Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is this: “In my lifetime, I have learned two things… (1) There is a God, and (2) I am not Him.” I tend to complicate simple things and can miss the mark. So I thought a few simple passages and how they reflect in my mind to help keep my Christian walk as straight as possible, might actually be helpful to others in their day to day life. All of us have favorite verses we use throughout a day or over a time period to keep our minds focused and many of mine will deal with the simple subject of authority and reverence for the Most High God, The Great “I Am”, we serve. It has become more and more clear as I get older that although I may not be a perfect man (still much to un-learn) I do know who I am… in relation to God, perfectly. I hope these few verses will help you as much as they help me.
Luk 18:13, 14 NKJV - "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise [his] eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' - "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Have you ever felt like the tax collector? A key element of our walk is to not exalt ourselves. A lesson that takes a lifetime to master, through a consistent battle against our flesh. It simply goes against our own human nature to be pious. We have many ambitions in this life and our achievements are meant to be celebrated, but when we cross the line of “I did this” and forget The One who gives us everything, we begin down a dangerous road of self- reliance. All I can tell you is this (when I go to God in prayer), I always am convicted of my sin, because as I approach God; His purity alone draws to my mind of exactly how human/earthly I am. He is to be exalted and I find especially in prayer, I am continually reminded of His greatness and of my fleshly condition. You could accurately say, when I go before God in prayer, His purity alone convicts me of my sins and I have an overwhelming desire to be forgiven. Have you ever gone to God in prayer for one thing, and the next thing you know you are crying for forgiveness? That’s what I am talking about; carrying this thought of my condition before Him helps to keep me grounded in humility.
Hbr 5:6-8 NKJV - As [He] also says in another [place]: "You [are] a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"; - who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,- though He was a Son, [yet] He learned obedience by the things which He suffered
God loves our tears, for in them we lose self and gain faith for our Master. This verse 7 is a new inspiration for me, and to think I have missed it for years. Christ himself cries (vehemently) to His father, the “One” who can save His soul from death. For some reason I just assumed Christ had a different relation with the Father (and I am not suggesting that he didn’t) than we did. I am simply in awe that he cried in anguish, not just in the Garden but at other times too, it appears. It also makes perfectly good biblical sense that he would do so, and seeing this verse has helped me understand that if Christ was in this position in relation to the Father, then so should I. I need to be crying out with real emotion and conviction to the Father who has the power to both destroy flesh and soul for my salvation. God's word is clear, He will judge us.
Mar 9:23,24 NKJV - Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things [are] possible to him who believes." - Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
These verses are two of my all-time favorites in all Scripture. I can relate to this father. I have many times put myself into this story and have marveled at what took place. This man who had this sicken son, who had been this way since childhood was about to see a miracle and I am certain he knew it. He had no luck when he took his son to the disciples, but Jesus was about to show Him power! I am always amazed and emotional at the few verses of communication Jesus had with this unnamed father. It is obvious the man loves his son and asks Jesus if he has power to please be compassionate towards them, and then Jesus gives us two verses that I can never forget… “all things are possible to him who believes” and "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
I have felt that was true since becoming a Christian. "Help my unbelief," is my plea to the Lord too! It seems to me that sin (in my life) is a lack of faith or "unbelief." YES, I have unbelief at times. My fears are because of unbelief, my problems are because of unbelief, and ultimately my sin is because of my unbelief. But Jesus gave us help. I have to go back to the facts and keep grounded in scripture, remain strong and faithful allowing God to keep changing and directing my life. With faith of a mustard seed, we can do greater things than this. Picking up the story again in Matthew, Mat 17:20 NKJV - So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
In closing, “There is a God, and I am not Him.”
Isa 43:10 NKJV - "You [are] My witnesses," says the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I [am] He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.
Isa 43:11 NKJV - I, [even] I, [am] the LORD, And besides Me [there is] no savior.
Isa 43:12 NKJV - I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And [there was] no foreign [god] among you; Therefore you [are] My witnesses," Says the LORD, "that I [am] God.