Central Truth: To believe with all of our heart is to believe with our spirit, to believe independently of our mind or our body.
Spiritual things are just as real as material things. God is just as real a person as though He had a physical body, although He doesn’t. He is a Spirit. Jesus has a physical body now, a flesh and bone body, but not flesh and blood. After His resurrection He appeared to the disciples, and they thought it was a spirit or a ghost. Jesus said, “… handle me … for a spirit hath not flesh and bone …” (Luke 24:39).
On another occasion while Peter and some of the other disciples were fishing, they saw Jesus on the shore. He called to them, and they went to Him and ate with Him the fish He cooked there on an open fire. So He has a physical body right now, a resurrected flesh and bone body. And Jesus with His physical body now in heaven is not more real than the Holy Spirit or God the Father is real.
Notice that we do not say God is spirit, but rather that God is a Spirit. Some people think that God is spirit, meaning some sort of an impersonal influence. Even though we say that God is a Spirit, that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t have a shape or a form in the spiritual realm, because He does. Angels are spirits, yet angels have a form or a spirit body.
On one occasion when the Israelites were surrounded by the Syrian army, the servant of the prophet Elisha was filled with fear as he saw the enemy’s host of horses and chariots which compassed the city. Elisha merely answered, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord … open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (II Kings 6:16, 17). Sometimes, as God wills, angels can take on a form in the material realm where they can be seen.
In Exodus 33 we read that God talked to Moses “face to face” (verse 11), although Moses did not see God’s face because a cloud was there. “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (verse 20). Then God said to Moses, “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen” (verses 22, 23). Even though God is a Spirit, we know that He has a face and hands, a form of some kind. He is no less real because He is a Spirit than He would be if He had a physical body. Spiritual things are just as real as material.
II Corinthians 5:1, 6-8
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
When our body is put in the grave, we still have a building with God, not made with hands, and we shall live eternally in the heavens. Who is going to be absent from the body? (We are, the real man, the inward man.)
In I Peter 3:4 our spirit is called “the hidden man of the heart.” Here we see the word “heart” again. The inward man, our spirit, is called the hidden man. He is a man of the heart, of the spirit. He is hidden to the physical or the natural man. In Romans 7:22 the spirit is called the “inward man.” “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” So we see this “inward man” and the “hidden man” give us God’s definition of the human spirit.
The real man is spirit, he has a body and a soul. With his spirit he contacts the spiritual realm. With his soul he contacts the intellectual realm. With his body he contacts the physical realm. We cannot contact God with our mind. Neither can we contact God with our body. We can contact God only with our spirit.
The Word of God – Key to Heart Faith
When we hear the Word of God preached, we hear it with our natural mind. We can remember how that before we were Christians the Word of God affected us in our spirit. The Holy Spirit, through the Word, spoke to our heart or our spirit. We read in I Corinthians 2:14, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God …” One translation says, “The natural man or the natural mind understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” We don’t understand the Bible with our mind, it is spiritually understood. We understand it with our spirit, or our heart. That is the reason we may read certain passages dozens of times and never understand their true meaning. Then one day we suddenly see what God is showing us through His Word. It is at that moment that we understand it with our heart. We have to get the revelation of God’s Word in our heart. That is why we must depend upon the Spirit of God to open and unveil the Word to us.
Therefore, to believe with the heart means to believe with the spirit. How does our spirit get faith that our intellect cannot obtain? The answer is through the Word. When Jesus said, “… Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), He was speaking of spiritual food. He used a natural term to convey a spiritual thought. Our spirits become filled with assurance and confidence as we meditate on the Word. The Word is spirit and faith food. The Word of God is food that makes our spirit strong.
To believe with the heart means to believe apart from what our physical body may tell us or what our physical senses may indicate. This is because the physical man believes what he sees with his physical eyes or hears with his physical ears, or what his physical feelings tell him. But the spirit, or the heart, believes in the Word regardless of seeing, hearing, or feeling.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Most folks practice verse five all right, but they practice it in reverse. They trust with all their understanding and lean not to their own heart: James 1:19 says, “… let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” This is another verse we are inclined to practice in reverse. We are swift to speak and swift to wrath, but slow to hear.
Then verse 7 in the passage of scripture above says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes …” In other words, “Don’t be wise with natural human knowledge, which would cause you to act independently of the Word of God.”
In the New Testament we find the counterpart to this scripture. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations (reasoning), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4, 5).
Peace – A Result of Heart Faith
If we want to walk by faith, the Word must be uppermost to everything else. And as we trust God with all of our heart, a quietness and a peace come to our spirit. “For we which have believed do enter into rest …” (Hebrews 4:3). “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
When we trust in God’s Word which says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19), we simply know in our spirit that everything we need will be supplied and we don’t worry. We have no anxiety. If we are worrying, then we are not believing. Our heart takes courage as we read the Word. As we meditate in this Word, our assurance becomes deeper. This assurance in our spirit is independent of our human reasoning or of human knowledge. It may even contradict human reasoning or physical evidence. But to believe God with our heart means to believe apart from our body.
Dr. Lillian Yeomans said, “God delights in his children stepping out over the aching void with nothing underneath their feet but the Word of God.”
The reason that many people are defeated is that they accept it. But God’s Word says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). The Holy Spirit rises up in us and we know we cannot be conquered. We know because we believe!
Memory Text: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22).
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