In Mark 9:23, Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Belief is the strongest of motivators, propelling individuals to pursue their goals, their dreams, and their aspirations, despite failures, setbacks and disappointments along the way. Belief laughs at adversity and welcomes it as a confirmation it is on the right track.
Beliefs are prophecy in the making. They boldly declare what is as yet unseen by others, but wholly known by you. Beliefs are only truly beliefs when accompanied with corresponding actions. Otherwise they are the idols of stone and wood of old… They offer an appearance of power and substance but lack both entirely.
When you believe, you will act. When you act, you will produce a result. If it does not match the belief, you simply adjust and try again. And you will do this until… Until you have achieved that which you believed, thus making your belief a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For most of my Christian life, I took Mark 9:23 to mean, that if I believed God, or more specifically, His Word as revealed in the Bible, all things were then possible.
But I’ve come to understand that Jesus was offering a universal truth… a law if you will, that simply works – “IF YOU BELIEVE” – regardless of who you are or what inspired that belief.
It’s the way things work. Belief is the power that drives all actions. Without belief, nothing happens. But amazingly, with belief, anything is possible.
Those who have made their mark in history or accomplished great things have understood this reality regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Mahatma Gandhi, who led the movement that ended colonial rule in India said “If I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Tiger Woods, a Buddhist and one of the greatest golfers of all time utilized the law of belief saying, “There’s no sense in going to a tournament if you don’t believe that you can win it. And that is the belief I have always had. And that is not going to change.”
Conor McGregor, the first UFC fighter to hold UFC championships in two weight classes at the same time said, “My success isn’t a result of arrogance – it’s a result of belief.”
Your life is where it is, whether you like it or not, in large part due to what you believe.
But you say, you were born in relative poverty. Well, so was Oprah Winfrey. She was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a single teenage mother and to her great loss, denies the Lordship of Jesus but tapped into the power of belief saying, “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”
Or how about Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks? He grew up in the Brooklyn projects. Instead of excusing himself, he said, “Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe. There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.”
Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle Corporation, was born to a single mother in New York City. He dropped out of college twice and worked odd jobs before founding Oracle in 1977 and is now one of the richest men in the world. He said, “You have to believe in what you do in order to get what you want.”
If men and women who know not Christ, through the sheer power of their will, forged into steel by the force of belief, can bend and shape the world in which they live, how much more can we accomplish in Christ?
After all, we’ve been given the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:19) which includes the law of belief, and we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), which gives us access to God’s wisdom and strategy.
The world, hungry for meaning and a God given sense of purpose, has latched on to the power of belief, while denying its source, and have accomplished much, even if in the end, they lost their soul in the gaining of the world. (Mark 8:36)
We however, have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27) and are called with a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9). Our advantage in the world is huge because “greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Scripture promises that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us, (Philippians 4:13) so shouldn’t we raise our expectations higher than mediocrity?
We should forget the pains of the past and press toward the singular goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Don’t know what that is right now?
Dream big with God. Get a sense of His pleasure.
Eric Liddell, whose story was told in the Chariots of Fire movie, was a gold medal Olympian sprinter in the 1924 Olympics and Christian missionary who dreamed big. He discerned God’s will in part by sensing the pleasure of God and recognizing the gifts God had given him…
Do you know the price of great accomplishment in life? It is exactly the same price for small or even worthless accomplishment because whether you have big or small dreams, you pay it all with your life.
What are you trading your life for?
Peter Daniels said, “Whatever God has given you to do, be grand in its implementation.” And why not? We've been purchased with the very blood of Christ. (Acts 20:28) Shouldn't we aspire for higher things than mindless entertainment or trivial pursuits?
Aye, but it requires belief to accomplish great things. Yes, but it also requires belief to accomplish small things. So why not use the power of belief to accomplish great things in the world, and leverage that accomplishment to glorify Jesus and invite others to know Him?!
Judy and I watched the movie Seabiscuit last night, about a small horse and a heavier than normal jockey winning only 10 of his first 40 races, but went on to become the top money-winning racehorse up to the 1940s. He beat the 1937 Triple Crown winner, War Admiral by four lengths in a two-horse special and became a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.
The best line of the movie is when the injured jockey has to advise his replacement (George) on how to win the big race. He tells George the secret to winning and it really is the secret to life. He says... "It's not in the feet Georgey... It's in the..." Can you guess? Watch this clip to see it.
Yes my friend, belief that resides only in the mind, serves only as a conversation starter, but belief that resides in the heart, well... that can change the world!
Perhaps you want to do great things with your life which was purchased with such a high cost, and maybe you even know what that thing is, but you have no idea HOW you can accomplish that. Let me tell you a secret...
Last night as I lay my head down to sleep, I saw something hard to describe, but I shall do my best...
Imagine carrying a grand goal of some sort. Think of it as a physical thing surrounded by a translucent membrane, a bubble of sorts. It prevents you from seeing more than a few feet ahead of you.
If you stop, you will not see any further, so you must keep moving in the direction of its fulfillment, despite having so many unanswered questions which war against your soul.
So you move on, and what I saw was a breaking through of the membrane and an entering into a place that had answers, instruction, knowhow. By no means was it total in its scope, but it was all that was needed to carry on to the next breakthrough.
There was as it were, a lamp for your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105) showing only enough for the present. It was not enough to see all the way to the end, but more than enough to conquer the present.
You've heard it said that "seeing is believing", but I'm telling you that "believing precedes seeing"!
Throughout the Bible we see where God gives a general directive, but rarely the full set of details. He tells Abraham, "go to a land that I will show you". How's that for vague?!?! He gave Moses the task of delivering the Israelites from Egypt. He knew the "what" God had planned, but had no idea the "how". That came one act of obedience after another.
Rarely do the details of the "how" come into view before you begin the journey. It seems they only become visible once you commit to the goal. And that commitment is not merely a verbal commitment, it is one of action, where you actually begin the task as if its accomplishment was a foregone conclusion.
Abraham Lincoln said, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way." Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, "The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."
Faith (Belief) is like fuel. Without fuel, you cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). But with fuel, you can do anything. When you fill your car up with fuel, you can drive to the store or across the country to places like Horseshoe Bay albeit with a few stops along the way to refuel. But without fuel, your travel and exploits are very limited.
May I suggest that we fuel up, believe for bigger and better things and move in their direction?
I don't know about you, but I latch on to the promise found in Daniel that "The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." Are you up for some great exploits? Seeing as how you're spending your life anyway, why not spend it on a worthy accomplishment?
If you had a million dollars in your bank account and that was the sum total of your financial worth, and you could purchase any one thing with it, because every single thing you could purchase had the same price on it... $1 million, would you purchase a popsicle or a city? Would you settle for a hamburger at McDonalds or buy the freedom of every child being trafficked? How would you spend that sum if everything you could imagine was the same price?
If you choose to exchange your life for something worthy of the price Jesus paid for it, you will encounter hardships along the way, (John 16:33) that may even make you consider giving up. But giving up still costs you your life, and you get nothing in return. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:9... "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Don't misunderstand me, I understand what it's like to have a strong sense of destiny and yet seem to be standing so far from it, as to make you wonder if you're delusional. Like you, many of the hits I've taken were avoidable, but some were not. Regardless, along the way I got some help and I know how much a difference that can make.
That's why I'm hosting a 3-day challenge to help people acquire what I believe is the most important skill anyone can have that will help them fulfill that for which they have been called, whether in business, life in general, or ministry.
If you have a sense of destiny or purpose and desire to make a difference with your life whether in the field of business or otherwise, I'd love to help you get there. If you know someone else who might need a little encouragement, please share this blogpost on your social media, via email or simply by word of mouth.
And for that I sincerely thank you!
Until next time, if you're going to be believing anyway, why not believe big?!?!