Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Believe Now

John 2:19-22
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

God is huge. Massive. Indescribably big. Sometimes when He would bring His presence to earth He would come with fire or lightning and thunder, or some powerful, visible force.

Exodus 20:18
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.

Sometimes it’s really easy to look at the signs and say, “Oh yeah, that’s definitely God.” But sometimes God does not come like you think He will, or even wish He would. In 1 Kings 19, God appeared to Elijah, and there was a great and powerful wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but God was not in them. Then, came a gentle whisper, which was the Lord.

Why does the Lord come in ways that are so hard to be sure of sometimes? Why doesn’t He just write it on the wall or send us angels in dreams? I could give you the answer that most would say (and is correct)—faith. But my honest answer right now is this: I don’t know.

I really have no clue why God doesn’t always speak up loud when we are desperate and broken. Why does it have to be a still small voice?

I really can’t figure it out, but I do know this, God actually speaks to us. He really does.

Luke 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”

Don’t even question it. Jesus still speaks.

What sticks out to me from the passage of John 2 is that it wasn’t until after Jesus had risen from the dead that “then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”

Here’s a phrase we are all familiar with: “Uh huh? Prove it.” “Really? You’re better at this than me? Prove it.” “Yeah? You are friends with Justin Timberlake? Prove it.” Let’s face it, when we get down to it, we are not very trusting or believing people by nature. And those of us that are quick to believe to believe are referred to as “naïve.” Maybe the fact that we are so slow to believe can be attributed to years of disappointing moments, being fooled too many times, or maybe we just don’t watch enough Disney movies anymore. Whatever the reasons are, it’s true that we are not quick to believe in most things. The same was with the disciples of Jesus.

When it comes to the words of the Lord, many times all we will have is His words. No other signs. And if your life is like mine, sometimes it seems that things are happening just the opposite of what the Lord’s words are. But those are the times we must look back on our lives and the old stories in the Scriptures, and how the words of the Lord have always been true and done just what they said they would do.

In Isaiah 55, the Lord compares His words to the rain that falls and waters the earth.

Isaiah 55:11
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

So it’s a fact: God’s word will never fail.

What if we were a people who didn’t have to wait for the proof before we believed the words of the Lord? The disciples had to wait until Jesus actually resurrected until they believed His words; what if we were a people who took Him at His word?

Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have no seen and yet have believed,” (John 20:24). It is possible to believe without “the proof.” The proof is the unfailing voice of Jesus.

But the age old question is, “Well, how do I know that it’s God?” We all ask it. I ask it everyday. And really, it’s a good question to ask. But let’s be real, most of the times we ask that, we are using it as a defense to what God is telling us to do. “How do I know that’s God? It might not be so I just won’t do anything about it.” Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you’re probably lying. Now go repent…

Alright, welcome back. I hope the confession was good for your soul.

I feel that we sell God so short on how and how often He speaks. God is speaking all the time. The question is: are we listening all the time? I’m not saying we never need to pray about anything or seek advice and counsel, but I think most of the reason we are not seeing bigger things of God in our lives is not because we keep mishearing God, but because we aren’t doing anything about what we do hear.

“Prove it. Prove that’s God’s voice.” You prove it! Prove it by doing something with it. And honestly, so what if we get things wrong once in a while? Really, it’s not that big of a deal. Would you rather be a person who never acts on anything because “what if I’m wrong sometimes,” or a person that believes the words of Jesus before He has physical proof?

God is not setting us up to fail. And the devil isn’t speaking words like, “Hey, go witness to that person,” or “What if you just did something radical and crazy for Jesus?” I’m 100% positive you don’t have to worry about the devil prompting you to move forward in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus is speaking. I believe He’s calling so many of us to do great things everyday. It might be a little uncomfortable, it might not make much sense, you might not see a dime in it, but it just might be Jesus. I’d say take some chances, but I don’t feel it’s a matter of chance; it’s a matter of faith.

What could be done for the Kingdom if we learned to believe and act on the word of the Lord? Don’t wait for the proof, prove it yourself.

Luke 10:28
[Jesus] replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

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