Episode 1. Believe that He Is
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What sort of a life are you living at the moment? Would you describe it as stunning, or disappointing, or somewhere in between. It turns out that through all the twists and turns of life, god has a …
What sort of a life are you living at the moment? Would you describe it as stunning, or disappointing, or somewhere in between. It turns out that through all the twists and turns of life, God has a stunning life planned for you.
So back to that question that I just asked you, what sort of a life do you think that God wants for you? Well, your answer to that I guess is going to depend on two things, whether or not you believe that God actually exists and what sort of a life you’ve had so far. Those two things more than any others are going to shape your answer to that all-important question.
I thought an awful lot about the life that I’m living and the lives other people are living, you see I have more opportunity than most to reflect on the lives of other people. You can imagine that I receive a lot of feedback from listeners to these radio messages from right around the world, letters and phone calls and emails and messages on our website at www.christianityworks.com., lots and lots of feedback and the abject misery of many of those people’s lives at times rocks my faith to the core.
The woman in London who had to sell her body on the street just to get food on the table. The guy who was on the brink of suicide. The woman whose husband had just left her for another woman. The elderly man who lost his wife of fifty-four years. So many people share the deepest despair of their lives with me and at some point, you have to ask yourself the question, “Hang on is God still on His throne? Is God the God of love for real? In fact, does He exist at all?”
Am I suggesting that everybody’s life is a mess? No, not at all but it’s as plain as the nose on my face that we all go through difficult times, times of tragedy in our lives that lead us wondering about this so-called God. And in between the times of tragedy, sure there are high points, there are times when things seem to be chugging along just fine and then there’s that dull monotony of the daily repetition of the same old routine.
So it doesn’t seem to matter so much what particular cycle of life we’re in, a trough or a crest of a wave, on the up or on the down, you can come back to the question “What sort of a life am I living and what sort of life does God want me to live?” It’s why I produced this radio series, it’s called Your Road To A Stunning Life and indeed I’ve written a book by the same name because I’m utterly convinced that God wants you and He wants me to live an absolutely stunning life, difficult though that may seem for some people.
So if it’s true, if God really does want you to live a stunning life how do you actually get yourself on that road? The “what” is pretty meaningless without the ‘how’ wouldn’t you agree? Well, that’s what this series and my book are all about, how to live a stunning life, how to get on that road.
You and I have heard it a million times this life is not a dress rehearsal. We get one chance of each day and pretty soon it’s going to be over. Lao Tzu many, many years ago said:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
So here, as far as I’m concerned, is the first step. The very first step along the road to a stunning life is simply to believe that God is God, that He exists, that He is who He says He is. I know, it sounds a bit trite, a bit too obvious, a bit too simplistic doesn’t it? “Oh give me a break Berni, I don’t need platitudes in my life, I need some real, grass-roots, how to help me to get through the stuff that I’m going through, it’s hard going you know.”
I know you do and I know it is and that’s why I’m sharing this first step with you. Let me say it again, the first step is believing that He exists, that He is who He says He is because it’s a step that has some significant consequences. We live in a world of cause and effect, you do this then that happens, sometimes the consequences are predictable, sometimes they’re totally unpredictable. In this case, the consequences of taking this first step are completely predictable.
This is what God says what will happen to you if you believe in Him, Hebrews 11:1-8:
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. Indeed by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the world was prepared by the word of God so that what is seen was made from things that were not visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s, through this he received approval as righteousness, God himself giving approval for his gifts, he died but through faith he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death and he was found because God had taken him, for it was attested before he was taken away that he had pleased God. And without faith it’s impossible to please God for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
By faith Noah, warned by God about events yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance and he set out not knowing where he was going.
See when we step out on that road in faith, believing that God exists, God’s Word tells us that we’re going to receive these things. First His approval and acceptance, second freedom from death, third His rewards and fourth an inheritance. That’s what that passage we just read tells us.
Like Abraham when we step out on that road we have no idea really where we’re going to be headed. Simply God’s promise to approve us, accept us, set us free from death, reward us and give us the most amazing inheritance. Come on if that’s not a stunning life I just don’t know what is.
Yeah I know, I know, you’re going through all this stuff right? It’s hard right? How does any of this make any difference whatsoever to all of that, right? But let me tell you something, when God promises us something, even something spectacular like this, He delivers and when God delivers that makes all the difference, it completely changes your life.
All He asks us to do is simply to believe, to believe in Him, to believe that He is, to believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him out. So can I ask you this, do you believe? But before you answer let me say I’m not asking you this as a question of theory, I don’t want to know whether or not you give intellectual ascent to the existence of some supreme being, that’s not what I’m asking you at all.
Churches are full of pew warming Christians that are benignly believers in the existence of God, it turns out that the devil is entirely happy for them to take up a place there in a nice warm Church that will keep someone else out in the cold because he knows that when it comes to things that matter their lives really won’t count for anything.
The devil knows that the person that ticks the box marked ‘Yep, sure, I believe there’s a God’ will never do anything of eternal significance in somebody else’s life. Nor are they themselves are likely to spend eternity with Christ because faith without works is dead (James 12:17, 26) and Jesus said:
Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
So that’s not what I’m asking, what I’m asking you is ‘Do you believe in God with your very life?’ With everything that you are, with everything that you have, with every hope and with every dream are you seeking God out, are you seeking to approach Him, to be with Him, to know Him? Do you long for Him with all of your heart? Well do you?
Because when you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him and when you do, you’ll discover that He is the God who accepts you, who approves of you, who rewards you, who sets you free from death and who gives you the most amazing eternal inheritance and that’s a complete game changer, that’s why it’s the very first step on the road to an utterly stunning life.