Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?
The question as related above was asked by Del Tackett during the presentation of the Truth Project. The Project was initiated 12 years ago by Focus on the Family, a Christian organization located in Colorado Springs, CO. Del Tackett was the spokesman for the project that became a widely used seminar which related the truth of the scriptures to every day life. Although having reference to the teaching of the seminar, his question has a deeper relevance that impacts the totality of our lives. His question in actuality includes two questions. The first of these, “What do you believe?”, is then followed by the second, “Do you really believe it is really real?”
To fully answer the first question would take volumes so let me summarize in a few sentences. If we are born again the old has gone, the new has come. The old man is buried with Christ (Romans 6:3) and the life we now live is by faith in the life of Christ given to us. (Galatians 2:20) We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, given the consciousness of God and the assurance that the Lord is our security and our significance. (Genesis 15:1) Our Lord is in charge of each day, guarding us each second and preparing us with perfect knowledge and infinite power to celebrate Him, enjoy Him, worship and serve Him for all eternity. He is in charge of all that pertains to us and all His governance is guided by the eye of infinite eternal love. He supplies all we need physically and spiritually and tells us that we have no need to be afraid or worried. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
The second question to consider, then, is this. Do we really believe this? Is it really real? In the case of many there is a wish and a hope, but the circumstances of life cause us to question the reality of what we believe at times. We face many difficulties in life and the disappointments, the loss of health, family concerns and financial burdens all combine to cause doubts and anxieties. Looking at our circumstances may cause us to doubt our relationship to Him, or to doubt His promises. We may even wonder how our lives are to be different from the unbelieving world around us. What are the distinctives? What differences should be present in our lives that characterize us as really believing that what we believe is really real?
The scriptures are not silent as to the expected response of the believer to all one has in Christ. If we really believe that what we believe is really real then we will have the response described in Colossians 3:1,2. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” These verses introduce the topic of “things above.” What are these “things above?” What activities are continuously taking place in the realm above? I believe there are three of these in number, in each of which we are invited to have a part.
The first of these is prayer. In Hebrews 7:25 we read that our Lord continues to pray for us. Those of the redeemed who are with Him are likewise joining Him in prayer. The reminders that our lives are to be centered in prayer are many in the scriptures. Luke 18:1b states…”men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” I Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray without ceasing,” and Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us to “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In prayer we are reminded that our need is not partial, it is total.
The second of “things above” is seen in Revelations 19:4. “The twenty four elders and the living creatures fell down and worshipped God who was seated on the throne. And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah.’” These two words epitomize praise to the Lord for who He is as well as for what He does: Hallelujah-Praise the Lord!, and Amen-Let it be so! If we really believe that what we believe is really real, that our lives will be characterized by praise, and specifically these two words of praise, Hallelujah and Amen.
The third activity taking place above is proclamation, the declaring of the person of Christ and what He has done. Revelations 5:9-10 is as follows: “And they sang a new song: you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” If we really believe that what you believe is really real, then you cannot help telling others, proclaiming its truth first through your life, and then through your words.
Finally, we need to remember that we are not left to ourselves to manifest a life of prayer, praise and proclamation. We have been given Christ, not as a model to emulate, nor as an example to study, but as a Life to be expressed in our lives. It is His triumph in life in which we join. His victory over all the circumstances of life is transmitted to us. His Person given to us has already been manifest in prayer, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16) His life is seen in praise, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Luke 10 21) Finally, we see that His life in which we share is declared to be one of proclamation. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
There is no reason to doubt what we believe. It is really real! There is, furthermore, no reason to doubt that the Risen Christ will not be manifest in our lives with prayer, praise and proclamation as well. As we constantly look to Him to manifest Himself in and through our lives, He Himself will demonstrate the reality of His truth through our lives.
In Christ, Richard Spann