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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Does A Spirit of Unbelief Undermine Your Faith?



"For even his own brothers did not believe in him."
John 7:5

As I read and studied this week the lessons for James, I kept coming back to the unbelieving household of Jesus family.  I sense that we may all be like Beth Moore, in wanting to know more!  Tell us what it was like in their house.  What did they do for fun?  Did they fight like normal brothers and sisters?  How did Jesus act when he was in a quarrel with family members?  Did his mother not sit the family down around the dinner table and explain to them who Jesus was?  Yet, we're told in several places that his brothers did not believe.  They even scoffed and made fun of him, inferring that he was crazy.  The whole scenario just does not make any sense to me!  Can anyone else agree?

So if the people closest to Jesus did not believe he was the Son of God, does it surprise us that we have trouble going "all in" with our faith?  Because we can believe in some of those big promises from God, but do we really believe all of them?  Does our life reflect a person who chooses to go "all in" with God, placing our entire trust, well being, decisions, and life in the hands of the Almighty Father?  Or is easier to hand over only those things in life that we feel we can't handle?  Do we run to the Father only in those instances when life has gotten over our head and we need a hand out of the hole we have dug for ourselves?

Let's decide to be like Abraham.   He set a high example for all of us:

"Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."  Romans 4:20

I am guilty.  Some promises I can repeat over and over in my head and truly believe them, like Jeremiah 29:11, but others I can read and not truly take them to heart, like Ephesians 3:20, 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations."

More than we ask or imagine.

Are you "all in"?

What would it take for you this week to be "all in"? How different would life look if we pushed every area of our life into the Father, and said, YES, I am all in!

Would you share with us today an area of your life that you need to turn over to Jesus that you have been in unbelief?

We'd love to know how God has been stirring your soul this week through the study!


"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23



11 comments:

  1. I would say my biggest area of belief/unbelief has to do with my husband and his salvation. I want nothing more than for him to be saved, but do I really believe it will happen? Sometimes I do, sometimes not. We have good days when I think he's getting close, when he makes comments that put me on cloud nine, then a few days later I feel like I'm at square one again.

    I love my husband so much; he's a great guy, but I don't think I give God enough credit for His ability to save. Cherie, like you, I just kept thinking about Jesus' family who were witness to so many things He did, but still did not believe and I realize I'm doing the same thing in regards to my husband's salvation.

    There are times when I want to grab my husband and shake him while screaming "why can't you believe, what is keeping you from seeing Him?"... but looking at it from a different perspective I think I need to shake myself and start believing that all things are possible with God....that He wants me to continue to pray for my husband's salvation, but I can't "make" happen on my own.

    The Jerusalem Council was made up of Pharisees, men who were not shy about how they felt about Jesus before His crucifixion, but were later changed men because they believed. My Lord is able to save anyone, even my husband, especially my husband, and I'm going to start believing that it's not only possible, but that it will happen.

    I love this study!!!! Thanks....

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    1. Salina, this is awesome! I believe this is exactly what Jesus is talking about when he says, "Do not be afraid, just believe." He wants nothing more than for your husband to come to salvation through him. Just keeping praying that it happens in God's timing and that along the way, you continue to be the outstanding witness that you already are!

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  2. Salina, this is profound and I love seeing how God has worked to refine you in this area just this past week. He can do amazing things, girlfriend. Nothing is too great for Him and though it's often difficult, His plan is always astoundingly good and, now this is the hard part, IN HIS OWN TIME. Sigh. Can I tell you how often I've tossed that whole "in His own time" thing around? More than I care to admit.

    As for me, the part of Mary Magdalene feeling so distraught when Jesus died because He was the one who delivered her from all of the yuck in her past. When she could no longer see Him, she felt as if she had returned to who she was before He saved her - and it made me think how often I get "off-track" when I take my eyes off of Jesus. When I can't "see" Him anymore, I begin to believe the old lies again and though I know more truth that can act as the bullets to shoot the lies, they still creep in when I feel like I can no longer "see" Him. I loved that Beth said "it's not about what He's delivered you FROM but what He's delivered you TO." Profound and amazing, I say.

    I am "all in" - completely. I walk closer and closer to Him and I adore His ways and yet that just speaks to where I am now. I believe this journey is so cyclical - we can be completely in touch with the spirit then we (I) can be so easily derailed. I would love to see myself get to a point where it's in my being - I would never be cyclical because it's who I am. Is this possible? I think so but I think it's what we all strive to attain and it takes years to achieve if ever.

    Also love the graphic she walked us through about "Families" - how our spiritual family is just as close to us, if not closer, than our "natural" family. I find that to be so true!!!!

    Great post and good questions to think on, Cherie. Thanks, sister!

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  3. My biggest area of unbelief is doubt/worry. I can almost taste the freedom and then the devil puts all those thoughts in my head. It really started when I lost my daughter at 18 weeks and I had to deliver her. It was awful and I felt stranded. I hung on to Proverbs 3:5 to get by and i did ok but then fear has started to eat away at me. We had our 3rd daughter a little over a year later. She wasdiagnosed with an extremely rarea heart defect known as pulmonary sling. We thought she was going to have open heart surgery but doctors dont think she will need it. God has nudged me and nudged me to give "this" to him and I still have not fully given it to him. Why am I holding back? Why am I having a hard time trusting? She is not mine because she belongs to Him! Why does fear of the unknown eat me alive? I thought that God only healed her if we went to the cardiologist and they said what a miracle, her left pulmonary artery is where it should be now! That's not how it works and BIg shame on me for putting the LIVING God in a box!! The part of Beths study that hit home with that point was, "but we often act as ifHe can only work through one person, one method, or one kind of ministry at a time."

    The doctors told us that she does not need open heart surgery and soon we will just have yearly checkups with the cardiologist. Why can't I just believe that GOD had this the whole time. Why do I have to question everything? Her left pulmonary artery is still in the "wrong" spot but it isn't causing a problem like they thought it would. WOW!

    I love this study so far. I am NOT a writer so I hope what is making sense in my head is making sense on paper:-) I look forward to getting to know everyone!

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    1. Oh Kristy, I am speechless! You have been through so much, and yet I sense that God is taking care of you. Do you sense that too? How I think we are all guilty of putting God in a box. We sometimes have it all worked out in our head of how it should be accomplished, so we can get tangled up in our own solution! I love when He surprises us and accomplishes His tasks in such different ways. And it looks like that is exactly what He has done with your daughter!

      I'm so glad you are here with us!

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    2. Kristy - Wow! My heart breaks for anyone who has ever lost a baby. A big part of my marriage was spent trying to have a child. I went through a long period of depression and anger (at God, my husband, myself)I couldn't understand why me? I cling to Jeremiah 29:11 (for surely I know the plans I have for you....) I too had everything "worked out in my head" on how my life should go....it's so hard to give up control to Him.

      I love your story about your daughter and how He took care of her. That is awesome! Thank you for sharing with us.

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  4. Salina...I know how hard it is to wait for someone you love to 'come around'. I went through the same thing. Just continue being the loving, Christian wife and let him see how God works in your life. Let him see the love, peace, joy, patience, understanding, self-control that God gives you by His Spirit.
    I had asked my husband so many times to attend a bible study with me. He finally said, "ok, then will you quit nagging me if I go this one time?" I said yes; he went; and never missed a study after that!
    Not that that will happen with you, but just hang in there. God knows his heart and yours.
    Prayers are a mighty thing....remember Satan has his warriors too. Pray to put a hedge around your husband such as....
    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command a hedge of protection to be around my home and loved ones today and I ask that warrior angels sent by the one true God , be placed to stand guard at any holes that might be in that hedge.
    You might also prayer that the scales be removed from his eyes that he will see God at work.

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    1. Thank you. I've been praying for him for almost 15 years. Married 12, dated for 2 1/2. (wow, am I old enough to be married that long?...lol) When we met my relationship with God wasn't where it should be.

      I agree about the scales being removed. I also pray for a softening of his heart so he would be receptive when he does hear the word. I'm blessed in that I go to church with a great group of men who constantly invite and witness to him. He's friends with them all so that helps.

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  5. Salina,
    You have done a mighty fine summary of my own area of unbelief. My husband and I have been together for 14 years with our 10th wedding anniversary coming up Wednesday. My relationship with God wasn't where it should have been when we first committed to each other. As my own faith has grown, blossomed and strengthened over the years, my husband has supported and encouraged me to do "what I need to do", always accommodated my weekends at Women of Faith and encouraged me to attend church, bible study, whatever my heart desired. I did spend many years hiding my light under a bushel when it came to conversation about God with my husband. Last Christmas, my husband delighted me beyond words by attending church with my kids and I. I cried through the entire service. Unfortunately, he has not been back. I continue to pray for him, as do my sisters in Christ and my church family. It is so hard to believe sometimes that God has the power, and will do his works, in his time. I want it to happen right now, and patience in this matter has not been my friend lately. Anyhow, thank you for sharing your story. It makes me feel a little less alone.

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    1. Clover I am so glad that you felt you could share as well. Sisterhood grows strong when we share our deepest desires and fears. I am so happy that your husband supports your faith. God's timing is so hard to wait on sometimes, but when it finally happens, what a celebration it will be!

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    2. Clover,
      Thanks...glad anything I said would be helpful..like Cherie said, we only grow through our transparency. I too used to go out of my way to hid my Christianity from my husband. I know that sounds weird, but I was afraid he would think I was being too "fanatical." I see how crazy that was now. I've been writing devotions for the last four years. When I first started I didn't even let him know.

      God has answered so many prayers over the last six months. Just Sunday he went to church with me for the first time in three years. He has been very inquisitive lately and was so receptive this morning. I really feel God working in his (our) life and I can't wait to see what He has in store for the future. Hang in there and keep praying. A few short years ago I would have ever believed some of the things happening in our life would be happening now so I KNOW prayer works.

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