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I believe!

Is it weird that I didn’t even get into the Bible reading portion of my devos today before God started speaking to me?

Last year I was following the daily offices, morning, midday and evening.  And I’m not strictly doing that this year, but as I was coming to my devotional time with my mind already in a thousand places, I began to use the opening prayer of the daily office as a way to focus my thoughts on God.  And recently I’ve been trying to consider it rather than simply reciting it.

To whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life,
and we have believed and have come to know
that You are the Holy One of God.

We have believed and have come to know…

Those words have been sticking out to me for weeks now.  Mostly, I think, because I’ve been in John’s writings for my devotional times and John uses the word “believe” more than any other gospel writer.  In his gospel and in his letters.

And a week or so ago, wondering what John really meant when he used that word over and over and over again, I looked it up in the Greek.  I was surprised – and rather excited – to find that for John (and in general) the word is much deeper than what we in America currently tend to think of or mean by it.

Really, even in our own dictionaries the word is deeper.  But we tend to use it as only a rational word.  Intellectual consent.  Believe is something the mind does.  Or sometimes the heart does.  But we tend to speak of it as one and not the other.

But belief involves the whole person.  It is not simply a rational thought or a heartfelt hope in something.  To believe is to be persuaded of.  To place confidence in.  To trust.  If you believe in something, you’re all in.  Just like a sky diver believes in his parachute.

So this morning as I pondered this “we have believed” part of the prayer, my mind was taken to another Bible verse about belief.

I do believe.  Help my unbelief!

Mark 9:24

This guy isn’t asking Jesus for help making a rational consent.  Or a heartfelt hope.  More than likely, he has one or the other already – and he is asking for help fully placing his confidence and trust in Jesus.

That verse from Mark has meant a great deal to me for the past, oh, decade or so.  It has become a cry of my own heart in many respects.  And in the past few years God has been working in me on these trust issues of mine and continually asking me to trust him more and more….

And here the two collide.

We have believed and have come to know…

I believe!  Help my unbelief!

Lord, help me to believe you and believe in you.  Fully.  With my heart, mind, soul and strength to place confidence and trust in you.  You.

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