Respecting and Reaching Agnostics


You may be saying to yourself, “I want to be a good Christian witness, but my friend says she’s agnostic.  I don’t know what to say.”  (Or, some variation of that thought).

I think I can help.

Good News With Skin On

The first thing that is essential to realize in being a “good witness” is to be an example of what good news ‘looks like’. In other words BE good news with skin on.

Unfortunately, many Christians have developed the idea that being a good witness is having the ability to academically or intellectually ‘defend’ their belief in the existence of God.

The Good Witness

The Greek word for ‘witness’ is martyr.  A good witness was one who was put to death rather than deny his or her faith.

The chances are slim that you will be put in the position of giving up your physical life to be a good witness…especially with one of your friends.  However…

…let me make a very practical application of being a good martyr that will go a long ways toward giving your friend new life.

In the case of respecting and reaching your agnostic friend, I suggest you die to your own right to be right.

If there’s anything that motivates us as self protecting, opinionated humans, we are good at digging in our heels to defend our right to be right.  We are so automatically accomplished at playing defense, that we can ‘feel’ each other bristle when ‘our facts’ are challenged.   Add ‘God beliefs’ to the mix, and we have a potentially toxic formula.

Before You Misunderstand Me

Being right in your belief in God is not at issue here.  It’s the I’m right attitude that shuts down a respectful, and potentially productive conversation.  Did you know that we can ‘smell’ and ‘feel’ each other’s heart attitudes?  It’s a super power that everyone has.

Incarnate Yourself

To incarnate means to take on human form.  God did that as Jesus.  We, too, are called to incarnate.  In other words, to ‘enter their world’.  We do so by listening with our hearts and minds wide open so that we can hear someone else, besides ourselves, talk.

[I don’t know if you realize it or not, but instead of listening while our friends are talking, we often continue to listen to ourselves talk as we form the next defensive argument]

If we depend upon the Holy Spirit’s help, He will guide our impressions for living, loving response, as we listen.

Keep The Conversation Going

When we are defending our beliefs, the actual goal is to stop the conversation.  We feel if we can do that, we’ve won.  (Or, we don’t have to worry about being ‘bested’ and feeling like a looser…and poor witness).  However, the truth is that we usually haven’t won at all.  We’ve simply stopped the conversation.  That is NOT a victory.  We want to keep the conversation going.

The truth that so many sincere Christians miss is that God is love and therefore drawing a person to the reality of God starts with simple (yet profound) demonstrations of authentic love.  The love of God, fully demonstated and empowered by the Holy Spirit has the ability to cast a bright inner light on Jesus.

Your academic doctrine of salvation doesn’t have the power to convert anyone.  But, demonstrated love does.

Did You Know?

The Holy Spirit doesn’t need your academic intelligence to win!  He needs you to demonstrate God’s love in your attitude and respect.

The longer you can keep the conversation going – either at the moment or through leaving the door open for the future – the greater amount of time to saturate your neighbor with the penetrating power of God’s love.

The demonstration of loving respect has a power unequaled by academic, doctrinal arguments.  The greatest witness is the supernatural energy of God’s grace through your skin.  You can be God’s love extended.

God is love, not an argument of theological defense.  The witness starts with God, Himself (as Love).  It’s a mystical truth.  His love demonstrated through a humble vessel is like a flame to the wax of a candle.  It melts every argument and kindles a living light that illumines one’s heart.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

How God Inspires Normal People

It is my desire and goal that God’s breath continually fills the sails of my routine, everyday life.  Not just on Sundays, or only when I’m praying and reading my Bible; but, every day…all day.

An inspired life.  An inspiring life.  Jesus called it ‘the abundant life.’ (John 10:10)

So, can I tell you what that ‘looked like’ for me today?

I officiate non-denominational wedding ceremonies.  For a while now, I’ve wanted a new pair of slacks as well as a different tie to spruce up my wedding officiant’s outfit.

My wife suggested I look at Kohls.  That’s a store where, in the past, we’ve found some pretty good deals on clothing.

While driving to the store, I said, “Lord, please help me find a pair of charcoal grey slacks at a good deal…and maybe a tie, too.”

At the Men’s Department, I began searching the aisles and kiosks of slacks.  I found a pair of pants in my size that looked like they would work well.  Price:  $60.  Umm…maybe.  More than I wanted to spend, but…if I have to…I suppose.  I’d like better-looking slacks.  Not that the ones I have aren’t okay.  However, I would like an upgrade.

I kept looking (while carrying the first pair).  Oh, over there on that kiosk.   There’s a pair that looks even better and in my size.  Price:  $75.  (Ay!) Too much money.  Probably fair for the quality but…not an amount I wanted to pay.  (Oh, well…)

Finally, I head for the Fitting Room with both pairs.  I didn’t want to buy either.  But, these are what seems to be available in my size and color.  At the same time, I’m also trying to decide which of the two pair I would be the most satisfied.

[I stop in my tracks.  Something niggles inside me to keep looking.  So, I turn around and keep scouring the isles to see if I’ve missed something.]

Long story short.  I kept nosing through the same aisles and kiosks hoping for a better deal in the right color, and my size would, somehow, ‘magically’ appear.

After several more minutes, the ‘magic’ happened.  I saw a small clearance table I had not previously noticed.

{Stick with me.  There is a moral and happy lesson to this rambling story.}

As I scanned the table, I saw my waist size on one of the pairs.  But, when I picked it up, the length was 4 inches too long.

“Yep…that’s why it’s on a clearance table, I thought.  It’s odd sizes that didn’t sell.”

For some reason, I felt ‘compelled’ to keep looking.  It wasn’t logical to keep trying the clearance table for slacks that would fit me.  The size I wear is one of the most common and sell quickly.  What’s more, the urge to keep looking wasn’t like a Charlton Heston voice in my gut that indicated my persistence was a direction from God.  It felt more like undying tenacity…or possibly illogical stubbornness.

As I was about to give up, though, and spend more money than I wanted to part with, I caught a glimpse of a label nearly buried in a stack I’d already been through (I thought more than once).  I looked more closely retrieving it from the stack. No way!  My size!

“What, I thought, is a popular size doing on a clearance table?”  Hmmm 🙂

I grabbed them up and headed for the fitting room.  They fit.  Perfectly.  The color was what I wanted. And, the clearance sticker read $16.

Then, as I was about to leave my cubicle, I heard the man in the space next to mine telling his wife that he had just found a great tie on a clearance rack.  Yep, I wanted a new tie, too.  I clutched my sale slacks with a giddy smile in my heart and headed out to find the ties.

Dejavu!  The only ties I could find were beautiful…but $35 each.   But, I’m not going to lengthen this article even further.  Let’s just say it was a repeat performance similar to my slacks escapade.  Result:  I finally found, nearly hidden,  a small clearance rack for ties. On it was a great one that would blend my ‘wedding officiant’s outfit’ together very nicely.  Retail: $35.  Sticker over sticker over sticker:  $3.10

But, that’s not all!

I get to the checkout counter.  The smiling, friendly cashier rings up my slacks, and tie, and then says, “And, I have a coupon for 20% off I’ll apply for you.”

I paid $17.10 and saved over $76 off retail.  I had asked the Lord to guide me.

Do you think He did?

Here’s the lesson:

Many people believe that if God were leading me (inspiring me), I would have gone right to the sale slacks and sale ties.  Otherwise, they say, “It’s just human effort.  That wasn’t supernatural.”

I beg to differ.  That belief is one of the biggest reasons that so many sincere Christ-Followers miss out on the abundant, inspired, and inspiring life that God desires for us.  They feel that God’s direction supersedes human effort and persistence.

To the contrary, the majority of the time, God’s inspiration fills the sails of one’s daily life influencing the direction of the daily journey.  The ‘nudges’ of the wind often seem to mimic the natural process of decision making.

Oh, yes, there are times (when truly needed) that a more ‘spectacular miracle’ arrives on the scene.  However, as a course of normal life on this side of eternity, the Holy Spirit trains the intentional soul to become increasingly sensitive to the ‘still small voice’ within as God’s sons and daughters learn the joy of abundant partnership with Him.

Be a son or daughter of God who is intentional about an increasingly sensitive companionship with Him as your daily journey unfolds before you.  Be inspired, and be inspiring.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Faith Grows: The Seed-Bed


Faith has a seed-bed.  It grows in the atmosphere of communication and community.  Communication and community with God and others.

The ‘others’ are not just those who agree with our position.

(Notice how I gave that sentence a space of its own?  In my opinion, it’s that important).

When we only have conversations about our beliefs with only those who agree with our positions, it isn’t an honest conversation.  Don’t get me wrong.  We need fellowship with fellow believers that encourages, and strengthens us.  However, we also need to cut the eye-teeth of our beliefs in the arena where iron sharpens iron.

Sadly, a great deal of the time, Christians use the Bible as a source that, in reality, shuts down conversation rather than encourages it.

Maybe we’ve all sloganed, “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.”  As a statement of faith, it sounds good (on the surface).  Problem is…it’s more often than not a conversation stopper.

When I say, ‘a conversation stopper,’  I’m not only referring to communication with others, but also God.

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now and let us reason together…”

The context of this charge is regarding sin.  However, in principle, it is appropriate to apply to matters of faith.  Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word that is used for ‘reason’ in this statement infers a challenging discourse.  It is often used in the context of arguing a case or pleading a cause.

The phrase ‘come now’ is in the imperative mood which means the whole process of conversation/debate/arguing your case with God is exceedingly important.

If we are not expressing our hearts and minds to God, how are we going to hear His response.  Btw….in my experience, His response is always full of genuine understanding, acceptance, and heart touching revelation.

Here’s my first bottom line for this article:

He says ‘come boldly’ to His throne of grace. (Hebrews 4:13)  It’s the throne of grace, not the throne of judgment.  So, make it a habit of communicating with the Lord about your faith issues.  He welcomes you.  Your concerns, doubts, and crises of faith are important to Him!

When you come to Him, He will not ‘throw scripture verses’ back in your face.  He will not chide you for not believing His Word as you should.  If He does speak the Scripture to you as His response, it will come with a fresh, liberating, enlightening revelation to your heart and mind that increases your strength, and your sense of freedom.

His objective will always be to build you up, stir you up, or comfort you.  He obeys His own purposes of prophecy.

Don’t run in and run out.  Keep the conversation in front of Him until peace settles over you.  Jesus said, “Come to me, and I will give you rest” (literally, ‘rest you’.)  –  Matthew 11:28-30   It may take a while, but waiting will be worth it!

Here’s my second bottom line:

Growing in communication with ‘your neighbor’ is also vital to growth in faith.  Honest discussion.  Hearing each other out.  NOT taking disagreement with your position as a personal attack on your faith.

It’s probably not God’s purpose for you to ‘set them straight.’

There may be more than one right thought on matters of faith in the human arena.  If we don’t listen to each other, how will we grow?

Some of my most valuable lessons and convictions were birthed from open (and sometimes very hard) debates with atheists.  Why?  Because the sincere ones made some very credible observations and exposed weak spots in some places, I felt secure, at the time.

These conversations forced me to communicate continuously with the Holy Spirit.  They also helped me develop a deeper humility of attitude than when I entered the communications.  In the end, I’ve grown leaps and bounds in my faith.  It has become more genuine and authentic than ever.

This principle also holds true with brothers and sisters in Christ that are on a different page than you!

So, we end where we began:

“Faith has a seed-bed.  It grows in the atmosphere of communication and community.  Communication and community with God and others.”

If you have any questions, or observations, communicate with me.  I’m safe 🙂

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blessings of God: Problems


It’s human nature to resist, recoil from, and resent problems on the journey of life.

But, what if I told you that resistance can be a blessing from God.   Every roadblock or tough situation is not always the devil or a result of sin in your life.

The fact is that smooth roads don’t typically encourage problem-solving.  In fact, in my experience, it’s been the “push-backs” on my path that have led to some of the most important revelations in my ever-increasing relationship with the Lord.

I’ve had plenty of times, over the years, that I’ve known smooth roads and mountain tops in my walk of faith.  My walk with the Lord, however, has prospered more at times that I’ve had to stop walking (or running).

Sometimes in desperation and not a little bit of murmuring, I’ve been forced to stop, look, and listen for the inner voice of the Lord.

It’s not the feeling of frustration and “why me” murmuring that is the problem.  It’s whether or not you put a (.) period, or a (,) at the end of your sentences.  Paul was honest like that.  At times he cried out in frustration, but he also finished the thought with (, But God…)

One of the most recent revealings of the Lord came with the words on a construction road sign.  It said, “Expect Delays.”

It had just been ‘dawning on me’ (another way of saying ‘receiving a revelation’) that this earth-life is an essential but tiny piece in the eternity puzzle.  Our lives on this side are like a classroom for spiritual growth.

Class rooms are places where we learn things, but an important part of the process of learning is making mistakes.  Seriously.  Most, if not all people, would not develop excellence without the errors.

If a person is passive about mistakes, then there are probably deeper issues.  I’ve never heard of anyone who aspired to win second place.

But, mistakes…not doing it perfect the first, second, or third time is an integral part of the learning process.  Giving up in self-criticism is not a healthy option.  Pushing forward, inquiring of the Lord for wisdom, is a very important part of the journey….(unless mediocrity is cool with you.)

The next step of the revelation were the words I read on the road sign, “Expect Delays.”  I felt it in my heart.  Those two words were encouragement from the Lord.  Delays are a part of the process.  God knows that and therefore is NOT criticising you.  You are the one slamming yourself.

One of the devil’s most effective weapons is the voice of self-accusation.  The Spirit of Jesus whispers words of courage in our hearts and minds.  He builds us up.  He doesn’t tear us down.  He comforts us.  He doesn’t criticise us.

Are you experiencing a “delay.”  Expect it.  It’s part of God’s excellent process where we are given the blessing of fresh revelation.

Time to stop, look, and listen.  Ask. Seek. Knock.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Faith’s Untold Story


Following Jesus means we learn to walk by faith and not by our natural senses.  But, I’m sure you already know that.

You’ve been practicing the “faith walk” for a while now, probably.

We all face needs and circumstances in life that require a faith connection with God that brings supernatural results.

“I Had Faith.  I Stood My Ground.  I Declared & Decreed The Promises.  I Waited.  Nothing Changed.”

Have you been there?  Are you there now?

I have some good news, so keep reading…

What’s Often Missing?

Faith’s untold story…

Often the need is not for more faith, but the wisdom that is needed to know how to use our faith.

When I say wisdom, I don’t mean a mixture of faith and natural (so-called) common sense.

Faith’s untold story…

Faith is the result of an active relationship.

I John 5:14 -15 says, “This is the confidence that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us and if we know He hears us, we know that we have that which we have desired of Him.”

These verses are not about the sterile, academic mechanics of ‘working’ scripture promises to get the desired results.  The confidence spoken of here is that which comes from close, active, heart relationship with Jesus (the Living Word).

The Written Word takes on vitality as a result of personal fellowship with the Living Word.  The Written Word without the Living Word is lifeless law.  Instead of belief, we focus on “faith behavior.”

We need more than attempting to believe promises.  We need wisdom that reveals how to apply those promises.  That wisdom comes as a result of a personal, close relationship with Jesus.

If we need more results from our faith, we need the wisdom that comes from an active, personal, close and growing relationship with the Lord.  And that personal relationship is what God wants with you more than anything else.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
(Psalm 37:4)

Gary

 

Still A Sinner (Really?)

I recently was in a conversation with a man who’d been a Believer for a very long time.  He said this to me,  “Sometimes God will let us know when we’re going to die, but most of the time He doesn’t.  If we knew we were going to die tomorrow, we’d really sin in the meantime.  That’s why He won’t usually tell us.”

I responded, “Not me.  Not because I’m holier than thou but because it’s not in my new nature to do so.  And, it’s not in yours either.”

He hesitated and said, “Explain.”

I answered him, “Because I am a new creation in Christ by new nature.  I am not an old sinner saved by grace…but still an old sinner.”

I continued, “If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I’d be doing my best to set things, which I could, in order.  With that, I’d be praising God, loving Him, and anticipating, joyfully, what was coming.”

I admitted, “Yes, I still fall short.  I sin.  But, not because I’m a sinner by nature.  I commit sinful acts out of habit to the flesh that is still at war with my new man.  If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I definitely would not spend my last hours on this earth trying to make up for ‘sinful, lost time.’

The statement my friend made revealed what a great many Christians believe.  They are very sin focused.  The religious church leadership has taught them to see themselves that way.  Supposedly that’s being humble.

However, it is not Christian humility to degrade yourself and the efficacy of the Cross of Jesus.

True Christian humility bows in deep reverence and awe at the wonders of God and what He has accomplished through Christ.

True Christian humility bows in love and honor and the wonders of the new birth that was granted by grace.

True Christian humility recognized sonship and partnership which isn’t deserved but freely given.

True Christian humility sees with the eyes of the new man and doesn’t allow the voice of the flesh to degrade and belittle oneself.

The temptations of the flesh are just that.  Temptations…not your nature.

We give in, by learned habit, to self-supply or own desires.  We fall short, in many different practical ways.  But focusing on one’s failures to walk, only adds strength to the lie…that you are a sinner by nature.

The hope to overcome the sins of the flesh (not your nature) is to focus on the fact that you are, by nature, a born anew son or daughter of God with the power of the Holy Spirit bubbling on the inside of your heart.

“Open the eyes of my heart Lord…I want to see You, and who you’ve made me, in truth!”

Truth sets us free.  (Jesus said that.}

Gary

How To Know The Truth

My BFF (the best friend that will literally be forever), Jesus, once gave His apprentices an excellent principle of determining what beliefs were from the Father and which were not.

“…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:17)

Let me ask you (and myself) a question based on that wisdom:

What kind of fruit is your tree of beliefs producing in your real-time, practical, daily life?

What we believe determines how we respond…period.  What we believe is critical to the quality of our lives.

Here’s some good news:  (Great news, actually)  It is not as complicated as religion (including ‘Christian’ religious systems) and politics have made it!

As we look earnestly at the Gospels, we see that the primary message and example of Jesus could be summed up in the words love, and forgiveness.

Are you motivated in the core of your being by love and forgiveness?  Is what you believe about God, life, your neighbor, and yourself dripping with the juice of love and forgiveness?

The honesty of what you believe to be truth(s) is revealed by the fruit that is being produced in the garden of your heart.

What you believe about God, your neighbor and yourself is also evidenced by the kind of fruit others are eating from your garden.  How is it affecting them?

Is the fruit of your belief tree producing the ability to love and forgive?

If not…what you believe may need some adjustments.

Open your mind and your heart to Jesus.  Let Him show you the way, truth, and life.  His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (John 14:6; Matthew 11:30)

Gary

 

 

 

The Healthiest Journey

The journey of being liberated from fear into discovering increasing measures of the fulfillment of freedom is, I believe, what Jesus calls ‘Abundant Life’ (John 10:10).  It is also known as true prosperity (3 John 2).  This is the healthiest path to travel and has the potential of growing ‘brighter’ each day that passes (Proverbs 4:18).  At least that has been my experience.

Our thoughts about life and the way we ‘flesh-out’ those thoughts produces fruit that is either sour or sweet.  Our beliefs produce freedom or fear.  As the old proverb says, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

Therefore, how does your ‘pudding’ taste?  What fruit do your beliefs about God produce?  Which doctrines or positions encourage ‘deep-breath’ freedom and gratitude, and which ones slime your insides with negative questions about your true relationship with God?

Do I feel deeply loved?
Am I filled with hope about life?
Is my focus on my victory found in Christ?

– Or-

Have I done enough?
Have I believed correctly?
Is my focus on how much I’m still missing the mark?

Wherever the fruit of a specific belief turns you inward with discouragement, it’s time to question why you believe what you believe on that subject.  If just questioning that position ‘shakes your cage’, then something is not kosher in Denmark.

Wherever the fruit of your beliefs give rise to joy, peace, love, and gratitude to God, then you are tasting the fruit of the Spirit from the Tree of Life.

“But, what if my questioning takes me off into the weeds down a slippery slope to heresy?” 

Let me answer that with this quote followed by a statement from the Gospel of Luke:

“If you fail to move out of fear that you’ll go too far, you’re in real danger of not going far enough.”

Luke 11: 11-13, “11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead?12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

If you are a follower of Jesus, then you grow by being a disciple of the Holy Spirit.  Being a disciple of the Holy Spirit is another subject for another blog post, but the idea is taken from John 14 – 16 and is God’s design should you care to venture down that enlightening road.

As a disciple of the Holy Spirit, you can count on Him to help you find the safe path.  God loves questions and to be questioned.  It’s the only way to come to authentically personal positions of faith and God.

God is so BIG; He can’t be accurately described or defined with doctrines, theologies, or scientific theories.  He is also so CLOSE that He can’t be any more personally or intensely intimate than He already is with each of us.

It’s too late to live by somebody else’s faith convictions when God has always intended each of our relationships to be personal.  Your faith is yours, or it’s an indoctrination.

True living, breathing life is available to all God’s sons and daughters in Christ.  All that’s needed is the courage to question.  Where the questions lead to coloring outside the lines of ‘conventional and acceptable wisdom…and church doctrines…you’ll find a path that increases with freedom.

At least that’s my experience!  (I love the taste of sweet fresh air as it fills the lungs of my heart!)

His fresh fruit diet is a great weight loss plan!

Where is your system of beliefs causing you stress, or freedom?

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Locked and Loaded

Faith is the sense of complete confidence in God’s love and ability to do something specific.

“If it be Thy will” (as sincere and spiritually humble as it sounds) too often dulls the edge of our spiritual swords.  Faith requires confidence.

I John 5:14-15 (KJV)

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

The word John uses for confidence here can also be translated as, “fearless and cheerful courage that is not ambiguous.”

It is the will of God that we be confident (or cheerfully bold) in our requests lest those petitions lack faith.  Faith is the connection or channel through which God’s ability flows to the need or desire.

Whether or not something is God’s will, desire or purpose was never intended, by Him, to be a mystery.

Although being familiar with the Scriptures is important to having an understanding of God’s heart, simply memorizing favorite “faith promise verses” and repeating them back to God (or shouting them at Satan) is insufficient to produce the fearless and cheerful courage that John is speaking of here.

The confidence that motivates cheerful and stedfast courage is developed in two hearts that beat as one.

It is a tragedy that most Christians nowadays don’t realize that God’s chief desire (or will) with His sons and daughters is to have their hearts with His beat as one.  But, the possibility is always open.

James says to ask in faith with nothing wavering.   The word he uses for “in” faith is a word that means ‘lock-in’ or ‘locked and loaded.’

Spend enough time with Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit that you can feel and hear the ‘heartbeat.’  There are so many ways to accomplish that experience.  In some way, it will include letting His Word speak to you.  But, the ‘seasonings’ that are included as part of the process of pondering and loving His presence are many.

This is the fearless and cheerful confidence that we securely have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His heartbeat, there is no question that we will experience the manifestation of our desire.

Instead of floating in the gray area of “if it be Thy will (whatever Lord, it’s up to you), let your joy be full by experiencing specific answers to specific locked and loaded requests.

Gary

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Faith’s Missing Piece


As sons and daughters of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the nature of Kingdom life on earth is FAITH.  The only way we can genuinely succeed as new nature children of God is by conducting our lives with intentional and purposeful confidence in God.

To walk by faith, however, requires “two sides of the coin” to function together. 

If you grew up as I did, you heard it said many times that we must believe in our hearts and not merely with our heads.  Did that ever confuse you?  It did me.

(If I believe with my heart, does that mean I really, really believe with every fiber of my being??  Maybe that’s why ‘real believers’ look like they are constipated when they pray.  They’re believing in their hearts??)

There was such an emphasis on facts and rational thought in our society (and church teaching) that any time I attempted to believe with my heart, I was still attempting to do so by applying logic to my tries as the test.

After all, what does it mean to believe with one’s heart?  What’s the difference between believing in my head and with my heart?

The Difference Between Head and Heart

In simple terms, the difference is the ‘language’ the head uses vs. the heart’s vocabulary.

Head Language:  Systematic, rational logic.

Heart Language:  Symbolic perceptions, and feelings.

Contemporary Faith’s Missing Piece

Scriptural promises are taught and memorized.  The verses are claimed and declared.  This is all good and necessary…but incomplete.  It’s only the head part.

Don’t misunderstand.  We have to have the head part.  But, we also have to have activation of the other side of the coin.  The energy produced by the heart is necessary to transform the facts into functioning manifestation.

Because of the missing piece in many people’s faith, they begin to think that either their faith isn’t ‘working,’ or God isn’t responding.

(The error of God ‘not responding’ is a whole other topic)

What if we’re ‘flying in circles’ because our ‘bird’ only had one wing?

What I am speaking of in this article is something that was commonplace in the early centuries of the church, but has been lost to much of The Faith in the past several hundred years.

The Lord began speaking to me about this over 35 years ago, when I was praying for a gentleman who, at that time, was a part of the congregation I pastored.

As I was praying for the man, the thought arose within me, “What would it look like if I answered your prayer?”

You see…visualization has been hijacked, not created, by the New Age movement.  It is important to “see” in our imaginations what we are praying for.

What we see in our hearts is what we believe.

We visualize all the time when we worry…with negative results.  What we actually believe is what will eventually manifest into reality.

Feel It!

There’s a second part to “seeing” as you pray.  Allow the visualized answer to lingering long enough to begin feeling it with your emotions.  Hold on to both edges of that sword for a bit.   Then declare what your heart is seeing and feeling.

This is also important:  When you are praying something for yourself, give the prayer a direction, from the Word, with your intellect, and give it energy with your heart.  Let the basis of your emotion be gratitude.

When the prayer is for someone else, do all the same things except do so on the basis of compassion.

Btw…the answer to the prayer I mentioned earlier, came to be just as I imagined and felt it.  Sometimes answers will be manifest quickly.  At times, it may take a little longer.  However, the answer will probably come faster than you originally imagined.

The flesh will try to insert contradictory vision “what ifs.”  Ignore them.  Your rational concern may try to reason with you that your fear is reasonable…but stop.  That’s a distraction born of the flesh.

Caution:

I am not promoting what the Bible calls, “…because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  (James 4:3)

Our requests need to be thought out, and in accordance with the Scriptures as directed by the Holy Spirit.  

The Process Of A Complete Faith

  1.  Thought through with the head
  2.  Energized by the heart’s symbolic perceptions
  3.  Felt with emotions of success according to the request
  4.  Confessed as real with the mouth.

Gary