Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” John 11:40
Lord, when You say something You mean it. And, You mean what You say. It’s my responsibility to listen and obey. But to truly obey You, I have to understand what You truly mean. So, open the eyes of my heart to understand and not just breeze by what You are telling me. Give me ears to really hear, eyes to really see, and a spirit that is truly enlightened by You and in You.
“Didn’t I tell you…” Yes, Lord, every time I read Your Word, You have told me. Over and over You have told me. I must continually recall the things You have told me. I must remember. It is all too easy to read and listen and walk away and forget. Well, it’s all too easy to forget if I treat it like interesting facts. But if I treat Your Word as necessary to sustain my life, then I hold on to it tightly, then it becomes a part of me that I can’t forget. Oh, that I would remember all that You have told me and all that You tell me through all the experiences that You walk with me through. Because each new day, and each new experience, and each new trial, You tell me more and You refine the words You’ve already spoken and strengthen what You already told me. Yes, You have told me.
“If you believe….” So, the question is “Do I believe?” What does that mean? It’s not enough to just know that You said, “If you believe…” I have to believe. Vine’s Expository Dictionary gives three parts of this belief. It is “a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth.” Add to that “a personal surrender to Him.” And accompany that with “a conduct inspired by such surrender.” It’s absolutely the opposite of belief that is just “an opinion held in good ‘faith’ without necessary reference to its proof. The object of Abraham’s ‘faith’ was not God’s promise (that was the occasion of its exercise); his ‘faith’ rested on God Himself.” And my faith, just like Martha’s, must rest on You Yourself. It wasn’t on the fact that You would raise Lazarus or keep him alive, it was on the truth that You are the Resurrection. I don’t trust You because You will keep me from dying. I trust You because You are my Life.
The Old Testament equivalent of believe (“pisteuo”) or faith is “aman.” “Aman,” where the word “Amen” comes from, means “to be firm, dependable, durable, steady, stable, sure, established, trustworthy.” It also carries the meaning “to prop” or “to support.” Just like a pillar, You hold me up, when I place all my weight on You. Like with Moses, I need help to hold my hands up until the sun sets.
One part of this verb means to nurse or nourish. Preceptaustin shares this comment, “The idea is that of providing stability and confidence, like a baby would find in the arms of a parent, nurse or guardian.” And this is one part of what faith is to be for me. This is the dependency and comfort I should have in You through Your Word.
Another part of the verb means to “show to be firm, to be established, to be steadfast; to be carried, be faithful”. In other words, You have demonstrated Your Word to be true.
And then the third part of the word means “to consider established, to regard as true, to consider faithful, to cause to be supported by, to rely on, to commit oneself to, to believe.” This is where I consider Who You Are a “done deal.” I am committed to You because You have shown Yourself True to Your Word and You have already taken care of all my needs. Just like a little child, I have grown to experience Your provision, and know that I can count on You to not only always catch me but to always be there and to always have my best interests in mind. And, I can’t wait ’till Daddy gets home so I can run into His arms!
The first account in Your Word of someone believing is Abram in Genesis 15:6. He believed in the Lord and He reckoned it onto him as righteousness. “This passage indicates that Abram did not just give mental assent to God’s promise (Ge 15:5), but that he relied on that promise and made a personal commitment. In other words Abram’s faith was not only cognitive (the mental act of acquiring knowledge) but also personal for he believed God’s word of promise.” Why did he believe and act on God’s Word of promise? Because He understood who You were. And He acted on what He knew of You.
“You would see God’s glory?” Here’s the condition that will be met if, and only IF I believe. I will see God’s glory. And I like the way Paul puts it. “I didn’t speak my message with persuasive intellectual arguments. I spoke my message with a show of spiritual power so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:5) You must first open my eyes. You must take the scales off my eyes just like You did for Paul. But once You do, I act on all that You show me. And as I act on what You show me, I see You. And You do more in me.
Through faith, I can see You. You produce obedience in me. As I continue to obey, I see more of You. I see what You are doing in my life and around me. I don’t just see what You are doing alone, but I see how You respond and I, well, I just see who You are and what You are like and I experience it. I experience You. I see Your glory and I experience You in my life.
Through faith, I have hope, because You have good plans for me. The more I listen, the more I remember, the more I obey and act on Your Word, the more I know that no matter what, every intent You have for me is for my benefit and to draw me continually closer to You until one day, I will be perfectly united with You! I have hope because I know who You are. I have hope because I know Your promises are all true. But I have hope because I know You and You are for me and You are everything Good that I need.
Through faith, I persevere. By Your power alone, I persevere. Without belief that obeys and hopes, I cannot persevere. I persevere because You persevered. You are long-suffering. Because You are, I can be. Because I know who You are, because I long for You, because I am dependent upon You wholly, I must persevere. Only by persevering, by continuing no matter the resistence, will I live. To give up is to die. To die is separation from You. My whole life is in You. I must persevere because You are Perseverence. In You, I can only persevere because You make me to persevere.
“Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” Yes, Lord, You have told me over and over again. And I will believe. I will live according to Your promises and according to Your Word and according to the prompting of Your Holy Spirit as though my life depended upon it. Because it does. I will treat all that comes from You as Truth, as a “done deal” as a “supernaturally legal binding agreement and promise.” I will take it all as Truth and I will act as though it has been spoken and it has been written and it is being done. As I obey, I will excitedly look forward to You continually showing Yourself glorious before me and before others. I will continually see You raise me out of “humanly impossible” situation after situation. It’s what You do because it’s who You are.