My greatest downfall is my skepticism. I really struggle to just believe. Do you?
I’ve always been that way. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned through life that there are many who just want to take advantage of you and they play to your easy belief. If we can become super trusting they can easily take us for what we are. See!? Right there in my statement, my skepticism is emerging. I struggle with trust in people!
Or I used to.
The older I get, the more I see that it doesn’t matter if people are worth trusting or not, if we lose in the end, what really have we lost? Even in the loss we are learning and learning is highly valuable and beyond that there’s a special grace that is found in the element of simple trust.
Recently, on a short trip out of town, the Lord really struck me with this simple phrase – Just believe. I really felt He was telling me to stop making Him prove everything over and over again and to learn to just take Him at His word.
Just trust me!
I felt Him impressing on me.
It scares me to think of what He is telling me to trust Him with and what might be coming that I need this impression and encouragement.
It came through a reading in Luke and it came with repetition.
Luke 1, the story of Zacheriah and Elizabeth. For context and so you don’t have to grab a Bible for the quick read, Zacheriah has been chosen for his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enter the Holy Place and be the one that offers the sacrifice for the people. What an incredible honor! One for which He’s been waiting literally for years. I’m sure with every step he’s thinking, don’t screw up it, don’t screw it up!
Once he’s there and doing his duty, to his amazement, an angel appears next to the alter and freaks him out so so bad. He offers Zach a promise, your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, is going to have a baby. Count on it!
Now what happens next just blows my mind but I can totally relate because Zach and I both share the same skeptic brain.
His simple response that came through his cocked smile, you expect me to believe this!?
And there it is, the struggle of belief.
How is it that when we pray, we can do so with such fervor and expectation but only while we believe that God is able to answer in the season that we think is perfect?
As soon as we think that season is past, we believe that God has already answered with His quiet indifference and we are left hopeless and empty.
I bet you can identify with that, can’t you!? Your mind immediately races back to the last place, or most significant place, where you’ve been asking, pleading, begging and your heart is most tender and filled with belief, but day after day continues with no answer, no change and no hope that He even heard.
We have to understand that the Lord works in perfect precision and precision means timing.
Ours is just to believe that He can.
Even with this supernatural occurrence of an angel coming to him to reveal the hope-filled news of the answer they have been looking for, he cannot bring himself to face the possibility that this might be a hoax. And in that, we see ourselves standing there at the corner of that alter facing an angel and thinking I can identify with Zach. The hurt of empty hope is too much, it’s better to just not believe!
And because of that, something was stripped away from Zach that day. He left without the ability to speak. The angel had removed something from him until the truth would be found. And I’ve found that truth to be real as well. When we fail to follow with belief, with trust, we lose something in the process.
For so many today, the struggle to believe that Jesus would and could come to this earth to pay for the sins of all man is too much to bear and so they don’t believe. They are losing their eternity with Jesus. They are losing the actual presence of the Spirit of God in their lives every day.
Rest assured, you might not feel it, but you are missing something very significant because of your refusal to believe!
FF to the end of Luke and we find another occurrence of the same. Jesus, having just been raised from the dead, is walking on a road leading to nowhere. Isn’t it strange the places that we find Jesus? This is really another story for another time but as He’s walking on this road, He encounters two men who are going over the events of His death and His bodies disappearance on that very day as they walk that dusty road to nowhere.
As they encounter Him along they way, they don’t recognize Him and share their struggle to believe what has happened that day. Here’s Jesus response to them
So thick headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said?Luke 24:25 The Message
And then, He shared with them, as proof, from Moses through the Prophets all that they needed to believe.
What do you need to just believe today?
I get it, the struggle is real! With all the garbage we deal with today, there is a clear and evident struggle to believe the simplicity of the message of hope that comes through Christ. But what if today, we just chose to believe?
What if you took that thing you are looking at, that thing that you simply cannot figure out and just believed the Lord over that thing?
Maybe for someone reading this message today, it’s the thing you needed to just believe in the hope-filled message of salvation.
Whatever the case may be, it’s time to Just Believe.