As a believer it has been my personal experience over the years that anything that places the focus back on me instead of on God is usually suspect. That’s not to say that I have no responsibility for anything, but rather so-called requirements on my part tend to take me away from and not closer to God. One such example of this involves believing God to get our needs met. I’m sure it started innocently enough, but over time it seemed to morph into something bigger than it actually was. Every time we failed in some capacity or maybe did not get a need met, the reason was always centered on our own personal lack of believing. And while God does require belief on our part to receive from Him, too much focus on myself and whether or not I’m “believing God” tends towards the negative. All of the great power and ability of God is suddenly held at bay all dependent upon something I am doing or not doing. The first red flag to notice is when the focus turns away from God and His willingness and ability and instead focuses on something people are doing or not doing. You can see this happening over and over again in religion. Religion repudiates God’s grace and unconditional love for us and makes it all about me and you. God’s blessings somehow happen or don’t happen dependent upon how well we obey or “do the Word” or line ourselves up with His perfection. If that were actually true all of us would fail. God is already well aware of our human condition and the sin nature all people are born with dating back to Adam and Eve. In this He and He alone initiated a way for us to escape the bondage of sin and it was not based upon anything that you or I ever did. Similarly, believing God is not a measure from which we evaluate ourselves. Believing God is more about knowing Him, trusting Him and looking for His help in life’s situations. Believing God is likely much easier than we have heretofore imagined.
If you think about it logically, all of the good things that happen in this life have been initiated by God. He is the starting point and the end point. If I am struggling with something He knows where I’m at and where I need to get in order to prevail. He knows me and you better than we know ourselves. This notion that we have to somehow grit our teeth and believe God in order to get something cannot be true. Then “believing God” turns into this magic system, this thinking nirvana, this systematic approach we are putting ourselves through in order to receive from Him. Unbeknownst to me I have now instituted a work I must do to earn or deserve something God has already promised to me. God’s promises are absolutely not contingent upon something I must do. Instead the promises have already been given to me to help me, to save me, to rescue me. It’s a very subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless. The acid test will always be who or what is my subject of focus. If the focus is on me and what I’m doing or not doing chances are I am no longer believing God. If my focus is on God and what He said He would do, chances are I’m believing Him. So the question is, what or who is your subject of focus? The enemy of righteousness is quite adept at getting the focus back on you and me. Have you noticed? You have a need that you are endeavoring to believe God to supply and what goes through your mind? You start thinking about where you don’t measure up, how many, many mistakes you have made in the past, how you must not be believing God or this need would have already been solved. The focus is then where? Squarely back on your own shoulders from whence there is no power (absent God) or ability to effect change. This is how and where we get tricked out of believing God and start trying to make things happen with our own mental powers. It’s a slippery deception but it always produces the same result – nothing!
So, how do we believe God to get our needs met? Simply stated we keep our focus on Him and what He promised. When our focus turns inward as it often does, we change our focus back to Him. We don’t have to make something happen! God is the One that makes something happen! If everything that happened was based on what I think then that would sort of make me God wouldn’t it? (Shudder) But that is exactly how we tend to view things. Again as if believing God was some type of mental nirvana state I must enter and maintain in order to get results. OMG I just had some doubts! Oh no, I was thinking negatively! Now nothing will happen until I sustain a certain mindset, over time and in the right way. Can you see how this kind of thinking just drives me back to me? It’s not it folks. Believing God is looking at Him. Believing God is remembering what His Word says. Believing God is thinking what God says is true and endeavoring to not think what isn’t true. At the end of the day it is God who backs up His Word. He made the promises, not me. I think God is big enough to get past my own inadequacies and weaknesses. God meets us where we are. We don’t have to get somewhere to get His help. We don’t have to perform to earn His help. We don’t have to play mental games to get His help. If your kid wasn’t doing so well, don’t you wish he would just tell you that? No matter how frightful, how ugly, how impossible, wouldn’t you want him or her to just tell you about it so you could help? Well, I’m pretty sure God can exceed that. If you are struggling why not say so? If you are having trouble getting your needs met, why not just talk it over with Him? I think believing God is just laying your whole self out to Him and asking Him to help you. He knows anyway right? He has already seen your whole life through and He still loves you. He still called you. Hey maybe it never was all about you!
I think it is time to reframe our thoughts about God. He is so incredibly vast and so much higher than us in His thoughts and ability. We need to simply approach Him how a child approaches their parents. No pretense, no performance, no formulas and systems, none. Just say what’s wrong and what you need. Humble yourself in that you might not already know. What you think is your issue may not be the issue at all. There is no need to play mind games with God. You are the child and He is your Father. Father knows best. Believing God is really about getting honest with Him and honest with yourself. Life is way too big with way, way too many variables for you (and me) to figure it out with our own thinking alone. Believing God is about letting God be God and solving for us what we are unable to solve on our own. Look for the red flags of self-focus and become determined to focus on Him. Believing God is not a system or a law. Believing God is a willingness to trust in something higher and bigger than yourself. Believe God!
Just some good thoughts…