Friday, April 24, 2009

Only Believe........

We know that the only thing we 'must do' as new covenant believer's thanks to the finished work of the cross the Jesus did on our behalf, is to believe. A simple concept, right?!! Straight forward enough to know if you are sweating and striving you are missing it. But, I am coming to realize that as simple as the truth of that is, it's the hardest thing to actually 'do' much of the time. I find myself lately, getting caught up with worry, and with condemnation. I realize I am being hard on myself, when God is not. Why is that? Because I am not 'resting' to believe in what He already accomplished for me. The fact that it is Christ in me, keeping me, holding me and molding me. Not me figuring out my life into categories and seeing which ones need the most work, and which ones I have down pat. Nope, nuh uh. When I realized I am worrying, or letting my heart be troubled, I soon realized I am not resting in His shalom peace. Only I can 'let not'. So thankfully, here I am again at a point of realization that I am trying to make something happen in my time, that God is not. He just wants me to lean back in His arms and love on me. Wow!! Is it really that simple and yet SO incredibly difficult at the same time. I suspect this will be a life long lesson for me. How about you?


Jordy's Thoughts said...


The scripture I'm thinking of is in John I think. Jesus is basically saying the "work" that is required of us is to believe. Is belief easy? I think you have the right idea on this topic. "Believing" is definately not always easy. Resting in God can be one of the biggest challenges anyone can face. I remember trusting God with something that was not making sense to me. I sure did feel the power of Jesus but at the same time we are trusting in someone we can't see. Pretty serious stuff. Cause if Jesus really means all He says and we act on His words, we are exposing ourself. And if He doesnt show up, we will look like fools.

jul said...

For me believing is easy when it is a response to God, especially when he is revealing the gospel to me again! When I soak myself in grace (preaching or whatever) my faith soars high in an effortless way. When I'm distracted or preoccupied with life, faith seems to ebb lower and I get tired or frustrated. Life, especially with lots of kids to take care of, seems to flow in cycles a bit and sometimes that's good. I find I go through glorious times of lots of revelation and learning and then a time of digesting it all and learning how it fits in and effects the way I live every day. The first part is more fun haha! Just thinking out loud here...

lydia said...

I suppose I am talking more about the day in day out believing and trusting in God despite my circumstances. Doesn't the Bible say somewhere - labor to rest? And what about resting on behalf of someone else? When you don't see the circumstances shifting, it gets tiresome. It's easier to believe for oneself, though it is still hard at the same time. What about the times you are in the valley and have to truck through, knowing you will eventually come out the other side? Isn't that hard at times to believe - I can rest in the truth knowing that it's the truth that sets me free and that my circumstances don't dictate to me, but the truth does. Yet this is still at times VERY HARD, to just rest. It's a daily decision, a daily fight. Just rest and believe in Him, that He is holding me and keeping me while I am walking out this earth life!!!
So yeah getting revelation and all is great, it's the walking out of our life with God day by day, moment by moment, learning to lean and depend on him that can be VERY HARD. Like I said the concept is simple and glorious, freeing and refreshing, but the actual 'doing' of believing to me can be difficult. I'd saying believing is work.......but when we do get to the point of resting, well yes, it is easy.

The Lewis Family said...

So true!!! I so understand. Sometimes I get so sidetracked by my lack that I forget Who is my sufficiency. Sometimes, when I am short tempered with my kids. . . ok, more often than I care to admit - I can get so frustrated with what an unpatient, unloving parent i can be. . . And that only rebounds on itself. I so love to be reminded that it is Christ in me! Sometimes I can intellectually acquiesce to the truth, but my heart seems so not lined up. I have no control. And I long to walk in that reality more often than not. And all I really have the ability to do is choose to praise him even if I am not experiencing the reality of all that He has truly done for me. I find myself coming to the place of letting go, even when it all seems so hazy. I know why it's hazy, I know how it got hazy, but I don't always know how to clear my vision and then He reminds me. . . It's not me who has to clear my vision. Me me me. What should I do? How should I do it? When? Where? The questions abound. And the focus has been so inward that I have lost sight of the one who has done all things. . . All I can do is ask. . .

Must run - children coughing. . . :)

Ursula Kuba said... are such a breath of fresh know that/ I love you loads. thank you...I really really needed to hear that today. Sheesh, condemnation and guilt have piled on this week...I needed that. that NOTHING I do can move me away from this grace...this love...nothing I do or don't do!

Rich said...


“So yeah getting revelation and all is great, it's the walking out of our life with God day by day, moment by moment, learning to lean and depend on him that can be VERY HARD. Like I said the concept is simple and glorious, freeing and refreshing, but the actual 'doing' of believing to me can be difficult. I'd saying believing is work.......but when we do get to the point of resting, well yes, it is easy.”

From my perspective, I see it not a thing of it being hard, difficult but actually ‘mission impossible’, otherwise grace isn’t at all what it truly is.
I have and continue to see ever more clearly how in His great love for me is allowing me to discover as our brother Paul said, “There is nothing good in my flesh” and seeing what before was hidden from my understanding was that any so called goodness that is not a result of His life in me as me is nothing but total depravity. The chip embedded in all of mankind through Adam’s sin is one of operating with the knowledge of good and evil, we in our smartness (lol) have segregated one from the other, but in fact they are one and the same.

Here’s a thought for you as I continue to muse upon its reality. Imagine Jesus saying this, “Son, if you continue to abide within this relationship I have Called you to be a part of then get set for a wild ride, I’ve got this incredible “concept” I am wanting to share with you, and as you continue you will know the concept and the concept will set you free.”~HA!

I see our loving father working, using everything that touches our lives to keep us in a place whereby grace along with any thing dealing with our continued growth in Him will become a continual impartation rather than more burdensome information!
I love it in James where our Father is directing us to, “With meekness receive the engrafted word of God wherein it will continue to save your soul.”

Our brother Paul who in my opinion was walking experientially in a wonderful measure of grace was brought to a place in his life wanting Father to remove his thorn in the flesh, it was within the context of this situation that he discovered a whole new dimension of grace he had no comprehension of…. Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Trust me, what was made known to Paul was much more than conceptual information, it was an impartation, and that impartation is in my opinion all part of our birth right.

Phil said...

Hey, Lydia. I don't hold to a Rom7 is a believer view, so I do think that we should be able to live free from that whole miserable deal as a way of life. But for me, there's still the getting of the heart and emotions lined up with the truth that is forming in the head. The subjective lining up with the objective. I do think I should be settled in the truth, though, and grow in peace and joy in his righteousness. That's not that everything will always be a breeze internally, but faith itself is a gift and a rest, and not a work. As JP says in Destined to Reign, it's not our seeing the blood on the lintel that gives us peace, but our knowing he sees it which gives us rest. Otherwise faith becomes a work which finishes what's already finished. Rather than something which lays hold on the righteousness, the effect of which is peace. That's why it's his peace, given to us 'in him', I guess. Just a thought from a struggler that may not be very related to your post, cos I read it a while ago...I guess it depends what we mean by condemnation, too? It's one thing to feel God disapproving of us for our sin, it's another thing to never want to let the word wash and transform our minds etc through the power of grace. Not saying that's you, just thinking out loud for myself, too, and proffering the thought.

lydia said...

Wow, you guys thanks for what you have shared. Here's the deal - I feel as weak as weak as weak as can be!! Just downright incapable at times of trucking on through the valley I am in. And while to be quite honest I am quite convinced that I have the truth sealed in my heart, I don't always remember to lean back upon it. It's partly me continually reknewing my mind, continuing to be dependent on Him and learning to be okay, with being SO weak, knowing that His grace is made perfect in my weakness. That to me is hard. It's hard to not try and fix it, or get impatient, or be tempted to fret. I am talking day in day out. It's hard to come to the end of all my self depency in every way shape and form, including my relationships with others. I have to learn to entrust them FULLY to God - !!
Anyway, Rich you are so right, I am coming to a place where I have to be okay with my mess, and trust and wait patiently that God truly means what He says on this one! It's just that letting go can take time and practice, you know what I mean!!
Forgive my use of the word conceptual, I was trying to explain my meaning and it didn't come out well.
These are just my first thoughts after reading your comment. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!!

Phil said...

Maybe that's where my struggle's at. Wanting to fix stuff out of very tough times (where the habit is to perpetually diagnose) and also do stuff that's out of my 'sphere' at the mo, when I need to be resting for the power to flow here and now, whatever that will look like. I think I'm coming to realize that my 'weakness' is not me per se, as a new creation with every adequacy in him, but me as considered apart from my adequacy in him. Apart from that adequacy, grace teaches me to be weak, but in that adequacy, grace makes me strong. If that makes sense. (I'm tired!). God leads, feeds and empowers us from a place of present rest and peace, not duress, stress and strain, I think I'm coming to see.

Rich said...


I’m enjoying our mutual thinking out loud on what it means to “know Him.”
here are some thoughts that have and do continue to speak to me, they are from the book, “Unto Full Stature” by DeVern Fromke.

“I must confess that for years I was hung up on the conviction that the all important thing in * ministering was by what we are. The inward graces seemed primary, and what we do-or the exercise of*gifts-was quite unimportant. But God has His own ways of awakening us when we are about to faint. In fact He can hardly help us until we reach that point of defeat and despair. Then in our moment of fainting He can remind us of Paul’s words: “Seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we FAINT NOT.” Why would Paul say this so confidently? Because his whole life and ministry was built upon this verse in the previous chapter: Our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but of God.” This was his secret.
To exhibit God’s graces and reality in the life is wonderful, but not enough. This is why scores and hundreds of *choice servants are now fainting in their ministry. Impossible problems plague them on every hand. They can stand as an exhibit of God’s working, but they have no supernatural means of ‘imparting’ reality to others. God has designed that by the operation of *gifts, there is to be a spiritual impartation.

For clarification I have put an asterisk beside words that I do not agree with, but I do agree with the spirit within what the author is trying to convey.

Just for conversation sake, if we look at our supposed need to “be resting” then in my opinion we’re missing out on the reality of Christ in us as us who IS that very rest we are trying to do, or produce by our efforts.

Also I love the repeated emphasis Jesus belabored on, “The son of man can do NOTHING in and off himself, he was one with the Father, but in emptying himself, his only strength, rest, goodness etc etc was only because of the life of the Father in him as him..ergo, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.

lydia said...

Thanks again Rich for your comment. Wow you've given me some thoughts to really ponder more deeply.
I have to say I can't really wrap my mind around the fact that Christ is in me. That has been something that has blown me away and I hope it always will. That I have His very life!!
I think what's difficult for me, is really getting a hold of, "it is no longer I that live............" I feel like I keep getting in the way. And I am not so completely comfortable myself with being so weak. Once I finally understood that God is happy with me and sees me as He sees Christ and not counting my sins against me, that brought great joy and freedom and still does. But then there was a time where I had to get so okay with others being okay with me, for where I am at, and if they can't accept me as God does, then oh well, I am still accepted in the Beloved whether others ever accept me or not. But lately, I am having trouble at times accepting myself. Ha, not in the Romans 7 way like you might think Phil. Just in the sense that I am still hard on myself in ways that I don't need to be, and because of it I experience condemnation. I just want to get over all that, and live content and confident in the life that is within me, keeping and holding me. I am not feeling that "when I want to do good and find evil is right there with me", that is not my issue. My issue is that I want to live out of His life, not mine period. I want to learn how to be in union with His spirit. Does that make sense?
And Rich what you said about resting, I really think that was so true, I think I want to just flow with the Spirit and I am finding that is very difficult for me lately.........It's true that I have no needs in Christ, all my needs are found in Him, I have no lack......!!!
Guess I will be meditating on this again and enter His rest!! Thanks!!

Rich said...


For what its worth, I can't wrap my mind around the reality of not just Christ being for me, and in me, but in me as me, wow, how can that be?!

From what I have been discovering the very things that I have struggled with I am learning that His life becoming fully formed in me as me is happening within that very struggle.

The bottom line is what He the Father of your spirit is saying to you, not what I think or what others might presume. It isn't about the right way vs the wrong way, its discovering His way, and he calls that Way-Truth and Life, Jesus!

The very things you have mentioned wanting to get over in your life I see being an inner gnawing something in fact He your loving Father has initiated in you, and that is the reason behind the turmoil imo, (in my opinion) causing such unsettledness, its a divine tension as in a woman who has never been pregnant before, growing in her is a new life that eventually in the fullness of time wants to be seen and embraced!

It is the fruitful One you are joined to that is in fact producing in you the deep longings of your heart.

I love the majesty, beauty and wonder as Mary the mother of Jesus said, "He that is mighty has done great things in me this day, my soul does magnify His name."

She like us are being brought to the same place, if we so choose to avail ourselves of His grace, Lord, I have no idea how the miraculous can BE done in my life, but BE it done in me according to your Word Father!!

lydia said...

Wow, thanks again for that Rich. You just summed up my frustration as of late and made it glorious. I think it's so true that it's like a divine tension quite like a woman longing to be pregnant, OR even a woman waiting and longing to give birth. He is growing life within me that will BE birthed in His time and by His faithful hand and YES may I respond to His life flowing in and out of me!! Awesome, I am so glad you stopped by my blog Rich!!

Jamie said...

Great post and comments, Lyds. Thanks for all you are to me. He is burning us beautiful, eh?

MWAH! :)

Phil said...

Lydia, Rich, not quite sure where stuff is quite in these comments. It sounds somewhat like the 'empty the glass and in proportion to that, it will be filled by the Spirit'. I was talking a bit to Mr and Mrs Rayburn on some of these things over at grace for life recently. I don't find the 'empty the glass to be filled' view biblical. Rom8v10 says the Spirit is life because of imputed righteousness, not our 'weakness'. Weakness ain't the goal, it's the problem. The solution is our adequacy, not because we 'keep the law', or because we 'die to self', but because we ourselves have been raised together with Christ. We don't partake of Christ's pre-cross poverty. We get to partake of his post-cross riches. That's where the new creation's true humility and life is found, not in self-abasement as if things need to still be done to the old man, but in exaltation of the new man who is rich through grace reigning through imputed righteousness, in Christ. 2Cor8v9.

Phil said...

I guess by 'resting' I meant quitting seeking his love and favour by what we do, by way of realizing that only by the imputed righteousness of Christ are we in his favour. Then, in the spirit of such grace, the Comforter leads us in accordance with the word into obedience/fruit and his blessings in his time. Knowing Rom8v28.

lydia said...

I hear what you are saying Phil. I know who I am in Christ and I know that I am perfected forever by His sacrifice and have his righteousness imputed to me. What I am talking about is seeing Christ formed in me, and laboring to enter His rest. The New Covenant is a rest, not a test. I find myself thinking I need to 'do' more that God isn't telling me to do, and therefore I am hard on myself and not entering His rest. Also, what I am learning is that we will struggle inwardly, within our spirits because our bodies are not yet glorified. I want to allow Christ to live His life in and through me and I guess I am still learning how to cooperate, how to rest and how to just let Him mold me. Does that make sense? He is burning us beautiful, is a truth we cannot deny, and though it is glorious, burning by fire is not always fun, though we know it is worth it!!! I think we need to admit that we are weak, in order to surrender and let Christ be strong in us!!
I know nothing needs to be done to my old man, he is dead and gone. However, though I am new and sanctified, I am also being sanctified by Christ in this life on this earth. That is quite possibly what it means to see Christ being formed in me, in my whole man as I am still in the flesh on this earth.

Phil said...

Well, Lydia, I guess what I'm saying is that 'to enter into God's rest' in the context of Hebrews 4 is not continually entering into a rest that's always a bit ahead of us. He's talking about the objective entering into the new covenant. The subjective appropriation of it is the faith of the gospel. When Paul talks about Christ being formed within the Galatians 'again', it's in the context of their laying hold on their righteousness by faith which qualifies them to every blessing. He's saying that while they pulled the veil of the Law over their eyes, 2Cor3v17,18, that the truth of the gospel in Christ is not benefiting them. Again, objective reality. God knows them but they can't intimately know him and experience his power in their lives...So I guess what I'm saying is not, no struggles, but that a Christian's growth subsists in laying hold of what they already have/are as a new creation. Paul's weakness with his 'thorn in the flesh', I think 'a pain in the neck who was troubling his ministry', was something that particularly caused him to see his dependancy on God and his adequacy in him because God didn't then just take it away. Working it for his superior good, Paul became all the more strong in grace and the gospel by an increased faith, to benefit him and others all the more while the 'pain' was still there. He wasn't seeking to be weak/see himself as weak to that he could somehow be strong in that. He was led to see that he was 'able',2Cor3v6 in his sufficiency in Christ. It was his strength. But his strength in and through a greater realization of present completeness through the finished work outside of him. Not a completeness he had to continually do/die for in the present to lay hold on, I don't think...I think that kind of mentality kills us! We're always seeking to passively 'die to live', rather than laying hold on grace reigning through righteousness as someone who's dying is done, yet in the person of Another. Lydia, believe me, I know about the depths of unrest. But I tend to think that, in line with the last two posts at the Rob Rufus blog, that God leads us from a place of rest in the objective truth of the gospel. External things may cause unrest for a time, but they are overruled for our greater appropriation of the rest we're already in. That's an anchor beyond the veil...What I'm thinking is that in the external manifestation of sanctification, as you used the term, it progresses by the Spirit filling us purely as we lay hold on our imputed righteousness. That's it. He pushes out the remaining black coffee from the cup with the continual, unhindered flow from the tap. We don't have to empty the cup/die to self to get that. We can't, and the Spirit isn't supplied on that basis. We just need to believe his righteousness, given to us as a gift, qualifies us. No more. He's in the business of growing the new man, and we what to 'put him on', and this is how. Complete, adequate, strong 'in him'.

lydia said...

Wow Phil you are making think :) Let's just say I am not trying to empty the cup, I know I can't..........but, what I do think you hit on is that external things may cause unrest......that is most definitely a part of my struggle of late for sure. It causes me to shift my focus from the truth I know onto the present circumstance and how it effects me now. So therefore my believing, trusting and resting get interrupted, and I find myself very miserable when that happens. My post was more of an actual now struggle despite the truth I know, if that makes sense.
But I appreciate you preaching truth to me. And the more I believe this truth and focus my mind on it, the more I can live content inside of my circumstances and within my relationships that challenge me so.

Phil said...

Sorry if I've been a bozo. Thinking/preaching to myself, too. Just feel strongly that 'Keswick type' sanctification is a killer, just like law-based sanctification. Both in their various ways want me to die to self so that I can live to God. But God dealt with self at the new-birth and gives of life reigning through imputed righteousness. That's wholly from outside of me, but wholly reckoned mine. Christ doesn't supply the dunamis power of the Spirit to me because I do this or that, but because I believe the message of righteousness qualifies me to present blessing with all spiritual blessings, and grace upon grace from glory to glory. I think that leads us to be active, by the word and the Spirit, but always off a foundation of 'blessed is the man to whom God does not impute sin'...but imputes the spotless purity of Christ instead. I think Paul learnt contentment in that, and it was the most powerful springboard for grace upon grace in his life spilling out to others. I guess we certainly do grow in that...Grace, peace and blessings to your and yours.

Phil said...

Sorry about the predictive text bodges.

lydia said...

No, no Phil you have not been a bozo, I am glad you feel free to talk out loud on here. Feel free to do so, I mean it!
I think I am learning contentment alongside of how to deal in life with just day to day stuff and in relationships, it can be a hard balance for me at times based on my past and the teachings I sat under. Boy did they load us up with heavy burdens in every area of our lives.
Anyway, I always appreciate the dialogue. Blessings to you as well!!

Phil said...

Me too, in my own little background. But the biggest loader of all, and the one that received the rest, was me. When I look at me, I often tend to think, my life is so small and I have no relationships like I want, and only immediate ones at that, I seem hedged in, very internalized, no job, not my health (yet!), no girlfriend/wife, church, boldness, blessing and influence etc, and I think 'God, am I really right about this or am I just kidding myself?' But truly, I want to be settled and established in a biblical new covenant, and I trust God will do that. Just like he had his good purposes with Job, he has with me. Even if it's all a question of belief. Honestly, I find it a struggle to think that I'm not just out of line and others are right. But then I don't feel happy and sincere about life under law, with a scrupulous heart. I wish I would be zapped. Sometimes we can also be crazy in how we set ourselves up as judge, jury and prosecution.

lydia said...

Hey again Phil ~ Here's a verse I am loving lately and funny thing, Rob just accidently preached on it recently, "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives, do not let your heart be troubled........." Only you can 'let not' for you, and only I can 'let not' for me. The cool thing is peace in this passage is the same as shalom peace, which means the same as sozo or salvation - healing, wholeness, prosperity....and so, I am reminded afresh, that I already have His peace, but it's up to me not to let my heart be troubled, or I will not experience that peace coming forth out of me. Anyway, I thought it was a great word and a very encouraging thing to meditate on, for me at least. Since you shared openly of your struggles, I thought I'd encourage you with this...........

Shalom my brother!!