January 22, 2010
Present Tense Believing
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18-19 NIV).
Friend To Friend
In Ephesians 1:13 we read: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him, with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." We believed - past tense - and were saved; sealed, delivered … we're His! It was completed in the past, once and for all time.
Now let's read a little further down in Ephesians 1:18. "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." We received salvation when we believed (past tense). We have great power when we believe (present tense).
The Greek word for believe that is used in Ephesians 1:18 is a present active participle. That means it is a continuous action verb. Bible teacher Beth Moore explains: "In other words, the promise given in verses 19-20 is not applied to those ‘having believed' as in verse 13 where they had believed to become Christians. Rather, it is applied to those who are presently, actively, and yes, continually believing God."
Maybe you believed in Jesus and experienced salvation. But do you believe the Word of God by faith and understand that you have the same power working in your life that raised Jesus from the dead? It is available to you if you believe.
A sapling planted in the ground does not become more of a tree as it grows, it just becomes stronger and more mature. Writer Neil Anderson compares our spiritual growth to a tree: "The growth stage cannot alter the organism; it can only ensure that the organism reaches its greatest potential." As a tree's roots grow deeper it produces a greater display of leaves, more shade and beauty for others to enjoy, and stronger branches for tire swings and bird's nests, but it's still a tree. The moment you come to Christ, you are saved and become a saint by calling with a whole new identity. There is nothing you can do to make your identity truer than at the very moment you accept Christ as your Savior, but there is much you can do to have more power in your life as you mature.
It begins by believing the truth. It is a step of faith. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). It is "acting like God tells the truth."
Are you ready to start practicing present tense believing today? Are you ready to experience God's power in your life! If you answered yes, then buckle up. God's power is about to be demonstrated in your life in a mighty way!
Dear LORD, Thank You for giving me the gift of faith. Forgive me when I doubt You. Today, I am choosing to believe. Even if circumstances seem bleak, I know that You are who you say You are and You will do what You say You will do.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
What are you believing God for today? Let's hold each other accountable.
Visit my blog and write it out. (www.sharonjaynes.com/blog) Sometimes writing out what you are believing God for helps to solidify your faith and we can hold each other accountable!
More From The Girlfriends
Need a "faith lift" today? Want to learn more about how to practice present tense believing? Then you'll want to read Sharon's book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful - Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes. (This book was previously titled Experience the Ultimate Makeover.)
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.