Saturday, November 1, 2008

Belief is Not a Secret

Belief is Not a Secret
By Kriss Mitchell, M.Ed, LPC, CRC, CNHP
We seem to be hearing a lot about the subject of belief lately. Much of it centers around the idea that if we believe for things or resources they will come to us. Although this idea has been around for a very long time in one form or another, the difference these days is that along with the age old idea of “positive thinking”, there is an element of quantum physics that is being thrown in the mix which is offering a little more credence to the subject. The enemy often mixes the truth with error or he counterfeits something in the Kingdom of God. When it comes to belief, more often than not, these kinds of ideas are married with a spiritualistic agenda that to most Christians is distasteful. However, as truth and error are combined in the area of belief, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Belief is foundational to the Christian walk. Scripture teaches us to “believe unto salvation”, if we “believe we will receive”. So what is it that is true and what is the error that we need to throw away? Let’s look at scripture to find out.
Mark 9:23 – And Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (NKJ) In this portion of scripture, Jesus is responding to the young boy with the deaf and dumb spirit.
“The word “possible” is the Greek word dunata….It expresses the idea of ability; power; one who is able and capable; or one who is competent. This scripture emphatically tells us that there is a power that causes one to become able, capable, or competent for any task. When this power comes on the scene and begins to operate in an individual’s life, it doesn’t matter how unfit or unqualified he was before; this power energizes him and makes him capable for the task.
But who is this person who can accomplish impossible feats? Jesus said that all things are possible to him “that believeth.” The word “believeth” is the Greek word pisteuonti, from the word pistis, the Greek word for faith. However, when pistis becomes pisteuonti, as in this verse, it pictures a person who is believing. This is not someone who once had an experience of faith in the past; rather, this is a person who is presently believing right now. His faith is actively reaching forward right now to grab hold of what God has promised.” (Taken from Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner)
Matthew 21:22 – “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” This is the same word pisteuo which has been translated “believing”.
Mark 5:35-43 – “While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?’ But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.’ And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, ‘Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.’”
Notice that Jesus instructed the official to believe. He didn’t tell him to pray or to worship, Jesus simply wanted his heartfelt belief.
Mark 11:23 – “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.”
Again, believes is the same word pisteuo and the word heart is kardia which is where we get the word “cardiac” referencing our heart. The Scripture not only makes reference to the heart as a physical organ, but as the center of spiritual life.
Belief is the marriage of thought and emotion; the powerful place of agreement between the brain and the heart. For example, when we simply think about something, there usually is not a feeling of power connected with it. We see a spider on the wall and think that it may be a good idea to do something to get it out of the house. We either act on it or we don’t. On the other hand, someone else could see that spider and have a panic attack because as a child they woke up one night with a large spider in their bed and that experience married the spider with the emotion of fear which has produced a belief that spiders are bad and they must get away from them. When the emotion of fear was married with the thought of the spider, there became a much more powerful reaction. This person has created a belief about spiders that is so strong that the physical body reacts violently to it. The brain and the heart have come together in a place of agreement about the spider and a powerful belief has been created.
Heart studies from many of the University hospitals around the nation have found that the heart and the brain produce electro-magnetic fields around the body. They produce measurable frequencies and vibrations which affect the world around them. According to the HeartMath Institute, the electromagnetic field of the heart is “five thousand times greater in strength than the field produced by the brain.” This field is measurable for 8-10 feet, but is thought to extend up to a mile in circumference. (The HeartMath Solution, page 33) This makes sense as we look at our example above. Thought, produced by the brain, is much less powerful than the belief produced by the heart. When the two are brought together however, the corresponding belief has much more power than the thought alone.
According to HeartMath, “An electromagnetic field is just that: magnetic…. The emotional resonance you send out from your heart rhythms is like a magnet, attracting people, situations, and opportunities. When you’re in a state of appreciation, your energy is more buoyant and spirited. You feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.”
Scripture preceded science in Matthew 7:1-2 where it says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” God so arranges our life that we tend to attract what our heart believes is true.
HeartMath Institute has also shown in their studies that in developing an attitude of thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude our nervous systems come into balance. That means that our hearts beat in a coherent rhythm and the two main branches of our autonomic nervous system are synchronized. It is common throughout God’s creation that anything in balance and synchronized is more efficient and more effective.
Scripture gives us at least 108 verses that mention thanks and specifically gives us things to be thankful for. Psalms has many scriptures that say things like, give thanks to the Lord, His lovingkindness extends forever or I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart! The Lord is showing us things we can be thankful for if we can’t come up with them on our own.
God is a God Who absolutely wants to bless us and within our physical bodies, He created the means by which we receive those blessings. In His word, He speaks to us about how to be in position to receive everything that He has for us:
Philippians 4:6-8 - “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts by Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
"logizomai" is the Greek word translated dwell in this verse. This word deals with reality. If I "logizomai" or reckon that my garden does not have weeds in it, when the reality is, my garden has weeds in it this is not logizomai, it is pretending or deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.
Other places in the bible, this same word is translated thinks, reason, and suppose amongst others. We think about facts. This scripture is telling us what to do with our brains. We need to regard what is positive, dwell on the good things in life rather than what has gone wrong. This does not mean that we live in denial or become unresponsive to what is real. We grow into the maturity and likeness of Jesus, who as He faced the cross, focused on the joy set before Him. What we think about and what we attach emotion to, we will believe. Those beliefs affect the electromagnetic resonance around us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The word believes is again the Greek word pisteuo, however interestingly enough the words translated “take into account”, is the Greek word logizomai. We are not to meditate on and rehearse the wrongs we have suffered because those negative beliefs will be put into our heart resonance as well as have a negative impact on our physical body. This does not mean that we simply ignore abuse or deny when we hurt. Truth means we acknowledge what has happened, but we don’t have to dwell on it. We can use the experience as a teachable moment, we can choose to see it as an opportunity to explore our abilities to forgive and we can receive wisdom about the experience to apply to future experiences. Simply put, we glean what we can that is positive and move on.
Love is a strong emotion of the heart so accordingly, if we start with the truth and bring love into the equation, we will create a belief based on the marriage of truth and emotion, bringing more and more of God’s blessing into our lives.
Because negative thought, stress, anger and hatred are so destructive to our physical bodies, as well as our life in the present and our future, it is important for us to understand what the Lord is saying about belief. In our human experience, we will be hurt and we will experience those emotions that the Lord uses to highlight places in our lives that need healing. However, it is what we do with those emotions that impacts us long term. The Lord wants us to take those thoughts captive, not dwell on them, apply forgiveness and repentance where it is necessary and then move on with our lives taking the wisdom of the experience with us. Belief is not a secret, it is an attitude of the heart; not used as a tool to get things, but to be a testimony to the goodness of God in our lives.

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