If every Christian in America was asked the question, “Do you believe the Bible?” the answer would probably be: “Yes.” Some people might even appear to be a little offended by being asked. I would certainly say, “Yes, I believe.” But what if, instead, every Christian was asked, “Do you act like you believe the Bible”?
I was brought up in a loving Christian home and went to church most of my life (except for a few stupid years in my young adulthood). But, I'll have to admit I haven't always “acted” like I believe the Bible. As a matter of fact, for many years I didn't read the Bible very much so, obviously, my life didn't reflect the Word. Yes, that's right…I was saved, but that was about the extent of it! I honestly didn't understand that God's Word is as relevant to my life as it was to the people in Bible times.
I never doubted that the Bible was the inspired Word of God, but I didn't understand the power God gave to you and me. The Word says so much about the authority we, as believers, have over sickness, depression, poverty, etc.
There are many verses that reflect this, but let's look at a few:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to be with My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12–14 NKJV)
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:17–19 NKJV)
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and they will drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15‐18 NKJV)
I began to understand the Word a lot more when I started looking up the definitions in the Hebrew and Greek. I have a great Bible application on my smart phone called Touch Bible (check it out on our “useful links” page). The English language doesn't always reflect the true definition of a word in its original language, or there may be several definitions of that word. For example, in Luke 10, the definition of “serpent” is a snake, but it can also be an artful, malicious person. If I were living in the Amazon rainforest, I would need to hold onto God's promise that no snake can harm me. For most of us though, that passage is saying we have authority over anyone acting maliciously toward us.
When I began to study these and other passages, I started to consider the possibility that I had authority over situations. The Word began to excite me! I began to see myself doing those things mentioned in the Word. I began to pray differently and take risks—like praying for people to be healed. I began to see results. I don't see perfect results, but that doesn't mean the Word isn't true… it means I lack understanding at times.
Mike has a phrase he likes to use when he's teaching: “What you will not consider, you most likely will not experience.” Please think about that!
Our minds are very powerful. It really matters what we watch on TV, what kind of music we listen to, who we hang around. Those things help or hinder the development of our character. Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
We all know the effect of pondering and considering things that are evil. Recently, there have been a lot mass shootings in our nation. I'm certainly no expert, but I doubt if those individuals just woke up one morning and said, “I'm going to go kill someone today.” Through their environment, what they watched on TV, violent video games, etc… they began to consider, imagine, plan… and then act.
Going back to the question, “Do you and I act like we believe the Bible”? To answer that question we need to examine our lives to see if there is any fruit (evidence). Are we having victory over things like disease, discouragement, poverty, and fear? Frankly, we can't just have our morning devotion and prayer, and then spend the rest of the day acting and talking like the world does.
We have to spend time considering, pondering, imagining ourselves doing the greater works Jesus spoke of. We have to risk looking foolish to our friends and family. We have to get to the point where we are more interested in the welfare of someone else than we are in how they might think about us. Where there is no risk, there is no reward!