Week of March 21
True Profession Is From the Heart
Years ago, I was staying at a pastor's house while I was preaching in his church. The first day I slept in his home, I became very frustrated early the next morning. About 5 a.m., the telephone started ringing - and it rang and rang and rang. I began to count the rings - thirty rings, forty rings, forty-five rings. Finally on the fiftieth ring, I got up, put on my clothes, and walked down the hallway to the kitchen, mumbling to myself, "If no one else cares enough to get up and answer this telephone, I'll do it!"
I picked up the receiver and said, "Hello." But to my amazement, the phone just kept on ringing, even though I was holding the receiver in my hand! Then I noticed that the ringing wasn't coming from the telephone at all, but from something to my right that was covered with a big white sheet. I pulled the sheet back to look, and there in a big cage was a Grey African parrot looking back at me! It had been mimicking the ringing of the telephone! That parrot sounded just like a telephone, but it was not a telephone!
As I walked back down the hallway to my bedroom, I started thinking about how that parrot reminded me of some people I knew! I'm talking about people who made what sounded like great faith confessions, but who weren't really in faith at all. Their words sounded right, but they weren't doing anything but parroting what they had heard someone else say or do. Because there was no faith backing up their words, their confessions were no more real than the ringing telephone coming from the beak of that parrot!
In Hebrews 10:23, the Bible says, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith.…" Today I'd like to draw your attention to the word "profession." It comes from the Greek word homologia, which is a compound of the words homo and logos. The Greek word homo means one of the very same kind. The second part of the word, logos, is the Greek word for words. When these two words are joined together, they form the word homologia, which seems at first to mean to say the same thing.
The King James Version translates the word homologia as the word "profession." However, this is really inadequate to fully understand what the word homologia means. To capture the comprehensive meaning of the word homologia, it is essential to further consider the word logos. As noted above, it means words.
Let me give you an illustration of the word homologia. I am a writer and have written many books. My words are my thoughts, my convictions, and my beliefs printed on paper. If you read my books and agree with what I have written - with my words - then in essence you are in agreement with me, for those words are me! They are what I think, what I believe, and what I have expressed.
Ultimately, if you like my books and agree with what I've written, you are coming into agreement with me, the author. If you take my viewpoint and begin to hold it as your own conviction, it won't be long until you and I are aligned in our thinking and believing.
After my words have gotten deeply into your heart and you have fully embraced them, those words will soon become your own conviction. Then when you share that information with others, you will no longer be just repeating - or parroting - what you have read in my book. Instead, you will be speaking from the platform of your own heart about what you believe. At that point, you and I will be genuinely aligned in our viewpoints and convictions, talking the same language!
The word "profession" used in Hebrews 10:23 (or "confession," as it is translated in other scriptures), from the Greek word homologia, is not the picture of a person who simply repeats what someone else says. This is an individual who has gotten God's Word into his heart and who has come into agreement or alignment with what God says. This person sees a matter like God sees it; hears it like God hears it; feels it like God feels it. Now his heart and God's heart are so unified on the issue that their hearts are nearly beating in syncopation with each other. Thus, when the believer opens his mouth to "confess" God's Word, his confession is no longer powerless, empty chatter; instead, it comes from a very deep place of conviction inside his heart.
In light of this, Hebrews 10:23 carries this idea:
"Let us come into agreement with God and then begin to speak what He says, holding tightly to what we confess and refusing to let anyone take it from us.…"
Real confessions are made out of words from God that have been sown into the heart. After a period of meditating and renewing the mind, you finally begin to see it the way that God sees it. You really believe what God believes! And from that place of heartfelt conviction, you then begin to speak and to declare your faith!
You see, when a believer gets God's Word so deep into his heart that he comes into alignment with it, he is no longer simply muttering empty words or parroting something he has heard when he speaks. Now he speaks boldly from a legitimate place of faith!
Many people make the mistake of going through life repeating what they have heard someone else say without ever developing any depth of faith or understanding behind their words. They say the right things, but because these words come only out of their mouths and not out of their hearts, their confession doesn't produce results.
Your faith and your mouth must be connected. A mechanical profession doesn't come from the heart; therefore, it doesn't bring forth any fruit. True profession must come from your heart before it comes out of your mouth.
How do you avoid making mechanical, mindless confessions?
First, make certain you have chosen to believe what God says. Commit your mind, heart, and all your strength to believing the Word of God, no matter how crazy it may sound to your natural mind.
Then ask the Holy Spirit to make God's Word real to you - so real, in fact, that should anyone even imply that what God said isn't true, you'd think that person was out of his mind!
Finally, pick up your Bible and do some serious study and meditation. Sow that Word into your heart until you and God are aligned on the issue. After that alignment comes into being, it's time for you to open your mouth and start declaring the Word of God over your situation!
Today I want to encourage you to get into God's Word. Take it deep into your heart and mind, and meditate on it until you and God begin to think alike! Once that Word becomes so real inside you that it becomes your word, it's time for you to open your mouth and speak to any mountain that stands in your way. As you do, that mountain will be removed!
A faith confession can only be a real mountain-moving confession when it comes from the heart before it comes out of the mouth. If you have planted God's Word in your heart so that it is now your word as well, you have no need to tarry any longer! Open your mouth, and begin to confess what God has promised you!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I want to get Your Word so deep into my heart that it becomes MY word! I want to see things the way You see them, hear things the way You hear them, and feel things the way You feel them. I want to get so aligned with You that our hearts beat in syncopation together. I thank You that once Your Word gets that deeply rooted in my heart, my spoken words will release rivers of power and authority against the works of the devil that he has designed for my destruction! I thank You that just as Your words created the universe, my spoken words of faith create a change in my atmosphere!
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly confess that God's Word is deeply rooted inside my heart and soul. My mind is being renewed to the truth, and I am being changed. What I used to think, I no longer think; what I used to believe, I no longer believe. Now I base my life on the eternal truths contained in God's Word. I take the Word deep into my heart and soul where it inwardly transforms me. When I open my mouth to speak, I don't speak empty, mindless words; instead, my words come from a deeply held conviction and therefore release power to set the answers I need in motion!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have there been times when you have found yourself so aligned with God's Word that when you spoke, the words you released literally caused a change in your situation? What was that situation, and what happened when you spoke forth words of faith?
- On the other hand, can you remember a time when you just mindlessly parroted what someone else said and nothing happened? What did you learn from that experience?
- From what you have read today, what must you do in order to be able to speak a true confession of faith?