those ties. I think that faith is a challenge for many of us because it seems unnatural to believe in something we cannot see. The mind is prone towards logic and order. It is drawn to what it can reasonably understand.
What is Faith?
So, what is Faith anyway? Well according to Hebrews 11:1, faith is confidence in what we hope for. Another translation says, it is what makes real, the things we hope for.
Author, pastor and singer Wintley Phipps writes, “the power to believe as well as to choose what we believe, shapes our lives, circumstances, character and destiny… more than any other single factor.” Have you ever heard about the placebo effect? It refers to the application of a treatment that a person believes will help them even though the treatment has no proven therapeutic benefit. So powerful is the mind that the person is healed simply by believing that the treatment will heal them, and not because the treatment itself had any real benefit. The placebo effect is used in medical trials all the time. One group is usually given the real medicine while the other group is given a sugar pill or something of the sort, except everyone believes that they are getting the medicine. Oftentimes those receiving the placebo also show signs of healing, simply because of the power of the mind and their strong belief that they will be healed.
The two blind men of Matthew 9 were healed because of what they believed. When Jesus asked them the question, do you believe that I am able to make you see again? They replied, “yes Lord we believe.” Jesus touched their eyes and responded, “according to your faith, let it be done to you”. Another version says, “become what you believe.”
Believe and Become
If your beliefs are negative, then you will become a negative person. If your beliefs are positive, then you will become a positive person. If you believe you are nothing, that you can accomplish nothing, you cannot reach that goal or realize that dream, then that is what you will become. But if you believe that God has a plan for you, if you believe that you can do all things through Christ, if you believe that contrary to what others say, you are somebody, if you believe that you are great, if you believe that you are a singer, a writer, a preacher, a speaker, a millionaire, a pilot, a servant, a motivator, a mentor, a good parent, a good spouse or friend, because it is your purpose and who God has called you to be, then that is what you will become! Of course some action has to go along with believing. Belief has to be supported by action.
One of my favorite quotes is from William Hutchinson Murray and it says, “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events, issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
Do You Desire?
The question is, do you desire it? Do you crave it? Do you believe it? Mark 11:24 says, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them. Desire is described as a deep seated craving and intense longing. Dr. Myles Munroe teaches that desire is, “craving enough to sacrifice for”. This makes me think about passion; desire can be linked to passion. Follow this link to read my previous post on Passion if you haven’t already. According to Dr. Munroe, “faith is what you are asking for but can’t yet see… a strong desire enables you to stand your ground until you see what you have believed.” I think this is very important, so let it sink in. Is it possible that sometimes we lack faith and give up on our dream or goal, due to the lack of a strong enough desire for what we say we are believing for? If we are ready to throw in the towel on our dream because of some challenge or because we think it is taking too long, then we must question how badly we want it. How strong is our desire?
Author and speaker Tony Robbins refers to belief as a feeling of certainty. Regarding visualization, he writes, people can succeed if they imagine something vividly enough…that’s because our brains can’t tell the difference between something we’ve vividly imagined and something we’ve actually experienced.”
A Piece of Advice
Author, speaker and pastor, John C. Maxwell advises, move beyond your limiting beliefs. He postulates that the greatest limitations we experience in our lives are the ones we place on ourselves. He offers some practical advice that you can immediately put into action if you are challenged in this area. First, identify the limiting belief and how it is limiting you. Next describe how it will make you feel to do the thing you think you can’t do, then write an empowering statement about your ability to do it and how you will be impacted by it.
Knowing full well that I am challenged in the area of faith, earlier this year I found myself studying on the topic. I then concluded that I understand faith to mean, a complete trust and reliance on God. An unwavering confidence in Him. It is a certain, firm, steady conviction of His power to act in my situation. It is the act of waiting on Him patiently; assuming a position of expectancy, no matter how bleak the situation may seem.
I urge you to take some time to contemplate what you understand faith to mean. Are you praying for something but secretly doubting in your heart? Like me, do you find that you are challenged in this area of your life? If so, what are you going to do about it? What action are you going to take in order to grow in this area?
I encourage you to:
Desire and Believe,
Crave and Trust,
Dream and Be Confident,
Long For and Be Expectant.
Take the plunge and become what you believe!
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