We Are Commanded To Believe, Not Decide

Why is it so common for new converts to Christianity to fall away in their faith shortly after their so called conversion? We have preached that the unsaved should make “decisions for Christ.” This phrase is found nowhere in scripture. On the contrary, the Bible tells us “to believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ. Only in heart belief is there power to weather the storms of life that require difficult choices. Only heart belief produces the experience of what we say we believe.

To simply make a decision that something is true does not necessarily change your heart belief. A decision that you have made in the past gives you no power for this present moment. Because you’ve decided that “something is true” at one time in your life leaves you with no current inner strength to live it out in the heat of the battle. This is why so many new converts don’t finish their race. This is why so many Christians live powerless lives of defeat with a lukewarm Christianity. They have certainly made a decision for Christ. They have certainly decided that many things are true about God, but they have no conviction of heart. Many do not find a daily, trusting faith that is of the heart and that encounters the living God. You must learn to believe in your heart, right now, and in this present moment in order for your concepts to do you any good. How do you do this?

A decision is very similar to “a commitment.” A commitment is simply a decision with longevity attached. Jesus Christ never asked anyone to make a commitment to Him. He only commands that we believe Him.2 Believing God from the heart versus making a commitment are vastly different things. One has power- the other only has intentions. However good intentions may be, they are still only intentions. Without the power of heart belief, intentions are nothing. I can intend to jump out of an airplane and skydive, but until I do, I am still in the airplane.

We are having altar calls all over the world inviting people to make commitments to Christ. A commitment to Christ or a decision to follow Christ is usually a shallow choice in the soul. It is often a decision in people’s flesh to follow God which is impossible to accomplish for the long term. The flesh cannot follow God. All it can do is get sick of a particular lifestyle, turn over a new leaf, have good intentions, and try harder to live better. The flesh can only make a commitment, then recommit, then recommit again. We don’t need to rededicate our lives to Christ. We need to believe the gospel.

When someone believes Jesus Christ from the heart, it costs them everything. It cost them everything else they believe. When someone believes Jesus Christ from the heart, it is accompanied with a humble and broken contrition. Only then can true transformation take place in the inner man. At the point of total abandoned heart belief, the Holy Spirit joins to the human spirit, and a person is changed forever.

We have settled for a passionless “robot Christianity.” We go through the motions of religious duty and say we are loving God. Love is passionate. Love is intense. Love is wild. Love is abandoned. Love is fervent. Love is from the heart (1 Pet. 1:22).

We have justified a Christianity of mundane ritual. We justify our dryness and call it “devotion.” God is not a duty or an obligation. Our wonderful, beautiful, and magnificent Savior is not a “should” or a “have to.” He is not a weekly church service or a commitment. He is not a life style of rules to make you feel righteous about yourself in order to alleviate your guilt.

God commands you to believe Him. He warns strongly against unbelief. Depression, selfishness, anger, hate, and all the other deeds of the flesh are not some kind of spiritual merry-go-round that we get on by accident and then have to wait for it to magically let us off. We can choose to have the joy of the Lord in any moment. We choose everything that fills our hearts whether it is good or bad. We choose to believe and we choose not to believe.

-Terry Stanley

This article was taken from the book “From the Head to the Heart”.

You can download a free pdf version of the book from home church help.com or you can order a paper copy.

2 Comments

  1. Brittany
    Dec 28, 2014

    I could not say ‘Amen’ enough to this post. Around me I see shallow, negative, unhappy, fearful Christians and I used to be one too- and we need a revival of faithful men and women who are willing to bank their whole life on Jesus.

  2. tony
    Dec 25, 2014

    Hey terry, plug this into the gospel of john – “…..,but these are written so that you might (continue or keep on) believing…..,and that by (continue ) believing you may (continue to)have Life in His name. John 20:30-31 . The eye witness testimony of john is once again Life-giving to me.

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