You might recall the story of the man who’s son was sick, to whom Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:23-24)
That is how I’ve been feeling today. Lord, I believe that the work of my salvation is complete. Yet, help my unbelief. I believe you can heal me. Lord, help my unbelief.
It is natural for us to believe things will go in the manner they always have. The sun will rise and set every day. The mundane things of life continue on and remain constant. We tend to view ourselves this way also. We tend to say, I am a sinner, and I will always be a sinner. This is not true for those who believe in Jesus!
It is also natural for us to believe deception. The “father of lies” is always at work in this world, and since we live in this world and believe what the flesh tells us, we are prone to believing things that are not true, or not fully true. If we have the Holy Spirit working inside us, then we have the Spirit of Truth directing our paths. The word of the Lord will speak to us and becomes a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” that directs us towards an amazing truth: You are free!
I am not a sinner. I am a saint. I am not an angry person. I am not selfish. I am not vain. I am not fearful. I am not bound to lustful desires. I am not a child of Satan, therefore I will not worship him. I do not have to bow to his lies! I am a free, newborn child of God and heir to the promise of eternal life. I am living in the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of death!
We are saved by grace through faith. Faith in what is true according to Jesus, who is Truth. Faith that we are free from who we once were. The old us is a lie. It is deception. It is darkness that we are not bound to. It is hard to have this faith. Lord, I believe I am not a sinner, help my unbelief! I believe your blood washed away my sins, help my unbelief! I believe that you rose from the dead so that I too can be raised from all death, now and eternally. Help my unbelief! I believe you sent your Holy Spirit to teach me what is true and guide me to all truth. Help my unbelief!
When the Holy Spirit remains in us, we cannot sin (1 John 3). Why? Because the Holy Spirit is Truth, and if he remains in us, we will learn what is true. If we walk according to all things that are true as the Holy Spirit of Truth makes known the ways of God to our hearts, then we will learn how to respond accordingly. We will not “miss the mark” which is to sin. We will learn how to comprehend that perfect will of God and perform it.
However, because we live in the flesh, sometimes we believe the lies. Our thoughts return to the captivity of darkness, and our deeds follow. Jesus knows this, and he is merciful to forgive. When this happens, turn back to the Truth. You are not a sinner. Your are free, and you have the power to perform what is true by he who is Truth!
Even so, we should not deceive ourselves. He that does righteousness is righteous (1 John 3:7). We cannot just declare freedom from sin and say this is sufficient. We cannot just declare with our mouths that we believe in Jesus, yet continue as one who has no faith in what salvation means. If our faith is real, if it is alive and made powerful by the Holy Spirit of Truth, then we will be fruitful.
That does not mean we never make mistakes. When we do, instead of getting discouraged and believing that we are defeated, we should turn to Jesus, thank him for his wonderful mercy and forgiveness, re-direct to the truth of our freedom, and keep going! Never give up. Even if we lose sight and fail hundreds of times. Remember what Jesus taught about forgiveness. If someone makes a mistake and repents, we forgive, even if this happens hundreds of times (Matthew 18:21-22). Jesus will forgive us, and we will learn to walk in liberty by faith through grace according to the perfect will and timing of the Lord.
On another note, we should always seek the Lord to help us remain merciful, forgiving, and humble because as Jesus teaches, such are necessary in order for us to thrive in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 23:12-14). If we become puffed up in our righteousness, forget mercy, and do not forgive others, we might find ourselves thrust back “into prison” (Read the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18).
Wrapping this up
How many of us are walking around with dead, unfruitful faith? If we believe in Jesus, it should not be so. Consider these things. It can be hard to believe that we can be anything but the horrible things we have always been. It can be hard to believe that others can change. Jesus did things that bent our ideas of reality for a reason. He walked on water. He healed the blind. He raised the dead. Nothing is impossible for those who believe in Jesus!
We know that salvation is given by grace through faith, and that faith is the gift of God. It is by faith that we can overcome death in this present world. If we are lacking in faith, then take comfort in knowing that God will help us continue in the faith and grow. As we grow and begin to see the reality of the kingdom of heaven and what that means for us presently, we will see for ourselves what it means to be saved by grace through faith.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!