Believing In What We Can Not See
(A Conversation With the Devil)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23 (NIV)
*We who are born of God have nagging accusations in our minds just seemingly left there that say “Whom or what gives you the right, [or] the authority to say this or that is ‘true’? For HOW can you KNOW the things of God anyway? I mean the Bible does say that right?!!”-Devil [A type of warfare here]
My own experiences often provided much fodder for these accusations.
Examination and judgment of myself when doubts crept in.
The struggle to learn the truth (aka, the right answers that would dispel doubt).
* Believing in what we can not see? Well if we can not see, then what if we are wrong!? Shoot, most of us have been found to be wrong about this or that position along the way anyway! lol So is this declaration from the writer of the Hebrews just a gamble or a simple spiritual risk when it is all boiled down?
Wow, have I heard this one thrown at me so many times!
I tried to firm up or secure my positions.
The mentality of the world: I’m right, you’re wrong!
It seems to establish a basis for anyone to claim having the truth based upon that unseen sense of belief.
Consider more literal translations of the verse (and notice the usage of nouns rather than verbs):
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
And faith is the foundation of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (SLT)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
* What do we do with the thoughts that accuse us saying “you ASSUME God is graceful but, you have no real proof”. I mean after all ..you can not see..and yet you believe..so how CAN you know that?
How do you know … how do you really know?
In a world so messed up and seemingly beyond repair, how can we claim that God is graceful? Don’t tragic events prove instead that he is not … that he either doesn’t care or isn’t there?
I can tell you what we try to do with those accusatory thoughts. We try to stuff them back and deny them. We try to get rid of them by exposing them. By praying about them. By quoting scripture over them. We try to put them to death.
* Do we not see what the real issue is here in all of this? What if the REAL importance was not in the argument over that which can be seen but, rather over the fear of judgment? What if God were breaking DOWN the concepts of judgment as they have been erected in our minds with all fear? (Adam, the phrase “with all fear” in that sentence seems out of place. Are you saying that God is also breaking down all the fear along with the judgments … or that the fear is what holds those concepts of judgment together?) What if it were God in Christ breaking down all of the accusations BEHIND the questions? For they are the things that really bother us and consequently come against the judgment that was handed down to Christ on the cross. The Devil can only accuse on the basis of the natural mind and what IT sees. It can not see the light of the Truth nor can the Devil. For he does not have eyes to see it. No murderer has the truth in himself, Jesus said he was a “murderer from the beginning”.
Wow … breaking down the accusations behind the questions!
The blind accuser cannot judge that which can only be seen by those who have eyes to see beyond the darkness. The Spirit given to us has become our eyes to see what the accuser cannot.
The accusations of the natural mind.
We cannot entertain the futile imaginations of the mind that cannot know, cannot see, nor cannot hear without it having a profound impact upon everything. We will begin to reevaluate everything according to the perceptions of the blind, deaf, and ignorant mind of the accuser. The seeing will stumble because they begin to doubt what they see before them, the hearing will question the voice based upon the fact that others cannot hear. Those with the mind of Christ will doubt the reliability of that which has been given simply because those who boast in their ignorance hold them in contempt.
But then we have this statement by Paul: “But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
What does it mean? It is usually stated as a simple and very complex one-sentence meaning. In other words it is pulled out of its context and used on its own.
* The outward and temporal meaning is usually what is conveyed and not only that but, also what is understood.
Yes, this verse has been so twisted so as to be used to instill fear within those who should find encouragement or confidence through the discussion it belongs to.
Religion has turned this into a stimulus that produces doubts within us so that we gravitate toward whatever fleshly technique, motivation, or appeal that brings us even a temporary sense of confidence.
* Are we to keep on keeping on? Now I don’t know about you jim but, I had always wondered just HOW I was going to claim this was a capability of mine? [to have faith all the time and in everything] I mostly ran around hiding my moments of lack so that I could claim this was still a reality for me! lol
There’s a currently popular song from the phrase — Keep on, Keeping on — that I’ve heard played repeatedly over the sound system where I work (that is, until the Christmas music started up). It was also a quote often made by the president of my Bible College back in the 70s. We’re just supposed to keep on keeping on. There was another popular song on the radio waves back in those days, a Rock song, that better described our struggles — which of course would have been disregarded by those of us who were trying so hard to keep on keeping on — and it was called, Running on Empty.
When keeping the faith gets turned into something we attempt to do, we will soon discover that we’re running on empty!
* I learned to assume I had sin when I wasn’t in faith - now of course I had the fleshly mind interpreting what it was to have faith in the first place. So much so that I was sure that my lapses made me “unclean” before God. [whatever is not of faith is SIN].
Unclean … unworthy. I had written a song with the title of Unworthy back in the 70s, and it appealed to those like me who were constantly striving to keep in God’s grace. We had adopted the fleshly, religious ritual of confession — which BTW, has nothing in common with what John wrote about — in hopes that we might get clean from the sin that kept dirtying us.
The famous phrase “and whatever is not from faith is sin” seems to have become our NT version of the OT 10th commandment, which if you’re not aware, the tenth commandment (thou shalt not covet) pretty much makes up for any sin not covered in the other 9. The religious mind has twisted the grace of Christ by using the verse in Romans 14:23 in the same manner. It’s the catch-all. For just when you think you’ve confessed all your sins, you can get guilty all over again based upon anything that might not be of faith. Talk about living in quicksand, eh?
* Any temporal pleasure, any worldly ecstasies would only serve to bump me out of faith and make me unclean. Rather than be the very ground for the entrance into the experience of living faith.
No wonder Christians are so confused and tied up in legalistic knots!
*For we mostly live in accusational thinking from that point on-[thinking patterns and thoughts and impressions] They are a very powerful source of sin For it stimulates sin in me, not being the life of christ that ALREADY flows within me in the MIDST of misdeeds.-Important key point.
This kind of mindset is totally contrary to that upon which Paul stood, and which he also appealed as true freedom to those he preached to.
“But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB)
How can we truly live in accusational thinking … for it kills the very spirit of freedom in God so that it has no true bearing upon life as we perceive it.
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Romans 14:14 (NASB) To him who thinks it. Paul was referring to the very same thing we speak of when we talk about perception. It doesn’t make it true … it only makes it true in the mind of those caught up in the accusations of law.
*The misdeeds of the flesh are operating in us because of the power of sin in the law. and if we could see that GOD brought the Law so that we would simple CONFESS, “yes the Law is good but, it is only showing misdeeds in me!”-then we would be free- for if we CONFESS our sins[Pauls ays the same] He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unriteousness.—There is NONE riteous no not one!-Romans–The Law will bring this declaration of confession on and to its fruition in us. In otherwords, the Law makes us confess our UNriteousness—for we have NONE.[No not one]
You know, this is just too potent for many Christians to handle, and they will throw up the red flags as they cry “foul!”
Cleansed of all unrighteousness. This cleansing is so thorough that unrighteousness just doesn’t touch the true person of the heart. We may be grieved by what we encounter, we may be put upon by the world around us to own the sin … but as long as we keep fighting the full extent of his forgiveness and cleansing, we will be easy targets for those who play the guilt-game.