A number of weeks ago I heard a professing believer [I’ll call them Jim], while talking about some things in his past, make this statement,“But that was before I realized faith doesn’t work.” Now, I was disconcerted by this for a number of reasons; however, God used it to provide clarity about some things.
The first thought that came to mind was Matthew 15:19 where Jesus says, “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” This is a verse that gets tossed around a lot, but we don’t really give deep thought to what Jesus is saying in regards to the things we let fly out of our mouths. We tend to think that, since we are professing Christians, we are okay because we would never murder or commit adultery. Fornication is unthinkable and lying is a thing of the past. We don’t even have to discuss thefts, evil thoughts or blasphemy. I say, however, that we need to examine ourselves a little more closely in light of this passage. I won’t take the time to break down every word here, but let’s take a look at blasphemy.
A general definition for blasphemy is disrespect for religion; for God or sacred things. The original word used in the passage is the Greek word βλασφημία (blasphēmia). It means 1) slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; 2) impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty.
Let’s look a little closer at this definition.
- Slander: the act or offense of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation
- Detraction: somebody or something that detracts from the quality, value, or importance of something; the act of damaging somebody’s reputation, especially by making discrediting comments.
- Injurious: damaging somebody’s reputation, career, or chances of success
- Impious: showing lack of respect/reverence for God
- Reproachful: expressing disapproval or blame
So, blasphemy is much deeper than just disrespect for religion or God. It is to use your words and actions to destroy God’s reputation in the eyes of unbelievers or those weak in the faith. It’s making comments to discredit God and the things of God, therefore, diminishing His value/importance in the eyes others. It is slowly tearing down the kingdom by damaging any efforts of God’s people to reach those who do not believe or who are struggling to believe. In addition to deep irreverence of God, blasphemy is expressing the disapproval or blame one has towards God.
One would be hard pressed to get a professing believer to say they blaspheme God. In light of the above, however, many would have to admit that they are, or have been blasphemers. I can honestly say I have never used my words to spout blasphemies; however, since God knows our thoughts, I must admit I am far from guiltless! As a man/woman thinketh….right? Jim did indeed blaspheme the longsuffering and – thankfully – merciful God. A professing believer who makes comments like “that was before I realized faith doesn’t work,” unwittingly reveals some troubling truths regarding their own heart and mind.
Jesus said, “For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”(Luke 6:45) Put another way, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45 GNB) Jim – and any professing believers like him– slapped a huge question mark over his head in regards to the legitimacy of his own claim of salvation. For if faith does not work then how can one be saved? Ephesians 2:8, Romans 1:17, Romans 4:16, Romans 10:4, Hebrews 11:6 Etc.…. Without realizing it, individuals like Jim make God out to be a liar (1 John 5:10), and brand His Word useless and untrue!
It is often so easy for people to blame God when they don’t get what they want in life. Many times these individuals are unable to accept their role in the outcome and, like Adam, blame God for the mess they’ve gotten themselves into (Gen 3:1-12). This is evident in the individual from our example. In Jim’s speech, his heartfelt disdain for God is quite evident. It permeates his thoughts and colors his view on life, church, and anything of God. This disdain continuously fuels unbelief in Jim’s heart, and pride will not allow him to grab hold of truth. He is in fact double minded and deceived, considering himself to be a true believer. From him flows water both bitter and sweet, as he tells others to trust and believe the God he doesn’t really believe in. One moment he says trust God, the next moment faith doesn’t work and God just has it out for him. Jim (and those like him) is on dangerous ground. For with his mouth and actions he causes others to question God’s integrity and ability. His determination to slander God’s reputation could very possibly turn others away.
Jesus said, “If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea.” (Mat 18:6 GNB) If God had not blessed me to recognize the detriment of his words, Jim may have caused me to stumble and fall away – because, after all, if faith doesn’t work then what’s the point!? In addition, his comment reveals why he has not seen God move as much in his life.
God has established a divine order to things, and we can’t change it. Unbelief locks the door of communication; any prayer submitted in unbelief is just foolish yammering that won’t make it past the ceiling. The Word of God tells us, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways(James 1:6-8). Unbelief ties God’s hands, closing up the windows of heaven.
We can say that we have faith in God all day long, but that doesn’t make it so. Church folks have a PhD in church-speak and church mannerisms; however, what we often fail to realize is that, no matter how well we perform “church”, our performance does not fool God. If our hearts are evil and full of unbelief (Heb 3:12) then, in the eyes of God, we are sinners. Unbelief is sin!
God sees beyond the masks we wear. He knows the truth of what is really in our hearts. He hears the real truth behind the “right words” we say. He knows whether or not we are really true believers. God knows whether or not our hearts speak blasphemies. Be honest with Him. Ask God to reveal to you the condition of your heart. Accept what He shows you; don’t try to excuse it away. Repent, choose to trust Him, and ask for divine help and strength for the journey. Bring your views under subjection to the Word and will of God. Determine to build an honest relationship with the God of the Bible today; don’t wait! It is too important, for those with unbelieving hearts will not see the Lord in peace (Revelation 21:8). Trust me, you do not want to hear Jesus say, “depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Until next time!
Share your thoughts!
What does your heart speak?
What would God say about what your heart is saying?
Have you ever blasphemed God?
Have you been able to get your mouth and your heart on the same page with God? How?