Every once and a while (ok… more like every few months) God will drop a word into my heart that quietly (and yet surprisingly efficiently) exposes something in my life that needs a little tweaking.  Everything from “patience” or “forgiveness” or “discipline” to “slow down,” “get moving,” or “shut up.”

And it happened again yesterday.  I was happily minding my own business at church when I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart.  The word of the day:  unbelief.

I spent some time looking up scriptures on the subject this morning to equip myself to grow in this area.  And I found something staggering.  I cannot believe how many times Jesus said these words in the Gospels:  “Why don’t you believe me?” 

It seems that our hearts are prone to unbelief.  Not only that, but the enemy of our souls likes to play games with us – deceptively fanning the flames of doubt.  Actually, the very first thing the serpent said to Eve in the garden was “Did God REALLY say….” (Genesis 3:1) We are constantly tempted to doubt God. 

I know for me, my unbelief is directly linked with self protection.  I think its easier for me to just not get my hopes up too high or my expectations too big – and then face the fear of disappointment. 

And sometimes my doubt is a result of over analysis and frustration in the fact that I can’t figure it all out.  You and I can be pretty arrogant in our faith.  If we can’t explain it in five easy steps and track it on a spreadsheet, then there’s no WAY God could handle it.  Cynicism and rationality can creep into our hearts and suddenly belief feels like something for fairy princesses and Disneyland.  “If you just believe…”feels like a slogan for lofty idealism and wishful thinking.

But the very CORE of our relationship with Jesus is BELIEF.  We have to believe in Him to be saved.  We have to believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.

I think unbelief keeps our faith small.  Doubt keeps our feet firmly planted and our hearts safely disengaged.  But to plunge headfirst into the pool of endless Kingdom possibility is exactly the kind of spiritual life God wants from you and I.

I have a lot of really big dreams in my heart.  I feel like God has promised some things to me that seem FAR beyond rational thought.  And when He first whispered them to me – I was excited and overwhelmed and did not doubt for a second that He would accomplish EVERY purpose He has for me.

But as time wears on… that crafty little serpent whispers in my ear, “Did God really say…?”  And I start to get discouraged.  I begin to doubt.  I begin to look for safe and alternative dreams to replace the ones that feel so far out of reach.

And so – God speaks once again – as He has to every person of faith before me – “Why don’t you believe me?”  I have asked myself that question repeatedly this morning and I really don’t have an answer to the “why” – but I guess I don’t really need one.

I simply need to believe.

He IS who He says He is.  He will DO what He has said He will do.  He WILL accomplish His purposes for me.  He is not weak. He is not disengaged.  He is actively weaving together His plans and is lovingly orchestrating His Kingdom in my life and in your life.

I am picking up the mantle of belief today and setting my heart on a course of faith and trust.  When doubt creeps in, I will surrender it to Jesus and confidently reaffirm my trust in His promises for me.  I will ruthlessly rid myself of doubting thoughts.  I will stop qualifying my conversations with… “Well,  maybe God… if He feels like it… might maybe someday…” I will replace my doubt with an unswerving trust in the Living, Faithful God.

So take courage.  For I believe God.  It will be just as He said. (Acts 27:25)