“The sum of Your word is truth,” Psalm 119:160
Making it True
Truth – Yesterday we looked at this word, ‘aman, the root of many words about certainty. One Hebrew verb form of this root expresses causing something to be true. We could translate ‘aman in this form as “caused to be certain” or “caused to be completely convinced”. Why is this important? Because this particular form of the verb is usually translated into English as “to believe”. Did you get the implication? To believe is to be caused to be certain of His word! Now who do you suppose in the subject of such action? Not me! I am the object, the one who is caused to be assured. Someone else is causing this to happen. No wonder the Old Testament man or woman fell prostrate before the living God. They were awestruck by the absolute, undoubted certainty of the God who is. The burning bush, the fire on Mt. Sinai, deliverance from the belly of the sea creature, a fire that consumed the altar, and on and on. These men and women were caused to be sure by the mighty acts of God in their midst. What they beheld compelled them to accept the truth of God among them. The same thing happens to me. I receive this certainty as His gift. My job is to accept what He gives me.
How does this change the idea of “believe” for modern Christianity? First, of course, it means that faith is a gift. It’s not something that I work myself up to. It’s not something that I need to convince God about. He gives me what I require without expectation.
Secondly, “believe” in the Old Testament is a matter of placing my total confidence in the character of the unfailing God. “Believe” is following through in obedience to the certainty God provides. It is not intellectual assent to some statement about what I think is correct. Intellectual assent means nothing if I am unwilling to stake my life of the certainty implied in God’s gift of faith. In other words, if God causes me to be certain about Who He is, that certainty compels a change in my life’s decisions and behavior. To say that I believe but not change my living is to deny that I am convinced about God’s word. I can’t have it both ways. The modern church remains powerless because it has intellectual affirmation without life transformation. Faith without works is still dead.
God takes all the guesswork out of believing. I don’t have to take a stab in the dark and hope that things turn out right on the other side of the grave. This is not spiritual roulette. God gives me complete certainty in His faithfulness when I am ready to live it. Faith is a matter of trust, and trust means denial of my way and surrender to His way.
Do you want the certainty of God’s faithfulness to permeate your life? Only one thing can hold you back: your own unwillingness to surrender your life completely to His word.