Believing is Seeing

Evidence. It’s what every fact, every decision, every conclusion is based on. Attorneys collect evidence to make their case before the judge and jury.  Doctors collect evidence before they make a diagnosis.

In many instances a photograph can be the proof that something happened. Maybe a picture of you shaking hands with a famous person is something you can pull out to prove that you actually met that person. It provides evidence.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what faith really is. Is it just blindly believing something because someone  told you it was true?  I don’t think so. I think its more than that. I think it requires you to trust the person telling you. I also think it requires a decision on your part to believe the evidence.

There are instances in our lives where we have the evidence right in front of us and still choose to deny what we are seeing. There are other times when the evidence is something we can’t see, but have to choose to believe anyway.

Remember the old polaroid cameras? You stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and someone took your picture.  Then you all stood huddled together waiting for the photo to appear.  What picture were you expecting? Would you have believed that the picture was one of you standing in front of Niagara Falls? Of course not. You KNEW where you were when the picture was taken and you absolutely knew what would soon develop right before your eyes.

Perhaps that’s how we should think about faith. Imagine for a moment, that issue you’ve been praying about. Imagine posing and having someone take a picture of what you believe God is going to do. Perhaps it’s of you reconciled with a loved one. Or maybe it’s you in the job you’ve been asking God for. It could be a family member who has been very ill looking the picture of health.

Hebrews 1:11 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Isn’t that what you were doing while you waited for that polaroid picture to develop? You were confident that the fully developed picture would be exactly what you expected it to be. Well, maybe not exactly. You might have hoped that your hair wouldn’t look THAT bad!

I believe God wants us to look with anticipation toward the things we have hoped for, just like we do with a photograph.  Perhaps it won’t develop in seconds as you watch. Maybe you remember when you had to send off your film and wait a week to find out if the pictures even developed.  God may make you wait. But He is as trustworthy at the end of the waiting whether it’s sixty seconds or twenty years, as He was at the beginning.

Today I challenge you to look in a fresh way at that issue you’ve been praying for. Take a spiritual snap shot of what you are believing God to do and then trust Him as that answered prayer develops.

Remember, seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.

Are You More Like Mary or Zachariah?

We often read the book of Luke at Christmas time. It tells the story of the birth of our Savior. But it also illustrates two different ways we respond to God when we don’t understand what He’s doing.

There are two accounts of a birth being foretold. The first is Zachariah being told by the angel Gabriel that Elizabeth is with child. Zechariah responds in astonishment but he makes a serious mistake as he speaks to the angel. He asks, “How will I know this?” He’s asking for more evidence, more proof.

The second account is of the angel telling Mary she will conceive and give birth to a son. Her response is not “prove it.” Instead, she says, “How will this be?” She’s asking in wonder for she knows she is a virgin. She wants to know HOW God will do it, not IF He will.

How do you respond when God gives you direction that seems impossible? Do you say, “yeah, right. How can THAT happen?” Or do you say, ” Yes Lord, show me how You want to do it. I’m ready to do it your way.”

Big difference.

Zachariah lost his ability to speak for months because of his slip of the tongue. But it was much more than that. It revealed what was in his heart. His doubt was made clear.

When we respond to God, we are to do so in faith and not doubt. What has God been saying to You? And how will you respond?

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” -Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)



Faith is Believing What You Cannot See

It’s a cloudy day. A man who has lived in a cave all of his life comes out of the cave. He’s been told there is a glowing orb in the sky called the sun that provides heat and light. He looks around, sees only clouds, and concludes, “there is no sun.”

No matter how you try to convince him that you have experienced the sun, he can’t believe because he thinks he must see it for himself. If he goes back into his cave and the clouds clear and the sun returns, he will never know.

He has no faith.

Perhaps he recognized the contrast between the darkness of his cave and the light outside but since he cannot see the sun, he isn’t willing to believe it exists. He doesn’t understand but he won’t trust the word of another.

So here’s the question. If you know there is a sun, and you tried to tell him about it, do you just walk away if he rejects your story? Does he only get one chance to believe?

How about returning another day and going into his cave? How about building a relationship with him so he trusts you? Then you can share your experiences and perhaps he will be more willing to listen.

God calls us to plant the seed. He asks us to testify about who the Son is and what we’ve experienced. We may see no evidence that the seed took root.

But don’t give up!

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” – Romans 10:17 (CSB)

Keep sharing the message and God will use it to bring in the harvest.

Who can you talk to today?


Are You Getting Excited About Heaven?

Think about your last vacation. Maybe you planned a cruise or a hiking trip to the mountains. When you settled on a date you put it on your calendar and even though it might be months away you began to think about it.

Perhaps you planned what you would pack and what you would wear. You might have planned meals or favorite restaurants you wanted to visit on your trip.

As the weeks passed and the day of departure got closer you got more excited, imagining what a wonderful time you would have.

Are you as excited about Heaven?  Do you think daily that the time is getting closer? Do you imagine being with Jesus in a place where there will be no more tears and no more sorrow?

We should be planning for the trip just like we did our best vacation even though we don’t know the exact date. We don’t have to take anything with us and a banquet will be prepared for us upon our arrival.

So instead of planning what we should pack…we should be thinking about who we want to take with us. Who do you need to talk to about making the trip to Heaven with you?

“How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? “ – Romans 10:14 (CEV)

How to Be a Friend of God

When was the last time you ordered food or coffee from a drive-thru? Maybe you visit the same place frequently. Perhaps you have become familiar with the person who takes your order every day.  You might even know their name.

But do you really know them? You may exchange “good mornings,” on a regular basis but you really know nothing about them. You order, you pay, you smile and say thank-you as they hand you your order. Then you drive away.

Isn’t that how we sometimes treat God? We know where to go for what we need. We can express our needs in a clear way. We pay our dues by trying to do the things we know God expects. Finally, we thank Him for all he does for us and then we… drive away.

Beth Moore said in a devotion I read recently, “We cannot have a drive-thru relationship with God and expect to behold His glory.”

God wants more from us than a list of requests and a few words of appreciation.  He wants relationship.

Think of your best friend. Does that person know things about you that most people don’t? How did that happen? They know you because they have spent time with you. Probably LOTS of time. When you are with your friend, wouldn’t you rather go to a nice restaurant where you can sit and talk and laugh together instead of going through the drive-thru? Or maybe you would have them over to your house for a meal and an evening of visiting. God wants us to spend time with Him like we do our friends. He wants to tell us things that only His closest friends know.

A while back I wrote a devotion called, “Do You Have a BFF?”  where I talked about how well God knows you and wants to bless you. He knows everything about you. But He wants more than a relationship where He knows you. He wants you to know HIM. He has so much to tell you!  Spend some time just sitting in His presence and listening to His voice.

God is who He says He is but how will we believe it unless we get to know Him? How can we trust Him if we don’t know Him? And how can we get to know Him if we treat Him like a Drive-Thru God?

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”– Jeremiah 29:13(ESV)

“So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” – James 2:23 (HCSB)