My hands gripped the steering wheel, as the initial shock of the impact subsided. I watched a small crowd of curious bystanders gather on the sidewalk and heard a faint hissing sound from somewhere underneath my car. I was in a foreign country and had just been T-boned.
I’d maneuvered down this narrow lane hundreds of times. In a city of over two million residents, I had routinely chosen this road — barely wide enough to accommodate my small car — as my daily route. This former rice paddy trail afforded direct access to the international school where my daughters attended. Because it was one-way, this street remained less congested than others, an important factor considering the myriads of cars tangled in knots at other intersections.
At least I wasn’t the one who had run the stop sign. I had the right of way and had been driving the speed limit. It wasn’t my fault.
Or so I assumed.
A week or so later, we got the news: although both drivers had insurance, I would be responsible for my own repairs. The reasoning? It was 50% my fault. Why? “If the foreigner had been in her home country where she belonged, this wouldn’t have happened.”
I confess I was incensed. In fact, I expended weeks of emotional energy demanding privileges that were not actually mine by law. After I reluctantly paid the damages and my anger finally subsided, I realized that mandates from my home country weren’t a given in this adopted country. Foreigners living abroad did not always have the same rights as local residents.
Over twenty years after this incident, I’ve discovered there is only one passport whose legalities transcend all nationalities. Regarding of locale, holders of this citizenship have standardized legal sanctions. (What a relief to this bullheaded Texan!) Although I am a “stranger and alien” of this world, God has given His children rights to a Kingdom from which we cannot be shaken (Hebrews 11:13; John 1:12; Hebrews 12:28).
When I lived abroad, I wanted to exercise privileges I did not possess. If my rights were so important to me then, why do I not take advantage of the heavenly benefits afforded to me now? Why do I spend so little time familiarizing myself with my Kingdom rights?
The feisty widow in Jesus’ prayer parable knew her rights. “Give me legal protection from my opponent,” she demanded (Luke 18:3). Do I know what mine are?
Explore with me just a few of our Kingdom rights as children of the Most High.
These and so many more rights are ours as we embrace our heavenly citizenship. In fact as we read through our Kingdom “constitution,” we find that “as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes!” (2 Corinthians 1:20) Why then do we squander so great a prerogative?
What rights will you claim today?
I’ve always grappled with just what faith means. Yes, it is “believing God”, but yet there seems to be much more richness to the meaning.
Today, we are going to look at some faith definitions. Some are mine. Some are the treasured thoughts of others.
“Faith is submission to the persuasion of God.”
“Faith is simply surrender; I yield myself to the impression the tidings I hear make on me.” – Andrew Murray
“Faith is your capacity to receive spiritual information.” – Jennifer Kennedy Dean
“Faith is simply to believe and assert the thing that God says.” – Hannah Whitall Smith
“Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.” – Apostle John (1 John 5:4)
“Faith is looking at the invisible God and seeing His reality enter into your physical world.”
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” – Oswald Chambers
As you read through these, which one particularly struck you with new insight? Okay, now with that definition in mind, read the following verses and substitute it whenever you come upon the word “belief” or “faith”.
For instance: let’s use yesterday’s verse of Mark 9:23, “And Jesus said to him, ‘If You can?! All things are possible to him who believes.’”
Now, I will substitute my new definition that “faith is submission to the persuasion of God”. It might sound something like this:
“And Jesus said to him, ‘If You can! All things are possible to him who submits to the persuasion of God.”
You may have to tweak the definition a bit to make it read smoothly, but the point is to help expand understanding of the Scriptures.
Now you try it.
Here are some faith/belief verses for you to get started with. Use your concordance to find others, so that you can meditate of the true power of faith today. And then please, please share the insights that the Father gave you in the comment section below.
“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” (Mark 11:23-24)
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the Word of God. And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.” (Luke 8:11-13)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (authority) to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name.” (John 1:12)
“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” (John 5:44)
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)